Infantry: January 10, 2000

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A Pentagon working group with representatives from the Air Force, Army, Marines, and Navy is examining ways to take future wars into the heart of enemy cities. Modern armies have considerable problems in cities, due to the shrinking size of armies and the expanding size of cities. The extensive infrastructure in cities makes it possible for even a defeated enemy field army to dig in and hold out for extensive periods, inflicting expensive casualties on any enemy who tries to follow them into the urban zones. The US drive to eliminate "urban safe havens" is two fold. The first branch is to develop new means of tactical intelligence suitable to working in cities. New unmanned aerial vehicles, with the ability to take-off and land vertically, will be a key element. Small versions can fly down streets and look into windows. The other branch of the campaign is the development of new weapons to attack urban structures. The key weapon is the JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition), a guided bomb able to hit specific buildings. Because JDAM is not particularly large, a single strike aircraft could attack several targets inside a city with considerable precision. JDAM can actually fly down a street to hit a particular building. The new Motorola Hard Target Smart Fuze will allow bombs to be set to detonate on a specific floor of a given building, eventually reaching the point that specific rooms can be targeted. --Stephen V Cole

 


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