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    Bizarre Weapons Used By U.S. Navy Units

    Image Source: ARTFULLY PHOTOGRAPHER / Shutterstock

    LOCUST drones, known for their ability to swarm battlefields and jam communications from a distance, are folded into tubes and shot into the sky. Their main purpose is to disrupt the enemy’s ability to fire accurately and waste their ammunition.

    These flying saucers cost around $15,000 per unit and can be used as disposable firing targets for enemy forces, disrupting the enemy and saving soldiers’ lives. Additionally, these drones jam hostile signals and communications, making them a valuable invention for the battlefield.

    The Mark 48 Heavyweight Torpedo

    The U.S. Navy employs the Mk 48 Heavyweight Torpedo when Mark 60 CAPTORs are insufficient. This fast torpedo can travel at 32 miles per hour and has a range of over five miles.

    The Mark 48 torpedo is capable of finding and tracking its target, whether it’s above water or deep in the ocean, thanks to its smart homing system, advanced sonar system, and remote digital controls.

    The Barrett M82 (Standardized by U.S. Army as M107)

    The Barrett M82 is a semi-automatic anti-material sniper rifle used to target heavy objects from long distances. The United States uses a special version of the gun called M107.

    This rifle, weighing around 30 pounds and costing almost $9,000, supports two types of ammo: .50 caliber rounds and .416 Barrett bullets. It can penetrate almost any armored vehicle when shot at the right angle, making it highly dangerous, even from a great distance.

    Joint Direct Attack Munition

    Joint Direct Attack Munitions are guidance kits used to convert “dumb” (low tech) bombs into all-weather precision bombs on any bomb from 500 pounds up to 2,000 pounds, overriding the nomenclature of the bomb they’re installed on.

    Boeing produced over 300,000 of these from 1998 to 2016 at a cost of about $25,000 per unit. This “upgrade” kit saves the U.S. military money by circumventing the need to replace old “dumb” bombs with expensive, laser-guided ones.

    The AGM-65 Maverick

    AGM-65 Maverick missiles, weighing 462 to 670 pounds with a massive 300-pound warhead, can penetrate armor and detonate from inside an enemy’s vehicle. They have been extensively used by all branches of the U.S. military.

    In 1991, America launched 5,000 Mavericks during Operation Desert Storm, effectively destroying most of Iraq’s Air Force, anti-aircraft facilities, and command and communication facilities, crippling the Iraqi army.

    The DMLGB

    The DMLGB, a versatile bomb made by Lockheed Martin, stands for Dual Mode Laser Guided Bomb. Highly reliable and compatible with the MK 82 warhead and standard GBU-12 Airfoil Group (AFG), it has seen over 7,000 sales to the U.S. Navy and the Marines. Mostly used on F/A-18 Hornets, Super Hornets, and AV-8B Harriers.

    The M136 AT4

    The M136 AT4 is an unguided, portable rocket launcher that can fire a single light tank-destroying missile, favored for its lack of recoil when firing. Used in almost every major war since the 1989 US Invasion of Panama, it fires highly explosive, piercing missiles fitted with HEAT warheads.

    The Mark 77 Incendiary Bomb

    The Mark 77 Incendiary bombs cause a massive inferno seconds after exploding and are used for their destructive power. Their use can create significant devastation.

    very rarely then. It was globally outlawed in 1980 after extensive civilian populations were charred to death with these weapons.

    Mark 77 Incendiary bombs were used by the United States Marines during Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. More recently, highly controversial reports of unauthorized use of these by the U.S. military have surfaced, but they are currently unproven and remain in the rumor zone at the moment.

    The M240

    The M240 machine gun is a Caliber 7.62 mm NATO turret that can decimate even well-armored targets. M240s are usually fired from an integrated bipod or tripod, and can also be mounted on a vehicle. These weapons are quite heavy and weigh more than 25 pounds, which is why they are used almost exclusively when mounted.

    The M240 uses an average cartridge of 7.62×51mm, and can hit targets up to 1,200 yards away when docket. The M240 shoots at rates of up to 100 rounds per minute, with a required barrel change every 10 minutes or so. It uses an air-cooling system to keep it from overheating, although short breaks are required between bursts.

    The General-Purpose Bomb

    General-purpose bombs are mainly used against larger targets, and have been in use since World War II. The U.S has since updated them, and branched these into a four unit family, called the Mark 80, which goes through up to the  Mark 84. Each subsequent unit from the first to the latter weighs twice as much.

    The main difference from the Mark 80 to the Mark 84 is basically size. Mark 81 and Mark 82 are the most popular ones in the family, and strike an effective balance between weight and precision. Mark 84’s weigh a whopping 2,000 pounds, and are only used in very specific cases due to their bias towards massive, earth scorching damage.

    The SOCOM MK 13

    The SOCOM MK 13 is a bolt-action sniper rifle used by the Navy SEALs, as-well-as other ground units. It fires .300 Winchester Magnum rounds, also known as WinMags, and is extremely useful for long-distance target take-down missions.

    The SOCOM MK 13 is a relatively light-weight sniper rifle, weighing just over 10 pounds. It can effectively shoot up to 0.75 miles, which makes it an excellent choice for long-range hits. MK 13’s are often docked on a tripod before being shot, which makes them one of the most accurate guns in the world.

    The Penguin Anti-Ship Missile

    While they may sound cute, Penguin anti-ship missiles are far from it. Designed to be launched from Seahawk helicopters, they allow Navy choppers to easily take out hostile ships while staying in a safe range. Each missile weighs about 835 pounds and holds a 275-pound warhead that can sink even the biggest and baddest ship.

    These advanced missiles can automatically dodge hostile threats in-mid flight, effectively circumventing their enemy’s defense systems. Penguins are built for crushing armor-plated targets, and do so with a delayed explosion mechanism. They first penetrate an enemy ship, and only detonate once they are inside its cabin. Go Penguins!

    The Electromagnetic Railgun

    If you’re a fan of the Death Star, you’ll be quite excited to learn about this one. Electromagnetic Railguns are about as close as it gets to the Empire’s superweapon. These massive devices use electromagnetic forces (instead of bullets and rockets) to shoot particles at high velocity, destroying anything in their path.

    Electromagnetic Railguns shoot particles 6,000 miles per hour. Engineers still have some time before these become fully functioning, as the weapon is still in developmental stage. The moment this technology is officially deployed, many of the Navy’s tactics would quickly have to get re-adjusted.

    The Sea Sparrow Missile (RIM-7)

    Sparrow missiles are considered the standard when it comes to U.S. Navy and NATO warships. These missiles can easily take down airborne and land threats. Although many attributes of the Sea Sparrow Missile are classified, we know that they were initially developed in the ‘70s and have been substantially improved since.

    Sparrow missiles are usually the first weapons employed to counter oncoming threats on U.S. territory. They are highly accurate and are fitted with effective warheads. Most foreign hostile vehicles that get hit by one of these will explode into a million pieces before they ever knew what hit them, which makes them strong deterrents!

    The Paveway Laser-Guided Bomb

    Things were quite messy back when U.S. jets used unguided bombs to attack enemies. These would often miss targets, and potentially hurt civilians in their path. Nowadays, the Navy uses Paveway Laser-Guided Bombs. These use a precise laser-guiding system that allows them to hit very small areas with a tiny margin of error.

    Paveway Laser-Guided bombs are used for destroying sensitive land targets without causing collateral damage. Half of the bombings in the Iraq War were done using Paveway Laser-Guided bombs, which helped quickly tip the scales in the United State’s favor, and were used to destroy much of Iraq’s infrastructure with minimal casualties.

    The AIM-120 AMRAAM Missile

    The AIM-120 AMRAAM missile is considered to be the top choice in aerial combat situations. More than 14,000 of these missiles have been acquired by the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Air Force in recent years. An improved version of the AIM-120 missile, known as the AIM-260 JATM, is currently being manufactured. These upgraded versions feature extended range and reduced vulnerability to electronic signal jamming.

    The AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles can be launched in all weather conditions and are considered “fire and forget” weapons, meaning that once a target has been fired at, most of the work is done automatically. These missiles weigh approximately 335 pounds each and can cost anywhere from $300,000 to $1,786,000 for the most advanced models.

    Anti-Submarine Rocket (ASROC) (VLA)

    When Vertical Launch Anti-Submarine rockets are deployed from Navy ships, they ascend into the air and commence a series of mid-flight maneuvers with the objective of neutralizing a hostile submarine. Once the rocket is airborne, it flips and descends directly towards its target. Upon reaching the ocean, the Anti-Submarine rocket promptly launches a torpedo at the target.

    Image Source: ARTFULLY PHOTOGRAPHER / Shutterstock

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