London, Dec.31 (ANI): Five of the world's deadliest conventional weapons have been revealed, and according to Fox News, some of them are terrifying, while others are silent but very effective.
All five are part of the U.S. Armed Forces' arsenal. Some date back to World War II in concept, but they are still lethal and continue to be used in battle in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The fearsome five are:
(1) The AC-130 aerial gunship: This comes in two forms, the AC-130H "Spectre" and the more heavily armed AC-130U "Spooky," both flown by the U.S. Air Force. Versions of the AC-130 were first deployed during the Vietnam War. It's designed to hit targets on the ground or at sea, firing Gatling guns and howitzers fore, aft and to the side.
The AC-130's weakness is that it flies "low and slow," making it vulnerable to surface-to-air or air-to-air missiles.
(2) The 'bunker buster' bomb: The British military first conceived these steel-nosed bombs that dropped heavily and quickly enough to penetrate underground targets.
During the first Persian Gulf War, the U.S. military quickly rigged together similar weapons to attack Iraqi facilities, and then spent the next decade perfecting the concept.
Today's bunker busters are usually laser-guided missiles, either rocket powered or artillery fired.
(3) Laser-guided bombs: First used in Vietnam, these bombs (and some missiles) home in on a laser-illuminated target marked either by the shooter or a third party on the ground.
Un-powered bombs use fins to steer themselves to the target; powered missiles use rocket or jet engines. Laser-guided missiles and bombs were used to great effect during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. They don't work well in heavy dust, fog or smoke.
(4) .50-caliber sniper rifle: Confederate soldiers first mounted scopes on high-powered rifles during the Civil War, but the first specially designed sniper rifles for both police and military use came about in the 1970s. The barrels are precisely machined and specially mounted to minimize recoil. Many Western sniper rifles use NATO standard 7.62-mm cartridges, but models using massive .50-caliber bullets are so powerful they can take out enemy ordnance by sheer force of impact.
(5) Anti-personnel mines: These little hidden bombs cause such havoc in civil wars around the world that they've been banned by most nations. The U.S. still insists on retaining the right to use them, though it doesn't actively deploy them.
Best known is the Claymore mine developed by the U.S. in the 1950s and widely copied worldwide, but possibly most notorious is the Soviet "Butterfly" model that during the 1980s killed and maimed Afghan children who thought it was a toy. (ANI)