Today’s U.S. Army can generate an astonishing amount of firepower and deliver it in a variety of settings from small-figh counterinsurgency to big-fight mechanized combat. With that in mind, here are five of the best U.S. Army weapons:
1. AH-64 Apache:
Ironic it is that the best weapon of America’s premier land force is an aircraft. But given the conflicts the U.S. military has recently fought and is likely to fight, airpower is the most decisive factor.
2. M-1 Abrams:
Whether the M-1 Abrams is the best tank in the world depends on who you talk to, and more important, what country they are from. But it is indisputably among the world’s best.
3. M-109A6 Paladin:
The U.S. Army’s hard-hitting, self-propelled howitzers have taken a backseat in America’s recent small fights. Nonetheless, they remain highly potent weapons.
The Paladin is the latest version of the venerable M-109 self-propelled gun. It can shoot a 155-millimeter shell up to 20 miles using rocket-assisted projectiles. It can also fire the GPS- or laser-guided Excalibur shell .
4. TOW Anti-Tank Missile:
Russia (or the Soviet Union) seems to be the king of anti-tank missiles, though this probably reflects the pattern of arms sales, as well as how great a threat Western-designed armor posed to Russia and its clients. So it is easy to forget that the U.S. Army is no slouch, either, at the anti-tank missile game.
The Army’s TOW (tube-launched, optically tracked, wire-guided) anti-tank missile is still going strong after nearly forty-five years of service. It has destroyed tanks—mostly Russian—in Vietnam, the Arab, the Iran-Irak conflick and now Syria . The newer TOW 2B comes in several versions, including a bunker-busting missile, as well as the Aero model, which explodes above a tank to penetrate its thin top armor.
5. M-2 .50-Caliber Machine Gun:
It may sound strange to classify an eighty-year-old machine gun as one of the Army’s best weapons. But the fact the M-2 ” Ma Deuce ” is still blasting away after nearly a century and countless wers is testament to the fact that it is a remarkable gun.
Developed when Franklin Roosevelt had just become president and Hitler was just taking power in Germany, the M-2 has seen service all over the world as an anti-aircraft, anti-vehicle and anti-personnel machine gun that’s closer in power to a small cannon. A recently upgraded version, the M2A1 , features a quick-change barrel and a night flash suppressor.