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The Weapons of Operation Enduring Freedom
The history behind some of the weapons being used in today's military conflicts.
 Related Weapon Resources
Rocket and Missiles
Jet Engines
How Jet Engines Work
 From Other Guides
Operation Enduring Freedom
By Mary Bellis

The following aircraft and aircraft carriers will be included in Operation Enduring Freedom, originally named Operation Infinite Justice. Note: The information below gives a history of each weapon from its inception, the current version of each weapon may have been modernized.

Bombers used in Operation Enduring Freedom
B - 52
Updated with modern technology the B-52 will be capable of delivering the full complement of joint developed weapons and will continue into the 21st century as an important element of U.S. defenses. Current engineering analyses show the B-52's life span to extend beyond the year 2045. The B-52A first flew in 1954, and the B model entered service in 1955.
Operation Enduring Freedom
B-1B Lancer
The B-1B was first used in combat in support of operations against Iraq during Operation Desert Fox in December 1998. B-1s have been subsequently used in Operation Allied Force.
B-2 Spirit
The first B-2 was publicly displayed on Nov. 22, 1988, when it was rolled out of its hangar at Air Force Plant 42, Palmdale, Calif. 

Fighters used Operation Enduring Freedom
Operation Enduring Freedom
F-16 Fighting Falcon
The F-16A, a single-seat model, first flew in December 1976.
F-15, F-15C Eagle & F-15E Strike Eagle
The first F-15A flight was made in July 1972. The first production model of the F-15E was delivered to the 405th Tactical Training Wing, Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., in April 1988. 
The Eagle's First Flight
A brand-new fighter type lifted off from the main runway on July 27, 1972. On that day, McDonnell Douglas chief test pilot Irving L. Burrows took the new F-15A Eagle on its first flight.
F-14 Tomcat
The F-14 entered the fleet in 1973.
F/A-18 Hornet
The single-seat F/A-18 Hornet is the nation's first strike-fighter.
Operation Enduring Freedom
F-117A_Nighthawk - Stealth Jets
Officially named F-117A Nighthawk, but better known to the world as the stealth fighter, the Nighthawk made its combat debut Dec. 19, 1989, when six F-117As left their base in Nevada, headed for Panama.
AC-130H Gunship
The AC-130 gunship has a history dating to Vietnam.
MC-130E/H Combat Talon I/II
The Combat Talon first flew in 1966. 

Missiles, Guided Munitions, and Bombs used in Operation Enduring Freedom
The Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) is a guidance tail kit that converts existing unguided free-fall bombs into accurate, adverse weather "smart" munitions.
GBU-28 Bunker Busters
The GBU-28 is the famed bunker buster first used in Desert Storm.
AGM-86 Missiles
The AGM-86B air-launched cruise missiles and AGM-86C conventional air-launched cruise missiles were developed to increase the effectiveness of B-52H bombers.
AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapon
JSOW is currently flying on the F/A-18 and F-16 aircraft and will soon be flying on the Air Force's B-52 and B-2.
Tomahawk Cruise Missile
Tomahawk cruise missiles are designed to fly at extremely low altitudes at high subsonic speeds, and are piloted over an evasive route by several mission tailored guidance systems. The first operational use was in Operation Desert Storm, 1991.
Daisy Cutter Bomb -- BLU-82
The world's largest bomb the daisy cutter has to be parachuted from a cargo plane. The designers optimized this bomb to clear vegetation while creating little or no crater. It explodes three feet off the ground and clears almost a 1000-foot radius.

Aircraft Carriers used in Operation Enduring Freedom
Operation Enduring Freedom - Aircraft Carriers
USS Cowpens
USS Cowpens, an 11,000-ton Independence class small aircraft carrier built at Camden, New Jersey, was commissioned in May 1943 with the hull number CV-25.

Helicopters used in Operation Enduring Freedom
Operation Enduring Freedom Helicopters
SH-60 Seahawk
The UH-60 Black Hawk was fielded by the Army in 1979. The Navy received the SH-60B Seahawk in 1983 and the SH-60F in 1988.
HH-60G Pave Hawk
The Pave Hawk is a highly modified version of the Army Black Hawk helicopter which features an upgraded communications and navigation suite that includes an integrated inertial navigation/global positioning/Doppler navigation systems, satellite communications, secure voice, and Have Quick communications.
CH-53E Super Stallion
The Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion is the largest helicopter in the western world. 
CH-46D/E Sea Knight
The CH-46 Sea Knight was first procured in 1964.
AH-64D Longbow Apache
The AH-64D Longbow Apache is the most advanced, versatile, survivable, deployable and maintainable multi-role combat helicopter in the world. 

Tanker used in Operation Enduring Freedom
KC-135 Stratotanker
Through the years, the KC-135 has been altered to do other jobs ranging from flying command post missions to reconnaissance.

Transports used in Operation Enduring Freedom
C-17 Globemaster III
The C-17 is the newest, most flexible cargo aircraft to enter the airlift force. The C-17 is capable of rapid strategic delivery of troops and all types of cargo to main operating bases or directly to forward bases in the deployment area. The aircraft is also capable of performing tactical airlift and airdrop missions when required.
C-130 Hercules
Four decades have elapsed since the Air Force issued its original design specification, yet the remarkable C-130 remains in production. 

Unmanned used in Operation Enduring Freedom
RQ-1 Predator
The RQ-1 Predator is a medium-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle system. 

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all photos provided by US Airforce and Navy


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