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
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.
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.
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
The F-16A, a single-seat model,
first flew in December 1976.
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
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
The F-14 entered the fleet in 1973.
The single-seat F/A-18 Hornet
is the nation's first strike-fighter.
- 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.
The AC-130 gunship has a history
dating to Vietnam.
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.
The GBU-28 is the famed bunker buster
first used in Desert Storm.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
The Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion
is the largest helicopter in the western world.
The CH-46 Sea Knight was first procured
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
Through the years, the KC-135 has
been altered to do other jobs ranging from flying command post missions
Transports used in Operation
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.
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
The RQ-1 Predator is a medium-altitude,
long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle system.
all photos provided by US Airforce