Warplanes: March 14, 2002


The war in Afghanistan has enabled the air force to develop devastating new tactics. Using JSTARS ground surveillance aircraft, Predator UAVs and AC-130 gunships, a large area can be monitored and attacks rapidly and accurately made on any suspected targets. The JSTARS can detect any vehicle movement. Predators, which can be in the area for hours at a time, can go down and get close up TV images of the vehicles. If a target is found, AC-130s (or smart bombs from warplanes, or even army helicopter gunships) can be called in to destroy only the identified targets, leaving nearby buildings or vehicles alone. The video from the Predator (and the AC-130s cameras) can now be shared by ground stations and aircraft, making it easier to decide who's good and who's a target. This kind of coverage can be placed on an area 24/7, if enough JSTARS and other aircraft are available. This kind of coverage can shut down enemy operations, or at least keep them off the roads. 


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