The modern American military saw the need to be quicker, more efficient and more powerful. In order to accomplish this, they had to become more technologically advanced. Three examples of technology that show how the American military has accomplished this is; the Nimitz Class Super Carrier (Nimitz), the M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tank (M1A2), and the Tomahawk® Land Attack Cruise Missile (Tomahawk).
Aircraft carriers are an important part of protecting and enforcing the policies of the United States. The Nimitz-class supercarriers, able to rapidly mobilize an air wing of up 80 planes, have advanced technology unmatched by any other Navy in the world. The propulsion system as well as the catapults and arresting gear are just a few of the advancements that helped these carriers to be known as “national treasures”. The Nimitz has a propulsion system of two nuclear reactors giving her virtually unlimited range, endurance and a speed of over 30 knots.
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The ship’s four catapults and arresting gear engines enable her to launch and recover up to four aircraft per minute. The on-board NATO Sea Sparrow, comprised of two launchers with eight missiles each, is a radar-guided, short to a medium-range missile capable of attacking enemy aircraft and cruise missiles. Close-In Weapon Systems have individual search and track radar. The Gatling guns are capable of firing 3,000 rounds per minute.
The M1A2 is a powerful force rolling onto the battlefield at speeds of up to 50 mph. Equipped with an overpressure clean-air conditioning air system, a radiological warning system, and a chemical agent detector, this tank provides its four-man crew protection from Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical warfare. The technology used in the M1A2 was developed for each crew member’s tasks specifically. The commander is suited with six periscopes and an Independent Thermal Viewer providing him independent stabilized day and night vision with a 360-degree view, automatic sector scanning, automatic target cueing of the gunner’s sight, and a complete back-up fire control system. The gunner’s fire control system is integrated with a laser range finder.
The laser range finder collects range data such as; the range measurement – to 10 meters of accuracy, lead angle measurement, the bend of the gun, and wind velocity. After the gunner and commander enter ammunition type, temperature, and barometric pressure, the computer calculates the fire solution and prepares the weapon to fire.
The Tomahawk cruise missile has become the Navy’s “weapon of choice” for long-range attacks against high value, highly defended and politically sensitive targets. The missile is launched with 15 pre-programmed alternate targets that can be engaged or redirected during flight. Targets can be established as easily as entering in GPS coordinates or they can be entered utilizing the Digital Scene Matching Area Correlation (DSMAC) system, which uses digital images that the missile’s computer system matches, confirm, and then strikes.
Terrain Contour Matching (TERCOM) radar guidance enables the missile to make changes to its course, compensating for changes in terrain. For time-critical targets, the missile can loiter over a target area and wait for the assignment to strike or in some cases to capture and transmit digital images of the battlefield.
These advancements in technology as well as many others have enabled the American Military to achieve the goal of a faster, more powerful, and more efficient response to enemy attacks.
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