HEADLINE Quick look at the weapons used by the US, UK and France in Syria attack

HEADLINE

Quick look at the weapons used by the US, UK and France in Syria attack

By Yang Chuchu | People's Daily app

15:16, April 15, 2018

The US, UK and France conducted airstrikes on Syria in response to the alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria on April 14.  The three countries targeted a scientific research center in the Barzeh neighborhood northeast of Damascus, a chemical weapon storage facility west of Homs and a command post near Homs.

French Rafale jets

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A French Dassault Rafale receives fuel from a KC-10 tanker in 2016.

The twin-engine Rafale jet could be armed with Storm Shadow missiles that can fly more than 250 miles. This means they  could strike without having to fly over Syria and avoid anti-aircraft defenses.

French defense minister Florence Parly said the French Rafale jets flew from France.

French Mirage jets were also used in the attack and the French aircraft fired a total of nine missiles, according to US officials.

French frigates and cruise missiles

France fired three cruises missiles from one its multi-mission frigates, the Pentagon said.

The multi-mission frigates are some of the newest in the French naval fleet and are armed with the MdCN (Missile de Croisière Naval) cruise missile, with 16 launch tubes on each ship.

UK Tornado fighters

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An RAF Tornado taxis into its hangar after landing at the British air force base in Akrotiri, Cyprus, after a Syria strike mission, April 14, 2018.

According to Britain's Ministry of Defense, the UK used four Tornado fighter jets armed with Storm Shadow cruise missiles. Typhoon fighter jets also participated in the attack, officials added.

The twin-engine Tornado GR4 is the UK's main ground-attack aircraft armed with Storm Shadow missiles, an air-launched weapon that carries a 400-kilogram warhead as far as 400 kilometers. That means the Tornadoes were not required to fly far, and would not have needed to cross into Syrian airspace to launch their strikes. A total of eight Storm Shadow missiles were fired by the UK jets, according to Pentagon officials.

The jets took off from RAF Akrotiri, the Royal Air Force base on Cyprus in the eastern Mediterranean, Britain's Ministry of Defense said.

US B-1 bombers

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A US B-1 bomber releases a JASSM missile like the ones fired against Syria early Saturday.

Pentagon officials said the US Air Force used two B-1B bombers in the Syria strike.

The four-engine B-1s fired 19 JASSM cruise missiles, which carry 450-kilogram warheads and have a range of more than 370 kilometers.

That means the B-1s would not have needed to expose themselves to Syrian air defenses to make their strikes.

Tomahawk cruise missile

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(Source: CNN)

The Tomahawk is carried by US and British warships, including cruisers, destroyers and submarines, and is capable of delivering a 1,000-pound warhead with a range of 1,500 kilometers.

It is designed to fly extremely low and can navigate around defenses using its on-board guidance systems. Its target can also be changed mid-flight through communication with controllers.

US guided-missile cruisers, destroyers and submarines

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The US Navy's guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey can carry dozens of Tomahawk cruise missiles.

The Pentagon said three US warships and one submarine using Tomahawk cruise missiles participated in the Syria strikes.

From the Red Sea, the cruiser USS Montere, Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser, fired 30 Tomahawks and the destroyer USS Laboon, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, launched seven more. Meanwhile, the destroyer USS Higgins, also an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, fired 23 Tomahawks from the North Arabian Gulf.

The attack submarine USS John Warner fired six Tomahawks from the Mediterranean Sea.

The USS Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group

According to the US Navy, the USS Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group, currently stationed in Norfolk, Virginia, will be deployed to the Middle East in the coming days.

The USS Harry S. Truman carries F-18 fighter-bombers, accompanied by seven heavily armed escort ships and at least one submarine escort.

The strike group is capable of delivering Tomahawk cruise missiles.

(Source: CNN, Financial Times and Xinhua)

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