Thursday, April 3
US forces use Daisy Cutters
Shyam Bhatia in Kuwait, Rediff.com, April 03, 2003
As American forces encounter stiffer resistance on the road to Baghdad, military commanders say they have been authorised to use still greater firepower.
The revelation that Daisy Cutters were used to wipe out an Iraqi Republican Guard division outside Baghdad follows the downing of two American aircraft -- a Black Hawk and an F/A-18C Hornet -- near Karbala. [...]
Daisy Cutters, used in Vietnam and Afghanistan, are crude compared to cruise missiles and precision-guided bombs.
But they are considered highly effective. The size of a small family car, they have to be dropped from a specially adapted C-130 Hercules transport plane.
They contain 6,804kg of fuel-air explosives, a variation of the deadly napalm [meant to destroy targets with high temperature flame], which the US deployed with destructive effect in Vietnam.
The plane carrying the device has to fly above 6,000feet to escape being destroyed by the blast.
The bomb detonates three feet above the ground, spraying tiny droplets of fuel-based explosive into the air where they create a massive 'air burst', a huge explosion, marked by a mushroom cloud.
The blast is so powerful that it kills everything within a 600-metre radius. Anything close to the blast is incinerated, while people farther away die when the air is sucked from their lungs. [...]