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Since we've had some complaints about being too political regarding certain military actions undertaken by the United States, I'll try to keep this as straight as possible: Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, the Al-Qaeda man alleged to have been responsible for numerous attacks in Iraq in recent years, was killed by U.S. forces about 48 hours ago. What technology was responsible for his demise? Although top Pentagon brass aren't likely to reveal in too great detail what happened, DefenseTech took a stab at trying to figure out what technologies were involved in the operation.

Precision. That's the name of the game in today's U.S. military. Unlike in 1991 when U.S. fighter jets such as the F-16 had to have their flight plans done in painful detail long beforehand, today's pilots often hover over their designated areas with little to no knowledge of what they're going to do. Odds are, that was the case two days ago. Sensor pods attached to the jets' wings have both night and day cameras (the raid took place at about 6 p.m. local time) as well as GPS devices that are used in conjunction with satellite-guided missiles. All of the military forces are "wired" so to speak together via datalinks, so that if one pilot sees something of interest—say, a possible safe house—the rest of the forces in the area can see what he sees.


The Tech That Took Out Zarqawi [Defense Tech]