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The three oldest weapons in the Pentagon's arsenal

This may seem implausible, but the US Army, for the maintenance of which this year 716 billion dollars has been allocated, still uses some types of weapons, whose age is many decades. The thing is that they still have not created a worthy replacement. The three leaders in terms of number of years of service are the M2 heavy machine gun, the KS-135 strategic tanker and the V-52N strategic bomber.

Heavy machine gun M2



Without a doubt, the palm belongs to the heavy machine gun M2, which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2018 (!). It was developed by the legendary gunsmith John Moses Browning at the request of General John "Blackjack" Pershing for American troops on the fronts of the First World War.

This is an air-cooled machine gun that fires 50-caliber ammunition at a speed of 450 to 550 rounds per minute at a range of 1150 meters. Machine gun weight 38.5 kg. M2 pierces the armor plate 2.5 cm thick at a distance of 215 meters.

Today, the ageless M2 continues to serve in all types of US forces and the coast guard - it still has not had a decent replacement. Currently, a lighter version is being developed.

Flying tanker KS-135 "Stratotanker"



During the Cold War, the U.S. Air Force purchased 732 commercial Boeing 707 airliners, which were later converted into flying tankers. They participated in the supply of strategic aviation patrolling the borders of the USSR, in the Vietnam War and in Operation Desert Storm. Currently, 414 KS-135 are still in operation, their age is close to 60 years. And they also have no replacement, and their service life is constantly extended.

Strategic bomber V-52N



The first flight of the B-52 took place in the distant 1952. Then he was assigned the role of the main means of delivery of nuclear and thermonuclear weapons. The first serial strategic bomber was adopted in 1961, and the last in 1963. A total of 102 cars were built, of which 76 continue to serve to this day.

Currently, the B-52 is a universal long-range platform equipped with high-precision means of destruction of ground targets and air defense systems. The US Air Force plans to create cheaper and more reliable engines, thanks to which the B-52N will be able to serve for about 70 years.

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