|This article needs additional citations for verification. (April 2013)|
Tank plinking is a term that was given by pilots during the Gulf War to the practice of using guided munitions to destroy artillery, armored personnel carriers, tanks, and other targets. As the war progressed, the term began to encompass all forms of destroying a target with an overly capable weapon. This term was discouraged by the military.
General Norman Schwarzkopf was looking for a plan to incapacitate 50% of the Iraqi army before any ground invasion could begin. Planning was performed including high intensity air strikes with General Dynamics F-111, A-6 Intruder, F-15E Strike Eagle, F/A-18 Hornet, AV-8 Harrier, A-10 Thunderbolt II, and F-16 Falcon crews. This culminated in December 1990, with Operation Night Camel in which air crews of the F-111 evaluated the ability of aircraft to use guided munitions with the LANTIRN and Pave Tack target designation systems from medium altitude.
This is a deviation from standard military air engagement due to the prevalence of the surface-to-air missile; most aviators would prefer to engage a target from either a very high altitude, or a very low altitude, and certainly with low observability aircraft. However, the Iraqi defenses proved to be very inadequate. The winning combination for the eventual campaign was either a pair or quartet of F-111F aircraft loaded with four GBU-12 500-lb, laser-guided bombs. Bombs were designated for both entrenched, hard targets, as well as softer targets (e.g. armoured personnel carriers).
- "Foreign Affairs - The New American Way of War - Max Boot". www.foreignaffairs.org. Retrieved 2008-05-06.
- Flight manual TO 1A-10A-1 (20 February 2003, Change 8), page vi, 1-150A.
- "Air Force Magazine - Tank Plinking - Maj. Michael J. Bodner and Maj. William W. Bruner III - October 1993". www.airforcemag.com/. Retrieved 2013-06-04.
|This military-related article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|