The United States is the world leader in terms of the size of the military budget. As a result, the US military regularly ranks first in various rankings. Consider the main features of the American army.
The influence of the United States on other countries is due to several factors. First of all, it is a powerful economy, with which the economies of many other countries are directly connected, as well as the world financial system as a whole. In addition, the United States possesses at least one of the best armies in the world. This country is the world leader in terms of the size of the military budget, which also translates into technical and other superiority over the mass of other countries. As a result, the US military regularly ranks first in various rankings. Consider the main features of the American army.
One of the main features of the American armed forces is the record large military budget. There have been attempts to cut costs over the past several years, but now, according to some reports, it is planned to return to growth. In fiscal 2014, about $ 610 billion was allocated to defense. In 2015, it is planned to spend about the same or a little more. Nevertheless, even in the current situation, the United States retains the largest military budget in the world, having a serious lead over its closest competitors, Russia and China.
According to The Military Balance, in 2014, about 1,492, 2 thousand people served in the US armed forces. In addition, 14,000 jobs were provided for civilian specialists. If necessary, the Pentagon can use the reserve, which includes 843, 75 thousand people.
US citizens can enter the military from the age of 18 (or from the age of 17 - with the permission of their parents or legal representatives). The maximum age for recruits is limited and depends on the type of military forces. So, in the ground forces take persons not older than 35 years, and in the Marine Corps - not older than 28 years. With a population of over 316 million, the United States has great mobilization potential. According to available data, about 120 million people are fit for service.
The total number of ground forces, including the Army of the National Guard, is 586.7 thousand people. In addition, 528.5 thousand reservists were assigned to the ground forces. Thus, the US Army is the most numerous structure in the US Armed Forces, which is due to a number of its features.
The personnel and equipment of the ground forces are distributed among several large units for various purposes. The 2nd and 3rd cavalry regiments, as well as 3 reconnaissance brigades, are responsible for conducting reconnaissance in the interests of the ground forces. There are 5 "heavy" divisions equipped with various types of armored vehicles, self-propelled artillery, etc. The 2nd and 25th Infantry Divisions are classified as "medium" and have a corresponding composition. They have at their disposal means of transportation and fire support of personnel, etc. technique. There is also one light infantry division. The airborne troops are represented by three large units. These are the 82nd and 101st divisions, as well as the 173rd brigade.
To perform auxiliary functions, the US Army has 2 helicopter brigades, 7 artillery brigades, 5 engineering brigades, 3 logistics brigades, 3 medical brigades and other units.
About 20 thousand people serve in the Army of the National Guard. The number of National Guard reservists exceeds 330 thousand people. Due to different goals, this structure has a smaller number of subunits in comparison with the armed forces. So, in its composition there are only 7 armored brigades and 3 "heavy" infantry brigades. "Medium" mechanized brigades are represented by only one such unit, "light" - 20 brigades. At the same time, the Army of the National Guard has 13 helicopter brigades, 7 artillery brigades, 7 engineering brigades, etc.
The US Army has a large number of different military equipment. As of 2014, the troops had 2,338 M1 Abrams tanks in service. About 3,500 more of these machines were in storage. There were also 1928 reconnaissance vehicles of several types, and most of them (just over 1000 units) are vehicles based on the Stryker platform. 4559 M2 and M3 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles are used to transport personnel. About 2,000 of these machines are in storage.
The most numerous vehicles in the US Army are armored personnel carriers: 25209 vehicles of several types. Despite the cuts, the M113 of late modifications remains one of the most popular armored personnel carriers. The units have about 5 thousand of these machines, another 8 thousand are in storage. The delivery of armored personnel carriers of the Stryker family continues: 2,792 such vehicles have already been transferred to the troops. In recent years, 17,417 MRAP-class armored vehicles have been built, including 5,759 M-ATV vehicles.
Artillery is represented by 5899 guns of various types. These are 969 self-propelled artillery mounts M109A6 (about 500 such self-propelled guns in storage); 1,242 towed 105 and 155 mm guns; 1205 multiple launch rocket systems of several types; as well as 2483 mortars, including self-propelled ones.
To combat tanks, 1512 self-propelled anti-tank complexes can be used. These are 1379 TOW complexes on the HMMWV chassis, as well as 133 machines based on the Stryker platform. In addition, infantry units rely on Javelin portable missile systems.
The US Army can use 45 LCU-1600 and LCU-2000 landing craft for landing. There are also 8 Frank Besson boats and 73 LCM-8 boats.
The US Army also has air units. They use 61 reconnaissance aircraft, both with photographic equipment and with electronic reconnaissance equipment. There are also about 160 transport aircraft of several types.
At the same time, the basis of the American army aviation are units equipped with helicopters. They have 737 AH-64D / E Apache attack helicopters, 356 multipurpose OH-58D Kiowa Warrior, 90 reconnaissance OH-58A / C Kiowa, 126 multipurpose HH-60. For the transportation of goods, 2787 transport helicopters of several types are used, including 397 heavy CH-47 Chinook of several modifications. Pilots are trained using 154 TH-154 Creek helicopters.
The Army's aviation units also operate 323 unmanned aerial vehicles. The most common type of such vehicle is the RQ-7A Shadow (236 units).
Military air defense is represented by approximately 1300 units of various equipment. These are 816 self-propelled complexes: 703 FIM-92A Avenger, 95 M6 Linebacker and 18 THAAD. There are also 480 towed MIM-104 Patriot complexes of several modifications. FIM-92 Stinger portable anti-aircraft missile systems are issued to various units.
322, 7 thousand people are serving in the US Navy. The reserve includes 100, 75 thousand people. All units of the naval forces are divided between two large fleets, the main bases of which are on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the country. In addition, five fleets have been formed, the areas of responsibility of which are certain areas of the World Ocean. All US Navy units include 72 submarines and 107 warships.
The American fleet has 14 Ohio submarines, each carrying 24 UGM-133 Trident II ballistic missiles. In addition, they are armed with torpedo tubes. Ohio-class submarines are currently the only strike weapon of the naval component of the US strategic nuclear forces.
Four Ohio-class submarines, previously equipped with ballistic missiles, have been refurbished and re-equipped with Tomahawk LACM cruise missiles. After modernization, each such submarine carries 154 missiles. Search and destruction of enemy ships or ground targets is also assigned to 30 Los Angeles-class multipurpose submarines in two modifications. There are 10 multipurpose nuclear submarines of the Virginia project. The main armament of the Los Angeles and Virginia submarines are LACM missiles.
A number of nuclear-powered torpedo submarines remain. These are 11 Los Angeles-class submarines of the first modification, armed only with torpedo tubes, as well as 8 Seawolf-class submarines. The latter can use both torpedoes and missiles launched through torpedo tubes.
The main striking force of the US Navy is 10 Nimiz-class aircraft carriers. Each of them carries a set of anti-aircraft weapons, as well as an aviation group consisting of several dozen aircraft and helicopters. The main attack means of such ships are F / A-18 Hornet fighter-bombers - up to 50-60 aircraft on board.
The US Navy has 22 Ticonderoga-class cruisers equipped with two Mk 41 vertical launchers with 61 weapon slots. Depending on the combat mission, these ships can carry RGM-84 anti-missile missiles, Tomahawk LACM cruise missiles, several types of anti-aircraft missiles, etc.
The most massive type of ships in the US naval forces are the Arleigh Burke-class destroyers in the amount of 62 units. Currently in the ranks there are destroyers of several modifications, which have a different composition of weapons and equipment. The main armament of such ships is one vertical launcher Mk 41, similar to that used on the Ticonderoga cruisers.
10 frigates of the Oliver Hazard Perry project, which have anti-aircraft, artillery and torpedo armament, remain in service. In addition, three ships of the Littoral Combat Ship class have been built over the past few years. Two were built according to the project with the symbol Independence, one according to the Freedom project.
55 ships and boats of several types are used to patrol the waters. There are also 13 Avenger-class minesweepers, 245 landing craft and 71 auxiliary vessels. The delivery and landing of troops ashore is assigned to 30 landing ships of several types, including 1 ship of the Tarawa project and 8 of the San Antonio type.
Naval aviation is an important part of the naval forces. This structure employs 98.6 thousand people. The personnel and equipment are distributed among 10 air wings, each of which consists of an average of 8 squadrons. There are units of strike aircraft, reconnaissance and electronic warfare, anti-submarine squadrons, etc.
The US Navy has a total of 1,089 aircraft of various types. The most numerous of them are carrier-based fighter-bombers, of which there are 823 units. The vast majority of these vehicles are F / A-18 Hornets of various modifications. In addition, deliveries of F-35C Lightning II aircraft have begun.
The second largest aircraft are anti-submarine aircraft - 151 boards. These are 140 P-3C Orion aircraft and 11 P-8A Poseidon aircraft. The third largest are the EA-6B Prowler and EA-18G Growler electronic warfare aircraft (115 units).
There are 69 E-2C / D Hawkeye early warning aircraft, 11 EP-3E Aries II electronic reconnaissance aircraft, 2 RC-12F / M Huron reconnaissance aircraft, as well as 68 transport and 640 training aircraft of several types.
The main multipurpose US Navy helicopter is the MH-60 - 495 units in three modifications. There are 28 MH-53E Sea Dragon, 3 OH-58C Kiowa, 11 HH-60H Seahawk helicopters, as well as 13 transport and 120 training helicopters of several types.
The navy has 60 unmanned aerial vehicles. Deliveries of MQ-8B / C vehicles (21 units) are ongoing, 4 RQ-4A Global Hawk vehicles were handed over for testing.
The total number of personnel of the US Air Force is 329.5 thousand people. 168, 85 thousand people are on the reserve. Various units of the Air Force are subordinate to several commands. Thus, the Global Strike Command controls strategic aviation and units armed with ballistic missiles. Under the leadership of Air Combat Command, formations armed with various attack aircraft were brought together. Air Mobility Command is responsible for military transport aviation, Air Education and Training Command - for training pilots.
In total, the US Air Force has 1,438 combat aircraft of various types. Long-range aviation is represented by 136 bombers of three types: 63 B-1B Lancer, 19 B-2A Spirit and 52 B-52H Stratofortress. It should be noted that the units equipped with B-1B bombers belong to the Air Combat Command, while the other two types of equipment are under the jurisdiction of the Global Strike Command.
The bulk of combat aircraft in the air force are fighter-bombers of several types. These are 585 F-16 Fighting Falcon of several modifications, 211 F-15E Strike Eagle and 27 F-35A Lightning II - a total of 823 aircraft. Direct support of the troops is assigned to 160 A-10C Thunderbolt II attack aircraft. To carry out fighter missions, the Air Force uses 275 F-15C Eagle (106 units), F-15D Eagle (10 units) and F-22A Raptor (159 units).
Also, 14 EC-130H Compass Call electronic warfare aircraft, 80 reconnaissance aircraft of several types, 22 radio-technical reconnaissance aircraft, 32 E-3B / C Sentry long-range radar aircraft, etc. can be involved in the performance of combat missions. There are 167 KC-135 tanker aircraft of two modifications and 59 KC-10A Extender tankers / transporters.
The Air Mobility Command units have 228 C-17A Globemaster and C-5 Galaxy heavy military transport aircraft; 140 medium C-130 Hercules and 39 light several types. The Air Force also has 24 passenger aircraft.
For the training of pilots, aircraft of three types are used. These are the T-1A Jayhawk (179 vehicles), the T-6A Texan II (405 vehicles) and the T-38A Talon (546 vehicles).
In the US armed forces, attack helicopters belong to the army aviation and are operated in the corresponding units of the ground forces. For this reason, the Air Force has only 143 helicopters of several types. This technique is used mainly for the transport of goods and personnel.
The Air Force has 248 unmanned aerial vehicles of several types used for reconnaissance and strikes against ground targets. These are 101 MQ-1B Predator UAVs, 115 MQ-9A / B Reaper, 31 RQ-4B Global Hawk and several RQ-170 Sentinels.
In addition to strategic aviation, units armed with LGM-30 Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missiles are subordinate to the Global Strike Command. Currently, there are about 450-500 of such products in service.
The US Air Force is armed with a variety of missiles and bombs, both guided and unguided. There are air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons. In addition to weapons with conventional warheads, there are nuclear warheads. In addition, if necessary, aircraft can use electronic warfare equipment made in the form of overhead containers.
The Marine Corps has 197, 3 thousand people. The reserve of the KMP is 37, 55 thousand people. This type of armed forces is designed to conduct combat operations at a great distance from bases, which affects its structure and equipment. So, in the marines, various amphibious equipment is actively used. In addition, we have our own aviation. In this case, however, ships and boats for the implementation of amphibious landings must be provided by the naval forces.
The Marine Corps has 447 M1A1 Abrams tanks. Also, 252 LAV-25 armored vehicles are in operation. 1311 AAV-7A1 amphibious vehicles are used to deliver troops to the coast during landing and other transport missions. Other transport tasks are assigned to 1679 M-ATV armored cars and 2380 MRAP-class armored cars.
The artillery units of the ILC have 1506 guns of various types. These are 832 105 and 155 mm guns, 40 M142 HIMARS multiple launch rocket systems and 634 mortars, including self-propelled ones.
The anti-tank weapons of the Marine Corps consist of 95 LAV-TOW self-propelled missile systems based on the LAV-25 armored personnel carrier chassis and a large number of TOW ATGMs in a wearable version. The main means of defense against air attacks is the FIM-92 Stinger MANPADS.
The most important part of the Marine Corps are aviation units designed to provide fire support and perform other tasks. The ILC aviation includes almost 70 different units with various equipment and weapons.
Aviation KMP has 394 aircraft of several types. The backbone of the Marine Corps aviation is the F / A-18 aircraft of various modifications (222 units) and the AV-8B Harrier (125 units). Also, deliveries of F-35B Lightning II aircraft have begun, and 30 such aircraft are already in operation.
To perform auxiliary tasks, 29 EA-6B Prowler electronic warfare aircraft, 46 KC-130J Hercules tankers, 19 transport and passenger aircraft, as well as 3 T-34C Turbo Mentor training aircraft can be involved.
Over the past few years, MV-22 Osprey tiltrotors (210 vehicles of several modifications) have become the main vehicle of the ILC. There are also 374 transport helicopters, including 145 heavy CH-53E Sea Stallion, 90 medium CH-46E Sea Knight and 70 UH-1Y Iroquois. Operation of 158 AH-1W Cobra and AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters continues.
The situation on the waters is monitored by 41, 2 thousand military and 7, 6 civilian employees serving in the coast guard. All water areas for which the Coast Guard is responsible are divided into 9 districts. 4 regions are in the Pacific Ocean, the other 5 are in the Atlantic. The main task of the Coast Guard is to patrol water areas and suppress various illegal activities.
The US Coast Guard has 159 patrol and combat ships and boats. The fleet of this technique is represented by a different number of boats and ships of different types. Thus, there are 73 boats of the Marine Protector type, and the boat Alex Haley is the only representative of her project. The auxiliary fleet of the coast guard consists of 377 pieces of equipment for various purposes.
The Coast Guard has its own aircraft. These are 57 aircraft, including 14 HU-25 of several modifications and 27 HC-130H / J Hercules, as well as 125 helicopters of several types. The most massive of the available helicopters is AS366G1 - 90 units, delivery of 11 more is planned.
Special Operations Forces
The US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) or Special Operations Command is the central body coordinating the work of the relevant units of the armed forces. Commands of various branches of the armed forces operate under his command. The total number of US special operations forces is 60, 2 thousand people. In addition, 6,400 civilian employees work in this structure.
From the ground forces, the US Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) participates in the structure of special operations forces, under whose command 32, 4 thousand people serve. Several ground units, an air regiment, a logistics brigade, as well as several battalions, whose task is to work with the civilian population, are subordinate to this command.
USASOC has 640 M-ATV armored vehicles, 50 AH-6M / MH-6M Little Bird helicopters, 130 MH-47G Chinook helicopters and 62 MH-60 of several modifications. There are also 57 reconnaissance drones of several types.
The US Naval Special Warfare Command, or NAVSOC, operates some of the naval units involved in the special operations forces. This structure employs 9.5 thousand people. The main striking force of NAVSOC is the SEAL units. To support them, there are other units responsible for transport, equipment, etc.
The Air Force is represented in USSOCOM by the US Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) of 15, 3 thousand people. Subordinate to him are 2 squadrons of AC-130H / U fire support aircraft, 14 transport squadrons, 5 training squadrons and 2 UAV squadrons. These units have a total of 149 aircraft, including 25 attack AC-130H / U and 61 transport MH-130 (various modifications). AFSOC has 35 CV-22 Osprey tiltrotors. In addition, there are over 40 helicopters of several types. Most of them are light Bell 205 (24 vehicles). An interesting fact is that the transport squadrons have several Soviet / Russian-made aircraft and helicopters: An-26, Mi8 and Mi-171.
AFSOC operates 39 heavy UAVs. These are 29 reconnaissance MQ-1B Predators and 10 MQ-9 Reapers of a similar purpose.
3 thousand people are employed in the command of the US Marine Special Operations Command (MARSOC). For a number of reasons, this structure has only three subdivisions: one special-purpose regiment and two auxiliary battalions.
The Pentagon satellite constellation includes 115 spacecraft for various purposes. This technique is used to perform various tasks related to supporting the armed forces.
For communication, 36 satellites are used, including 3 types of AEHF, 8 DSCS-III, 7 UFO, 6 WGS SV2 and others. The GPS NAVSTAR satellite navigation system uses 33 satellites: 9 NAVSTAR Block II / IIA, 4 NAVSTAR Block IIF and 20 NAVSTAR Block IIR / RM. Six DSMP-5 satellites are in use for the meteorological and oceanographic services. The United States has a developed group of reconnaissance spacecraft. These are 2 FIA vehicles, 1 ORS-1, 1 TacSat-1, 1 SBSS, as well as 22 radio intelligence satellites of several types. As part of the missile attack detection system, 4 DSP satellites and 2 SBIRS Geo-1 satellites are operated.