(From The Northern Echo)
Byline: Nick Morrison
The first US attacks on Iraq were "surgical strikes" - aimed at five individuals, Nick Morrison looks at how technology is turning warfare into a precise science
ON May 12, 1943, an RAF Liberator patrol bomber dropped a Mark 24 acoustic homing torpedo on German U-boat U-456, driving it to the surface, where it was subsequently sunk by ships escorting a convoy. Another grim statistic in the Battle of the Atlantic - and the start of a new era in the history of war.
Gunpowder, the machine gun, powered flight: all have transformed the way wars have been won and lost throughout the centuries, but none has the potential to make such an impact as the advent of the precision bomb.
Four months after that Liberator attack, seen as the start of the age of the precision weapon, a German bomber sank the Italian battleship Roma using a radio-guided bomb. By the end of the Second World War, both the Allies and the Axis powers had developed weapons guided by radio, radar and television - proto-smart bombs.
Sixty years on, a new generation of smart …