We’ve all seen and heard the Propaganda:
The NYPD began fitting police helicopters with heavy machine guns to shoot down terrorist airplanes about five years ago, after intelligence surfaced that al-Qaida was considering the use of crop dusters and other small craft for attacks, a senior city law enforcement official said Monday.
But while police officers have been trained to use helicopter-mounted .50-caliber machine guns against light planes, there was no intention to take down commercial passenger jets with such weaponry, said the official, who asked not to be identified.
Now first let’s just briefly mention the stupidity of the Civilian Police force using heavy machine guns. I’m curious how NYPD might be the FIRST to know that a terrorist is doing a light-plane strike. Generally I suspect post people wouldn’t know jack until after the plane crashed. And frankly I think the FAA might be the first to get the idea. No matter who finds out, don’t break out a traffic chopper with a Ma’Deuce and a door gunner. SCRAMBLE THE FIGHTERS!
OK onto the big point. This is what we all know. .50 BMG is a BIG round, but 0.511″ (12.7mm) isn’t shit compared to an airplane. The military used some crazy M2 configurations to attempt to take down aircraft…and most militaries instead opted for the auto-cannon (generally loaded with explosive shells) to take down aircraft. And we’re not talking Boeing 777s here we’re talking little Mitsubishi planes.
A Barret M82 (The Rolls Royce of .50 Cal target/sniper rifles) only feeds from a 10 round box, vs the belt-fed M2 which will just keep shooting until you run out of ammo, or the dork beside you forgets to clip on the next belt.
Can we throw a “The Science is Settled” flag on the play now?
**UPDATE**I only briefly touched on the militarization of the NYPD (among just about every other Police force that issues black fatigues and has a SWAT team and equipment) Thirdpower does an awesome job at expanding on that, give his post a read.