Last week in the US air force announced that the symbol of American military might, the B-52 bomber finished testing the bomb drop PDU-5/B. It’s the bomb psychological effects, although it looks like a cluster munition. In the PDU-5/B are tens of thousands of leaflets. The tests were in California. The BBC tested the reset 16 bombs with external suspension ahead — test reset from the interior of the cargo compartment. Exactly when and where the B-52 will begin to drop leaflets in actual combat conditions — is not specified.
Themselves PDU-5/B were already used during operation Iraqi freedom in 2003, before the bombing of Baghdad and were dropped by F-16 aircraft. One bomb is 60 thousand flyers, price reset single bomb is about $ 500. The development time of this “psychological ammunition to communicate with the local population” in 2001 was about 9 months, after which they began to be used in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Most likely, the leaflets from B-52 will continue to drop in Iraq and Syria.
Examples of discharges (yet with other aircraft) have a lot. In November 2015, before the destruction of 116 oil tankers and trucks IG* (a terrorist organization banned in Russia. — approx. ed.) in Syria near the village of Abu-Kamal somewhere 45 minutes prior to the RAID on the trucks, leaflets were dropped urging drivers to leave vehicles and to run, as the column will be destroyed. Reset of leaflets with similar contents are also in Syria were carried out before the raids over the oil infrastructure under the control of the IG.
The content of the leaflets American officers waging a psychological war at times creatively. For example, in 2015, in Syria, dropped leaflets, which depicted terrorists from ISIS who have pushed Syrian youth into a huge meat grinder.
Recent discharges may be mentioned “psychological operations” in raqqa. The first leaflets were showered on the residents of Raqqa in 2015, with appeals to join the IG and the message that “freedom will come”, and in may 2016, residents were encouraged just to leave the city. Then on the leaflets depicted the people who are fleeing the grey of the ruined city past the bodies of dead members of the IG towards the idyllic green landscape. In March 2017 over Raqqa dropped leaflets warning that the city would be bombed, and that will be destroyed and boats, so they should stay away.
In September-October 2016, the Iraqi air force reported using leaflets to local residents that Mosul will be taken. According to some reports had dropped about 7 million leaflets. In January-February 2017 the Iraqi air force dropped millions of leaflets over Western Mosul, informing about the operation to liberate the city and calling for ISIS to lay down their arms and surrender. In may 2017 was fixed reset of leaflets over the Old city in Mosul calling for the civilians to escape prior to the Stripping of the center.
The Iraqi air force continues to drop leaflets and to the present day — at the end of July this year, psychological operations were carried out over the occupied IG settlements near the border with Syria and Jordan. The locals promise a speedy release.
Propaganda by means of leaflets — practice worldwide. In Syria on Aleppo, government forces in 2012 and began to throw a variety of leaflets. Each for its target audience. Some leaflets called on militants to lay down their arms, others urged civilians not to hide militants and hand them the location, and a third group served as a pass at the checkpoint of government forces to the militants who choose to surrender. The texts of leaflets from similar texts of all times and Nations: “your last chance to stay alive”, “surrender”, “go back to your families”, “you can do nothing to oppose the army,” etc.
These days the Syrian air force dropped propaganda materials from helicopters in the North-West of the province of Aleppo, requiring the militants to surrender or leave the area.
As for the Coalition forces, today the requests for discharges of leaflets accumulate at the air base al-Udeid air base in Qatar. After assessing the validity of the application of the advocacy team to prepare leaflets or leaves on the aircraft carriers located in the region or command of special operations forces. Aircraft carriers have their own printing press, they print leaflets and pack them in rolls to reset the carrier-based aircraft. If the reset will take place from planes and helicopters, ground-based, special operations forces printing leaflets yourself and then pass them in the air force.
American B-52 from April 2016 fly from Qatar bombed ISIS. Some of the pictures B-52 was spotted and bombs with leaflets, but it was the obsolete model of “ammunition” during the Cold war. Most likely old stock propaganda bombs will be finally disposed of in Iraq and Syria, and the PDU-5/B will be the only “weapon” of its kind in the U.S. air force.
One B-52 with 16 bombs PDU-5/B only under the wings may fold over a large territory of nearly a million of cheap leaflets, while remaining inaccessible to the enemy on the ground, delivering leaflets over long distances without refueling, and release of other, more maneuverable aircraft to impact operational objectives.
It is believed that in the final stage of the war in Iraq against Saddam Hussein that American flyers has accelerated the decision by the Iraqi army on the surrender to the Coalition forces and it saved tens of thousands of lives. These arguments justify the use of the bomber for such operations and in the ongoing wars.
Critics also believe that to drive a B-52 to reset the leaflets is too expensive and simply inefficient, so the use of leaflets virtually no, nobody reads them, and most are simply not physically falls into the hands of people.