4 old weapons that could make a difference in a future war with Russia

Kiowa Farewell 5
OH-58 Kiowa helicopters during a farewell flight before their retirement.
  • A future conflict with Russia would likely be totally different from what a Cold War clash would've looked like.
  • But there are a few weapons designed to take on the Soviet Union that might still come in handy during a modern clash.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

This story originally appeared in 2018.

If America goes to war with Russia, it will not be like Iraq or Afghanistan. This one will likely be very hard-fought, and the odds may be against our guys sometimes.

Are there some old systems that were designed to fight the Soviet Union that might be worth considering to help the troops? You betcha, and here is a look at some of them.

1. F-111 Aardvark

F-111 Aardvark
An F-111 Aardvark refueling over the North Sea.

When this plane was retired two decades ago, nobody really gave it much thought.

A Daily Caller article noted that the F-111 brings speed and a very heavy bomb load to the table. The United States once had four wings of this plane.

If it were combined with either the CBU-105 or modern stand-off weapons, it could take out a lot of Russian hardware.

2. MIM-72 Chapparal

Army MIM-72 Chaparral air defense missile
An MIM-72 Chaparral.

With a near-peer enemy, it might make sense to improve ground-based air defenses.

The Su-25 Frogfoot, while not as good as the A-10, is still potent. It's also tough enough that the FIM-92 Stinger might not be able to guarantee a kill.

This is where the MIM-72 Chaparral comes in.

Initially, this missile was a straight-up copy of air-launched Sidewinders. Going back to its roots, using the AIM-9X, could help keep the Russian planes dodging fire instead of dropping bombs.

3. OH-58 Kiowa

Army OH-58D Kiowa attack helicopter
An OH-58D Kiowa Warrior armed with an AGM-114 Hellfire missile and seven Hydra 70 rockets takes off in Iraq, October 22, 2004.

This helicopter was slated for retirement after a final deployment to South Korea, according to a July 2016 Army Times report.

While much of its scout functions have been taken over by unmanned aerial vehicles, the OH-58 can still carry up to four AGM-114 Hellfires, rockets, FIM-92 Stingers, and a .50-caliber machine gun.

When facing a formation like the First Guards Tank Army, extra missiles - and eyes - just might be a very good thing to have.

4. AGM-129 Advanced Cruise Missile

AGM-129A cruise missile B-52
Airmen secure AGM-129A cruise missiles on a B-52H bomber during an exercise at Minot Air Force Base, February 28, 2006.

Withdrawn in 2012, according to an Air Force release, the Advanced Cruise Missile was stealthy.

While the initial version was strictly nuclear, conventional versions could trash S-400 missile batteries. 460 missiles were built, according to an Air Force fact sheet. Bringing it back, though, means re-starting production.

The Obama administration elected to have the entire inventory scrapped.

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