The United States has always been ahead of the world when it comes to the projection of global power. Should America decide to carry out pre-emptive strikes against any hostile country, such as North Korea, the result would be devastating. But even with the United States’ huge technological advantage and deep-strike capabilities, they would still need to overcome some big challenges before they achieve their primary goal in North Korea. First and foremost, the US would need to know the strength and weakness of the massive North Korean forces.

North Korea boasts a formidable force - a massive land army coupled with a vast array of military hardware.

Fortunately, most of the country’s military technologies are obsolete and largely incapable of defending against the more advanced and highly flexible US forces.

But what exactly the US would use to strike North Korea? Some analysts believe that the US would conduct stealthy strikes against high-level targets, using its huge arsenal of specialized attack platform and advanced weaponry. Below is a list of big weapons that the US will likely use to strike North Korea.

1. Nimitz-class supercarriers

The US Navy’s Nimitz-class supercarriers are some of the biggest and most advanced aircraft carriers in service today. Named after the famous WWII US Pacific Fleet commander Admiral Chester Nimitz, the warships boast an overall length of over 333 meters and a full-load displacement of over 100,000 tons.

A Nimitz-class aircraft carrier can carry 7 different types of planes, up to 90 aircrafts on a single deployment. The carrier’s air wing may include a huge number of attack aircraft. The ship also carries a number of helicopters for use on rescue missions, an airborne early warning system, electronic warfare, and countermeasures, and support for anti-submarine warfare.

In addition to aircraft, the ships also carry defensive weapons for use against anti-ship missiles and aircrafts. The Nimitz-class supercarriers provide a mobile military airbase that can be used to support military action and even humanitarian missions.

2. DDG 51 Arleigh Burke-Class destroyers

Of course, the US will not go to war with North Korea without this amazing warship.

The workhorse of the US Navy, the Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are large, heavily armed warships that provide multi-mission roles, which include offensive and defensive capabilities.

The Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, which form the backbone of the US Navy’s AEGIS combat system along with Ticonderoga-class guided missiles cruisers, boasts a formidable array of advanced weaponry, which includes the Raytheon-built RIM-161 Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) and RIM-67 Standard Missile-2 (SM-2). The boat was designed to perform a wide range of tasks, which include missile strikes, intelligence gathering, anti-submarine warfare and even anti-ballistic missile defense. Analysts believe that a salvo from the Arleigh Burke-class destroyers would be enough to dismantle or severely damage North Korea’s military installations and nuclear weapon facilities

The destroyer also plays a key role in the AEGIS BMD (ballistic missile defense) system.

It forms a big part of the America’s three-layered missile defense system, which also includes Patriot and THAAD. In addition to its multi-mission role, the vessel can also operate as a part of the replenishment groups or the carrier strike group.

3. Ohio-Class Guided Cruise Missile Submarine

As tensions with North Korea continue to grow, the US continues to bring a huge number of advanced weaponry into the region. The idea is to bring more long-range striking power onboard, providing the US the ability to hit and destroy high-level targets within the North Korea area.

One big favorite for this kind of mission is the US Navy’s Ohio-class guided-missile submarine. This multimission warship is packed with more advanced weaponry, including the highly accurate Tomahawk cruise missiles. The 18,000-ton sea monster carries over 154 UGM-109 Tomahawk cruise missiles that can be fired with just a few minutes. The submarine’s main weapon, the Tomahawk missile, is a proven and highly accurate weapon.

In addition to Tomahawk cruise missile, the Ohio-class SSGN can also launch sonar buoys, aquatic sensor, and an underwater unmanned vehicle (UUV). The boat also features a midget submarine, which can be used on Navy’s special operations.


THAAD or Terminal High Altitude Area Defense is a Lockheed Martin-developed anti-ballistic missile defense system designed to engage and destroy an incoming missile in their terminal stage (re-entry to the Earth’s atmosphere).

The missile, which uses a one-stage hit-to-kill approach to destroy incoming ballistic missile threats, is able to engage and destroy incoming ballistic missile both inside and outside the Earth’s atmosphere at a range of over 200 kilometers.

The missile’s ability to destroy incoming threats both inside and outside the Earth’s atmosphere makes it a big favorite for the US military. The missile currently plays an important role in the Pentagon’s three-layered missile defense concept, which also includes two of the best US anti-ballistic missiles systems, the AEGIS (exo-atmosphere interceptor) and Patriot missile (endo-atmosphere interceptor).

5. Patriot Missile (PAC-3)

The famous Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC-3) missile is likely to see some action in North Korea.

The radar-guided missile is one of America’s big favorites when it comes to intercepting missile threats. Developed by Lockheed Martin, the PAC-3 missile is a high-velocity missile interceptor designed to beat oncoming missiles such as ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and other external threats. It's currently the most advanced terminal air defense systems in the world.

This 2000-pounds high-tech Patriot missile had a speed that exceeded Mach 3 and range of over 43 miles. Like the other major SAM systems on the wild today, the Patriot missile system relies heavily on the passive electronically scanned array radar to provide target detection, missile tracking and finally missile guidance to the target threat.

The missile is expected to be part of America’s first line of defense against the growing North Korea’s missile threats.

6. Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptors

The Lockheed Martin-built F-22 Raptor is also one of the big US weapons that will likely see some actions on North Korea. Billed as the world’s best fighters by the USAF, the F-22 Raptor is a 5th generation, twin-engine, all-weather stealth fighter aircraft of the United States Air Force. Originally, the plane was designed as an air superiority fighter but later used on multirole missions, which include ground attack, reconnaissance and electronic warfare and even on signal intelligence.

The product of the USAF’s highly secretive Advanced Tactical Fighter program, the very stealthy high-flying supersonically cruising F-22 was designed primarily to defeat the most advanced weapon systems Russia could put on the battlefield.

It’s the only operational combat aircraft in the US arsenal that can take on and defeat almost every advanced air defense systems existing today.

This makes the Raptor the ultimate weapon of choice when it comes to dense and interlocked air defense space. Its America’s premier fighter and interceptor aircraft, which main task is to gain and maintain air superiority over an increasingly more dangerous airspace like one in North Korea. If war broke out between the United States and North Korea, the F-22 will likely be the first one to fly over the hostile region due to its radar-evading stealth features and deep-strike capabilities.

7. B-52 Stratofortress

This is probably the most longest-serving combat aircraft in history.

First introduced by Boeing in 1955, the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress is a long-range, subsonic, heavy strategic bomber of the United States Air Force. The plane has an operational range of more than 8,000 miles without taking any aerial refueling. Originally, the plane was designed to carry thermonuclear warheads for Cold War-era nuclear deterrence missions, where it flew close to the Soviet border, ready to strike targets inside the Soviet Union within minutes.

Despite the plane's age, the B-52 still a big favorite for Air Force when it comes to strategic missions. In fact, recently, the Air Force was reported earlier to have increased readiness of their B-52 bombers at some US military bases.

The increased readiness is the latest move by the USAF in attempt to check North Korea’s increasing nuclear threats.

8. B-1 Lancer

Another big weapon that will likely see action in North Korea is the North American Rockwell-developed B-1 Lancer, a supersonic variable-sweep wing and a heavy strategic bomber of the United States Air Force. The B-1 Lancer is one of the big three strategic bombers on the USAF arsenal.

The B-1 Lancer has a top speed of about Mach 1.2 and was optimized for low-level penetrations, making it a top choice for deep strike missions. Like its predecessors, the B-52 and B-2 Stealth bombers, the B-1 has also flown several combat missions in the past years. These include the 1998 Operation Desert Fox, NATO’s action in Kosovo, and NATO’s military actions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In addition to its conventional bombing role, the B-1 also plays a strategic role in US nuclear deterrence. The plane is expected to continue to serve combat missions until 2030.

9. Northrop Grumman B-2 Stealth Bomber

It’s one of the most advanced aircraft today and probably the most expensive plane ever built. The B-2 Stealth bomber is a heavy penetration long-range strategic bomber of the United States Air Force. This high-tech flying wing has already seen combat action in some troubled parts of the globe, which makes it a top choice for the USAF in a future conflict with North Korea.

The B-2 features low observable stealth technology designed for penetrating heavily defended targets, which include air defense system, radar, communication lines, military command and control systems. In a war with North Korea, the USAF will likely use the B-2 in taking out high-level targets within North Korea.

For starters, the B-2 has an operational range of over 6,900 miles and it’s capable of an all-altitude attack mission of up to 50,000 feet. This high-tech bomber was originally designed to perform deep-penetrating nuclear strikes against high-level targets within Russia. The plane relies on its advanced stealth features to avoid radar detection and interception throughout its missions. It can deploy both conventional and nuclear payloads.

Another big reason for the Air Force to use the B-2 on North Korea is its smart payload. The plane has a unique ability to retarget its payload more effectively and accurately during its flight, allowing a more precise, real-time targeting mission. The B-2, without a doubt, will always play a key role in every USAF’s combat mission, especially in dangerous places like the one in North Korea.

10. Ohio-Class Ballistic Missile Submarine

Finally, the most lethal weapons in US arsenal, the Ohio-class Trident-armed nuclear-powered submarine (SSBN). These 170-meter ballistic missile submarines are the largest submarines in the US Navy and also some of the most lethal sea creatures today.

Built for extended –nuclear deterrence patrol, the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines (SSBN) are some of the most destructive weapons system ever created - a real-world undersea beast waiting to unleash his fury. Each of the 170-meter-long boats can carry up to 24 of the highly accurate submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) Trident D-5 missiles, which can fire its missile while still submerged. It can hit its target more than seven thousand miles away, with terrible precision.