U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Eric S. Logsdon
Given the intensive training they’re put through, the dangerous missions they’re assigned to, and the reputation they have to maintain, it’s no wonder that U.S. Navy SEALs are afforded some of the best military hardware ever designed.
With the range of operations carried out by these special operations teams, including counterterrorism, covert reconnaissance and hostage extraction among other life-threatening functions, the SEALs don’t lack for versatility. If there’s a job to be done, chances are they have the tools for it.
The Colt M4 Carbine
The M4 is not a single firearm, but rather a range of guns that make up one of the most common lines of assault rifles used by the military. This may be partly due to how flexible the design is in terms of additional hardware, including, but not limited to, a flashlight, laser sights, night vision scopes, sounds suppressors, and even a grenade launcher.
Standard magazines hold 30 rounds and can be fired automatically, semi-automatically or in three-round bursts depending on the model.
The HK MP5
On the now legendary raid to kill Osama bin Laden, U.S. Navy SEALs storming the compound likely carried in hand the MP5. Small, lightweight and equipped with sight and optionally sound suppressors, the MP5-N, the model most commonly used by SEALs, is well suited for indoor combat environments.
Standard magazines hold 30 9x19mm rounds, although past designs included .40-cal. and 10mm variants.
U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Zachary Hernandez
Black Hawk Helicopters
When SEAL Team Six arrived at bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, they landed in Black Hawk helicopters.
Manufactured by Sikorsky Aircraft, Black Hawk helicopters can not only transport a crew of 11 (or 8,000 pounds of cargo) at a maximum speed of 160 miles an hour; these choppers can also carry some serious firepower in the form of two 7.62mm machine guns and anti-tank missiles.
Because of the versatility of this chopper, it can be used for a range of missions, including reconnaissance and transport of cargo and military personnel.
Flash Bang Grenades
Nonlethal force can be just as important as lethal alternatives. With the use of flash bang grenades, SEALs can get the upper hand on an intended target.
Upon detonation, a flash bang grenade produces, as its name would suggest, a bright flash of light and a deafening noise that can disable anything caught unawares in its proximity. Because of their disorienting affect, flash bang can give SEALs quickly take control of a confined space and neutralize potential threats.
SEAL Delivery Vehicle (SDV)
In what might be the most distinctive piece of military hardware for SEALs, the SEAL Delivery Vehicle can deploy special operations personnel covertly to hostile territory. The SDV can hold four passengers and two crew members, all of whom are equipped with their own breathing equipment since the SDV is underwater when traveling.
These vehicles are intended for reconnaissance, direct action, or insertion/extraction of SEALs, according to the Department of Defense. Since SDVs remain submerged, they can remain in the area undetected while SEALs carry out their mission and provide safe transport back to an awaiting nuclear submarine or other vessel.