Aircraft ordnance or ordnance (in the context of military aviation
Military aviation is the use of aircraft and other flying machines for the purposes of conducting or enabling warfare, including national airlift capacity to provide logistical supply to forces stationed in a theater or along a front. Air power includes the national means of conducting such...
) is weapons (e.g. bombs
An aerial bomb is a type of explosive weapon intended to travel through the air with predictable trajectories, usually designed to be dropped from an aircraft...
An air-to-surface missile is a missile designed to be launched from military aircraft and strike ground targets on land, at sea, or both...
A rocket is a self propelled, unguided weapon system powered by a rocket motor.- Categorisation :In military parlance, powered munitions are broadly categorised as follows:* A powered, unguided munition is known as a rocket....
and gun ammunition) used by aircraft. The term is often used when describing the weight of air-to-ground weaponry
Air-to-ground weaponry is weapons used by combat aircraft to attack ground targets. The weapons include bombs, machine guns, autocannons, air-to-surface missiles, rockets, air-launched cruise missiles and grenade launchers.-See also:* Aircraft ordnance...
that can be carried by an aircraft or the weight that has been dropped. Aircraft ordnance also includes air-to-air
An air-to-air missile is a missile fired from an aircraft for the purpose of destroying another aircraft. AAMs are typically powered by one or more rocket motors, usually solid fuelled but sometimes liquid fuelled...
Anti-surface warfare is a type of naval warfare directed against surface combatants. More generally, it is any weapons, sensors, or operations intended to attack or limit the effectiveness of an adversary's surface ships....
Anti-submarine warfare is a branch of naval warfare that uses surface warships, aircraft, or other submarines to find, track and deter, damage or destroy enemy submarines....
Some aircraft types can carry a wide variety of ordnance - for example the Fairchild AU-23A Peacemaker
Fairchild AU-23A Peacemaker
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could use forward-firing gun pod
A gun pod is a detachable pod or pack containing machine guns or automatic cannon and ancillaries, mounted externally on a vehicle such as a military aircraft which may or may not also have its own guns....
s, 500 and 250 pound bombs, napalm
Napalm is a thickening/gelling agent generally mixed with gasoline or a similar fuel for use in an incendiary device, primarily as an anti-personnel weapon...
units, cluster bomb
A cluster munition is a form of air-dropped or ground-launched explosive weapon that releases or ejects smaller sub-munitions. Commonly, this is a cluster bomb that ejects explosive bomblets that are designed to kill enemy personnel and destroy vehicles...
units, flares, rockets, smoke grenades and propaganda leaflet dispensers
Airborne leaflet propaganda
Airborne leaflet propaganda is a form of psychological warfare in which leaflets are scattered in the air. Military forces have used aircraft to drop leaflets to alter the behavior of people in enemy-controlled territory, sometimes in conjunction with air strikes...
Ordnance can be carried in a bomb bay
The bomb bay or weapons bay on some military aircraft is a compartment to carry bombs, usually in the aircraft's fuselage, with "bomb bay doors" which open at the bottom. The bomb bay doors are opened and the bombs are dropped when over the target or at a specified launching point.Large-sized...
or hung from a hardpoint
A hardpoint, or weapon station, is any part of an airframe designed to carry an external load. This includes a point on the wing or fuselage of military aircraft where external ordnance, countermeasures, gun pods, targeting pods or drop tanks can be mounted.-Rail launchers:Large missiles and...
For many weapons there is a limit to the length of time they can be flown (e.g. because of vibration damage); after this their safety or effectiveness is not guaranteed. This can be a problem if weapons designed for high intensity conflict are carried on multiple missions in a long counter-insurgency
A counter-insurgency or counterinsurgency involves actions taken by the recognized government of a nation to contain or quell an insurgency taken up against it...