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PICTURES: How to Secure a No-Fly Zone PICTURES: How to Secure a No-Fly Zone PICTURES: How to Secure a No-Fly Zone PICTURES: How to Secure a...

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PICTURES: How to Secure a No-Fly Zone

(Lori Losey/NASA)

photo of Julia Edwards
March 21, 2011

Immediately following the U.N.'s approval of foreign intervention in Libya, the U.S. and its allies sent their best military assets to protect the Libyan people from Libyan leader Muammar el-Qaddafi's attacks.

Click through to see what the U.S. has in Libya and what it's likely to be met with...

What the United States is bringing: F-16

The United States has sent F-15 and F-16 fighter jets into the Libyan skies. Here, a US Navy F-16 fighter jet takes off from Sicily. Italy has provided several airbases for Western-led coalition forces to stage their strikes.

What the United States is bringing: Aircraft Carriers

Three U.S. aircraft carriers, the USS Ponce, Kearsarge, and Enterprise, were sent through the Mediterranean Sea to the coast of Libya earlier this month.

What Libya has: Tanks

Despite its military presence off the Libyan coast and in the air, the United States and its allies will not be providing ground support to combat tankers such as this, which both opposition and pro-Qaddafi forces have used.

What Libya has: Mirage F-1

Forces loyal to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi have been using the French-built Mirage F-1 fighter planes to fire upon rebel-held cities, but they will be shot down should they continue to fly in a no-fly zone.

What Libya has: SU-24 Bomber

The SU-24 bomber is a Russian-built plane known by the NATO codename “Fencer.” It is designed to destroy ground and surface targets in any weather and some versions of the plane have features that scramble electronic waves to hide its location.

What Libya has: MiG-23 and MiG-25 Fighter Jets

All versions of the Russian-developed MiG are known as “Flogger” in NATO codename. The most advanced versions of the plane can carry three types of missiles, all designed for hitting both moving and stationary ground targets.

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