War spurs innovation, and U.S. soldiers are seeing a lot of it. How well is the new equipment performing in Iraq? Launch the Slideshow to find out.

soldier pointing the M-14 sniper rifle at the ground

M-14 Sniper Rifle

Old is new again with this reliable 1950s-era rifle, refurbished from existing inventories due to a pressing need for a midrange sniper rifle in desert conditions.
Pros: Better range and stopping power than the M-16 and M-4 rifles that replaced the â€50s â€relic.â€
Cons: Fires more slowly than the M-16 and M-4, and requires different ammunition.
Grade: A
Parked Meerkat mine detector military vehicle

Meerkat Mine Detector

Spindly mine-detection vehicles have been adapted for use against roadside bombs. They can be equipped with radar scanners and metal-detection gear.
Pros: Blast resistant, but also designed to break apart in places when hit by an explosion, to protect the operator.
Cons: They´re available only in small numbers and require armed escorts.
Grade: B
AH-64D Apache Longbow military chopper in flight

AH-64D Apache Longbow

An upgraded version of Boeing´s original Apache chopper, featuring top-mounted radar, data links and better night sensors.
Pros: Fast, lethal support for ground troops. Radar above rotors allows it to scan over hills without detection.
Cons: Cost and complexity make it difficult to operate, and it´s vulnerable to ground fire.
Grade: C
soldier using the the Talon small mobile military robot

Talon Small Mobile Robot

Clawed ground robot, used to dismantle explosives. Multiple cameras, sensors and communication devices can be mounted between tracks.
Pros: Has saved lives by letting soldiers handle bombs remotely. Can be made waterproof for underwater detection.
Cons: Difficult to use at night, and sometimes gets tweaked by nearby radio jammers.
Grade: A
soldiers on the M1A2 Abrams battle tank in the desert

M1A2 Abrams Battle Tank

Seventy-ton General Dynamics tank armed with machine guns and a 120-millimeter cannon. Has thermal sights and the latest battlefield network terminals.
Pros: Nearly invulnerable to attack. Fast and quiet (for a tank). Can see and shoot accurately in the dark-even at 40 mph.
Cons: Not suited to urban combat. Big, expensive, and sucks gas.
Grade: C
Link 16 Data Exchange System Interface

Link 16 Data Exchange System

Permits similarly-equipped aircraft to exchange location and targeting data. Also connects aircraft with Navy ships and Army missile batteries.
Pros: In theory, Link 16 enables a small number of vehicles to cover a vast territory.
Cons: Has evolved in fits and starts, so many vehicles use incompatible message formats.
Grade: D
23-ton Buffalo route-clearance vehicle in a hangar

Buffalo Route-Clearance Vehicle

Responding to threats from roadside explosives, the Army deployed this nearly indestructible 23-ton Buffalo route-clearance vehicle with tremendous success. Built by Force Protection Industries, it uses a clawed, 30-foot arm to move debris and examine potential explosives.
Grade: A
RQ-4A Global Hawk unmanned aircraft in flight

RQ-4A Global Hawk

The RQ-4A Global Hawk unmanned air vehicle, designed by Northrop Grumman for high-altitude reconnaissance missions, is the first fully autonomous air vehicle used in combat. It was critical to identifying Iraqi defense systems early in the war.
Grade: A
Remote-controlled MQ-1 Predator Unmanned Aerial Vehicle in flight

MQ-1 Predator Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

General Atomicsâ€built remote-controlled craft can circle above a target for 24 hours up to 400 miles from base. Equipped with sensors and Hellfire missiles.
Pros: Provides excellent, real-time surveillance imagery and the ability to attack targets with little advance notice.
Cons: Only a handful are airborne at any time, so most units don´t get them when they want.
Grade: A
Litening targeting and sensor pod on a grounded aircraft

Litening Targeting and Sensor Pod

Carried on Air Force and Marine Corps aircraft, Northrop Grumman´s Litening has day and night sensors, laser targeting, and a data link to transmit live imagery.
Pros: Turns jets into sophisticated surveillance platforms at the flip of a switch.
Cons: Expensive, and available only in limited numbers.
Grade: B+