Archive for February, 2009

Infantry Automatic Rifle: Replacing the M-249

Posted in ADA, army training, guns, HOOAH!, rankers, tech pron with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 26, February 2009 by chockblock

The M-249 has a long history. Ever since the Army took the German MG-42 design and “improved” it, the M-60 was loved and hated by U.S. troops. Belt fed, the firepower of 7.62mm round was good, the mechanical problems and 7.62 ammo were bad. Despite fixes, the M-60 was soon replaced with the M-249 in the infantry. Called teh Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW), the SAW gave plattons lots of firepwoer that used the same 5.56mm bullets that the M-16 does. In addtion to belts, the SAW can make M-16 magazines too.

But the SAW has it’s critics. It is a heavy beast. I know, I was a SAW gunner for three years. I do not have combat experience, just many, many field problems. It is heavy, the belt can snag and the magazine feed works about 80% of the time.

Fully automatic riles went away after Vietnam, studies showed that soldiers and marine would fixate on a target and pump it full of rounds. The 3-round burst feature was added to make the shooter conserve ammo. The SAW gunner bring a fully automatic rifle, built for full auto, to the team. But many longed for the full-auto goodness of the BAR, M-60 and the like at the squad level.

Enter the IAR (From Wikipedia):

The Infantry Automatic Rifle or IAR is the name given to a light weight, magazine fed, 5.56mm weapon sought by the United States Marine Corps which will enhance the automatic rifleman’s maneuverability and displacement speed while providing the ability to suppress or destroy not only area targets, but point targets as well. With a planned purchase of 4100, the IAR is intended to replace around 2000 M249 Squad Automatic Weapons (SAWs) currently employed by automatic riflemen within Infantry and Light Armored Reconnaissance (LAR) Battalions. The M249 SAW will remain in service at the company level to be used at the discretion of company commanders. The USMC will still keep around 8000-10000 SAWs in service for when commanders need more firepower. The U.S. Army does not plan on purchasing the IAR, and instead will buy new SAWs or MK 46 LMGs.[1][2]

COLT: IAR prototype

COLT: IAR prototype

LWRC had their version, but they lost the initial round. Colt, FN Herstal and Heckler & Koch are building prototypes as we speak

Some are uneasy with the new rifle:

Unease in the Fleet About the Marine Corps Infantry Automatic Rifle
by Sean Meade

Fast forward to the Marine Corps Times Feb 3, 2009 article by Dan Lamothe, staff writer for that publication. In the online article Lamothe interviewed Staff Non-Commissioned Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers in order to gain their perspective about the upcoming acquisition. Put simply, the Staff Sgt and Cpl interviewed expressed deep concern about the loss of suppressive fire due to the anticipated use of 30 round magazines. Despite the weapons light weight, the thought of not being able to “keep the enemy’s head down” appeared to be a major concern.

What follows is a quick list of concerns that I have regarding this new weapon.

1. Suppressive Fire- a magazine change takes time that might prove critical. Sustained fire against an entrenched foe during the assault would prove problematic. Especially in light of the loss of fully automatic fire from the M-16A4 (current weapon of Marine Corps Riflemen).

2. The near certainty that Beta C-Mags would be employed to attempt to regain the sustained suppressive fire thought to be lost. Several online sources indicated that Beta C-Mags weren’t as reliable as belt fed magazines, and that during US Army testing in Afghanistan, they suffered from the dusty-sandy environment. The US Army went so far as to offer a Ground Precautionary Message (GPM-02-017) regarding C-Mags and outside of perhaps the USN SEALs they are thought to not be in use by the military.

… and lastly but perhaps more importantly in this age of stressed defense budgets …

3. No appreciable gain in performance either in weight, firepower, portability or accuracy.

He dings the IAR’s magazine feed. Belts snag and can come out of the box at the worst times, but you have 200+ rounds at your fingertips. In contrast the mags have 30 a piece. Changing them does take time, not as long as moives make it out, but it does take time.

IMHO the answer is obvious: (Caution, Marylin Manson, bullets, and profanity ahead)

Ares Shrike 5.56
The Ares Defense Shrike 5.56 is an air cooled, dual-feed weapon that fires the 5.56x45mm NATO cartridge. The Shrike 5.56 can be supplied as a complete weapon, or as a low-risk upper receiver “performance upgrade kit” to existing M16-type service rifles and carbines.

Just drop it into an M-16 lower and there you go.  Due to it re-suing the lower part of an M-16 it takes mags, but it can be belt fed to:

Video 1:

Video 2:

Sadly, LWRC lost the competition, but just for you XBradTC:

Chew on this: Money talk$

Posted in politcs, rankers, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on 22, February 2009 by chockblock

Tasty links and one angry coach:

The economic crisis hits video games:

War and peace: Why we upgrade II, Electric Bugaloo…

Posted in ADA, army life, army training, guns, HOOAH!, politcs, rankers, tech pron with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 18, February 2009 by chockblock

Neptunuslex takes down another defense ‘reformer” who has crawled out form under the 9/10 rock: Time’s Mark Thompson

A new administration is in power, with new majorities in both houses of Congress. Which means that voices that had howled in the wilderness for years now yearn to influence the debate.
Continue reading

Chew on this: CNN a go-go, Brangelia gets creeped out

Posted in politcs, rankers, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on 15, February 2009 by chockblock

Tasty links from the Clinton Cable News Network and around the interwebs:

    From CNN.com:

  1. “Border fence is a dividing line in immigration debate”. I hope so, I want to divide the country from the drug traffickers and thugs who want to kill us.

  2. “Why the 2010 Census Stirs Up Partisan Politics”
    . A naked partisan power grab? That’s not news, not at all.
  3. “GOP senators say Obama off to bad start “. They read the bill, FOR SHAME!
  4. As the world’s governments try to fix the broken economy, CNN reports on what is really important to our political leaders.
  5. And now from the rest of the interwebs:

  6. Octomom “creeped” out Brangelia, meanwhile a 13 year old dad creeps out the entire U.K. (celebitchy & CNN)
  7. “Moderate” Muslim leader responds to his wife’s divorce with a beheading.(gatewaypundit & Michelle Malkin)
  8. Sen. Roland Burris gets a burned by his pal Blago.(Michelle Malkin)
  9. Even ex-pats are being hurt by the bad economy, but staying in a country that jails debtors is stupid. (NY times).
  10. The White House staff gets mugged by reality. (h/t Doubleplusundead)

This one is for you xbradtc:
The Patriot missile systems is used by the U.S. and it’s allies. Here we see a German Air Force systems firing:

War and Peace: Why we upgrade….UPDATED

Posted in ADA, comp, guns, HOOAH!, politcs, rankers, tech pron, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 12, February 2009 by chockblock

The Return of the Fair Fight

The Air Force fears that the dominance of U.S. airpower has been so complete for so long that it is taken for granted. The ability of the United States to own the skies over any battlefield has transformed the way we fight. The last American soldier killed on the ground by an enemy air attack died in Korea, on April 15, 1953.

Russia, China, Iran, India, North Korea, Pakistan, and others are now flying fourth-generation fighters with avionics that match or exceed the F‑15’s. Ideally, from the standpoint of the U.S. Air Force, the F‑22 would gradually replace most of the F‑15s in the U.S. fleet over the next 15 years, and two or three more generations of American pilots, soldiers, and marines would fight without worrying about attacks from the sky. But that isn’t going to happen.

“It means a step down from air dominance,” Richard Aboulafia, an air-warfare analyst for the Teal Group, which conducts assessments for the defense industry, told me. “The decision not to replace the F‑15 fleet with the F‑22 ultimately means that we will accept air casualties. We will lose more pilots. We will still achieve air superiority, but we will get hurt achieving it.”
The Last Ace
by Mark Bowden

That is not a quote from some right wing nobody, he is the author of “Blackhawk Down.” The point of the article is that cheap, low-cost aircraft that are not “gold-plated” are roadkill. The U.S. advantage in technology is in danger. Our current aircraft fleet is wearing out. Metal fatigue and outdated technology (many contractors went out of business years ago) threaten our Air Force and Navy.

Old legacy Hornets will not last for anything close to 10,000 hours of airframe life no matter what anyone says.

Boeing and the Super Hornet Multi-Year Buy:World Wide War Pigs.

As the Russian S-300 and derivatives come on line in China, Iran and other nations that want to kill us, our aging fighter fleet is being outclassed. Su-27/30 derivatives are also cropping up. China has produced a fight on its own, the J-10, that is just as modern as the F-16. They want to even the odds in a fight with the US. If you want US pilots to come home, you don’t want a fair fight.

Not just fighters, ballistic missiles are becoming even more worrisome. I should know, I am an ADA soldier. Patroit and THAAD work. So does national missile defense. national missile defense faces the budget axe.

Update: it seems that many in Washington have just now caught on to Iran’s nuclear program.

“Little more than a year after U.S. spy agencies concluded that Iran had halted work on a nuclear weapon, the Obama administration has made it clear that it believes there is no question that Tehran is seeking the bomb.”– LA Times

Quite the change from 2008, when Democrats complained that the Bush Administration was “saber rattling“. Iran’s leader wants to wipe out Israel. He wishes to dominate the middle east AND stirke Europe and North America (the U.S. is in North America for those of you on the left).

And for those of you on the left, who voted for and attended rallies for hope and change? HA HA! Expect more wars. From WarIsBoring.com:

But the dramatic flurry of orders masks deeper truths. Those hoping for fewer wars under Obama might be disappointed. In fact, Obama’s plans could result in greater U.S. military involvement across the globe.

As the world burns, several countries will start to see war as a great way to solve their finicial crisis. Armed with newer weapons, they will seriously hurt American interests and kill many Americans unless we modernize. Every year pundits say that our weapons are too expensive and wasteful. every year the same song and dance. Keep our exisiting systems. The money could be spent on the environment/schools/the welfare state etc. Despite what some critics try to sell the American public, we need to upgrade, regardless of the global finicial situation.

The crash of 1929 led to 1939. WWII came from WWI, the fascists rose to power because of the Great Depression. The world right now is on a similar cliff. Or worse fanatics might simply use war to wreak havoc as part of bigger plan.

Yet cuts continue a pace:

D.C. leadership is not taking this issue seriously. This puts at risk the defense posture of the U.S. and her allies. The F-22 is an air domination machine. The F-35 can not be and is so far nothing more than a marketing gimmick for the purpose of having an export fighter market. The USAF needs at least 500-600 F-22s as a minimum to help maintain global security.Report, 500-600 F-22s Needed For USAF:World Wide War Pigs.

In the 1930’s the US military was underfunded and lacking strength. Many campaigned against US involvement in the war in Europe. After pearl harbor, the U.S.. was forced to expand and isolationist groups fell silent, but it took the loss of American lives to reveal the scope of the problem.

Sadly history may repeat itself.

Value: What Robert A. Heinlein would have to say about the bailout

Posted in politcs, Uncategorized with tags , , , on 8, February 2009 by chockblock

“Value” has no meaning other than in relationship to living beings. The value of a thing is always relative to a particular person, is completely personal and different in quantity for each living human—”market value” is a fiction, merely a rough guess at the average of personal values, all of which must be quantitatively different or trade would be impossible. […] This very personal relationship, “value”, has two factors for a human being: first, what he can do with a thing, its use to him… and second, what he must do to get it, its cost to him. There is an old song which asserts that “the best things in life are free”. Not true! Utterly false! This was the tragic fallacy which brought on the decadence and collapse of the democracies of the twentieth century; those noble experiments failed because the people had been led to believe that they could simply vote for whatever they wanted… and get it, without toil, without sweat, without tears.”

* Source: Lt. Col. Jean V. Dubois (Ret.), Page 93
Starship Troopers (1959) by Robert A. Heinlein

It seems that responsibility and truth are out of style. Socialism and cheating are in.

What ol’e Bob Heinlein predicted has come to past. in my last post, i linked to the barron’s editorial that laid the blame for this economy where it belongs, Congress and the suckers who wanted something for nothing.

But in trune Soviet revisionism fashion, the blame is being placed on the last eight years.

Vice President Biden:

Another 600,000 jobs were lost in January. We’ve now lost more than 3.6 million jobs since this recession began.

In the midst of our greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression, the American people were hoping that Congress would begin to confront the great challenges we face. That was, after all, what last November’s election was all about…

Let’s be clear: We can’t expect relief from the tired old theories that, in eight short years, doubled the national debt, threw our economy into a tailspin, and led us into this mess in the first place. We can’t rely on a losing formula that offers only tax cuts as the answer to all our problems while ignoring our fundamental economic challenges – the crushing cost of health care or the inadequate state of so many schools; our addiction to foreign oil or our crumbling roads, bridges, and levees.

The Community investment Act forced bank of back these garbage loans. Trying to carry the welfare state while fighting a war.

Vote for the impossible and the terrible possible happens.

The root criticism of the stimulus package is that it is a Christmas list for Democrats, who have used it to undam decades’ worth of pent-up demand for self-serving, narrow, political appropriations of taxpayers’ money.

Change you can believe in? Nope, but change nonetheless.

Chew on this: Are you being Stimulated Enough?

Posted in politcs, rankers, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on 7, February 2009 by chockblock

Chewy links and a massive tax bill:

  1. Capitalist hating Bill Ayers signs deal to turn memoir into cash a graphic novel for this kids.(michellemalkin.com)
  2. A 1970’s era draftee, still serving in the active U.S. Army, gives his thoughts about the war. (h/t:Jawa)
  3. Why are Jews in Britain being threatened? Who is behind this jihad? Why are universities silent? (powerline.com)
  4. How to fence in wild pigs. (Confederate Yankee)
  5. Beware the Octomom! (h/t: patterico.com)
  6. An old scandal falls from the sky to haunt the new RNC chairman. By fall from the sky, I mean the Washington Post:

    Not until you reach well down on the jump page do you learn this interesting little detail: “The U.S. attorney’s office inadvertently sent the confidential document, a defense sentencing memorandum filed under seal, to The Washington Post after the newspaper requested the prosecution’s sentencing memorandum.” Inadvertently sent what was supposed to be a sealed document to the Post? Yeah, sure, and the Post will sell you the Brooklyn Bridge real cheap, too.

    (h/t: Ace)

  7. Rah Roh! :”Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, who ran a black market responsible for spreading nuclear weapons technology throughout the Middle East, has been freed in Pakistan.” Via : LFG
  8. A faked study linked vaccines to Autism, British Journal the Lancet (of the millions of dead Iraqi’s fame) gets hit hard for publishing the garbage in the first place. Gov’t agencies were on to the scam however. (via Ace of Spades).
  9. CBO Predicts Recession Will End in 2009 Without Stimulus, but Congress will spend the money anyway. abngs head on desk(via Gateway pundit)
  10. TV anchor vs. News paper writer in racism row FIGHT! (via Newsbusters)
  11. Afghanistan is the New Vietnam, the democrats say so! (via Gateway Pundit)
  12. Porkulus lives!
  13. Want to blame George Bush for the economy? Don’t, look in the mirror (espically if you are a member of congress). (via Gateway Pundit, who dissects the FAIL that got us here)