Archive for September, 2009

ADA Future: THAAD and AGEIS BMD

Posted in ADA, army life, army training, HOOAH!, politcs, rankers, tech pron, Uncategorized, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 13, September 2009 by chockblock

In past articles, I’ve covered the cool tech used to hit a bullet with a bullet. From their start as replacements of WWII anti-aircraft guns to the phased-array radar guided missiles of today. But that was the 20th century.

After the first Gulf War, Dept. of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff wanted a system that would shoot missiles down over the enemy’s country. It’s no use hitting a missile with a nuclear warhead over the country you are protecting, the toxic, radioactive material would still land on you (better than an explosion, but still…).


So PAC-3 was first.
Developed as part of “Star Wars”, it hit a missile with a missile. By kinetic force alone it would cause the missile to explode and disburse the toxic stuff over such a wide area that it would be harmless. The problem was the the range was only a little better than Patriot.

THAAD was developed as the next step. Theater High Altitude Air Defense (now Terminal High Altitude Area Defense), would use a bigger missile to hit enemy missiles father out, preferable in space. By going so high, toxic stuff would burn up in the atmosphere. A high powered mobile radar would ensure that the system could see what it’s hitting and not hit a decoy.

It had a rocky start. Many of the first tests were failures. From 1995 to 1999, the tests did not go well. After ’99, Lockheed made changes. Aside from failures with the Hera target missile, the tests have been successes. In fact a test in March of this year the following occured:

Two different Thaad interceptors were launched against a single target, simulating an Army operational concept of dispatching a salvo of weapons to ensure a threat is destroyed. The U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and industry officials declared the flight test a success shortly after it was executed.

However, they disclosed to Aviation Week only recently that the results exceeded their expectations. Early reports from the Pentagon said the second interceptor was intentionally destroyed in flight after the first disabled the target in a hit-to-kill engagement.

“Actually, what happened on the flight test was that the first interceptor hit just as it was supposed to and the second interceptor looked at all of this debris and said, ‘OK, I’ve got another something that looks interesting,’ picked out another threat, and went out and killed it,” says Tom McGrath, Thaad vice president for prime contractor Lockheed Martin. “The second intercept hit another piece of hardware. We can’t talk about what that was, but it picked out what logically you would expect it to pick out and killed it.”
Industry, MDA Buoyed By Thaad Success, Aviation Week

The system consists of a mobile X-band radar, the AN/TPY-2. It was developed from a mobile radar designed to look for ICBMs. It has a greater range than the Patriot Radar. By seeing farther, it can see missiles before they deploy decoys or launch MIRVs. The interceptors are built by Lockheed Martin.

AN/TPY-2 Radar

AN/TPY-2 Radar


A THAAD Launcher

A THAAD Launcher

It is now a proven system, with the first line unit at Fort Bliss. The last test was so awesome that other missiles are being added to the system. A land based version of the SM-3 missile is being offered to compliment THAAD.

Now AEGIS and the standard missile have a storied navy history.

Designed to replace the Terrier missile systems, the Typhon system went over budget. The replacement to became Aegis Combat System. Named by Navy Captain L. J. Stecher, aegis is the shield of Zeus. From Wikipedia:

The ACS is composed of the Aegis Weapon System (AWS), the fast-reaction component of the Aegis Anti-Aircraft Warfare (AAW) capability, along with the Phalanx Close In Weapon System (CIWS), the MK 41 VLS[2], Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASuW) systems, and Tomahawk Land Attack Cruise Missiles (TLAM). Shipboard torpedo and naval gunnery systems are also integrated. AWS, the heart of Aegis, comprises the AN/SPY-1 Radar, MK 99 Fire Control System, WCS, the Command and Decision Suite, and SM-2 Standard Missile systems. The Aegis Combat System is controlled by an advanced, automatic detect-and-track, multi-function three-dimensional passive electronically scanned array radar, the AN/SPY-1. Known as “the Shield of the Fleet”, the SPY high-powered (four megawatt) radar is able to perform search, tracking, and missile guidance functions simultaneously with a track capacity of well over 100 targets at more than 100 nautical miles (190 km).

The system has been exported to several countries. Japan, Australia, South Korea, Spain, Norway to name a few.
Now here is where the story gets crazy wierd (but AWESOME). Musician Jeff “Skunk” Baxter , of the bands Steely Dan and The Doobie Brothers enters the missile defense story:

Baxter fell into his second profession almost by accident. In the mid-1980s, Baxter’s interest in music recording technology led him to wonder about hardware and software that was originally developed for military use, i.e. data-compression algorithms and large-capacity storage devices. As it happened, his next-door neighbor was a retired engineer who had worked on the Sidewinder missile program. This neighbor bought Baxter a subscription to an aviation magazine, provoking his interest in additional military-oriented publications and missile defense systems in particular. He became self-taught in this area, and at one point he wrote a five-page paper that proposed converting the ship-based anti-aircraft Aegis missile into a rudimentary missile defense system. He gave the paper to California Republican congressman Dana Rohrabacher, and his career as a defense consultant began.

Backed by several influential Capitol Hill lawmakers, Baxter received a series of classified security clearances. In 1995, Pennsylvania Republican congressman Curt Weldon, then the chairman of the House Military Research and Development Subcommittee, nominated Baxter to chair the Civilian Advisory Board for Ballistic Missile Defense.

It was his advocacy that led to the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System. The Lightweight Exo-atmospheric Projectile (LEAP) was developed as part of SDI. It was tested on the Terrier missile against Army ballistic missiles. Putting a SDI-era weapon on the SM-3 missile turned an anti-aircraft weapon into a mobile missile defense platform.

Image of FM-3 test target just before impact

Image of FM-3 test target just before impact

Tested against ballistic missiles it’s biggest triumph was downing a wayward satellite. USA 193 was a spysat at the end of it’s life. Faulty from the beginning, it was destroyed on February 21, 2008. An SM-3 fired by the USS Lake Erie made the intercept.

USA 193 exploding.

USA 193 exploding.


These two systems stand ready to defense the US and our allies against ballistic missile threats.

9/11 eight years later.

Posted in rankers, War On Terror with tags , , , , on 12, September 2009 by chockblock

I had to drive to Texas to fix some family business, my father having passed away in May of 2001.

I was a teary wreck. All the sense of shock and loss poured out as I drove to Texas.

But in a way , the past eight years have been healing. I got married, joined the army and now have two sons.

It dawned on me that it has been eight years since I got the phone call….since the towers fell….

No conspiracy theories, no moral relativism can take away the pain of losing 3,000 of my fellow Americans. The tears are still there, for my father, for my people.

But hope and love shine through the loss.

My heart is still with all those of lost mothers and fathers, sons and daughters.

July 4th of that year was bitter, it was my father’s birthday, it rained all day.

Ever since I joined the army, it has been joyous once again, with a wife and two sons who look up to me.

I hope the families of the victims know that peace.

world_trade_center,_smaller

You Lie!

Posted in politcs, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 12, September 2009 by chockblock

ACORN is in hot water. It seems that the group’s employees were caught telling “pimp” how to secure a home loan to start a brothel. (source FoxNews)

The firings came less than 24 hours after another pair of ACORN officials from the group’s Baltimore office were canned for instructing the “pimp” and “prostitute” how to falsify tax forms and seek illegal benefits for 13 “very young” girls from El Salvador that pair said they wanted to import to work as child prostitutes.

The pimp and hooker were a director and actor working on a documentary. But the lie is exposed. They are just another radical parasite on the body politic and the taxpayer. The Census Bureau cuts ties with them as well.


South Carolina’s Joe Wilson stepped in it. By shouting “You Lie!”, he disrupted the collective orgasm the left and the Administration was having over Obamacare. The media is trying to spin him as a “racist” or some such. Nancy Pelosi, who lied about her knowledge of CIA interrogations, has vowed to punish Rep. Wilson.

Funny, one Rep. accused Pres. Bush of sending young men to Iraq “get their heads blown off for the President’s amusement.”


Nancy Pelosi said she was a “big fan of disruptions.”

Protest against a republican president, you’re a hero. Protest against a democrat and you’re a traitor.

Lies, lies, lies.

Fitting the Narrative

Posted in politcs, rankers, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 10, September 2009 by chockblock

Well, the Human Right Watch employs a “military expert”. That expert wastes no time in condemning Israel for Operation Cast Lead. However, he is also a collector of Nazi memorabilia:

So we get to Marc Garlasco, HRW’s “senior military analyst” and a frequent critic of Israel. Garlasco, as disclosed by Omri at Mere Rhetoric, has an interesting avocation: he writes about and collects Nazi paraphernalia. He has contributed almost 8,000 posts to a Nazi web forum called Wehrmacht Awards under the handle “Flak88,” with his collection of swastikas and Nazi medals all lovingly photographed and posted online. Garlasco’s Nazi hobby is actually quite ambitious: he wrote a 400-page book on Nazi military awards, and his car’s license plate is personalized—it reads “Flak88.”

The 88 could be a reference to: the 88mm guns of the WWII German Army or Heil Hitler. I believe it’s the later. But as long as he was badmouthing Israel, he was cool with HRC. Never mind that the operation was controversial in Israel itself. Or that the awards Garlasco collects include those given to the SS and Nazi units responsible for real war crimes.

At the New York times, reporter Tom Friedman gets all starry-eyed at China’s one party rule:

One-party autocracy certainly has its drawbacks. But when it is led by a reasonably enlightened group of people, as China is today, it can also have great advantages. That one party can just impose the politically difficult but critically important policies needed to move a society forward in the 21st century. It is not an accident that China is committed to overtaking us in electric cars, solar power, energy efficiency, batteries, nuclear power and wind power. China’s leaders understand that in a world of exploding populations and rising emerging-market middle classes, demand for clean power and energy efficiency is going to soar. Beijing wants to make sure that it owns that industry and is ordering the policies to do that, including boosting gasoline prices, from the top down.

Our one-party democracy is worse.

Yea, we have freedom of speech (despite what the smelly hippies say). Freedom of the press, reproductive freedom. Prisoners organs are not sold on to rich people (despite what Ron Paul and Art Bell say). But China is much better an autocratic state determined to crush all opposition, the police are just a branch of the military (with all the very bad stuff that implies) and rules ” enlightened group of people” who point 1,000 missiles at their smaller neighbor. If you like China, move there. I’ll stay in the free west thank you.

It has come to light that fired “czar” Van Jones believes that the U.S. deserved 9/11, the media swept that under the rug in hopes of messing with the republicans, a professor sees no distinction between American soldiers and suicide bombers, and the New York times (again, natch) covers up the capture and rescue of one of their reporters while publishing the photo of a dying marine.

It’s an anti-west, anti-American meme. A narrative where American is the big bad. But like a bad soap opera, the story falls apart when you question the logic. America has gone to war in support of Muslim countries and is the largest supplier of direct aid to the third world. The 9/11 hijackers came from rich Saudi and Egyptain families (and a few other rich countries too). Radical Islam and ennui motivated them, they were never poor. Saying that 9/11 was an inside job or that we deserved it is a symptom of radical Marxist thinking, and a sick desire for the blood of innocent people. But coming from the mouth of a “green jobs” hustler, it’s okay. In the left it’s okay to hold wacky theories.

U.S. soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines train to guard innocent civilians, not kill them. We as a society (including those of us in uniform) agonize over collateral damage. The terrorists and homicide bombers do not. The middle east is full of stories of massacres and war crimes. They despise Israel when they are not bombing each other. Pizza parlors? Schools? Children? Targets. The Pentagon was attacked yes, but the civilians on board the plane that was crashed into it were not valid military targets. Yet the left stretches the truth or comes up with bizarre theories to explain away why innocent people were killed by bloody thirsty radicals. Or they excuse the attack because of some imagined beef with the Pentagon. By dragging down American to their level, the left says it’s okay to do nothing or worse appease murderers.

Now dead Americans are good in the left’s eyes. A dead marine sells the message that (American’s) war is bad. But the “forth estate” must be protected at all costs. Never mind that the press has passed propaganda to the American people, distorted facts and fanned the flames of the nuts on the left. Eastman Jordan had the gall to accuse American troops of killing reporters, only to have that blow up in his face.

The Nazi working for a “human rights group” and a reporter in love with thugs only show the mask slipping. It’s not about the common people, the truth etc. It’s a desire for control, for the people to bow down before the left. To reshape America into a third-world shit hole. Once in power, the enlightened minds will put their boot on your face.

By the way, in Brittan, the elderly with terminal illnesses are dying faster due to the drive to cut costs.

Along with her sister Jocelyn Troake, 60, who lived in Bermuda until recently moving to Frimley, Surrey, to care full time for her father and her mother Edna, 93, they are convinced their father is a victim of the system.

Last week The Daily Telegraph reported a warning from experts that some patients with terminal illnesses were being wrongly put on the NHS scheme and allowed to die prematurely if they ticked “the right boxes”.

That’s repression. Something the left is very good at.

Still trust them with health care?

(h/t: Neptuneus Lex, Newsbusters, Jawa report,Doubleplus Undead,Gateway Pundit.)

Chew on this: Background checks, tea parties & Caseless Ammo

Posted in army training, guns, politcs, tech pron, Uncategorized, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 8, September 2009 by chockblock

Tasty links and a high speed rifle:

  1. Van Jones had an FBI background check. Strange that his lunatic past never came up. (The Weekly Standard)
  2. Blast from the past: Cracked.com on why psudeo-Indian Ward Churchil is such a duche-nozzle, an academic weights in too.
  3. Big Labor is in trouble. (Michelle Malkin)
  4. It’s a scientific fact: Men Like Boobies (Jawa Report)
  5. LA Times blames Van Jone’s firling on right wing blogs. I do too, because people read them, unlike the LA times. (Patterico)
  6. The Weekly Standard brings power to the people!
  7. Newsbusters: Obama has a cult of personality, DUH!
  8. That’s a switch, the Iranian regime now fears demonstrations. (powerline)
  9. In Blue New Jersey: A tea party protest. (Instapundit)
  10. Krauthammer: Van Jones’ Lunacy “Is a Reflection of the Boss” (Gateway Pundit)
  11. “What happens when you ask politicians how they’ll pay for Obamacare”, Comedy Gold from Michelle Malkin.

Lightweight Small Arms Technologies is a family of rifles and ammunition that may just revolutionize war. Hopefully this high speed kit will see soldier’s hands in the next few years.

Repression: UPDATE VAN JONES QUITS

Posted in politcs, Uncategorized, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 5, September 2009 by chockblock

It seems we on the right and left like to sometimes assume some of our opponents’ qualities. That is a mistake. You guys should stick to the repressive and oppressive arts, which you are good at. We’ll stick to liberation, which we are good at. –John Grant Opens mouth and inserts foot.

The left lost me with it militant anger at the military, America and modern Amercian life. For a movement that espouses non-violence, tolerance and freedom, they are repressive, bigoted and militant. Mr. Grant’s holier than thou attitude sums up the modern left.

When confronted with the fact, with rejection of the leftist agenda, panic ensues among them. The organized protests (astro-turf), personal attacks and outright lies soon follow. “Progressives” may espouse freedom and peace, but they want control.

Now I don’t believe that all lefties want to destory the country. Some actually believe in making things better. But obsession with the enemy has transformed them into the enemy. Others are trapped in their skewed world view. To them the United States represents repression and corruption. Even as they enjoy our freedoms they root for the destruction of the “establishment”, to borrow a 60’s term. Seeing America fall makes them happy.

WHat both groups have in common is the desire to control and dominate.

Engywook: Next is the Magic Mirror Gate. Atreyu has to face his true self.

Falcor: So what? That won’t be too hard for him.

Engywook: Oh, that’s what everyone thinks! But kind people find out that they are cruel. Brave men discover that they are really cowards! Confronted by their true selves, most men run away screaming!
The Neverending Story.

To achieve their desires, they want control. Over our economy, our lives, and our language. Socialized health care puts the government, not doctors, in control. your medical decisions come from bureaucrats trying to cut costs. Sarah Palin has a son with down’s syndrome, under single payer, that son is an afterthought, a hindrance. He would not get the care he needs because she did not abort him. The elderly, those with cancer. They too are denied care by rationing because that’s fair in the left’s eyes.

Recently, eco-terrorists with the Earth liberation Front toppled an AM radio tower. They claim that Am radio transmissions “cause adverse health effects including a higher rate of cancer, harm to wildlife, and that the signals have been interfering with home phone and intercom lines.” Claimed an urgent need to act, the used a stolen excavating machine to try and force the Am station off the air. There was no crisis. Just a need to cause mayhem. It gets them publicity. ELF has a spokesman. They wanted the press. AM radio transmissions have been going on since the 1970’s yet now they feel the need to act. Then they can claim even more outrage when the government slaps them down.

When confronted with their lie, the left rages. The town hall protesters, Sara Palin? Racist. The governemnt, the AM radio station? Polluters. They are out to get them. The left can through up the argument “Look we were wronged, we’re fighting the good right, just look at the opposition!” Rational people would say that they are not intimidated by thugs. People living in the real world don’t want to be beaten down.

That’s unacceptable. That calls for more “direction action”, a euphemism for violence. Or repressive laws. Or lies from sympathetic media figures. Never ones to fight fair, they want to bend and twist society until freedom is just a memory. The man with his finger bitten off at a town hall protest? The left ignored it or tried to spin the story in their favor, whitewashing a brutal act. True the man was being violent, but when push comes to shove, the left is worse. They love violence and mayhem. Only they are better at disguising it as “activism”. You are wrong for stading up for your rights, they are right for kicking you in the face.

That’s repression.

UPDATE: Yeah, Mr. Jones. Your beliefs in 9/11 truth and radical left wing ideology are so important that the Administration has graciously given you more personal time to practice them.

Gutless wonder of a conspiracy theorist quits gutless wonder of a White House in the wee hours of Sunday morning, Labor Day weekend. Good work, Rahm. It’ll be out of the papers by Tuesday. Given that the Van Jones Truther scandal was barely covered in the first place, it’s like it never happened.– Jules Crittenden sums it up