Archive for the ADA Category

About that Pacific Re-alignment…

Posted in ADA, army life, army training, guns, politcs, rankers, tech pron, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 16, August 2012 by chockblock

As seen on DEW Line: Chinese and Russian aircraft.

So the DoD wants to shift to the Pacific. Here’s the reason why they should be worried. The Russian plane has a radar that poses a deadly threat to fourth generation aircraft. The Chinese are putting a real fighter on board the carrier most lefties think is just for show. So a real fighter with their new navy.

And this is why the Pacific is becoming a dangerous place.

BTW: lost in the disappointment in the “Arab Spring” and it’s failure in Egypt:

“CAIRO – Egypt’s Islamist president ordered his defense minister and chief of staff to retire on Sunday and canceled the military-declared constitutional amendments that gave top generals wide powers”

Egypt’s president cancels amendments that gave military power, names vice president: Associated Press.

Patriot Missile Operators:

Egyptian Air Defense Command:

MIM-104(PAC-3) missile: 4 Batteries (4 Stationary (towed) units per Battery, 16 missiles per unit plus 2 reloads each)

Israeli Air Force (GEM+)

This won’t end well….

Reforming Defense: Lockheed makes a “jeep”

Posted in ADA, army life, army training, guns, HOOAH!, politcs, rankers, tech pron, Uncategorized, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 25, June 2012 by chockblock

“Lockheed Martin would like you to know that just because it’s an aerospace titan that moonlights as a shipbuilder, that doesn’t mean it can’t also build a new fleet of ground vehicles for the Army and Marine Corps.”
High stakes in the JLTV competition: By Philip Ewing, DoD Buzz.com

There are companies building the replacement for the HMMWv, the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV). It’s a new jeep for the military.

In Iraq and Afghanistan, the Humvee was too light. It was a soft skinned taxi for soldiers and a whip for commanders. There were “up armored” versions, but they are rollover queens. I used to drive a command post variant. After upgrades, our M1113 was 500 lbs away from both axles snapping and was top heavy. The JLTV is designed from the ground up to be an armored anything: taxi, truck, command post, ambulance or gun truck.

Now Lockheed has some issues with building things for the military. There was the scandals over foreign military sales. Yet this same company built the SR-71 and F-117.

Lockheed's new whip

JLTV three variants during the Technology Development phase

Judging from the comments in the DOD Buzz article, some just don’t have faith that Lock-Mart won’t screw the truck up:

tee June 22nd, 2012 at 7:35 pm

With LM’s current recorder as a benchmark if they get it, it will be way over budget and years behind schedule.

And that’s the tamest one.

I for one welcome out of the box thinking. I do have doubts however. Boeing decided to get into the lucrative jetfoil business, the Future Combat Systems and the KC-767 lease. They ended well, in that jetfoils are forgotten, the FCS was canceled and the KC-767 lease sent an Air Force official to prison.

What’s needed is out of the box thinking, but not so out of the box people lose their minds. I hope Lockheed Martin delivers the goods. If they are making junk, they deserve to lose. It’s not the 80’s anymore, political connections, pork barrel politics or lobbying shouldn’t decide who builds what. Make stuff that works.

Mission Creep

Posted in ADA, army life, politcs, tech pron, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , on 9, June 2012 by chockblock

Mission creep is the expansion of a project or mission beyond its original goals, often after initial successes.[1] Mission creep is usually considered undesirable due to the dangerous path of each success breeding more ambitious attempts, only stopping when a final, often catastrophic, failure occurs.
— Wikipeida

“The U.S. Army doesn’t want it, but the Department of Defense is saying: Yes, you do. The Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) would be scuttled if Army commanders had their way, saying the missile defense program is too costly to develop, with a price tag of $19 billion. However, Pentagon officials and others in the Obama administration want MEADS, which is being developed in partnership with Germany and Italy, because killing the program could upset relations with the two European allies.”
Army vs. Lockheed Martin in Battle to Cancel Missile Defense System

Future Combat Systems (FCS) was the United States Army’s principal modernization program from 2003 to early 2009.[1] Formally launched in 2003, FCS was envisioned to create new brigades equipped with new manned and unmanned vehicles linked by an unprecedented fast and flexible battlefield network. In April and May 2009, Pentagon and Army officials announced that the FCS vehicle-development effort would be cancelled. The rest of the FCS effort would be swept into a new, pan-Army program called the Army Brigade Combat Team Modernization Program.[2]”
— Wikipeida

“January 11, 2011: The U.S. Army has finally, after over a decade of development, and no orders, cancelled its SLAMRAAM antiaircraft missile system. The U.S. defense budget is being cut, and those items lower on the “must have” list are being eliminated. Some $3 billion has been spent on SLAMRAAM so far, and it would cost another $12 billion to put it into production.”
SLAMRAAM Dies From Loneliness


“But the replacement program for the OH-58 was supposed to be the ARH-70, and it should have been generally a low risk program. Take the existing Bell 407 airframe, itself an evolution of the Bell 206 that gave us the Kiowa, and add sensors and weapons. Easy peasy. How that program fell to pieces is beyond me. I’m not an engineer or an aviator. I know there are always challenges, but the collapse of that program was a big surprise to me.”

Brad On why the Army is still flying Vietnam War-era choppers.

“found it surprising as well. From what I could determine the downfall of the program was the bane of so many programs in the military these days, refusing to freeze the specs. They allow a continuing larding of the program and change orders are expensive. Successful acquisition programs freeze the design and build more capability into the follow on models. The Army didn’t force a freeze, so costs ran away from them, and instead of getting a good first effort, they got nothing instead. Great, huh?”

Quartermaster nails it.

When defense contracts go beyond paper specs and RFP’s we’re talking about real money. And jobs. And promotions for those involved in the program. THAAD and the F-22 have parts made in almost all the 50 states. Military bases employ thousands all around the country. Of course Big Army and Congress also think about the men and women who’ll be fighting and fixing these systems. Of course.

The problem is that, like the Navy, Big Army wants cool and shiny. New computers? Sure why not. New radios and a new network? Okay. MEADS had three radars as opposed to the Patriot systems one. A maintenance headache that became a nightmare since the new radars have new parts. Add to the fact that our Warrant Officers and Soldiers under them would all have to be retrained. Adding to the costs of trying to field a new system.

The FCS tried too much at once. New network, new computers and sensors, new weapons AND new vehicles all under one roof. Almost all were canceled. After Iraq, the 50 ton FCS vehicles were dumped for the 70+ ton monsters. IED’s are a threat, but the infantry would ride in a vehicle with a weight approaching Hitler’s Maus. The only Ground the “Ground Combat Vehicle” may end up fighting on is a reinforced concrete runway.

SLAMRAAM died because the Army has to pay for the the FCS GCV and other shooty projects. Short range air defense? Who needs it with the Air Force and it’s F-22’s and F-35’s running the skies. Um..wait a minute…

We need reform, but most of the “reform” the pundits have in mind is to cancel everything. The left wants to stick it’s fingers in it’s ears and pretend that our ships and air craft don’t age. That our enemies are getting smarter and more deadly. The deficit hawks on the right only care about defense cuts when they threaten jobs in their districts. Otherwise they’ll cut and cut in the name of “savings.”

When contracts are fixed, cutting the number of widgets built skyrockets the price. In the 80’s the Dod let the contracts write in the costs of items. Nowadays we have “single source”, “no bid” and fixed price contracts coupled with design specs that waste more money than they save.

We can do better. We need to do better.

China

Posted in ADA, army training, guns, HOOAH!, politcs, tech pron, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 5, September 2011 by chockblock

“There’s little debate over those capabilities, which are clearly superior to what they were only a few years ago, and improving fast. But China’s intentions are harder to read. David Finkelstein, director of China Studies at the Center for Naval Analyses in Alexandria, Va., says that he shares the “great uneasiness about how China will use its incipient but growing maritime power” throughout the region, but also notes that in recent years China has concluded that “time is on their side on Taiwan” and thus have been “relatively more relaxed” than in the past.”

Over the Horizon BY JAMES TRAUB foreignpolicy.com, Via Hotair

As someone who trains against real threats, I say worry. China, like Russia, needs cash money. They sell to how ever has the greenbacks. They reverse engineer our tech when they get the chance. They have been on a spending spree.

The first Zeros (pre-series A6M2) went into operation in July 1940.[12] On 13 September 1940, the Zeros scored their first air-to-air victories when 13 A6M2s led by Lieutenant Saburo Shindo attacked 27 Soviet-built Polikarpov I-15s and I-16s of the Chinese Nationalist Air Force, shooting down all the fighters without loss to themselves. By the time they were redeployed a year later, the Zeros had shot down 99 Chinese aircraft[13] (266 according to other sources).[12]

At the time of the Attack on Pearl Harbor 420 Zeros were active in the Pacific. The carrier-borne Model 21 was the type encountered by the Americans. Its tremendous range of over 2,600 km (1,600 mi) allowed it to range further from its carrier than expected, appearing over distant battlefronts and giving Allied commanders the impression that there were several times as many Zeros as actually existed.[14]

The Zero quickly gained a fearsome reputation. Thanks to a combination of excellent maneuverability and firepower, it easily disposed of the motley collection of Allied aircraft sent against it in the Pacific in 1941. It proved a difficult opponent even for the Supermarine Spitfire. Although not as fast as the British fighter, the Mitsubishi fighter could out-turn the Spitfire with ease, could sustain a climb at a very steep angle, and could stay in the air for three times as long.[15]

Soon, however, Allied pilots developed tactics to cope with the Zero. Due to its extreme agility, engaging in a traditional, turning dogfight with a Zero was likely to be fatal. It was better to roar down from above in a high-speed pass, fire a quick burst, then zoom back up to altitude. (A short burst of fire from heavy machine guns or cannon was often enough to bring down the fragile Zero.) Such “boom-and-zoom” tactics were used successfully in the China Burma India Theater (CBI) by the “Flying Tigers” of the American Volunteer Group (AVG) against similarly maneuverable Japanese Army aircraft such as the Nakajima Ki-27 and Ki-43. AVG pilots were trained to exploit the advantages of their P-40s, which were very sturdy, heavily armed, generally faster in a dive and level flight at low altitude, with a good rate of roll.[16]
Mitsubishi A6M Zero, Wikipedia

And today:

“The real mystery surrounding the giant plane is; what will it be used for?

My guess is that it’s a high-speed interceptor along the lines of the famous MiG-25 Foxbat and MiG-31 Foxhound or that it’s meant to be a penetrating, F-111 or F-15E-style weapons truck designed to strike heavily defended targets like air bases or carrier battle groups. As you can see in this video, it certainly appears to have the weapons carrying capacity for either of these missions.”
J-20 Stealth Fighter Doors Explained, Defense Tech.
Patriot, I've come to kill *you*

The A6M bit the Army and Navy in the ass because no one paid any attention to advances in technology. The PLA is not building an F-22, it’s making a large deep strike aircraft.

“Even with allowances for Chinese technology not being as compact as Western technology (which I think is slightly a bogus argument in 2011) – that bird is big for a reason. I don’t think air superiority is it.” CMDR Salamander

Like the A6M (vs the Brewster Buffalo, P-40 et al.), the J-20 will face old, rusting 1970’s era fighters: F-5, F-16, F-18, Mig and yes even Chinese designs. Given that it’s stable mates are Su-27 copies, with better avionics and missiles, against the ROC, JASDF and other US allies, this will not end well. New carriers, new missiles, and the aircraft to back them up. There are no “Flying Tigers” to make these old warbirds work against the J-20. The PLA is slooowly updating it’s ground forces, but give it time. Coupled with advances in Surface to Air missiles, TBM/ICBM and now a true blue water navy, fear the dragon. They can wait as Congress guts our military. Our allies have arms shipments BLOCKED by a useful idiot bureaucracy and media that is asleep at the switch. Naval aviation is rotting. The USAF is facing huge problems getting it’s new aircraft to cheap enough to replace it’s aging fleet.

Will the PLA sell this to oil-sucking unstable dictatorships? Check.

Are there hotspots where China would risk going to war? Oh yeah.

With carriers, fighters and strike aircraft and battleships, Imperial Japan thought it could take Asia. China wants to take Asia, but they want to do it with economics, diplomacy and force. Desert Storm showed them that their low tech military was a thing of the past. The last 20 years they have been on a scary upgrade binge. Just like Imperial Japan after WWI.

I only hope that we don’t have to repeat the past. Before tactics and new designs appeared, the Zero claimed a lot of lives. The J-20 and it’s kin will reshape air warefare. I hope that the brass is watching because the PLA is watching them.

UPDATE: Via defensetech, The DOD’s China report says that this bird will “eventually give the PLA Air Force a platform capable of long range, penetrating strikes into complex air defense environments.” Patriot soldiers and AEGIS uses, you have been warned.

The Game Has Changed

Posted in ADA, army life, army training, guns, HOOAH!, politcs, rankers, tech pron, Uncategorized, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 3, January 2011 by chockblock

Taxi test

The rules for designing a stealth aircraft came from the work of a Russian, modified by Americans and used on two tin pot dictators.

The research was out there. It’s not like it’s hidden. What was the work of Noble Prize winners is now the work of tin smiths.

But unlike the Cold War, this is here, it’s for $ale. To. Whoever. Has. Money.

While the PLA-AF works out the bugs Taiwan and the middle east may see this aircraft or it’s demon spawn derivatives.

The game has changed, the F-16/F-15 is dead. “Upgrades” are pointless. Older missiles are useless. We need the F-22 & F-35.

Try not to think about it liberals, maybe it will go away.

  1. PRC’s fifth-generation jet pictures cause stir in US – Taipei Times
  2. J-20 vs. F-35, One Analyst’s Perspective : Defense Tech
  3. China and Taiwan War – U.S. Chinese Military Relations : Popular Mechanics
  4. How Not To Think About The J-20: Aviation Week
  5. Every day it’s getting closer: Aviation Week
  6. China Could Field its First Carrier in 2011: Defense Tech
  7. Eric L. Plamer’s grim outlook.
  8. Defense Update’s coverage
  9. Russia wonders what the fuss is about.Warisboring

And yet our left remains stuck on stupid.

Uh-oh!

Posted in ADA, army life, army training, guns, HOOAH!, politcs, rankers, tech pron, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 28, March 2010 by chockblock

Seems that MEADS (the program to replace Patriot) is in trouble….

“The $19 billion U.S.-European MEADS missile development program is facing about $1 billion in added costs, according to officials briefed on the program, but the overrun should not breach congressional thresholds that would trigger a live-or-die review.

Gregory Kee, general manager for the NATO agency that manages the Medium Extended Air Defense System acknowledged it would require additional funding to finish the development of the missile system designed to replace the aging Patriot system, but gave no exact figure”

Exclusive: Int’l Missile Program Faces $1 Bln Cost Overrun
by Andrea Shalal-Esa

Man, we need this. I hope this don’t go the way of that other defense program…..

h/t: NOSIT

More on Chinese Missile Tests: UPDATE the MSM SPEAKS!

Posted in ADA, army life, army training, guns, HOOAH!, politcs, rankers, tech pron, Uncategorized, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 13, January 2010 by chockblock

A followup to my last post, more details have emerged:

Of course the Chinese want the US to end our missile defense tests. All thier hue and cry was hiding their own work against us.

And of course the left is silent. (I’m looking at you Wired Magazine)

Update:

Total tool Mark Thompson opines in Time magazine:

But any commotion generated by the Chinese test is somewhat passe. Ballistic missiles follow a predictable arc through the skies that makes them relatively easy to target.

Closing Velocity deconstructs this doofus: when it’s a US test its either rigged or the system won’t work, a foreign system is not a threat. Go read his article and click on the links.

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