Archive for science rules!

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)


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.

Rock Beats Laser? Drones, smart bombs and such.

Posted in guns, politcs, rankers, tech pron, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 11, November 2009 by chockblock

Via Wired comes another essay in the endless argument against our high tech force.

Taking the Measure of a Slam-Dunk Weapons System

Robot war. It just couldn’t be cooler, could it? Especially if the only blood you spill is the other guy’s, since our “pilots” are flying those planes from thousands of miles away. Soon, it seems, the world will be a drone fest. In his first nine months, President Obama has authorized more drone attacks in the Pakistani tribal borderlands than the Bush administration did in its last three years in office and is now considering upping their use in areas of rural Afghanistan where U.S. troops will be scarce.

In Washington, drones are even considered the “de-escalatory” option for the Afghan War by some critics, while CIA Director Leon Panetta, whose agency runs our drone war in Pakistan, has hailed them as “the only game in town in terms of confronting or trying to disrupt the al-Qaeda leadership.” Among the few people who don’t adore them here are hard-core war-fighters who don’t want an armada of robot planes standing in the way of sending in oodles more troops. The vice president, however, is a drone-atic. He loves ’em to death and reportedly wants to up their missions, especially in Pakistan, rather than go the oodles route.

Drone Race to a Known Future
Why Military Dreams Fail — and Why It Doesn’t Matter

By Tom Engelhardt

Mr. Engelhardt starts here then goes on to try and breathe life into some dead cliches.

The Wonder Weapons Succeed — at Home

So why am I not excited — other than the fact that the drones are also killing civilians in disputed but significant numbers in the Pakistani tribal borderlands, creating enemies and animosity wherever they strike, and turning us into a nation of 24/7 assassins beyond the law or accountability of any sort? Thought of another way, the drones put wings on the original Bush-era Guantanamo principle — that Americans have the inalienable right to act as global judge, jury, and executioner, and in doing so are beyond the reach of any court or law.

And here’s another factor that dulls my excitement just a tad — if the history of air warfare has shown one thing, it’s this: it never breaks populations. Rather, it only increases their sense of unity, as in London during the Blitz under Winston Churchill, in Germany under Adolf Hitler, Imperial Japan under Emperor Hirohito, North Korea under Kim Il Sung, North Vietnam under Ho Chi Minh, and of course (though we never put ourselves in such company, being the exceptions to all history), the United States after 9/11 under George W. Bush. Why should the peoples of rural Afghanistan and the Pakistani borderlands be any different?

Really? “round the clock” bombing hurt the Germans so bad their air force stopped flying. Not the morale but the INDUSTRY was destroyed. Towards the end of the war, their aircraft were made of wood and scraps. Same with Japan. It was the atomic bomb that forced them to end the war, their military was reduced to meeting the allies with sharpened bamboo sticks on the beaches of Japan.

The Viet Cong and North Vietnam were aided and abetted by the USSR. Without the flow of arms, technical know how, intelligence and surface to air missiles, North Vietnam would have folded. They LOST the Tet offensive. America lost the will to fight due to losses (fueled by Russian aid). Iraq both times did not have that aid. And got their brains beat out both times.

Of course, you know the results of this sort of magical thinking about wonder weapons (or technologies) and their properties just as well as I do. The atomic bomb ended nothing, but led to an almost half-century-long nuclear superpower standoff/nightmare, to nuclear proliferation, and so to the possibility that, someday, even terrorists might possess such weapons. The electronic battlefield was incapable of staving off defeat in Vietnam. That impermeable anti-missile shield never came even faintly close to making it into our skies. Those “smart bombs” of the Gulf War proved remarkably dumb, while the 50 “decapitation” strikes the Bush administration launched against Saddam Hussein’s regime on the first day of the 2003 invasion of Iraq took out not a single Iraqi leader, but “dozens” of civilians. And the history of the netcentric military in Iraq is well known. Its “success” sent Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld into retirement and ignominy.

Huh, MAD (mutually assured destruction) kept the Cold War cold. Would he have liked WWII to be come WWIII? Nuclear proliferation is the result of humans wanting to kill each other. India did their bomb on their own. North Korea may have had some help, Pakistan did theirs on their own. So did China. The USSR stole nuclear secrets. We killed the Rosenburgs for their crime in aiding the USSR and making the world a more dangerous place.

The GAO, in the report cited, liked to claim bombs carried by airplanes that didn’t fly (bad weather, mechanical problems etc.) as dropped. Donald Rumsfeld left as SecDef because of the insurgency after the war. We won that one not just with the surge, but by air power and our high tech advantage. The Sons Of Iraq would not have succeeded if it were not for US military might backing them up. Contrawise, the insurgets have had help from Iran, Al Queda and other evil doers. Not enough to save them, just enough to break our hearts.

True, Reagan’s impermeable shield was the purest of nuclear fantasies, but the “high frontiersmen” gathered and, taking a sizeable bite of the military budget, went on a decades-long binge of way-out research, space warfare plans and commands, and boondoggles of all sorts, including the staggeringly expensive, still not operational anti-missile system that the Bush and now Obama administrations have struggled to emplace somewhere in Europe. Similarly, ever newer generations of smart bombs and ever brighter missiles have been, and are being, developed ad infinitum.

Really? My career field is in missile defense. We do what you call impossible everyday. Critics keep insiting that the system wont work or that our enemies are too dumb to build missiles that can hit us. Or they argue that terrorists will sneak a bomb past our borders. Now they try to have it every which way but lose. They won’t lest us strengthen our borders, now will they lest us build anti-missile systems. Nor do they believe our intel.

Our weapons work. Not the way politicians want them to, but they do work. Civilian deaths? It’s called war for a reason. Sadly terrorists and other scum surround themselves with innocent people. We don’t attack we’re cowards. We hit them and we are cruel. Well, they want cruel, and they admit that they love death more than we love life.

Mr. Engelhardt goes on to lament the monies spent on drones. Classic hippe arguments that don’t hold water. Every dollar spent on our military brings back civlian returns and makes sure that people are free to read this blog and Mr. Engelhardt’s too. We must fight them. We care about innocent lives and grieve their loss. The enemy does not. Their bloodlust knows no bounds. Well our weapons have a longer reach and bigger punch. Too bad for them.

The last paragraph is a risible mention of the Terminator movies. *facepalms* In the real world American Soldiers, Marines, Sailors and Airmen risk their lives. Drones help save our people, innocent civilians and our allies.

To hell with the enemy.

Drones are tools nothing more.

“The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.”

General George S. Patton

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: 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.

Hot Crew! : Stevie “Killcreek” Case

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 29, August 2009 by chockblock

She went from being a fps-playing gamer geek to becomeing an overnight sensation back in the 90’s, early 2000’s.
Stevie “Killcreek” Case beat Jon Romero in a deathmatch. She went on to date him and land a job at Ion Storm. Sadly that company and its mediocre games went bust. She now has a job with a tech company and is a footnote to the history of gaming. But what a footnote…

Science Fail: The new Science Czar is a nutcase

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 11, July 2009 by chockblock

Nightmare Fuel, Germany 1939:

Hitler was in favour of killing those whom he judged to be “unworthy of life”. In a 1939 conference with health minister Leonardo Conti and the head of the Reich Chancellery, Hans Lammers, a few months before the euthanasia decree, Hitler gave as examples of “life unworthy of life” severely mentally ill people who could only be bedded on sawdust or sand because they “perpetually dirtied themselves”, or who “put their own excrement into their mouths, eating it and so on”.[13]– Wikipedia on the Nazi T-4 program

Flash forward to 1977:

Indeed, it has been concluded that compulsory population-control laws, even including laws requiring compulsory abortion, could be sustained under the existing Constitution if the population crisis became sufficiently severe to endanger the society.

One way to carry out this disapproval might be to insist that all illegitimate babies be put up for adoption—especially those born to minors, who generally are not capable of caring properly for a child alone. If a single mother really wished to keep her baby, she might be obliged to go through adoption proceedings and demonstrate her ability to support and care for it. Adoption proceedings probably should remain more difficult for single people than for married couples, in recognition of the relative difficulty of raising children alone. It would even be possible to require pregnant single women to marry or have abortions, perhaps as an alternative to placement for adoption, depending on the society.
A program of sterilizing women after their second or third child, despite the relatively greater difficulty of the operation than vasectomy, might be easier to implement than trying to sterilize men

Neo-Nazis? Nope, that is John Holdren, the President’s new science czar. Yes, you read that correctly.

The left hates life. The left hates the family. The left hates children. Despite acting like spoiled children. They hate the elderly, the disabled and the poor too. In the book Ecosicence, John Holdren advocates a regime that would eclipse the Nazi’s, Stalin’s USSR and Mao’s China in terms of butchery. Forced sterilizations and abortions, families torn apart, the population “sterilized by infertility drugs intentionally put into the nation’s drinking water or in food.”

All the horrors they accuse the right of planning, the left wants in the name of the environment. Holden is an environmentalist. In the 1970’s, the ecology movement sprung from the anti-war movement. Virulent anti-western and class warfare fused with pseudo-science to predict global cooling. Mass fish kills from polluted waters, world populations of 40 billion, global food shortages etc, ad nausea.

When the world did not cool down, they came up with global warming. Citing early probes of the planet Venus (Carl Sagan was first to popularize this), they predicted that carbon dioxide would warm the planet. So much that the effects above would kill us all.

The solution? Kill’em all. No really. Industry? Bad, pollutes and exploits the poor. Science? Only that which proves our wacko theory, all other science is bad. Capitalism? Industry and science in the service of evil white men.

From Charles Manson, to the SLA to, to Earth First, ALF and other psycho‘s, violence of some form is the solution to heal the planet/opressed/the youth. One of Earth Day’s founders was a man who killed his girlfriend and ran from the law. So they have lots of practice.

But back to John Holdren. Just what does a “science czar” do?

He was unanimously confirmed as Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Co-Chair of the President’s Council of Advisers on Science and Technology on March 20, 2009.[8]– John Holdren, Wikipedia

His academic work is all on “ecology” and energy. The papers not on those are on arms control. He opposes a nuclear response to a bio or chem attack on US soil. He’s an eco-nutcase who hates the US. He clearly hates the American people. He claimed that,”if the population control measures are not initiated immediately, and effectively, all the technology man can bring to bear will not fend off the misery to come.” Now he’s in a position to advise the president.

Advise is not the word. Groupthink is better. The left believes in the fantasy of Global Warming. The climate is not warming as much as they say it is, the ice caps are not melting. The emperor has no clothes. This nutjob would recommend crippling taxes, stifle growth and other measues while sneaking in support for radical population control “pogroms”. Yea, progroms.

You see one of the early advocates for abortion was a bigot. (h/t: Michelle Malkin)

again wikipedia on Marget Sanger:

Methods of social intervention (targeted at those seen as “genetically unfit”) advocated by some negative eugenicists have included selective breeding, sterilization and euthanasia. In A Plan for Peace (1932), for example, Sanger proposed a congressional department to:

Keep the doors of immigration closed to the entrance of certain aliens whose condition is known to be detrimental to the stamina of the race, such as feebleminded, idiots, morons, insane, syphilitic, epileptic, criminal, professional prostitutes, and others in this class barred by the immigration laws of 1924.[22]

My wife is blind. These people would have had her aborted. They want to control your life, the lives of your children. Similar views were expressed by health care “experts” on the elderly.

They are evil and now one has the ear of the president.

BTW, if you believe that the quotes above are fake, Ace of Spades had links to the book search on John Holdren hippie Mine Kaumpf.

Air Defense History: The Patriot Missile system from 1975-2003

Posted in ADA, army life, army training, guns, HOOAH!, tech pron, Uncategorized, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 2, July 2009 by chockblock
M-901 Launching Station for the Patriot missile system circa 1991

M-901 Launching Station for the Patriot missile system circa 1991

Patriot started in 1964 with the Army Air Defense System for the 1970s (AADS-70s) which became Surface-to-Air Missile, Development (SAM-D). Development started in Huntsville Alabama. In 1975 it hit a drone at White Sands Missile range. Continued development saw the name change to Patriot. A famous Air Defense Urban Legend says that the development team were fans of the New England Patriots football team. Type classified as MIM-104, Patriot began to replace Nike missiles in 1981.

Unlike Nike, Patriot is mobile. The “Big 4”: Radar, Engagement Control Station(ECS), Antenna Mast Group(AMG), Electric Power Plant (EPP) are mounted on trucks or in the case of the radar, towed.
Nike needed buildings and commercial power with a generator backup. Patriot uses the two massive generators on the EPP to make it’s own power.

Japenese Patriot Radar

Japenese Patriot Radar

The Patriot radar is phased array. Forget what you saw in the movies, the radar sends out thousands of pulses because it has many elements. That is the “array” in phased array (the number is classified, wikipedia says 5,000 elements. The AN/MPQ-53 and AN/MPQ-65 radar sets are passively scanned arrays. That means a traveling wave tub sends radio energy at the main array and that array sends out many, many pulses. If the Nike radar was like having a man with very powerful binoculars, the Patriot radar is like having a large group of people with those binoculars.

That means that parts of the array can be dedicated to IFF, others talk to the missiles (Track-via-Missile or TVM). Imagine shooting an arrow at a target and getting to see the bull’s eye from the point of view of the arrow. That’s what TVM does. The system can steer the missile to the target much better than Nike. Plus, the many elements make Patriot lethal to small targets like stealth aircraft and UAV’s. No aircraft is invisible, stealth just makes it harder to be seen on radar, but the system can see farther and better than older radars. Jamming a phased array is harder too.

Dutch Engagement Control Station

Dutch Engagement Control Station

The AN/MSQ-104 Engagement Control Station (ECS) it the brains of the outfit. “The Van” as we call it has two consoles, UHF/VHF radios and the weapons control computer (WCC). An enlisted soldier is on one stations, an officer is on the other. The WCC is ancient by today’s standards, but it gets the job done. It aims and fires the missiles and diagnoses system faults. The officer controls the fight from his station by watching the IFF indications, but the enlisted soldier fires the missiles.



The radios are in “stacks” inside the van. But radios are useless without antennas. FM radios inside the van have antennas on the roof. They are used to talk to the rest of the battery and HQ. But to send data large UHF/VHF radios have cables that connect to a truck called the Antenna Mast Group or AMG. The AMG is a pair of big antennas that provide communications (both unencrypted and encrypted).

Now about that launcher pic on the first paragraph. The launcher has not changed much. Hydraulics point the missiles at the sky. Radios and fiber optic cables provide two forms of communications fromt he launcher to the ECS. 14T soldiers drive the launchers where they need to go and they use a special crane to reload them.

Crane loading missiles

Crane loading missiles

Patriot Missile Launch, PAC-2

Patriot Missile Launch, PAC-2

In the 1988, Patriot was tasked against tactical ballistic missiles(TBM’s). Previously, Patriot Advanced Capability-1 missiles were only for use against aircraft. PAC-2 was an upgrade in explosive power and radar and software. It made the missiles more powerful and added the ability to search for TBM’s in the sky. During Desert Storm, PAC-2 intercepted Scud missiles fired by Iraq against Saudi Arabia and Israel. While many dispute Patriot’s effectiveness, it did much to end the Scud menace. One Scud did hit a barracks due to a software error. Latter upgrades for PAC-2 included better fused to hit missiles sooner and harder. Some scuds were hit in the back or motor section and not in the warhead. They still fell despite being hit.

A PAC-3 Launcher in South Korea

A PAC-3 Launcher in South Korea

As part of SDI, the Extended Range Interceptor (ERINT) was added to Patriot. Called PAC-3, thse smaller missiles hit the target instead of blowing up next to it. PAC-3 added more missiles (16 per launcher instead of the earlier 4) and a complete software and hardware changes. Whereas PAC-2 could look for a TBM, PAC-3 could tailor it’s search for a specific threat much faster and more efficiently. It can have a “keepout” altitude where it hits missiles before they get too close. By hitting the missiles directly instead of hitting them with fragments, the PAC-3 missile destroys WMD warheads inflight. Further upgrades included Link-16 for data transfers to allied units and our Air Force and Navy, LCD screens to replace the CRT’s we use and more software upgrades.

All in all it’s a hell of a system for a 1960’s era cold war baby. In 2003, the PAC-3 missiles destroyed all Scuds fired.

Fort Bliss has a long history with Patriot. The 6th ADA Brigade used to train Patriot soldiers there. MOS 14E and 14T are the fire control and launcher soldiers respectively. 6th Brigade has moved to Fort Sill Oklahoma to be next to the field artillery school.

The system is used by our allies as well. It replaces Nike or compliments it in the following countries.
* Egypt

Egyptian Air Defense Command

* Germany


* Israel

Israeli Air Force

* Japan

Japan Air Self-Defense Force

* Republic of China (Taiwan)

Republic of China Air Force

* Kuwait

Kuwait Air Force

* Netherlands

Royal Netherlands Air Force

* Saudi Arabia

Royal Saudi Air Defense

* South Korea

Republic of Korea Air Force

* Spain

Spanish Army

* United States

United States Army Air Defense Artillery


Air Defense History: The MIM-23 HAWK missile

Posted in ADA, army life, army training, guns, tech pron, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 18, June 2009 by chockblock

The Raytheon MIM-23 HAWK is an American medium range surface-to-air missile. As a backronym, some consider HAWK to stand for Homing All the Way Killer. The HAWK was initially designed to destroy aircraft and was later adapted to destroy other missiles in flight. The missile entered service in 1960, and a program of extensive upgrades has kept it from becoming obsolete. It was superseded by the MIM-104 Patriot in United States Army service by 1994. It was finally phased out of US service in 2002, the last users, the US Marine Corps replacing it with the man-portable ir-guided visual range FIM-92 Stinger. The missile was also produced outside the US in Western Europe and Japan.

MIM-23 Hawk, Wikipeida

Hawk Missiles on an M113 chassis

Hawk Missiles on an M113 chassis

Forgotten by the general public, Hawk was one of two missile systems the US Army had in Europe to stop the Soviet Air Force. Semi-Active radar homing would guide the missile to it target. The missile received signals from a ground based fire-control radar and used that to hit the target. Development started in 1952, by 1959 the Army had it’s first units, the Marines in 1960.

Of course the system used vacuum tubes back then. The first upgrades gave it solid-state technology. The mean-time between failure rates went from 43 hours in the 50’s, to over 300 at the turn of the century. Many other improvements happened.

US Army diagram of the HAWK system in action

US Army diagram of the HAWK system in action

The MIM-23A had a basic warhead of 54 kilograms, and over 4,000 eight gram frags. It was a giant shotgun shell against jets and helicopters. The MIM-23B I-HAWK (Improved HAWK) had a 74 kg warhead and 14,000 frags. A new motor improved performance. By 1971 all HAWKS were I-HAWKS. That’s all well and good, but that warhead is nothing if the missile can’t see it’s target.

Firing a HAWK missile.

Firing a HAWK missile.

Electronic warfare bloomed at vacuum tubes gave way to solid state. The USSR had experience jamming western propaganda broadcasts during the 50’s and 60’s. The war in Vietnam and the Arab-Israeli wars honed their expertise. As a result MIM-23 models C-M were developed all the way until 1997. There is speculation that home-on-jam was added to the D-models (the missiles would home in on a jamming aircraft, killing it). The K-M models had a bigger warhead with 30 gram frags.

The radars got upgrades to:

PAR radar

PAR radar

Early high power illuminator/tracker radar

Early high power illuminator/tracker radar

The original HAWK system used 4 radars: to detect (PAR and CWAR), to track (CWAR and HPIR) and to engage (HPIR and ROR) targets. As the system was upgraded the functionality of some of the radars was merged. The final iteration of the system consists of only 2 radars, an enhanced phased array search radar and an engagement radar (HPIR).

The Army’s goal was to reduce the maintenance of the system. Having 4 radars means that you have four times the things that can go wrong in the field. As the system improved, the radars got better. The last radars were the AN/MPQ-64 Sentinel and a high power illuminator.

AN-MPQ-64 Sentinel Radar

AN-MPQ-64 Sentinel Radar

High power illuminator/tracker radar

High power illuminator/tracker radar

HAWK fought several battles in the Cold War. It was in Florida during the Cuban Missile Crisis, with 304 missiles defending American Soil. The Arab-Israeli was saw:
an Israeli MIM-23A shot down a damaged Israeli Dassault MD.450 that was in danger of crashing into the Negev Nuclear Research Center near Dimona, the first combat firing of the HAWK, and it’s first kill. During the 1969 War of Attrition, HAWK batteries had shot down between 8 and 12 Arab aircraft . During the 1973 Yom Kippur war, 75 Israeli missiles wdowned between 12 and 24 aircraft. Kuwait shot down one Iranian F-5 during the Iran-Iraq war. The French army in Chad shot down a Libyan Tu-22B in 1987. During Desert Storm, US Army and Marine HAWK units defended Saudi Arabia. White Stands Missile range tested an anti-Scud variant of the missile as the 1990’s came to a close.

HAWK Versus LANCE Impact

HAWK Versus LANCE Impact

All in all HAWK was used by the following: Bahrain, Belgium, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Italy, Jordan, South Korea, Kuwait, the Netherlands, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain,
Sweden, Republic of China (Taiwan), Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and the United States. Training for the missile was done at Fort Bliss. Like Nike, many soldiers from other nations would come to Fort Bliss to train on HAWK. The German Air Force even had a school at Bliss to train their officers.

The system has been phased out of U.S. service for some time. Most NATO countries don’t have it anymore, but countries like Japan, UAE and Israel still use it. Today the Army uses the Avenger system.