Thursday, June 22, 2017

Saudi Arabia on the brink. Israel dispatches fighter planes to prevent a coup...

Thanks to Overwatch DVA for the link!

via FARS.
TEHRAN (FNA)- 18 Israeli fighter jets along with two Gulfstream aircraft landed in Saudi Arabia on Thursday to prevent any hostile or military moves by former Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz who was replaced with Saudi King Salman's son.
Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz announced on Wednesday his decision to replace Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz with his own son, Mohammed bin Salman.

After the decision was announced, the Israeli air force sent 18 of its fighter jets, including F16I, F15CD and F16CD, along with two Gulfstream aircraft, two tanker airplanes and two C130 planes, special for electronic warfare, to Saudi Arabia at the demand of the new crown prince bin Salman to block his cousin (bin Nayef)'s possible measures.

According to a royal decree, Mohammed bin Salman, 31, was also named deputy prime minister, and shall maintain his post as defense minister, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Wednesday.

Saudi media announced that King Salman has called for a public pledge of allegiance to the new crown prince in the holy city of Mecca on Wednesday night.

The SPA also confirmed that 31 out of 34 members of Saudi Arabia’s succession committee chose Mohammed bin Salman as the crown prince.

Just days ago, the Saudi king stripped Nayef of his powers overseeing criminal investigations and designated a new public prosecution office to function directly under the king’s authority.
Story here. 

This one could get ugly.  A Saudi Arabia in turmoil?  I personally think they deserve it, but we will unfortunately be hip deep in the drama.  We're not done with the desert yet.

Why I don't get excited about long distance shots by allied snipers...

Everyone is hitting me with the same news.  Some Canadian Snipers from JTF-2 scored a long distance hit on a bad guy in the desert.

I can understand everyone getting excited by the news but I can't.  I look at this differently.  Long distance shooting is simply a matter of teaching, good gear, a little math and the ability to read the elements.

But bushcraft is different.

That's the part of Scout Snipers that cause me to give them a nod, a grudging respect.

It's also something we're not seeing much in Afghanistan (or at least its not reported).  Everyone that has ever held a rifle in the military knows about Carlos Hathcock.  Most have read his book.  Some have seen the Scout Sniper course and some have even been thru it.

The stalk.  The crawling thru brush.  The ability to gut out the pain, the heat, the thirst, the bad weather...that's the Scout in Scout Sniper.

Don't get me wrong.  The guys that did this are bad ass.  The guys that are doing this mission are too.

But from my seat Sniping is relatively easy.  Scout Sniping is the hard thing and that's why I don't get excited about long distance shots.

Now if these guys laid up in a hide for two weeks waiting for the high value target to appear, leaning on their sides to take a piss, getting ate up by insects and waiting for dark to take a shit (if not shitting their pants)...all while avoiding detection?  Then this is something super special.  If not then its just a super long shot.

Amphibious Combat Vehicle is at sea!!!!

via USNI News.
The Marine Corps launched and recovered Amphibious Combat Vehicles from the back of an amphibious ship for the first time, in testing last weekend with BAE Systems’ and SAIC’s competing vehicles.
The ACV program office and Marines from the Amphibious Vehicle Test Branch at Camp Pendleton, Calif., tested the vehicles at sea last weekend from amphibious transport dock USS Somerset (LPD-25), proving that both vendors have provided a more capable vehicle than was asked of them for this first phase in ACV development.
Story here. 


Patria AMV 28A swimming (pic)

Wow.  If this is being floated with a simulated load then this vehicle is showing impressive buoyancy.  I really expected it to ride lower in the water. Note too that it's carrying the Denel 30mm RWS (I believe) so that makes the freeboard even more impressive (again assuming that it's carrying a simulated load).

82nd Airborne Troop has his "tower of power" but Sapper has precedence over Ranger Tab?

I was checking out the Army Instagram Page and saw this Airborne Troop with his "tower of power" (they used to call that the tab stack...don't know if they still call it that) and one thing caught my eye.  A Sapper tab has precedence over a Ranger tab?

Is Sapper School that sought after/prestigious now?  Can Marines attend like Ranger School or is it Army only?

UK Ministry of Defence gearing up for Armed Forces Day this Saturday (Jun 24, 2017)

Australia is back bombing ISIS but the rationale for stopping is "iffy" at best.

Thanks to Mercator for the link!

via Guardian.
Australia will resume air combat missions over Syria after the Australian Defence Force lifted a temporary suspension initially sparked by Russian threats to shoot down coalition planes.

The defence department declared the suspension on Tuesday after Russia threatened to shoot down any plane from the US-led coalition they spotted flying west of the Euphrates river.

The threat was seen as retaliation for the US downing of a Syrian air force jet on Sunday, as tensions in the region rose.

On Thursday the ADF announced it would resume airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria and Iraq.

“This was a precautionary measure to allow the coalition to assess the operational risk,” a department statement said on Thursday. “The suspension has since been lifted.”

The department has not specified how long the suspension lasted. It did not say if Australian airstrikes had resumed or when or if they would.

Australian Defence Force Chief Mark Binskin said on Wednesday the operations were halted while the Australians examined what was happening in what he had described as a “complex piece of airspace” over Syria.

The defence minister, Marise Payne, said on Wednesday that Australian “force protection is uppermost in our minds” in deciding when to resume missions over Syria.
Story here.

Hmm.   Is this the best that she (the Defense Minister) can come up with as an excuse for the decision to suspend flights?

Open Comment Post. June 22, 2017

How did this guy not get charged with 2nd degree manslaughter?

This is another one where me and the readers will go separate ways.  How did the jury find this guy not guilty of 2nd degree manslaughter?  He went full retard.  Breathing hard, screaming into the radio.  But the kicker is his partner/cover. They did nothing but hop backwards.

That's significant.

That's his cover and he saw nothing alarming.  He was in a relaxed state and wasn't at the ready.

This guy was murdered and justice was not done.

Amphibious Testing of AMV 28A Completed.

Thanks to Jonathan for the link!

via Defense Aerospace.
Patria AMV28A armoured wheeled vehicle completed successfully the swimming tests organised in the end of May in Finland. With a total weight of 28 tonnes the vehicle swam without difficulties, as expected. Patria AMV28A, where 28A stands for 28 tonnes GVW amphibious (sea-stage 3) vehicle, is the latest member of Patria AMV product family, introduced at IDEX 2017 event earlier this year.

In the swimming tests, two different Patria AMV28A vehicles were tested - one in test configuration with full amphibious weight of 28 tonnes and the other one equipped with Kongsberg Protector MCT-30 turret with some payload capacity available. Both vehicles had no difficulties completing the various amphibious tests at the Hanko area in southern Finland during rather strong wind conditions, constant wind speed being 10-13 m/s, in gusts more than 17 m/s. 
Story here. 

Interesting solution.  Bolt on flotation armor and you can credibly slap the amphibious label on a combat car.  I wonder if this will catch on.  Could you slap some flotation armor (develop a kit) for the Bradley for use in the Pacific? The Stryker?  Suddenly you would see ordinary IFVs that get scared looking at rivers ready to swim from ship to shore.

CH-53K Propaganda (vid) from Lockheed/Sikorsky

They've also come up with a new website (at least new to me) that you can check out here.

What I marvel at is Pentagon economics.  Supposedly by speeding up testing they can push down the price from a current 138 odd million dollar a piece air frame to a quoted in an earlier Flightglobal article (on this blog) of around 85 million dollars.

How the hell does that happen?

The reality is more stark for people concerned with America's defense though (I should say our overseas commitments).  When you think defense spending then you should point toward healthcare.

If the Democrats and an astonishingly large number of the American people don't get full on, govt paid health care (I find it amazing because you will be inviting big brother into your health records...and trust me...big brother will use that as a means to compile information) then you can stick a fork in increased defense spending.  I've said that we're looking at a hollow force RIGHT NOW, and I don't see any slowdown in deployments meaning we're trashing equipment on questionable deployment/exercises.

Either we wreck the economy beyond repair by trying to fund both or something has to give.  The give will be defense spending.

You heard it here first.

No matter who wins Australia will have the most lethal 8x8 in the world????

The Defence Department's program to replace its combat reconnaissance vehicles has come down to a contest between two prime contractors, but regardless of which vehicle is selected, the Australian army will end up with the most lethal and modern eight-wheeler in the world, says an executive at Rheinmettal Defence Australia.

"Both our Boxer and the AMV35 are very impressive vehicles," says Rheinmettal Defence Australia chief operating officer Gary Stewart. "It doesn't matter which vehicle the Defence Department goes with, it will be a significant enhancement of what the ASLAV does already."

The Australian Commonwealth is conducting a $20 billion vehicle replacement program called LAND 400 which sees the current eight-wheeler ASLAV (Australian Light Armoured Vehicle) replaced by the Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle (CRV), and a new infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) replacing the current tracked M113 armoured personnel carrier. LAND 400 also has a systems integration component, ensuring the Army's vehicles can operate in the ADF's broader electronic warfare (EW) systems.

The LAND 400 Phase 2 program currently sees two eight-wheeler vehicles – the 'Boxer' from Rheinmettal and the AMV35 from BAE Systems-Patria – competing in a Risk Mitigation Activity conducted by the ADF.

In the first week of June, the two vehicles were tested in live firing exercises and in July they will be tested for their blast survivability, each vehicle undergoing two blasts.

"We were happy with the live firing exercise," says Stewart. "Both vehicles will deliver much greater lethality than the ASLAV."

Stewart says the concerns with sourcing eight-wheeler combat reconnaissance vehicles from Europe showed itself to be ill-founded when the Australian Army conducted mobility exercises around Darwin earlier this year.

Stewart says the ASLAV was unable to complete some terrain exercises that the Boxer and AMV35 were competent over.
Story here. 

Uh...ok...but does it really matter when a multi-million dollar vehicle can be shredded by a couple hundred thousand dollar rocket fired by a guy in sandals?

Maybe a bit of chest thumping is to be expected, but tactical proficiency might be a better thing to focus on, not the vehicle itself.  Equip the man, not man the equipment.