Friday, May 21, 2010

Thai Army uses Tavor Rifles?

A Thai army soldier orders a couple to follow the directions at a road blockade in Bangkok May 20, 2010. Thai authorities restored order in Bangkok on Thursday after a night of rioting and fires that veered towards anarchy as troops took control of an encampment occupied by thousands of anti-government protesters for six weeks.
It seems that the Tavor Rifle is getting orders under the radar.  This photo of a Thai Soldier fielding this weapon is the first time I've seen anyone from their military using it.

F-35 Pics. The latest offerings.

The past is the future.

During the mid 80's to the early 90's the US Navy had a decision to make.  Either jump on the stealth bandwagon with the A-12, continue on with an upgraded F-14, continue on with an upgraded A-6 or develop a new attack jet.

They settled on a new attack jet in the form of the F/A-18E-F.

This was brought on by the failure of the A-12, the expense of the F-14 and the short sightedness of officials when it came to the promise of the A-6F.

From Wikipedia.
An advanced A-6F Intruder II was proposed in the mid-1980s that would have replaced the Intruder's elderly Pratt & Whitney J52 turbojets with non-afterburning versions of the General Electric F404 turbofan used in the F/A-18 Hornet, providing substantial improvements in both power and fuel economy. The A-6F would have had totally new avionics, including a Norden AN/APQ-173 synthetic aperture radar and multi-function cockpit displays – the APQ-173 would have given the Intruder air-to-air capacity with provision for the AIM-120 AMRAAM. Two additional wing pylons were added, for a total of seven stations.
Although five development aircraft were built, the Navy ultimately chose not to authorize the A-6F, preferring to concentrate on the A-12 Avenger II. This left the service in a quandary when the A-12 was cancelled in 1991.
Grumman proposed a cheaper alternative in the A-6G, which had most of the A-6F's advanced electronics, but retained the existing engines. This, too, was cancelled.
General characteristics
So what will we actually get if we proceed with advanced concepts (such as Air-Sea Battle)? A return to the range of our carrier strike force that we had during the 1970's and early 1980's.

We went off the track and even if we can afford all the capability that is sought by think tanks and theorist, all we'll have is a return to the past as our future.

Poor planning 20 years ago is costing us today.  We've seen this before though.  In the Marines we retired the 105mm howitzer and had to procure 120mm mortars to make up for the deficit.

In the Navy, the A-6 was sent to pasture before its time and UCAVs are desire to make up for the lost range and throw weight that they provided (ok, range, not munitions carried).

In the Army, they went with the M4 carbine instead of sticking with a true combat rifle...they'll have to rectify that situation soon.

I said all that to say this.

We need to be smart, practical and knowledgeable about the choices that we make today.  Others will fight with the equipment that is chosen.

Afghan War Photos.

Hat Tip to Marcase.  These pics are stunning, David Duttenfelder has put together an amazing collection.  Check it out.

Utter BS.

Hat Tip to Jonathan for this story.

A journalist, because he lacks knowledge of firearms has filed a false and misleading story.  Read it here.  A tidbit for your amazement.

KABUL, Afghanistan — The U.S. military's workhorse rifle — used in battle for the last 40 years — is proving less effective in Afghanistan against the Taliban's more primitive but longer range weapons.
As a result, the U.S. is reevaluating the performance of its standard M-4 rifle and considering a switch to weapons that fire a larger round largely discarded in the 1960s.
The M-4 is an updated version of the M-16, which was designed for close quarters combat in Vietnam. It worked well in Iraq, where much of the fighting was in cities such as Baghdad, Ramadi and Fallujah.
But a U.S. Army study found that the 5.56 mm bullets fired from M-4s don't retain enough velocity at distances greater than 1,000 feet (300 meters) to kill an adversary. In hilly regions of Afghanistan, NATO and insurgent forces are often 2,000 to 2,500 feet (600-800 meters) apart.

S-3 returns to Squadron service.

FRCSE delivers first S-3 Viking to test squadron

By FRCSE Public Affairs

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — After completing extensive maintenance and repairs that presented many challenges, Fleet Readiness Center Southeast (FRCSE) turned over the first of three S-3B Viking aircraft to Naval Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 30 April 14.

VX-30 Chief Test Pilot Cmdr. John Rousseau and Viking Training Officer Lt. Christian Pedersen based at Point Mugu, Calif., performed the acceptance flight check. They both were very satisfied with the aircraft that will support the squadron’s local and worldwide test events.

“We were pleasantly surprised, especially with a plane that has been out of service for so long. It flew well,” said Rousseau. “It’s a testament to FRCSE employees’ steadfastness to the work.”

Even so, the first aircraft took more than a year to complete the Planned Maintenance Intervals (PMI) 1, 2, and 3 that will add five to six years of service life to the aircraft before another PMI is due.

In March 2009, FRCSE inducted three Vikings sometimes referred to as War Hoovers for the engine’s unique, low-pitched sound.

The jets were last used by the “Checkmates” of the Sea Control Squadron (VS) 22 for five months at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq in 2008. During the squadron’s only land-based operation, the aircrews flew numerous combat missions in harsh desert conditions....

Naval Aviation and Long Range Strike.

I've been trying to find the genesis of the idea behind Air-Sea Battle.  Well it seems like CSBA has been working toward this idea for at least 10 years.  Below is just one example of the "priming" that has been done which has led to where we're at now.