Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Pilots Discuss the F-35

I.D. and the lost Navy FireScout.

ID wrote an article early (and I mean it posted early...like around 1 or 2 am) about the US Navy losing the narrative battle to the USAF in regards to the Air-Sea Battle.  Read it here but a few snippets.
Two problems occurred. First, unmanned aircraft development for the Navy in particular got sidetracked when the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq began wearing down F-18s faster than the Navy expected, and due to political pressure from Congress, not to mention practical problems with rapidly aging airframes, the Navy ended up having to spend a great deal of the aviation budget on replacing F-18 Hornets instead of innovating new unmanned aircraft. Second, the Littoral Combat Ship mission modules that focused on unmanned vehicles ran into serious development problems that have led to a complete restructuring of the mission module programs. Many of those technologies could not meet requirements, and as a result Navy leadership spends a great deal of time in public speeches emphasizing the necessity for mission power capacity to support new technologies like unmanned underwater vehicles.

The Navy doesn't have a Hornet replacement of any type ready to field today, and while a lot of investment in both the Joint Strike Fighter and the UCAS offers possibilities; these systems lack a narrative that overrides the uncertainty surrounding the programs. What will be the capabilities and limitations of both platforms, and will they compliment each other effectively has hoped? What does future ISR look like when surface combatants and submarines field unmanned systems, and what does the Littoral Combat Ship bring to the total battle network? Will these complicated emerging networks of systems be both reliable and credible, or will the network requirements be too vulnerable to stress and disruption in the future warfare environment to make many of these technologies useful?
I don't know if the G man had word of the shoot down before I did, but one thing is certain.

He nailed it.  The article is a little wordy and he goes into issues that focus on the Big Navy, but as far as UAV's and the Surface Navy is concerned, he nailed it.

This first combat deployment of rotary winged UAVs (I'm assuming US Navy warships) is a disappointment.  At least in my eyes.

It also brings up a couple of interesting questions.

1.  Are rotary winged UAVs more vulnerable than fixed winged UAVs?
2.  Was the flight profile adequate?  Did its mission profile place it in danger of being lost or is it more fundamental? 
3.  Is the idea of armed rotary winged UAVs an evolutionary dead end?
4.  For naval warfare --- do manned helicopters just make more sense?  MH-60's can be had for a song...should we dump the fashion of UAVs and concentrate on what we know works?

I don't know but the loss of this FireScout...for whatever reason...does not bode well for the future of these vehicles.

Gettin' ready to kick some Police/Firefighter ass! All in good fun of course!

Marine gives pep talk before fight

Lt. Col. Shane Tomko, Special Purpose Marine Ground Air-Ground Task Force commander with 3rd Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment gives words of encouragement to one of his Marines, Lance Cpl. Chris Williams, 22, a radio operator with the reserve battalion, before his fight at the "First to Fight" amateur boxing tournament. At this tournament, Marines and St. Louis police and firefighters go toe-to-toe at the Scottstrade Center in St. louis, June 20 with all proceeds benefitting Backstoppers, Semper Fi Foundation and Toys for Tots. Marine Week provides an opportunity to increase public awareness of the Marine Corps' value to our nation's defense and to preserve and mature the Corps' relationship with the American people. Photo by Sgt. Jimmy D. Shea

Paris Airshow 2011: C-130 Flight Demo

The PM is pissed!

via Defense Management.

PM rebukes forces chiefs over Libya

21 June 2011

Prime Minister David Cameron has hit back at forces chiefs' warnings about the strain being placed on Britain's armed forces.

In recent weeks the heads of the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy have warned that Britain would struggle to maintain operations in Libya beyond September due to the difficulty in refreshing personnel and equipment in both Afghanistan and Libya.

When the First Sea Lord repeated his warning recently he was said to have been called to Downing Street for a 'dressing down' by the Prime Minister.

Today it emerged that Air Chief Marshal Simon Bryant warned MPs that allowance cuts had affected morale and that the RAF was 'running hot' in terms of the demand on its personnel and airframes.

Confronted with today's news, Cameron told a press conference: "There are moments when I wake up and read the newspapers and think 'you do the fighting, I'll do the talking'."

"…Time is on our side, not Gaddafi's. We are allied to some of the richest and most militarily capable countries in the world. We have the Libyan people on our side and we'll keep going.

"The pressure is turning up all the time: you can see that in the desertions from his regime, the pressure on the west of the country, the pockets of resistance that people had assumed would be snuffed out are growing in strength.

"Britain's military are performing magnificently."

The truth always gets out.

The truth is just as the Sea Lord stated.  NATO is struggling.  NATO is overstretched and its future is in doubt.

Remember a bridge too far?  This is a war too strenuous for an out of shape military alliance with delusions of grandeur.

MH-60R Helo Heads Down Under

Old news but good news.

Australia is about to get an advanced, capable, and cutting edge helicopter....now.  Not in the next 10 years.

NATO helo downed in Libya.

Read it on CNN.

Will someone please drug test this guy or label him 5150?

Via Aviation Week (official magazine of EADS and EADS North America *note stated tongue in cheek---sorta).

After a lull period, EADS North America is seeing increased interest from the Pentagon about a potential purchase of Airbus Military C-212 light transports.
There is “intensifying interest” in the last month for the C-212 to potentially serve as a new light mobility aircraft, says Sean O’Keefe, CEO of EADS N.A. The program outline is still emerging, but O’Keefe says it could entail the purchase of 50-100 aircraft.
One of the drivers of twin-engine C-212 interest is a recognition that doing the mission with a single-engine aircraft is not suitable.
O’Keefe says EADS N.A. also is eyeing a special operations command requirement for transport aircraft. The C-212 is one of the aircraft the special operations community will be evaluating, he says.
Still unclear is what the commercial strategy would be for the U.S. program, including whether the aircraft would be assembled in the U.S.


First we get word that the US military will be interested in purchasing the A400M.  Now we get word that the US military is showing interest in the C-212.

Yep, O'Keefe needs to be drug tested or declared 5150.

My question is this.  What happened to the C-27????  This from Wikipedia...
The United States received its first C-27J on 25 September 2008.[28] In September 2008, the C-27J Schoolhouse, operated by L-3 Link, officially began classes at the Georgia Army National Guard Flight Facility, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia. By April 2009, the Army had accepted deliveries of two aircraft and had 11 more on order.[29] A proposal in May 2009 that the US Army/Army National Guard relinquish all of its aircraft to the US Air Force, primarily the Air National Guard, with a reduction of the total buy to 38 aircraft,[30][dead link]led the DoD to give total control of the US's C-27Js to the USAF in December.[21] Although the plan is for the C-27J to be entirely operated by the Air National Guard for direct support of the United States Army, today both Army National Guard and Air National Guard flight crews support the fielding of the aircraft. The US Air National Guard had received four C-27Js by July 2010 and began using them for testing and training. Purchase of 38 Spartans is anticipated with initial operational capability expected in October 2010.[31] The US Air Force has planned the C-27J's first combat deployment for summer 2011.[32]
Wishful thinking is not a business plan.

EADS and EADS North America seem to be engaged in a whole bunch of wishful thinking.

Get ready for Exercise Mailed Fist.

Via CNN.

Washington (CNN) -- It's mid-June, a perfect time to visit the beach to watch porpoises play in the surf or seagulls strut the sand -- or you could watch a formation of Marine Corps warplanes darting over the shore at hundreds of miles per hour.
But don't worry -- the United States hasn't declared war on your family's beach house. It's just part of a major Marine Corps exercise called Exercise Mailed Fist (translation: armored fist).
The exercise is designed to test the capability of every type of Marine Corps aircraft, including MV-22 Ospreys and F/A 18 Hornets, as well as some Navy ships and Air Force planes.
The drill will stretch from Quantico Marine Base in northern Virginia to the Navy's Pinecastle Bombing Range in Florida.
With thousands of Marines and other service members involved, it's the biggest such drill ever on the U.S. East Coast.
"Exercise Mailed Fist is the first exercise of its specific kind and the largest 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing exercise conducted in recent history," said Staff Sgt. Roman J. Yurek, Marine Corps spokesman. "In the past, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing units had to deploy to the West Coast to conduct this type of training."
Mailed Fist was not originally supposed to be one big exercise. But the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing's commander, Maj. Gen. Jon Davis, decided to combine several smaller drills into one big exercise. Not only do the Marines train closer to home, the Pentagon saves money.
Most of the exercises will take place in the skies above or near Marine bases along the North and South Carolina coast.
From Monday until Friday, vacationers "who are located near the bases ... will see an increase in air and ground traffic at various times throughout the week, but there should be minimal impact on activity near beaches other than occasional fly-overs at relatively high altitudes," the spokesman said.

I forgot all about this test of a fully assembled (Marine Expeditionary Brigade I believe) amphibious assault force for experimentation and exercise.

This is the news the Marines should be shouting about...not saturating the air ways with a dog and pony in St. Louis.  Just as a heads up, you should also read Information Dissemination.  The author is upset about the Navy losing the narrative on Air-Sea Battle to the Air Force.

I hope Headquarters Marine Corps is paying attention and gets its act together not only for the Marine Corps sake but to help inform policy makers of what a value the Marine Corps provides------Regardless of the next gee-whiz battle concept that comes down the pike.

HyperStealth pushes hard into air and sea...

HyperStealth is making waves in a big way.  While surfing their website I ran across some of the concepts that they have in the works that they're farming out to the Canadian Air Force.  A few of them are below.

The Jordanian military is sold on fractal camo when it comes to their aircraft and ships...

But little did I know that they have also made in roads with the Slovakian Air Force...

Which only leaves us with one question.  When will we see a branch of the US military experimenting with this camo pattern?