Saturday, March 24, 2012

Sea Services Celebrate the War of 1812...

Thanks for sending me this website/info Joe!  Keep'em coming....

Makes you wonder what's going on with the US Navy, US Marine Corps and US Coast Guard doesn't it?  I don't mean to belittle our history.

Its as precious to me as it is to any American that pumps blood colored red, white, blue and Marine green.

What has me curious is who's picking up the bill on this?

Would we have been better served by cancelling these celebrations and preserving an active Marine Infantry Battalion or two instead?

Or how about we keep a couple of Cruisers instead?

Or buy the Coast Guard a few more Cutters?

Regardless...the site is here and the vid is below...

Spirits from the past talking....

Want to hear something spooky?


Hear this tape of B-52 aircrews over Hanoi during Linebacker II.

I can't imagine a more helpless feeling.

You can't fight back...You have to complete the bombing run...You can't influence the battle....all you can do is sit there and take the punches that the enemy is throwing...

I make fun of the wing, but air combat must suck.

General Dynamics....the snake in the room...

A good look at the General Dynamics website revealed some interesting things...

Who is making the Ocelot vehicle here in the States and offering it to the US Military?

Who bought the Jamma Internally Transportable Vehicle and is offering it to the USAF Special Ops?

Who is the only maker of a NBC detection vehicle?  And lastly...who has an Amphibious Combat Vehicle Center of Excellence that's been recognized by the US military at the end of 2011??

General Dynamics.

I wondered why all the vehicle manufacturers have been so tight lipped when it came to their products being produced for the upcoming Marine Corps competitions and now I know.

They're (BAE and Lockheed Martin and now ST Kinetics..) facing a formidable foe that already has its tentacles deep into the US military...When it comes to ground combat vehicles they're well placed

That's enough to explain the caution I see from those firms.

Time to see if General Dynamics will give up some info on the ACV, AAV upgrades and exactly what vehicle they're going to offer for the MPC competition.

Stay tuned guys...this will be cut throat...probably end in a price shootout and MIGHT feature a bit of industrial espionage.

This is gonna be good!

This is what Singapore packs into 3,000 tons.

Read it weep naval enthusiast.

The LCS is coming in at 3000 tons.

Its really a frigate but the Navy wouldn't dare call it that because it would immediately be compared to vessels around the world at the same weight class and would be found wanting.


The Navy pulled a fast one and invented a new class of ship.  The littoral combat ship.

This is pure bullshit but the congress critters like it..

Compare that to what others are doing with 3000 tons on the open water and it makes you want to punch walls.  Take the Singaporeans for example.  They didn't fall for the mission module bullshit, they built a combat ship and will modify it as needed.  Let me introduce you to the Formidable class stealth frigate.

General characteristics
Type: Frigate
Displacement: 3,200 tonnes (3,150 long tons; 3,530 short tons)
Length: 114.8 m (376 ft 8 in)
Beam: 16.3 m (53 ft 6 in)
Draught: 6.0 m (19 ft 8 in)
Installed power: ISM V1708 diesel generators, each producing 800 kilowatts (1,070 shp)[1]
Total output: 3,200 kW (4,290 shp)
Propulsion: MTU 20V 8000 M90, each rated at 9,100 kW (12,200 shp)[2] (CODAD)
Total output: 36,400 kW (48,800 shp)
Speed: Maximum: 27 knots (50.0 km/h; 31.1 mph)
Cruising: 18 kn (33.3 km/h; 20.7 mph)
Range: 4,200 nautical miles (7,780 km)
Complement: 71, excluding air crew detachment of approx. 19
Sensors and
processing systems:
Search radar: Thales Herakles multi-function radar
Navigation radar: Terma Electronic Scanter 2001
Sonar: EDO Model 980 active low frequency towed sonar (ALOFTS)
Electronic warfare
and decoys:
Decoys: Sagem Défense Sécurité New Generation Dagaie System, 2× forward & 1× aft.
Armament: Anti-ship: 8× RGM-84C Harpoon SSM
Anti-air: MBDA Aster 15/30[3] launched from 4× Sylver A50 8-cell VLS
Anti-submarine: EuroTorp A244/S Mod 3 torpedoes launched from 2× B515 triple tubes with reloads
Guns: Oto Melara 76mm Super Rapid gun (mounted in stealth cupola), 4× CIS 50MG 12.7 mm (0.50 in) HMG
Aircraft carried: S-70B Seahawk multi-mission capable naval helicopter
Aviation facilities: Flight deck and enclosed hangar for up to two medium-lift helicopters

Kinda makes you wonder what the hell the US Navy is thinking doesn't it?

The USMC Marine Personnel Carrier Contest so far.

Terrex 8x8...the new boy on the block

Patria AMV

Left off the photo list is the Super AV 8x8.

Think about the RFI for this program.

An off the shelf solution to for a wheeled 8x8 Marine Personnel Carrier.

In my basic way of thinking that eliminates the Super AV 8x8.  Also left off this list is the Piranha 3, the real monster in the room General Dynamics.

I just don't find the offering interesting and its a bit dated in its design concept.  It predates the Stryker and I'm not convinced that it will pass blast tests in its configuration as designed for the Brazillian or Spanish Marine Corps.

I personally feel that with the news that the Terrex 8x8 is now in the field that this is a two vehicle race.

The Terrex vs. the Havoc (AMV)

The Havoc is proven world wide, has a substantial following and is supported by the largest defense manufacturer in the US.

Its also been in the hands of Marines who have given it rave reviews.

The Terrex is a son of Singapore.  Its technologically advanced and if the Marine Corps follows the US Army in networking its forces (which would make nothing but sense) then the network capable Terrex would seem to hold an edge.

But all of this pales in comparison to a somewhat troubling fact to a traditionalist like myself.


All these programs are being run out of the same office yet the only one that has any traction is the MPC.  The AAV upgrade is stuck in development quicksand and the Amphibious Combat Vehicle is locked away in a dungeon not to be seen.

Are we seeing a subtle hint that the future of Marine Amphibious ops is going to rest in the wheeled category?  Is the US Marine Corps going to follow a path that the Army left and is about to go majority wheeled?

I hope not.

The battles of the past show the fallacy of conventional landing craft in the Pacific.

Modern warfare shows that wheeled vehicles just lack the cross country mobility of tracked ones.  Heck, even combat in Afghanistan shows that sticking to roads is deadly!

More to come on these issues and the MPC contest.  Confidence is not high that HQMC will get this one right.