Thanks to Gregory for the pics!
CoffeeJoeJava recommended an "open comment" post so that readers could comment on stuff that wasn't covered that day on the blog. The idea is that readers could stay on topic on particular post and use the open comment section for free ranging discussion.
It's been a raging success.
As usual, the conversations go all over the place and due to the fact that we have people commenting from all over the globe, we tend to get peeks at what other nations are up to.
It annoys many but I have a few Russian readers that give us looks at what their govt is working on (I wonder if the CIA and Defense Intel guys are looking at what we're talking about here?). The latest was a "combat capable" icebreaker.
Yeah you read that right.
The Russians are going to build/are building, an icebreaker with a large caliber cannon on the front and vertical launch systems midsection.
But what has me jazzed is the fact that they're also including a hovercraft! Colin caught it and if you look carefully at the above pics you'll see it too. So what is the hovercraft? Google was not kind but I tracked it down. Pic is from Defense Blog (matches perfectly doesn't it?).
Go here to read his take on the vehicle. I find it noteworthy that while we're just getting units tasked with fighting in the Arctic (again...after around 20 years when no one had the mission...to when we've been talking about it for the last 10) the Russians are not only arming icebreakers, building vehicles specifically tailored for arctic combat and even getting high speed hovercraft to take advantage of their all terrain capability, we're still crawling toward the idea.
The Russians are ahead of us when it comes to prepping for a fight in the arctic. No shame there, were had other priorities. How about this though. Instead of reinventing the wheel we simply take their solutions and match the capabilities now, and later work on overmatching them? Its the only way to rapidly close the gap. The 2nd ID is gonna hate it but they're gonna have to take that mission on with gusto. At least a Brigade of Arctic troops will be necessary...not rotating, but permanently assigned to the mission. If the Marine Corps wants to play then I guess I could see a SPMAGTF being formed for that task. Either way its gonna suck. The cold hurts!