Saturday, July 20, 2019

Vid of Iranians seizing the tanker...the solution is simple...reactivate private contractors to repel boarders...

The US and our British allies are up in arms over the seizure of a tanker by Iranian Naval Special Ops.

I get it.  I understand it.  But I caution against open warfare.  We are currently in the midst of a regional war that stretches throughout the entire Middle East into North Africa and threatening to spill over into Central Africa (although they're dealing with an outbreak of Ebola that gets little coverage even though the WHO declared it an emergency).

So how do we solve this issue without diverting precious naval assets to a watery killbox off the coast of Iran?

We reactivate private contractors.  No.  Let me be precise.  We contract with security corporations that have done this work in the past, require their forces to be properly equipped and have them repel boarders.  A couple of firefights with former/retired Marines, Navy Seal, British SBS etc...will have Iran changing tactics with a quickness.

Additionally the use of drones that we're about to scrap for surveillance over the region seems like a no brainer.

One thing is obvious.  We're seeing calculated escalation on the part of the Iranians.

As onerous as their actions are they're being somewhat measured (I know...they're behaving badly but in their minds, I believe they think they're acting in a rational manner).

The good news?  Their actions indicate that they're feeling a measure of pain. The bad?  We shouldn't stumble headlong into another military action without trying every other option and solution first....even if certain forces in our country are screaming for another regime change.

Talisman Saber 2019: Langham Bay Beach Landing B-Roll...Video by Sgt. Scott Vargas

Airbus’ “Bird of Prey”

Open Comment Post. 20 July 2019

Need for new F-15s reflects F-35 catastrophe

via Fox Business News.
The biggest acquisition  in the Pentagon’s history shows no sign of abating.

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), the poster child for ineptitude and inefficiency in defense procurement, has been in development for nearly 18 years and is eight years behind schedule. The total acquisition costs of the fifth-generation aircraft now exceed $428 billion, nearly double the initial estimate of $233 billion. The lifetime operation and maintenance costs of the most expensive weapon system in history will total approximately $1.2 trillion.

In a March Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Joseph Dunford said the DOD requested funding for the F-15EX, which is an updated version of the F-15C/D being sold to countries such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia. He said, it is “slightly less expensive for procurement than the F-35, but it’s more than 50 percent cheaper to operate over time and it has twice as many hours in terms of how long it lasts.” Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson also cited the high operating costs of the F-35 as a factor in purchasing the F-15EX.

However, some members of Congress have objected to this proposal. Last month, the House Armed Services Committee authorized the purchase of two F-15EX aircraft, but withheld funding for the remaining six until the DOD provides more details on the program. But, the FY 2020 DOD appropriations bill passed by the House of Representatives ignored that recommendation and provided funding for all eight F-15EX.

Stopgap funding for additional past-generation aircraft may increasingly become the norm due to the JSF’s continued delays and unreliability. The F-35 faces a litany of ongoing problems, including 13 category one issues, defined as major flaws that hamper mission effectiveness and impact safety. These defects include extreme sinus and ear pain experienced by pilots due to rapid changes in cabin pressure, damage to the stealth coating of the plane at high speeds, and lighting issues with the pilot’s helmet that complicate carrier landings.

As of February 2018, only 51 percent of the JSFs purchased by DOD were operational.

The JSF program has arrived at a crucial stage in the development process as the DOD will decide in October whether to begin full-scale production. Failing to address defects prior to entering this stage will dramatically raise the overall cost of the program, as any aircraft acquired in the interim will need to be retrofitted down the line.

Unless the DOD comes to grips with the principal causes of the JSF acquisition disaster, it seems likely these blunders will occur again when it comes time to buy the next generation of aircraft. While it is too late to reverse the errors that led to the current situation, it is not too late to fix the F-35’s problems.
Story here. 

Friday, July 19, 2019

French Army Griffon VBMR 6x6 multi-role armored vehicles arrive in Belgium for July 21 parade...

Production of T129 ATAK helicopters has stopped...

Thanks to S300V4 for the link!

Turkey's defense industry is gonna take a huge hit because of their decision to pursue the S-400.  But it does bring up another issue.  What happens when you use a weapon to such a degree that people develop countermeasures?

What do I mean?  The tank.  Dominate for awhile then anti-tank missiles were developed.  The battleship.  Once dominate but then overtaken by aircraft carriers.

Sanctions.  They're obviously crippling now, but will there come a time when we see an international black market ran by nation states to subvert them?

I can't help but think we're using this "tool" so often that countermeasures will/are being developed.

Open Comment Post. 19 July 2019

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Royal Air Force CH-47 aerial pics...

via David Van Bouwel's Twitter Page...

UK Royal Air Force seeks a Mach 4 Airplane to combat Russia's Avangard Hypersonic Glide Vehicle...

via Sputnik (story here).
The UK’s Royal Air Force (RAF) has announced plans to create a hypersonic plane which will be capable of flying at more than 3,000 miles (almost 5,000 kilometres) per hour.

Speaking at the Air and Space Power conference on Wednesday, Air Chief Marshal Stephen Hillier, the head of the RAF, unveiled the two-year project, which stipulates that the Ministry of Defence will inject $12 billion into the development of new hypersonic engines over the next two years.

He underscored that the sophisticated engines, which he said will allow the new plane to tackle enemy air defences at a speed of more than Mach 4, or four times the speed of sound, would be “exploring the boundaries of technology”.

The statement comes as Russia, China and the US continue to develop their hypersonic weapons. The first hypersonic missile was unveiled by Russian President Vladimir Putin during his address to the country’s Federal Assembly in 2018, when he showcased several types of cutting-edge Russian weaponry.

The Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle is capable of flying at a speed of 20 Mach and higher, remaining unsusceptible to being targeted by existing enemy air defence systems. Avangard is expected to enter service before the end of 2019.
Below is a pic of the Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle...

Objekt 4202 / Yu-71 / Yu-74

Air Accident in Nepal...

Uninformed speculation about the drone shootdown...the real story is that USMC Low Altitude Air Defense Battalions are back!

The armchair generals have started weighing in and talk is raging about the Marines aboard the USS Boxer shooting down an Iranian drone.  There is ONE journalist that's plucking nerves with so called statements of fact when the effective range of the system (to my knowledge) has never been disclosed. Check out the Tweet below.

For her to state unequivocally that the range of the weapon system MUST BE 1,000 yards is frustrating in the extreme.

We just don't know the factors involved.  How many times did they broadcast warnings?  What was the established "kill zone" for aircraft (manned and/or unmanned) and vessels (manned/unmanned) in the region?

The list of variables goes on.

What should get everyone's attention is that US Marine Corps Low Altitude Air Defense Battalions are back!