Sunday, August 19, 2018

Uh Oh! Even Conservative News Orgs are turning against big Pentagon budgets!

via National Interest.
August 13, President Trump traveled to Fort Drum, a U.S. military base in upstate New York to sign the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This legislation authorizes $717 billion in defense spending, an increase of more than $20 billion from the 2018 NDAA passed in December of last year. In fiscal year 2017 , defense spending totaled just north of $600 billion, a nearly 20 percent increase in funding in the past few years.

Despite the massive increase in funding it is receiving, the Pentagon has simply ignored various policy proposals that would make the agency more efficient and save taxpayers billions. For instance, over $2 billion could be saved by implementing roughly thirty reforms proposed by the Department of Defense inspector general (DoD OIG), outlined in a March 2018 report.

In total, there are over fifteen hundred open cost-saving recommendations that haven’t been addressed by the Department of Defense (DoD), which would save billions if implemented. In 2017, the DoD successfully implemented just under one-third of the 1,298 recommendations, but every year the recommendations continue to pile up. Furthermore, there are more than fifty of these recommendations that have not been addressed in over five years.

While the Pentagon gets increased funding every year, it merely ignores requests to make changes that would improve its efficiency and fiscal stability. Defense hawks push these massive increases in spending year over year, but it’s hard to defend them when thousands of cost-saving measures are available and waiting for DoD implementation.
Story here. 

I've been yelling about this but it seems to be gaining traction at the VERY WORST TIME for the Pentagon.

With the deficit that is gonna top a trillion dollars and with sequestration about to hit...along with Trump's desire to get us out of everlasting wars in weird, God forsaken locales around the world its gonna be tough as hell to push for bigger defense budgets.


Because the Defense Hawks are gonna be caught between Fiscal Conservatives and Democrats that value social spending over defense.

We really should be getting more for our defense dollar.  Reform is necessary. It will hurt but it must be done.

Open Comment Post. August 19, 2018

Nicolas Drummond clarifies the discussion he started on MBTs & Mobile Gun Systems/Light Tanks...

Well Nicolas certainly stirred stuff up with what I thought was a very necessary discussion on the role of MGS/Light tanks etc..on future battlefields.

Whether many want to admit it or not, ISR (sensors) are going to be the cat's meow.  Oh and I'm talking beyond line of sight too.  I don't like it but UAVs that operate on behalf of the ground force, maybe on behalf of individual vehicles is just the way its going to be.

You can't stop the future.

Another sad reality?

We're to the point where lethality has (at least according to open source info) outstripped armor.  The iron triangle is out of whack because we're almost to the point where anything on the battlefield can KILL the most heavily armored vehicles ANYONE has.

Which brings us back to the idea that if you can see first, maneuver properly, engage first and KILL, that you'll win every fight.

It's nothing stunning but for some reason traditionalist are fighting the idea of properly equipping our vehicles and ignoring the fact that MOBILITY is a type of armor that could be exploited by MGS/Light tanks and yield the same effects as their more heavily armored brothers.

But back on task.

I read the comments and I can understand a bit more why some become bitter, other decide to leave the field and many more simply stick their fingers in the wind and go with the flow.

Any move against conventional wisdom will get you smacked.  Unfortunately and to my shame, Nicolas got smacked on these pages simply because he raised points that no one wanted to acknowledge.

I mean seriously!  How radical was the thinking!  Why did we make cavalry?  So we could see first!  Recon in the Marine Corps?  So we could see first!  LRRPs in Vietnam?  So we could see first!  Why did we have pilots with big watches, fast airplanes go out alone to do recon!

Nothing strange was proposed...people were just tripping!

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Russian T-50. What is really going on with that plane?

Thanks to S300V4 for the pic!

I know most here have kept up with the news.  I'm certain of it because I got enough messages in the inbox about it.

But what's really happening with the T-50?

What do we know?  We know that we've had conflicting reports from various officials.  We know that the Indians have pulled out of the program citing costs.  We know that other Russians officials have stated that the SU-30 class of warplanes are "good enough" against the F-35...additionally we've seen reports from around the world that stealth is diminishing in importance because radar tech is outpacing SHAPING that is the backbone of the current tech and radars are starting to use bands that the F-35 isn't optimized to defeat.

But are the Russians gonna skip 5th gen and go straight to 6th gen?

I'm beginning to think that is the world wide consensus.

The Brits are making noise about working on a 6th gen jet.  I've been trying to keep up with the J-20 but to be honest have been SHOCKED that they haven't been pumping out those planes like candy.  Have they made the same determination?

So what gives?

Does the T-50 live or is it dead?

Hover Glide Backpack. The USMC should buy 50 and see if they work!

It's an advertisement.  I know that.  But the possibilities are too big to ignore. If this works then it could be a combat multiplier.  Anything to make rucking easier SHOULD NOT be ignored.

The USMC should buy 50.

Not for durability tests but to see if the concept works.  If it does then buy the patent or a license or whatever and you ruggedize the hell out of it and give it to the grunts!

Finally a bit of common sense from military brass on China???

Simply freaking amazing!

A fine officer was unceremoniously fired not long ago for stating plain facts on China and now its turning common?

Are we finally seeing common sense from the military brass on China?

It's late but I'll take it.  

Open Comment Post. August 18, 2018

Messerschmitt Me 262 HG III Prototype Fighter...

The Nazis were some fanatical, evil bastards that deserve their spot in hell. But they sure came up with some awesome looking designs.  Additionally I think you can simply eyeball some of their tech and it looks like they were pretty far ahead of the allies.

The emphasis on destroying them first (and waiting to deal with the Japanese) was wise beyond words.

If they had just a couple more years...If Hitler had played on the "fake peace" with Russia for a bit longer instead of rushing to invade...If the Battle Of Britain turned out to be a victory for the Nazis...If they had two or three more years of war then we could have been faced with the distinct possibility of WW2 turning into the world's first nuclear war.

Additionally considering the airplane and armored vehicle designs they were coming up with, we might have been facing a stalemate on the European continent AND major US/Russian cities nuked.

But back on task.

Do you see that airplane above?  Its the follow on to the Me 262 and to my layman's eye it has rudimentary stealth features.  It was gonna be fast too.  Mach .96!  Probably would have broken the speed of sound in a dive (ie. diving on bomber formations to destroy bombers and break up the formations, disrupt the fighter escort). 

Alternate history has gone goofy.  Nazis on the moon or Antarctic.  I would love to read a book from a historian that outlines a credible "what if" on the biggest war in human history.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Kurconur...aviation photographer you should follow!

Kurconur is an aviation photographer out of Istanbul and he has some amazing pics.  If you're not following him you're wrong.  He has a huge dose of Turk aviation but despite the issues between the US and Turkey, he should be on your daily list of must see!  Check out his instagram page here.

Is the Russian 57mm the heir to the WWII German 88?

Thanks to Mr T for the pics!

Simple military history.

What was the most effective German anti-aircraft gun of WWII?  What was the most effective German anti-tank gun of WWII?  What was the most effective main gun of German Tanks in WWII?

Opinions of course vary but if you said the 88 you'd be in good company.

Now check out these pics (and the pics of the BMP-T 15 that I posted earlier).

The Russians seem to be making moves to mount the 57mm cannon on everything in their arsenal (or at least have it fitted).

This is the evolution in ground combat that I've been waiting for.  Whether these are plentiful or not doesn't matter.

A new standard for IFV firepower is being established.

Much like the 88, this new 57mm cannon looks well placed to fulfilling an anti-air and anti-vehicle role.

Plus its an extremely tidy package too.  I LIKE IT!