Sunday, June 24, 2018

Massive Chinese DF-10A Cruise Missile Exercise...BANDWITH KILLER!

Thanks to Delta Sierra for the pics!

This causes no concern.

Assemble this many DF-10's in one location to conduct a strike and I'd be beyond surprised if they survived long enough to place the vehicles in launch position.

If this is how the Chinese are gonna fight then we should all be grateful and relieved.

Emerging Armored Fighting Vehicle Paradigm...via UK Landpower --- We're seeing a blending of traditional lines....

As part of his write up on whether the Challenger 2 upgrade is worth it, UK Landpower posted the above pic.

Drink it in and then consider what we're seeing today.

I dare say that we're seeing a blending of the traditional lines.  Even without the push to larger caliber guns on IFV/ICV could most not be classified as Tank Destroyers?

When talking about armored fighting vehicles are we talking about "intended" function or "apparent" capability?

Let's use the KF-41 as an example.

It has a 30mm cannon and spike anti-tank missiles.  Evolution has occured, munition tech has advanced and today a KF-41 could challenge many Main Battle Tanks up to and including those from the early 70's.  Even today it stands a good chance against the most modern rides if it has flanking shots on the enemy with its main gun and even frontally if it uses missiles.

I can make a credible case that the KF-41 (and others like it) is a hybrid vehicle.

A troop carrier that has definite tank destroyer characteristics?  To take it a step further I would contend that combining the role of troop carrier with this amount of firepower actually degrades their utility.

Why have anti-tank missiles if you're not to engage tanks?  Is this purely defensive?  If so then why do we have anti-tank missile teams in infantry squads that are transported by these rigs?

UK Landpower got the emerging paradigm right.  The problem is that conventional thinking is probably wrong. We're asking our vehicle crews to transport infantry...basically serve as motherships to them, engage enemy fortifications/infantry, engage enemy vehicles up to and including tanks, while at the same time hoping that they survive these type encounters because if they don't then we have the problem of 12 Marines that need a ride because they can't be left behind while the rest of the battalion pushes ahead.

Consider this.

A modern peer vs peer fight could leave lets be generous and say 1/4 of your vehicles disabled/destroyed.  Lets start with 20 vehicles and do the simple math.  For the Marines that means that after a fight against a technological equivalent or near equivalent foe we would have 60 Marines out of fight not because of injuries (assuming everyone was ok) but because they no longer have transport.

This is contrarian thinking and it might be wrong but maybe we should be decoupling roles...maybe going with larger caliber weapons/anti-tank missiles IS NOT the right answer.  Should we standardize on 50 caliber machine guns and 40mm grenade launchers so that we don't have our crews engaging in fights that could actually degrade the combat performance of the Ground Combat Team?

Note..I know everyone is going to point to the "holy grail" of modern armor warfare, the battle of 73 Easting.  I just don't know if that isn't simply a one off or the future.  If its the future then the current "hotness" is the right way to go.  If it's an anomaly then I'm right.

Open Comment Post. 24 June 2018.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

The Challenger 2 Life Extension Programme – is it worth it? via UK LANDPOWER...

Note.  UK Landpower is one those "European Blogs" that serve as my go to's when it comes to how they actually view things on that continent.  Unfortunately it seems that the number of blogs over there is way down and military blogs are practically non-existent.  Having said that UK Landpower touches all the right spots...especially when it comes to armor.  One other awesome thing UK Landpower does (much like Think Defense did when it was running) is that while longform its broken down into sections.  The portion below covers alternatives.  Read the whole thing, it puts the Challenger 2 Life Extension program into perspective and lists all the considerations that must be taken into account.

via UK Landpower.
The US Army has approximately 4,000 M1A1 Abrams sitting in a Californian desert. It should be possible to acquire 230 of these for around $1.5-$2.0 million each and upgrade them to the latest build standard. Adding a new fire control system is likely to cost $1 million per tank, so we could acquire a substitute MBT at a cost of $2.5-$3.0 million each (or £460-£500 million in total).

Buying the US Army’s M1 Abrams tank would have two disadvantages. One is the cost and complexity of bringing a major new vehicle platform into UK service with all of the related DLOD requirements; the other is that it has a gas turbine engine. Although the engine is very thirsty, it can use a variety of fuels. US Army M1A2 SEP V3s are now fitted with an auxiliary power unit which reduces fuel consumption when the tank is stationary. As an alternative, General Dynamics has already looked at integrating the MTU EuroPowerPack fitted to Leopard 2, so this could be an option, but would increase unit price. Again, the choice boils down down to cost. One important benefit of acquiring the Abrams is that it would give us improved interoperability with the US Army. Above all, Abrams is an excellent tank that has performed extremely well during recent deployments. Its basic design has stood the test of time better than Challenger 2 and it may well be the least expensive means of acquiring an MBT with a 120mm smoothbore. It is something we need to look at again. 
Story here. 

That's just a small portion of the story and I repeat you have to read it all.

My solution?

Just get up with Nexter, add the LeClerc turret to the thing or maybe do the same with Rheinmetall and add the Leopard 2 turret or even General Dynamics and do the same with the Abrams.

The hull isn't the weakness here.

It's the gun.

Modding the turret to handle the NATO standard gun appears to be too difficult and expensive to make sense. 

Reconfigurable Wheels & MultiMode Extreme Travel Suspension...Yes, I'll take two, one for the ACV and one for my truck!

Reconfigurable Wheels?

MultiMode Extreme Travel Suspension?

DARPA needs to stop playing!  Grab an extra ACV destined for destruction, load it up with these 2 features and only these 2 features and lets see how it works!

If its as awesome as it looks then modify the contract and add this hotness to the rig! 

Really getting tired of DARPA doing work and then it never sees the light of day in OUR MILITARY (God knows the Chinese are trying to pick them clean)...time for that to change...rapid prototyping is a must, and if this works it needs to get to the field ASAP!

Armor Porn. FNSS Pars III 8x8 (Eurosatory 2018)

Armor Porn. Indonesian Medium Tank (Kaplan 105)

Thanks to Dwi for the link!

AAV's on the beach...Pics by Staff Sgt. Andrew Ochoa

Science Porn. Super Massive "Red Nugget" Galaxies...

A new study using data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory indicates that black holes have squelched star formation in small, yet massive galaxies known as “red nuggets”. The results suggest some red nugget galaxies may have used some of the untapped stellar fuel to grow their central supermassive black holes to unusually massive proportions.
Red nuggets are relics of the first massive galaxies that formed within only one billion years after the Big Bang. While most red nuggets merged with other galaxies over billions of years, a small number remained solitary. These relatively pristine red nuggets allow astronomers to study how the galaxies – and the supermassive black hole at their centers – act over billions of years of isolation.
In the latest research, astronomers used Chandra to study the hot gas in two of these isolated red nuggets, MRK 1216, and PGC 032673. (The Chandra data, colored red, of MRK 1216 is shown in the inset.) These two galaxies are located only 295 million and 344 million light years from Earth respectively, rather than billions of light years for the first known red nuggets, allowing for a more detailed look. The gas in the galaxy is heated to such high temperatures that it emits brightly in X-ray light, which Chandra detects. This hot gas contains the imprint of activity generated by the supermassive black holes in each of the two galaxies.
An artist’s illustration (main panel) shows how material falling towards black holes can be redirected outward at high speeds due to intense gravitational and magnetic fields. These high-speed jets can tamp down the formation of stars. This happens because the blasts from the vicinity of the black hole provide a powerful source of heat, preventing the galaxy’s hot interstellar gas from cooling enough to allow large numbers of stars to form.

Open Comment Post. 23 June 2018