Sunday, March 24, 2019

Bet you've never seen this variant of the Leopard MBT...the Leopard 1 VTGS (Versuchsträger Gesamtschutz).

Have you ever seen this variant of the Leopard MBT?  I haven't but it does have the same design cues we're seeing on the KF-41 doesn't it?

Your Sunday Funny...No one man should have this much power!

German Air Force jumping on Passive Radar (anti-stealth) bandwagon...

via Defense News.
The German Air Force has created a formal acquisition track for passive sensing technology, joining a global military equipment trend that could reshuffle the cat-and-mouse game of radar versus stealthy aircraft.

A defense acquisition spokesman told Defense News that the service is working on an “FFF” analysis for passive sensor systems, a technical acronym from deep inside the military-acquisition bureaucracy. Short for “Fähigkeitslücke und Funktionale Forderung,” the process serves to describe a capability gap, derive requirements and eventually tee up an actual investment program.

Information about the acquisition status came in a response by the Defence Ministry to Defense News about an event in November that showed the military’s keen interest in passive radar.

The Luftwaffe and the ministry’s defense-acquisition organization had staged a weeklong “measuring campaign” in southern Germany aimed at visualizing the entire region’s air traffic through TwInvis, a passive radar system made by Hensoldt.

Queries about the results of the demonstration were left unanswered.


Passive radar technology is essentially covert, meaning pilots entering a monitored area may be unaware they are being tracked. That could even be the case for pilots flying stealthy aircraft like the F-35, experts say, though there is no publicly available data pitting passive radar against low-observable aircraft designs and their radiation-absorbing coatings.
Story here.

Anyone here have a basic understanding of this and can break it down to my donkey style?

Thomas Baker, Medal Of Honor Winner...One Bad Ass Soldier!

This dude was as hard as woodpecker lips.  Pure dee Bad Ass...his Wikipedia Page is here.  His Medal Of Honor Citation is below...

Medal of Honor citation

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty at Saipan, The Mariana Islands, 19 June to 7 July 1944. When his entire company was held up by fire from automatic weapons and small-arms fire from strongly fortified enemy positions that commanded the view of the company, Sgt. (then Pvt.) Baker voluntarily took a bazooka and dashed alone to within 100 yards of the enemy. Through heavy rifle and machine gun fire that was directed at him by the enemy, he knocked out the strong point, enabling his company to assault the ridge. Some days later while his company advanced across the open field flanked with obstructions and places of concealment for the enemy, Sgt. Baker again voluntarily took up a position in the rear to protect the company against a surprise attack and came upon two heavily fortified enemy pockets manned by two officers and ten enlisted men which had been bypassed. Without regard for such superior numbers, he unhesitatingly attacked and killed all of them. Five hundred yards farther, he discovered six men of the enemy who had concealed themselves behind our lines and destroyed all of them. On 7 July 1944, the perimeter of which Sgt. Baker was a part was attacked from 3 sides by from 3,000 to 5,000 Japanese. During the early stages of this attack, Sgt. Baker was severely wounded, but he insisted on remaining in the line and fired at the enemy at ranges sometimes as close as 5 yards until his ammunition ran out. Without ammunition and with his weapon battered to uselessness from hand-to-hand combat, he was carried about 50 yards to the rear by a comrade, who was then himself wounded. At this point Sgt. Baker refused to be moved any further stating that he preferred to be left to die rather than risk the lives of any more of his friends. A short time later, at his request, he was placed in a sitting position against a small tree. Another comrade, withdrawing, offered assistance. Sgt. Baker refused, insisting that he be left alone and be given a soldier's pistol with its remaining eight rounds of ammunition. When last seen alive, Sgt. Baker was propped against a tree, pistol in hand, calmly facing the foe. Later Sgt. Baker's body was found in the same position, gun empty, with 8 Japanese lying dead before him. His deeds were in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Army.[2]
We're not worthy of this type of heroism. 

I am humbled.

CH-47 via RAFOdiham Twitter Page...

FNSS HISAR (ACV-30 armed with anti-air missiles) night fire...

Saturday, March 23, 2019

About the Mueller report...

By now you've heard the Robert Mueller has completed his report and sent it to the Attorney General for review.  I've been chewing on this a bit and I'm thinking this...

*  We probably will never see the full report.  The reason isn't to protect the President, its to protect the FBI.  My instinct is that their was obvious wrongdoing in that agency and the Attorney General has been advised of it by the Inspector General's report.  More than a few had obvious bias and tainted the results.  A certain counter intel agent comes to mind as well as a former director AND a justice dept lawyer.

*  I believe that Stone was the last gasp attempt to dig up dirt on possible collusion with Russia.  When he proved to be intractable I think that ended this investigation.  I also believe that they raided his house in the way they did because they were hoping to grab documents that would give them new leads.  Stone is an old Washington operator and would have destroyed any and all records as well as having his computer scrubbed clean when the first indictment was announced.  Do I believe him to be spotless in this?  Hell no, but I also believe him to be at least a little smart.  He's old school Nixon Republican.  He would rather be buried than take the house down.

*  Manafort will get his pardon and the NY Attorney General will be warned off trying to prosecute him on the state level.  The same applies to Trump.

All in all this was an extremely messy affair.

The powers that be will want this whole thing swept under the rug.  The mission was accomplished.  They weakened Trump (with a big dose of help from the guy with all his insane tweeting) and believe they've set themselves up for the 2020 cycle.

That's my thinking.

What's your thoughts?

2nd LAR: Making a by Lance Cpl. Nathaniel Hamilton

Polish Army starts production of the Krab Howitzer...

via Defense 24
HSW has begun deliveries of the first series manufactured Regina DMO squadron level fire module, utilizing the Krab sphs. The above means that the Polish military is receiving equipment that has been acquired within the framework of the most significant Polish defence contract ever signed. The agreement in question was concluded back in 2016.

On Saturday, 16th March, another convoy with a batch of equipment left the HSW S.A. facility. Delivery of the equipment for the first series manufactured Regina module has begun. Agreement concerning this delivery was signed on 14th December 2016 and has a gross value of PLN 4.649 billion. The provisions of the agreement assume that, by 2024, four DMO squadron level fire modules would be delivered. Each of the elements listed above comprises of 24 155 mm Krab sphs and 19 auxiliary vehicles.

Conclusion of the aforesaid contract is a result of successful completion of preliminary introduction of this system into the inventory of the Polish military. Ultimately, the Regina modules are to replace the obsolete 122 mm 2S1 Gvozdika howitzers. Gvozdika platform was also being manufactured at HSW. Between 1984 and 1993 the facility delivered almost 550 systems as such to the Polish military. Gvozdika, despite the implemented upgrades, is not compliant with the NATO standards, within the scope of its calibre, combat effectiveness and, primarily, within the scope of its range - 15 km. For the sake of comparison, one should note that Krab sph, utilizing the standard 155 mm NATO rounds (JoBMoU-compliant ammunition / Joint Ballistic Memorandum of Understanding), has a range of more than 40 kilometres.

Ever since the AS90 turret license agreement has been signed in 1999 (52-calibre length barrel) the Krab programme suffered from numerous technical and financial obstacles. Ultimately it was launched in 2014, following a decision, made jointly by the Polish Ministry of Defence, PGZ Group and HSW, to introduce license manufacturing of a new, prospective Korean base platform. It was in December 2014 when a contract was signed to procure a batch of readymade polonized derivative of the Korean K9 Thunder platforms. Alongside those platforms, rights to license manufacture the vehicle to meet the demand created by the Polish military have been acquired. Furthermore, the HSW facility is also entitled to manufacture the chassis and derived products for export purposes.

Joint effort undertaken by a Polish-Korean engineering team made it possible to develop a polonized variant of the K9 platform, over the course of a few months. The main differences between the Polish version and its prerequisite include a number of modern solutions that are missing in case of the latter, namely an APU, fire extinguishing and explosion protection systems, or a Polish ventilation/air filtering system. Back in August 2015 Krab howitzer based on a new platform was rolled out at HSW and then premiered during the MSPO defence industry exhibition in Kielce.

After the handing off test procedures came to an end, Krab underwent its type certification procedure. Following the completion of the process above (April 2016) it was confirmed that the system is fully compliant with the requirements set by the Polish Ministry of Defence. Following the formalities related to settlement of the test programme it became possible to negotiate a manufacturing contract. First, HSW and Polish Ministry of Defence arranged the delivery programme with regards to all of the components expected to form the first introductory Regina DMO.

The first batch of 9 howitzers belonging to the introductory DMO element was handed off in mid-November 2016. Further examples were being delivered, in an ongoing manner, as they passed the handing-off test procedures. Officially the delivery of the “introductory” DMO Regina element was completed in July 2017.

It's gone largely unnoticed but the S. Koreans have taken the world by storm with their K-9 Howitzer. 

Only now are we seeing the US Army and Marine Corps move on increasing its fire support/artillery fires.

We need to keep pace but if a small country like Poland is fielding superior systems to our own then we need to take a beat to orient ourselves and then correct the deficiency.

In other words if Poland can do it then we surely can!

Marines to continue upgrading the M1A1 Abrams

via Marine Corps Times.
While the Corps buys modification kits for its Abrams tanks, the Army has had a new version for two years and eyes another upgrade by 2025.

The Marine Corps will continue to upgrade its Abrams tanks and is pushing ahead on a bridging system to replace the legacy M60 tank, a Vietnam-era tank used to unfold bridges that can support the Abrams as it crosses gaps in the battlefield.

Recently released budget request documents show that the Corps is asking for about the same amount of money to continue the Abrams upgrades in 2020 but will double then nearly triple that amount to keep upgrading the Abrams through 2024.

The M1A1 Abrams upgrade program includes modifications kits and money for support vehicles and devices. Those include the Assault Bridging Modernization Program that replaces the M60 and launching system of the Armored Vehicle Launching Bridge, used extensively in the 2003 Iraq invasion.

The kit also improves the Improved Recovery Vehicle, or the M88A2 Hercules, that can haul tanks off the battlefield for maintenance or recover them from ditches, canals or other hazards it might encounter.

Don't know if I can get real worked up about the Marine Corps decision on the upgrade path of the M1A1.

The Marines aren't in the massed tank fighting business and if we face that kind of opposition then we'll do like we did in Desert Storm, borrow a tank brigade and flex them into our force.

In other words it's about roles and missions and the Army has this covered.

What I am interested in and HQMC is moving on is to make the tank we have more lethal and better protected.  We're getting the Trophy APS for this system, and other upgrades so again we're covered.

What has me a bit twisted is the move that the US Army is making with regard to a Light Tank and/or the possibility of making the ACV a mobile gun system.

My thinking?

I'd like to see something that land with the assault echelon but with enough to give dispersed units the kind of firepower they need.

We've been stuck floating a Tank Platoon for a variety of reason, one of which is the weight of the vehicle and it's cube aboard ship.  An ACV mobile gun or a few of the US Army's light tanks could allow us to carry a bit more firepower while our ships are deployed....and remember those MEU's will be the first ashore when the balloon goes up.

The question becomes does a hard hitting vehicle with a glass jaw make sense on the modern battlefield for rapid deployment forces?

I think it does.

Tanks would remain (at least in my planning) but we'll also have Amphibious Assault Battalions with a platoon of ACV-MGS to handle duties on float.

Why go for the heavier solution...the ACV-MGS instead of the Light Tank? Because if you're on the assault you don't need to get stopped by water obstacles.

At the end of the day it doesn't matter.  HQMC knows the plan.  They know the budget.  They know what is and isn't possible.  This is one time I'll kick back, shut the fuck up and chill the fuck out.