Tuesday, October 10, 2017

V280 @AUSA


All they did was make the black hawk into a tilt engine.  This is about as safe as you can go when it comes to radically upgrading an airplane.  No, I don't know the avionics I'm just taking a birds eye view of the thing.

General Dynamics Stryker MSL @ AUSA

Yeah they're back!

Army seeks to expand AMPV production...

via IHS Janes.
AMPV-builder BAE Systems is scheduled to deliver 29 AMPVs by year’s end, and has delivered 17 so far (6 at Aberdeen Proving Grounds and 6 at Yuma Proving Grounds for testing), Jim Miller, BAE Systems’ director of business development for US combat vehicles, told reporters.

BAE Systems’ manufacturing facility in York, Pennsylvania, can annually produce about a brigade set of equipment (about 131 vehicles at current force structure levels) when operating at maximum capacity, Miller said.

The army has asked BAE Systems how many AMPVs could be built if the facilities were expanded.
Story here. 

Interesting.  Is it just me or does it appear that the Army is really beginning to act as if they're getting ready for something big.  APS for Abrams.  Anti-Air systems taking center stage.  JLTV being pushed along and armed with all manner of weapons.  Dragoon variant for Stryker and now the speeding up of the AMPV production is being investigated?

There is no money for all this right now so why the planning?  Its as if they're planning on either a massive influx of cash or they know that everything on the wish list will be green lighted.

Bullets won't beat butter in the current political landscape so that view must be about to change.

Army procurement plans alone tell me that war has to be coming...or at the very least an event that scares the living shit out of the American people.

Simple question. Why should the Army focus on Africa. The general's answer was babbling nonsense.

via Defense News.
Q. Why should the Army focus on Africa? 

A. Africa is an enduring interest to the United States, so it matters for a number of reasons — and it is not just us, but Europe as well. When you look at the instability that we see, that ... can impact the United States, our partners, Partner African Nations and, of course, allies as well.

The security instability in Africa, combined with the youth bulge that is occurring on the continent itself, the lack of economic activities, lend themselves to tripling the number of African immigrants that we have seen crossing Mediterranean Europe in the last five years.

So it is in our best interest to look at Africa, at not only these challenges but the opportunities that lie ahead for us. And that if we do not invest in Africa, if we do not help our African partner nations in building stability and building economies and strengthening democratic institutions, then it is going to be a much more difficult challenge in the future.
The interview was with the US Army Africa Commander.  Read the whole thing here. 

My point?

What he listed as a reason why we should be involved in Africa was NOT a military issue.

It was economic.

So if we're to believe this Army General then there is no REAL military solution to the "Africa" problem.  If we're to believe this guy then its a problem better left to the state dept and USAID...maybe the commerce dept.  But NOT the Pentagon.

If this guy is right then the Chinese are doing it right and we're doing it wrong.

I keep saying it and no one believes me.  Everyone is falling into the tired meme of "providing security and stability".  We aren't.  We're looking at a confluence of events that will lead to either resolution or a tipping point.

But they can't be solved at the barrel of a gun. 

Iron Curtain APS for Styker?

Thanks to Jonathan for the link!

via Defense News.
The only U.S.-based Active Protection System solution for Army combat vehicles is in the midst of government testing, according to the company’s president.

Herndon, Virginia-based Artis LLC’s Iron Curtain was selected by the Army to be qualified as an interim solution for the service’s Stryker combat vehicle roughly a year ago, Keith Brendley told Defense News in an Oct. 3 interview.

The Army determined it needed APS solutions to fill an immediate need while it develops its Modular Active Protection System (MAPS). The service quickly selected three vendors to supply commercially available APS systems to qualify them on its fleet of combat vehicles.

Israel’s Rafael was picked to supply its Trophy APS system, already deployed with the Israeli military, for the Abrams tank and another Israeli company IMI is supplying its Iron Fist for the Bradley fighting vehicle.

The Army recently made a decision to field the Trophy system on a brigade’s worth of Abrams that will be deployed to Europe.

Qualifying APS systems on the other two vehicles are behind the Abrams because of funding availability.

While the Bradley solution is farthest behind because the vehicle is the most challenging when it comes to adding systems onto the platform, Stryker with Iron Curtain has moved into the governmental characterization phase.

The Bradley team is still in the process of tuning the system on the vehicle and is moving through contractor testing.

Iron Curtain’s contractor testing “went very well and the evidence of that is we are proceeding on to government testing,” Brendley said, adding the testing has been ongoing for a month.

Brendley said, so far, the government testing has gone “very well” and a decision on a way forward by the Army Requirements Oversight Council (AROC) will likely happen early next year.

There is one Iron Curtain-clad Stryker at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, and one at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama.

Artis was founded by Brendley in 1999 along with two other scientists as well as a few additional people. Artis was initially an acronym that stood for Advanced Real Time Information Systems.
Ok.  Someone educate me.  Why does it make sense to have multiple APS systems?  The trophy won't work on a Stryker or JLTV?

I'm beyond mystified.

My hope was that the Army would settle on a system.  Get it in the inventory and then everyone else that operates a ground vehicle (especially the Marine Corps) would piggyback off their efforts and we would have one standard that would be upgraded to evolve with the threat.

I see this system and while I thought the Trophy was a big beast this thing makes it look tiny. 

If its more effective then I say ok and let's roll with it.  But if its just a desire to throw a manufacturer a bone then can this fucker and just buy Trophy and get this done!

So I ask again.  What does this do that the Trophy doesn't?

Open Comment Post. Oct 10, 2017

Stingers on Strykers....this is the year of Anti-Air!

Raytheon showed a Stryker mounting Stinger anti-air missiles.

That's not the real story though.  The real story is this is the year of the anti-air vehicle mounted system!  For better or worse the US Army is taking the air threat seriously, they would appear to believe that the US will not keep the skies clear of enemy fighters/attack aircraft and they do believe that vehicle mounted systems are the way ahead.

Follow the money.

The manufacturers are producing these variants for a reason.  While we've heard very little from the Army with regard to what they see on the future battlefield with regard to enemy aircraft (except for a few terse remarks from the Army Chief of Staff) its obvious that they see a threat.

This bears watching.

Below are a few JLTVs with "enhanced" weapon stations.

Monday, October 09, 2017

American Combat UAVs are infected with a computer virus....

via Real Clear Defense.
The military's Host Based Security System detected the virus two weeks ago, according to the news outlet, which added that it so far has not appeared to affect overseas missions by either interfering with pilots' navigation or leaking classified information.

Network security specialists, however, tell Wired that the virus keeps returning to computers at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada despite repeated attempts to remove it.
Story here. 

Two NFL Teams Are Reportedly Planning On Implementing Rule That Would Ban Players From Sitting Out Anthem

via BroBible
It seems that owners are listening to President Trump’s advice and are thinking about forcing players to stand during during the national anthem. According to Shaun King and former NFL player Donte Stallworth, at least two teams are implementing a rule that will require players to stand during the national anthem.
Story here. 

You bastards that said that the NFL didn't allow people to take a knee were wrong as usual.  I stand in awe.  You're worried about 2nd amendment rights but feel ok to trample these guys first amendment?  Even more stunning?  They were NOT disrupting the singing/playing of the national anthem.  They were simply taking a knee.

When they come after your rights and you wonder why you stand alone this is exhibit number one.  When you encourage, participate and endorse the taking of rights for one group, you do the same to yourself.  It'll happen eventually.  It always does.

A British Army armoured infantry brigade faces disbandment...they're on the verge of being irrelevant...

via Times.co.uk
One of the British Army’s armoured infantry brigades is set to be disbanded and hundreds of its fighting vehicles scrapped as part of a cost-cutting defence review, Whitehall sources claimed last night.

Army chiefs had been planning to spend £1.3bn refurbishing up to 380 Warrior armoured vehicles.

The Warrior, which can hold six infantry troops and has a 30mm gun, was expected to form the backbone of the two armoured infantry brigades that were planned as part of a reorganization of the army. Under the plan the three existing armoured brigades would be reshaped into two, plus two strike brigades.

Defence sources have revealed, however, that the Ministry of Defence could axe or dramatically scale back the project to upgrade the Warriors, leaving just one armoured brigade and the strike brigades.

The Warrior upgrade is being run by the US defence giant Lockheed Martin but has been hit by cost overruns and technical problems, making it vulnerable to cuts, according to army insiders.

“The Warrior manufacturing phase has not been signed off so we would not face penalties from the contractors if it was cancelled,” one officer said.

General Sir Nick Carter, the head of the army, is said to be considering sacrificing one of the planned armoured brigades in an effort to balance the books. Army planners have to find more than £400m in cuts annually over the next three years.

Britain’s military and counter-terrorism capability is being reviewed amid claims that plans to buy warships, jet fighters and submarines will be underfunded by more than £20bn over 10 years.
Last week it emerged the navy could see its two amphibious assault ships, HMS Bulwark and HMS Albion, taken out of service, stripping the Royal Marines of the ability to attack beaches.

Nicholas Drummond, a former army officer, warned that axeing a brigade would be a “disaster”.

The MoD said: “No decisions have yet been made and at this stage any discussion of the options is pure speculation.”
Well the inevitable is happening.  You know what I blame for destroying the Brit military budget but I'll beat up on the F-35 later.

What is stunning is that a once powerful force is well on its way to be a laughing stock.  The Brits once prided themselves of "punching above their weight".  Those days are over.    The Brits are on the verge of being militarily irrelevant.