Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Fresh evidence of the F-35 death spiral...the Brits want us to fly off their carrier!

via the BBC
For the past year defence analysts had been expecting the MoD to order 14 of the new jets.
In February, Newsnight was told that it would be placed "within days". But persistent doubts about the F35's enormously complex software, and an engine fire this summer caused successive delays to the decision.
When the British purchase was announced, last month, it was for just four of the planes. The MoD says that this order will allow trials to start from the Queen Elizabeth on time with "UK F35Bs, flown by UK pilots".
But the slowdown in the expected purchasing rate is bound to delay the aircraft's entry into squadron service, say defence insiders.
Former chief of the defence staff General Lord Richards told Newsnight that asking US jets to fly from the Queen Elizabeth would be a sensible way of bridging the gap between the carrier being completed, and a British squadron of jets being available.
Two things jump out at me.

The first is that we keep hearing announcements of purchases of jets that never materialize.

The second is that the Brits are actually considering asking USMC F-35B squadrons to operate off their carrier!

I personally find the idea ludicrous.  The USMC is going to have to learn how operating the F-35 off our own LHDs will actually work and then there is the pesky situation of sequester affecting the numbers being bought and the optics of having enough to fly off another country's carrier.  All that's ignoring the manning requirements, the deployment schedule etc...

But back to the phantom aircraft purchases.  The Brits are one of the biggest supporters of this airplane and they haven't pulled the trigger on this 14 plane purchase.


Perhaps its because the "real" price isn't decreasing as much as is being portrayed in public!  We're being sold a bill of goods on this plane and the program office has reached the point of it not being taken seriously.  Every statement, announcement etc...can be considered spin if you're being generous and an outright lie if you choose to be factual.

The death spiral is here and now.  Lockheed Martin, the Program Office and the Pentagon missed the window to sell thousands of these planes.  Budgets world wide simply can't afford the strain of this airplane now.

Ferguson just became a national security issue and not in the way you think.

I've watched the events in Ferguson with a little detachment.  I think we're seeing the beginnings of protests about the economy.  The incident is simply a cover for other issues.

I watched the interview with Officer Wilson.  I'm on the opposite side of the majority of my audience here.  The story sounds flaky as hell.  The shooting might have been justified, we'll never really know, but his telling of events is just off as fuck.

But ignoring all of that.

This should catch everyone's attention and the focus should shift to national security and the vulnerability of today's youth to glom onto whatever the hot thing is...and ISIS' ability to tailor their message to appeal to them.  Check this out from the Daily Mail...
The note Hussain posted on Twitter today is titled 'From #IS 2 Ferguson' and contains a promise to send militants to the Missouri city if protesters pledge allegiance to ISIS.

It reads: 'We hear you and we will help you if you accept Islam and reject corrupt man-made laws like democracy and pledge your allegiance to Caliph Abu Bakr and then we will shed our blood for you and send our soldiers that don't sleep, whose drink is blood, and their play is carnage.'
Underneath the picture Hussain tweeted: 'Accept Islam & give bayah [allegiance] to Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi & then we will send u soldiers that don't sleep! - #IS #Ferguson'.
The note was accompanied by a photograph of a number of masked young men posing with assault rifles and mobile phone cases bearing the black and white logo of the Islamic State.

It is understood the men in the photograph are militants based in ISIS-held areas of Syria and Iraq, and that one of the men is 20-year-old Hussain.
Another militant, who uses the Twitter handle @Abu 3antar Britani and is also thought to be British, tweeted: 'From #IS to #Ferguson we heard your call and we are ready to respond! #FergusonDecision #BeLikeMalcolmX #FightBack'.
You can ignore the implications if you like but I hope security professionals aren't.

Juvenile unemployment is high.

Black and Hispanic youth unemployment is in the stratosphere.

The Islamic State has a tailor made audience for their message, these people feel alienated from society, have high energy and like all young men are looking for a cause to believe in AND fight for.

Is Call of Duty Advanced Warfare on to something? Are PMC's the future?

Call of Duty Advanced Warfare.

If you visit my blog regularly, then you know I went high and to the right by the depiction of a military funeral in the game.

A buddy of mine loves it and told me that I should give it a chance.  I told him nothing doing.  Alright he said, then at least check out the story line via one of at least a dozen cut scene vids that have been put up.

I did.

I was shocked.

For a variety of reasons I can see the US becoming more and more hesitant to put boots on the ground.  Additionally I can see more and more out cry from allied governments for US assistance.

Private Military Contractors can fill the void.

The big kicker is a bit simpler though.  High intensity nation state combat is rare.  Even regional conflicts are fewer.  What is on the rise is bush wars.

The US and its allies are ill equipped to deal with those.  Oh and for the SOCOM fanboys out there that will say that its their specialty I beg to differ.  SOCOM has been bitten by the bureaucracy bug.  The days of SOCOM living in austere conditions, doing missions with minimal foot print is over.  They have become another service with all the bells and whistles that come with it.

The more I think about it the more I think PMC's are the future of warfare.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

SAUR 2 8x8 APC.

Note:  Defense News has an article up discussing Romanian plans to invite private investors into their defense industry.  Read the story here.  What caught my attention was a pic of the Saur 2 8x8.  If nothing else its an interesting vehicle.  Romanian Defense Industry Website.

RAF CH-47 Wokka's & G-Shock Watches...

G-Shock teamed up with RAF CH-47 crews and put out a pretty nice propaganda piece.  The purpose?  To sell a watch.  Check it out here.  Side-note.  Its a pretty nice watch!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Chinese building an island. What is it for?

Thanks for the link James.

via Janes.
IHS Jane's previously reported on China's reclamation project in the Spratlys and noted that until recently Fiery Cross appeared to be acting as a staging post for other island building projects. Given its status as the largest PLAN facility in the Spratlys, this seemed to be an anomaly, something that the 14 November imagery has now corrected.
China has been at a distinct disadvantage compared with other claimants in the Spratly Islands as it is the only claimant not to occupy an island with an airfield. Taiwan has Itu Aba (Taiping) island, the Philippines has Pagasa island, Malaysia has Swallow Reef (a reef on which it reclaimed land and built an airstrip), and Vietnam has Southwest Cay.
The work at Fiery Cross thus brings parity but is likely to cause alarm among the other claimants. China has previously shown it is willing to spend blood and treasure to assert its territorial claims in this region. Given its massive military advantage over the other claimants in terms of quantity and quality of materiel, this facility appears purpose-built to coerce other claimants into relinquishing their claims and possessions, or at least provide China with a much stronger negotiating position if talks over the dispute were ever held.
I think Janes is wrong in their analysis.

China doesn't need to occupy an island to bolster its claim!  Its the 500 pound beast in the room and what it says gets attention.  They don't need an island to do that.

So what is it for?

I believe its a revival of the US WW2 tactics.  This is simply a forward re-fueling and re-arming post....possibly for strike fighters (J-20) and as a staging point for amphibious assaults.  Why build a sea base that can be sunk when you can simply use an island as your transfer point?

I don't see this as a threat but it should be watched.  This one island (if I'm correct) could give us insight into how the Chinese want to fight us...and if it does turn out to be an important hub then mines and runway cratering bombs can knock it out in short order.

Coconut another Pacific nightmare...

 Read the story me a scary little girl if you like but freaking insects the size of small dogs creep me the fuck out!  This shit is insane!