Thursday, July 28, 2016

Australia's Land 400 Project. Why didn't the Terrex 3 make the cut?

Forgive me but I'm a fanboy for the Terrex 3.  It was the most advanced offering, it had unsurpassed networking, had the required gun and protection levels and I'd bet body parts that I highly value that it was one of the, if not THE most mobile platform in the contest.

So why didn't the Terrex 3 make the cut?

I don't like to run to the "bias" card but we need to be honest here.  European and especially GERMAN armor is considered the best in the world.  I believe its a hangover from World War 2 when the allies got their throats punched by Tigers, Panthers, Elephants etc....that heavy German armor made an impression.

So that explains the Boxer entry into the final roundup but what about the Patria AMV?

I think the same factors are in play.  Its European, has a fantastic reputation on that continent and it won fame by performing well in Afghanistan.  I know what you're asking...if that's the case then the General Dynamics 6.0 should have been in the running too right?  Wrong!  General Dynamics made the tragic mistake of listening to defense analyst (which I agreed with) of going for incremental improvements to proven designs.  Their vehicle would probably be the easiest on the Australian supply chain, easiest to train future troops on and is known to the ADF.  During normal times that would be good enough.  Today?  Not so much.

But back to the Terrex 3.  I fear that Singapore Kinetics is about to become the BAE.  Remember the SEP later named Alligator?  When it was built it was the finest armored vehicle on the planet.  It had everything ground forces said they wanted and then some.  It was a world beater.

No one bought it.

I see the same possibility for the Terrex 3.  Its a world beating vehicle but because its new and doesn't have a "rep" no one will buy it. Remember the BAE SEP and the Terrex 3 the next time people talk about the lack of innovation when it comes to ground vehicles.  Industry is doing work, the military just won't buy.

Australia chose badly.  The sad reality is that they're about to select vehicles that will be obsolete before they enter service.

Note:  The Patria is already working on an updated AMV and the German's are doing the same with the Boxer.  Patria AMV development started in 1996, the Boxer in 2001.  They're not exactly "elderly" but they're not exactly fresh either.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Breaking! Patria AMV and Boxer make Australia's Land 400 shortlist!

Hey all. THIS IS HUGE!  Below is the press release.
Companies shortlisted for Army’s Mounted Combat Reconnaissance Capability

The Department of Defence today announced the selection of two tenderers to participate in the next stage of evaluation for LAND 400 Phase 2, Army’s Mounted Combat Reconnaissance capability.
Deputy Secretary Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group (CASG), Mr Kim Gillis, said both BAE Systems Australia Limited and Rheinmetall Landsysteme Gmbh have been assessed as offering competitive solutions with designs based on capabilities already in service with other nations.
“When introduced into service Army will have a capability which represents a quantum leap in protection for our soldiers while providing enhanced sensors and weapon systems for the crew,” Mr Gillis said.
“Today’s announcement follows an extension to the Request for Tender (RFT) evaluation period to conduct a review of the Australian industry involvement elements of the LAND 400 Phase 2 Risk Mitigation Activity (RMA) to ensure Australian industry involvement can be optimised.
“The review undertaken by Deloitte Australia found clear alignment between the LAND 400 Phase 2 tender evaluation process and the policy direction and priorities of the 2016 Defence Industry Policy Statement (DIPS),” he said.
The decision to conduct the Review has resulted in an improved understanding of industry, demonstrated clear alignment between the DIPS and the proposed RMA activities, and helped reinforce the importance of industry as a fundamental input to capability.
I can't reveal the name of my tipster but MANY thanks to him for the news!

About that DNC hack. How did it go from stealing "opposition research" to influencing the election?

Have you been keeping up with the spin coming from the Democrats on the hack of their servers?  If not then let me get you up to speed.  The Dems are saying that the Russians gave WikiLeaks documents so that it would influence the election in favor of Trump.

I find that interesting.

Do you remember the story when this first was announced?  The DNC stated that they stole opposition research on Trump.  I wrote about my theories of the hack...

But back to the opposition research meme that the DNC first pushed before switching to the idea that this was designed to influence our election.  What was that?  You don't remember those stories?  Check out these links...

 Everyone is pointing at the Russians.  What if it isn't?  Who would be interested in killing the Clinton coronation?

Marine General Allen endorses Hillary...a bad move for the Corps but not for the reason you think.

via Marine Corps Times
Cancian, a retired Marine colonel who served with Allen in Iraq, has some concerns about the endorsement, though. While he has tremendous respect for Allen, Cancian said he worries that having retired general officers involved in political causes may prompt the White House to exclude top military leaders from the decision-making process, he said.
“In the White House, everything is political,” Cancian said. “If they worry that deliberations might be leaked or people might go to work for the political opposition, then they just won’t invite those people and they’ll stick with the political appointees that they’re comfortable with.”
In some countries, general and flag officers are promoted based on their political leanings, he said.
One expert on civil-military relations fears that by endorsing Clinton, Allen could give the appearance that he is speaking for current senior military leaders.
“A man of his prominence and his rank can be interpreted to speak for the whole military community, retired and active duty,” said Richard Kohn, who teaches military history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Kohn said he does not believe any retired military officer should ever endorse political candidates.
“They are in effect declaring themselves partisans and leaving the non-partisanship of the military profession and that’s a different thing,” he said.

Allen is the latest retired general officer to endorse a candidate this election cycle. Retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn spoke in favor of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump at last week’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
First!  Make sure you read the entire article, just not the little blurb that I copied here.  Next, I know what you're thinking.  SNAFU! you had no problem with Flynn speaking at the RNC and you're absolutely right.  He's Army.  They can discuss the ramifications of his actions on an Army blog.

I'm worried about what Allen's move does to the Marine Corps.

There are tons of Democrats in the Marine Corps.  There are publications that claim to speak for the Marine Corps or to serve as "incubators of thought" on Marine Corps issues that have a left wing tilt to them (USNI Blog)....long story short, the Marine Corps is infested with Democrats!

I consider that an annoyance but not a problem (not yet but we're getting close)...the problem for the Marine Corps is that its once again risking its reputation.

Half the country hates Hillary.

If Allen's move is believed to indicate how the "new" Marine Corps thinks then the recruiting crisis will turn into an emergency.  Even worse you could see that "special relationship" that the Marine Corps has with the American people sour.

There is an issue for the General Officer club too.  Hillary is viewed as an interventionist/Neo-Con.  The American public has tired of the war, no one believes that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been fought effectively and many suspect that senior military leadership is embarked on a strategy to ensure generational conflict with victory nowhere to be seen.

This move by a retired Marine Corps General during a time when the country is more divided than ever could not come at a worse time.  In essence Allen and by extension the Marine Corps is taking sides.  Even if Allen wins, the Marine Corps could lose big.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Doctor shot by gunman in Germany

Thanks to Joey Joe-Joe Junior Shabadoo for the link!

A doctor is critically ill after being shot by a patient at a hospital in Berlin this afternoon.
German media reported that the doctor had been shot dead, but police in Germany said that he was actually critically ill after the shooting at the University Hospital in Steglitz, Berlin.
Anti-terrorist police have been seen at the Benjamin Franlkin Campus.
Police said they were called to the building at 11am today. They confirmed that the gunman was a patient and that he had shot himself.
A spokeswoman for the Benjamin Franklin campus of the Charite university hospital had no immediate comment.
The incident follows four other attacks in Germany since July 18 that left 10 people dead and dozens injured.
IF, and it is a big IF, this is connected to terrorism then the idea that these lone actors are uncoordinated has to go out the window.

I've called it the ISIS Offensive in Europe, but that little click bait title might be hitting closer to the mark than I thought.  The attacks are becoming more horrific by the day.  Running down families in Nice?  Attacking a Priest in his church?  A suicide bombing?  Someone is definitely calling the shots.

Catholic Priest attacked in his church by terrorists? UPDATED! THE ANIMALS BEHEADED A PRIEST!

Robert sent me a note saying that news from France is that a Catholic Priest was attacked in his church by a man suspected of being an Islamic terrorists.

I've talked about how christian churches have failed the people by pressing for increased immigration (all faiths here in the US, most notably the catholic church in Europe) and if it is as suspected you can consider this another nail in the coffin of modern Christianity in people's lives.

But back on task.  This.  This is the kind of outrage that will set people off.

Europe going up in flames is proceeding on schedule.

UPDATE.  Thanks to Dimas for the link!  One thing.  News reports are saying that the Priest had his throat cut.  Question.  When have you ever seen terrorist cut a throat and not remove the head?  Answer?  They don't.  If they go to knives then you're gonna be beheaded and this Priest was.  They might not go public with the details but bet your last dollar that this was a gruesome scene.  One other thing.  As much as I don't like it, these Security Forces are going to have to start taking prisoners so that they can develop intel.  Guantanamo in Europe isn't a bad idea along with enhanced interrogation.

Fitness Talk. Pro-hormones cause male lactation?

Jesus Boston!  I thought you were wild but to even tell that story!!!!  Green shit coming out of your nipples?

Just plain wow.  This one....this is the best anti-prohormone vid ever.  Still I gotta give the guy credit.  He puts it all out there.  The good, the bad and the plain gross!

Singapore conducts international maritime counter-terrorism exercise

Singapore is holding an international maritime counter terrorism exercise (read about it here).

Quite honestly the biggest bang for the buck that terrorist can get short of a nuclear weapon is probably the maritime route.  Most Coast Guards are not equipped to handle it, the civilian maritime sector doesn't take it as seriously as they should and the cargo carried can easily be weaponized.  You've all read about the mud rolling that the anti-terror guys do when it comes to a hijacked LNG tanker rolling up into a port somewhere and the terrorist detonating it (supposedly it would take out half of a good sized city).

Could the next major attack in the Western world that causes casualties in the thousands arrive by ship?  I wouldn't bet against it.  Just remember those three letters.  L. N. G.

China drilling Anti-Tactical Recovery of Aircraft/Personnel (TRAP) teams. via China Defence Blog.

via CDB
Here is a series of photos depicting a 10-man PLAAF Airborne SpOps team's search for a downed enemy pilot while CAS teams of JH-7s and Q5s providing support by cleaning out a retrieval path.
I am sure they only wanted to provide medical aid to the poor soul and nothing else.... yeah yeah, that's the ticket.
This is ominous.  I've read about enemy forces flexing into the mission of capturing American pilots.  That's been going on since WW2.

I've never heard about capturing downed pilots being a mission set of a special ops unit.  Let me repeat that for a second so you get the force of connection....a special ops unit drilling to capture enemy pilots?  Interesting.

BTR-82A used in drills for the first time?

via Sputnik
Russian troops used the BTR-82As armored personnel carriers for the first time during drills in Tajikistan, an aid to the commander of Russia's Central Military District said Tuesday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — There is a number of significant differences between the new BTR-82As and their predecessors, the commander noted. The armored vehicles’ firepower has been increased due to a 30-mm aircraft cannon being installed, while high angle barrel lifting allows for a more efficient attacks in mountainous areas.

“Soldiers stationed in Tajikistan as part of the 201st Military Base used the new BTR-82As for the first time during maneuvers in the foothills of the Eastern Pamirs,” Col. Yaroslav Roschupkin told reporters.
The motorized infantry troops managed to strike targets at a distance of 1.2 kilometers (0.75 miles) and 1.7 kilometers on complex terrain, Roschupkin added.
Sputnik must have been needing to fill space on their website.  This vehicle is one of the "winners" of the Russian involvement in the Syrian war.  They deployed this vehicle early and from the outside looking in, they must have
gotten it right.  While we've seen modifications of their attack helicopters, these armored vehicles remain unchanged and are getting sent out to their troops. It will be interesting to see how quickly they get their new wheeled IFVs into service when the legacy models seem to be performing well.

Reservist and active duty Marine tankers train together. Photos by Pvt. Matthew Callahan

Note:  Still no discussion or path laid out for the future of Tanks in the Marine Corps.  Quite honestly I'm surprised they still exist.  The biggest factor in all this is probably the F-35.  Sustainment costs of that airplane and the promise that it will provide the same kind of firepower (in a different way) will probably see Tanks die in the near future.  We really should have paid attention when Amos and his little buddy Davis told us that the F-35 would change the way we do things.  Armor is out.  We'll be lucky to keep it in the Reserves.

Monday, July 25, 2016

The fear of WW3 if Trump wins has begun

via Medium
We should be asking ourselves what our Archduke Ferdinand moment will be. How will an apparently small event trigger another period of massive destruction. We see Brexit, Trump, Putin in isolation. The world does not work that way — all things are connected and affecting each other. I have pro-Brexit friends who say ‘oh, you’re going to blame that on Brexit too??’ But they don’t realise that actually, yes, historians will trace neat lines from apparently unrelated events back to major political and social shifts like Brexit.
Brexit — a group of angry people winning a fight — easily inspires other groups of angry people to start a similar fight, empowered with the idea that they may win. That alone can trigger chain reactions. A nuclear explosion is not caused by one atom splitting, but by the impact of the first atom that splits causing multiple other atoms near it to split, and they in turn causing multiple atoms to split. The exponential increase in atoms splitting, and their combined energy is the bomb. That is how World War One started and, ironically how World War Two ended.
An example of how Brexit could lead to a nuclear war could be this:
Brexit in the UK causes Italy or France to have a similar referendum. Le Pen wins an election in France. Europe now has a fractured EU. The EU, for all its many awful faults, has prevented a war in Europe for longer than ever before. The EU is also a major force in suppressing Putin’s military ambitions. European sanctions on Russia really hit the economy, and helped temper Russia’s attacks on Ukraine (there is a reason bad guys always want a weaker European Union). Trump wins in the US. Trump becomes isolationist, which weakens NATO. He has already said he would not automatically honourNATO commitments in the face of a Russian attack on the Baltics.
With a fractured EU, and weakened NATO, Putin, facing an ongoing economic and social crisis in Russia, needs another foreign distraction around which to rally his people. He funds far right anti-EU activists in Latvia, who then create a reason for an uprising of the Russian Latvians in the East of the country (the EU border with Russia). Russia sends ‘peace keeping forces’ and ‘aid lorries’ into Latvia, as it did in Georgia, and in Ukraine. He annexes Eastern Latvia as he did Eastern Ukraine (Crimea has the same population as Latvia, by the way).
A divided Europe, with the leaders of France, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and others now pro-Russia, anti-EU, and funded by Putin, overrule calls for sanctions or a military response. NATO is slow to respond: Trump does not want America to be involved, and a large part of Europe is indifferent or blocking any action. Russia, seeing no real resistance to their actions, move further into Latvia, and then into Eastern Estonia and Lithuania. The Baltic States declare war on Russia and start to retaliate, as they have now been invaded so have no choice. Half of Europe sides with them, a few countries remain neutral, and a few side with Russia. Where does Turkey stand on this? How does ISIS respond to a new war in Europe? Who uses a nuclear weapon first?
This is just one Arch Duke Ferdinand scenario. The number of possible scenarios are infinite due to the massive complexity of the many moving parts. And of course many of them lead to nothing happening. But based on history we are due another period of destruction, and based on history all the indicators are that we are entering one.
Wow.  Talk about fear-mongering!  So let me get this straight...the EU and not NATO have guaranteed security in Europe?  The US is a bastard for not saving a European country in Russia's sights but the rest of Europe not wanting to help is ok?