Sunday, August 02, 2015

Forget Syria. Start focusing on Yemen!

via Defense Blog
via Defense Blog

If you click the link under each photo, it will take you to Defense Blog that found pics of AMX-56 LeClerc Main Battle Tanks and Humvees mounting quad Kornet Anti-Tank missiles in Yemen from the UAE.

I make note of it on this blog because the GCC appears to be becoming more involved in fighting that seems to be intensifying there.

I think we're all missing a major story in Yemen.  Independent journalist aren't covering it (and I don't blame them) but I get get the impression that the proxy war between Iran and the GCC is reaching a new phase.

Forget Syria.  Its becoming a sideshow.  Turkey's assault on the Kurds seems like an attempt to shape borders to their liking.  My guess is that a stalemate is being "shaped" by the powers that be.  Yemen is a different kettle of fish.  The GCC and Iran are playing for keeps. Start focusing on Yemen.

Saturday, August 01, 2015

China's 200th Mechanized Infantry Division on exercise...via China Defense Blog...

Leading the charge is the Satellite Communications APC, based on the ZBD89 Chassis, an increasingly common sign of today's PLA orbat.

More pics here.

SK 105. Could this General Dynamics product be the next MPF for Army Airborne?

Thanks to MicMac80 for reminding me of this vehicle!

This is a follow on to Defense Media Review's article on the US Army Airborne's search for a Mobile Protected Firepower (Light Tank).


Think about the portfolio of every armored vehicle 'maker' and name which one has LISTED a PURPOSE BUILT light tank.

BAE?  Surprisingly no.  Nexter?  Nope.  ST Kinetics?  No.  KMW?  Are you kidding?

The only people that have a listed light tank is General Dynamics Europe in the form of the SK 105.  I have no idea whether its still listed for legacy purposes or if it can be put into production (if its not already) but its on their page (check it out here).

Wanna know the kick in the pants?

It meets all requirements.  It fits a C-130, is tracked, I assume it has all the latest bells and whistles and mounts a 105mm cannon.  If Army Airborne and the Armored community (oh and I was issue of eArmor magazine shows that the Armor community is fully behind this move) want a quick, off the shelf buy that is everything they're looking for then the SK 105 fits the bill.

US Army Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF) Light Tank via Defense Media Review...

Defense Media Review has coverage of the Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF) Light Tank.  Read it here but a spoiler...
The 82nd Airborne’s unaddressed forcible entry capability requirement, essentially the need for a tank-type vehicle with a large caliber main gun, was also found to plague regular Army IBCT formations in combat zones, especially in early stages of combat operations. Rush noted, “today’s Infantry Brigade Combat Team has less organic direct fire support then was available to Infantry units in World War II. Specifically, armor battalions equipped with the M-4 Sherman medium tank routinely supported light Infantry Divisions in this era.”

I'm suitably impressed.

The Army has finally wrapped its head around the fact that it has lost a capability and is trying to get it back.  Another spoiler...
“By the way, we are not considering the M8 Armored Gun System for this requirement,” Rush added, explaining the vehicle was developed in the 1990s based on technology available at the time. “We are seeking a new solution, one that will focus on science and technology advancements in protection, lethality, power, and weight savings”.
From memory the only vehicle that meets this requirement in production today would be the CV90-105.  Would the Army consider buying it off the shelf?  Is it too heavy for transport by C-130?  Could a strip down version be developed that
would allow armor to be added in the field like the M8?

I have no idea.  I do know that the article is definitely worth the read.

Friday, July 31, 2015

F-35...reality hits...4 AMRAAMs is not enough...

Thanks to Joe for the link!

via Janes.
The US Department of Defense is planning to contract Lockheed Martin to conduct radar cross-section (RCS) testing on the F-35 Lightning II "to assess a weapon system and its effect on aircraft performance".
This notice of intent from the F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) did not specify any details of the weapon system, but as it is RCS-related testing, it is clear that the study will assess the viability of mounting weapons outside of the aircraft's weapons bays, and how that will impact the platform's key discriminator: its low radar signature.
The contract is expected to be single-sourced to Lockheed Martin by the end of September.

What haven't we seen from the F-35?

A max air to air load out....sure we've seen stuff from waaaaay back when, but
we haven't seen the airplane (the real life airplane) flying with a max air to air load out.

I should have noted this long ago.

4 AMRAAMs will not be enough in the Pacific.  Everyone knows this.  Everyone that is being honest acknowledges this, but the program office hasn't acted on it.

Now we see the conundrum.  If you go max load out then how does that affect the stealth that you're depending on to survive a fight?  But if you don't go max load out then you're probably not surviving the fight anyway!

A pretty stunning oversight for an airplane that was just declared operational today.  Which also explains the late Friday news release.

A meaningless announcement...

I'm drinking in the announcement today of the F-35 achieving IOC.

The reaction from the news media is telling.

Its hardly making a splash.  We all know why.  HQMC believes that the media is a docile being that they control.  Because they didn't suffer the scrutiny that they deserved while lying (I've thought long and hard on if that word should be used to describe the pronouncements from the Assistant Commandant for Aviation and unfortunately it does) boldly to the public about the progress made by the plane they think they're in the clear.

Is HQMC smoking crack?

The media loves scandal and the F-35 is being lined up for a hit from hell.  Additionally the Marine Corps will be the perfect symbol to line against the wall for future hit pieces.

But what about Dunford?

Massive disappointment.  I'm beginning to wonder how much coordination is going on with that filthy little General's club.  He stood up on a personnel issue with the Marine Snipers but rolls over like a puppy on the F-35?

The truth of life is once again demonstrated.

Physical courage is easy.  Moving to attack or defend and placing yourself in mortal danger isn't hard....comparatively.  The hard thing is to plant yourself like a tree, go against the conventional wisdom, refuse to yield to the politically popular and do the right thing.  Moral courage is the hard thing.

The future will be bleak and hopefully a reformer will come along that will set the USMC on the proper course.  Dunford proved himself incapable.  Hell, it appears that he didn't even really want the position of Commandant.  Lets be honest.  Being Chairman of the JCS is a step down in prestige if you're talking about how its viewed in Marine land.

I said before that its not about the F-35.  Its about trust.  Its about moral courage.  Its about the USMC.

Lockheed Martin, Congress, the President and the F-35 mafia has made the Corps their bitch...The Marine Corps I knew was NEVER anyone's bitch.  Welcome to the new Corps.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Northern by Staff Sgt. Matthew Bruch

NOTE: Special Thanks to Bill!  The original caption said that the exercise covered 25 states with coalition partners...well don't take my word, read it for yourself...
Northern Strike 2015 combines air and ground forces spanning 25 states and four coalitioncountries. The exercise took place July 13 to Aug. 1.
As written we'd be looking at an exercise that's bigger than Jade Helm and took place without anyone noticing.  I was high and to the right about this.  Luckily Bill filled in the blanks in the comments section.  It was so important to clarifying this that I decided to post it up here.  Below are his words (I asked who the coalition partners were, if this had occurred before etc...)
Latvia, Poland, Australia and Canada.
A link to the AirNG article about Northern Strike 2013 That one had combat controllers from Latvia and Canada. As did the one from 2014. Since it is a Michigan NG exercise, and based on the previous exercises, it didn't span 25 state, it had units from 25 states .
2014: "Military personnel from Canada and Latvia will also be a part of ONS.
In total, 24 units from 12 States and two Coalition partners will participate in the three-week event."
2013: "The exercise also featured an international flavor with a half-dozen combat controllers from Latvia - one of Michigan's two State Partnership for Peace partner nations - and from Canada participating in the exercise. In all, 29 different units from 16 states, plus the two international partners, participated in the exercise."
Poor wording, they should have said "XX units from 25 states and 4 International Partners".
DVIDS does good work, mistakes happen and no harm, no foul.

The only issue is that a few misconstrued words would have this floating around the gray parts of the internet so fast that it would require Pentagon response to a non-issue exercise.

I'm glad I have the kind of readers that can help sort things out.

A SNAKE IN THE GRASS, a Joe Copalman photo....

SNAKE IN THE GRASS, a Joe Copalman photo...
An AH-1Z Viper participating in Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course 2-15 at MCAS Yuma makes a quick egress at low level after engaging numerous targets on the Chocolate Mountain Range with 20mm cannonfire and 2.75" rockets.  This image accompanies my article on Marine JTACs, FACs, and Air Officers in the August issue of Air Forces

About my fictional war story...

Hey just wanted to pass along a little personal info on my fictional war story.

Everyone says that it reads like a "dark" Tom Clancy novel.  While I enjoyed Clancy, in my mind he takes a back seat to Harold Coyle.

Coyle is the real influence behind this.

If you've never read Team Yankee or Sword Point then you're missing out.  In my opinion Coyle's books should have been made into movies and they would have (if done properly) been blockbusters!  I have his books and refuse to sell or swap them.

Buy the books on the used book market.  You'll love them.....particularly Sword Point.  Spoiler.  Russia and the US battle in Iran.  It gets beyond hairy for everyone involved and the fighting is ferocious.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Cyber Berkut makes an outrageous claim...

via Cyber Berkut website.
We, CyberBerkut, have received a file which value cannot be overestimated in the order!
Expensive senator McCain! We recommend to you next time in foreign trips, and especially for territory of Ukraine, not to take with themselves confidential documents.
On one of devices of your colleagues we have found a lot of the interesting. We have decided to lay out Something: given video should become property of world community!

Question.  Who are these Ukrainians?  What is the goal?  Are they on anyone's radar?

Finally, does anyone know why they would make this claim?  What could they hope to achieve with this bit of craziness?

NOTE:  OK, This Ukraine thing just went sideways to me.  We're dealing with a land of mirrors where up is down and vice versa.  I need to chew on how this blog deals with news of the war from here on out.