Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Something is going on with the F-35.

Something is going on with the F-35.  Why do I say that?  Because I've seen this "bullshit" before.

First.  Have you noticed the whole spat of articles that have come out in support of the F-35?  Then this video hits this morning?  Additionally the articles aren't containing any new information...they're just fluff pieces designed to say that all is well with the program.

Then you have that stealth budget request for additional F-35's that was stuck in the war funding bill...along with Apache helicopters for the Army (a sweetener to keep them from screaming at the top of their lungs).

What is going on?  I have no idea.  I do know that the political winds have shifted and that a Republican takeover of the Senate seems more likely than ever.  I know that budget hawks hold sway over the Republican party...alot more than the Neo-cons.

Then we have the continuing budget drama.  Obama Care is going to cost more than expected.  Sequestration is expected to continue.  And on top of all of that is unexpected spending on an unexpected war.

Budget?  Could it be that they see a fiscal trainwreck coming?  Allies?  Is someone getting cold feet and about to cut orders (I keep hearing that Italy is about to go down to 45...a yellow bird landed on my window sill).

I just don't know but whenever I see a PR blitz I get suspicious.

ISIS shoots down Syrian attack plane.

via Jerusalem Online.
ISIS shot down a Syrian Army battle plane that was implementing attacks in the city of Raqqa, the capital city of ISIS. According to Agence France Presse, the plane crashed into a house and several people were injured.

After the initial reports, ISIS took responsibility for the act. The Syrian plane had implemented five attacks this morning against ISIS positions in Raqqa, before it was shot down by ISIS. In his twitter account, a terrorist by the name of Lions of Islam wrote, “Thank Allah, we can confirm that a military plane was shot down near Raqqa.”
“This is the first downing of a plane since the Syrian regime began to operate from the air last July, after an announcement by the regime in June,” Rami Abdul Rahman, a human rights activist, told AFP.
Well ain't that grand?

You might as well steel yourself to the fact that they WILL get lucky against a US warplane...or transport...or refueler...or recon plane.

Then what will happen after they murder the pilot on YouTube?

Will we waste another 10 years trying to turn around a barbaric and uncivilized section of our planet, while spending ourselves into even worse bankruptcy?  I believe this whole thing will end badly.

A must read from Defense Media Network.

Defense Media Network has a must read on the evolution of amphibious ships from WW2 onward.

Pay close attention to the section on the Newport Class Tank Landing Ship.  Consider what it could do today.  Instead of buying fleets of MLP's, LCACs, LCUs and JHSVs, we would have maybe a dozen or so doing the job of a whole flotilla of smaller boats almost as fast but with a battalion of men and equipment from the MPS ships hovering offshore.

The UK's nukes should be moved to the US if Scotland votes independence? Seriously?

via express.co.uk
BRITAIN’S independent nuclear deterrent should be moved to the United States if Scotland gains its independence next week, senior military figures have said.
Speaking to the Sunday Express they said the plan would ensure that our four Trident missile-carrying Vanguard submarines would not remain in the hands of a Non-Nato foreign country and deprive Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond of any “leverage” in post -independence negotiations.
The call, which one senior US politician last night said would be “overwhelmingly supported” in Congress, comes only two days after Ministry of Defence chiefs finally green-lighted an impact assessment study on Britain’s defence in the event of a Yes vote on Thursday.
Last night Whitehall sources confirmed they were “very alive” to the US option, though, officially, the Ministry of Defence refused to confirm it was making any provisions for independence.
Speaking last night, Air Commodore Andrew Lambert, now attached to the UK National Defence Association, said: “The great leverage that Alex Salmond currently has over the British Government is the location of our nuclear defence base at Faslane. If the vote is Yes, we should move heaven and earth to move all our submarines out of Faslane as quickly as possible.
“We must decide how important, in the short term, the word independence is in terms of our nuclear deterrent. After all, we rely on the US for our missiles and for an awful lot of intelligence. Would it make a huge amount of difference if we asked the US if we could use a base to place our nuclear deterrent there as a temporary measure?
Just plain wow.

I mean seriously?  We're going to allow a foreign government, even a friendly one, to establish a base on US soil?  A base that houses nuclear weapons?


I don't care how friendly we are with the UK.  They're testing my patience with this one.  And I can't say for sure but I think the backlash from this proposal would be pretty severe in the "Bible Belt" of the US.  Sure you'll have some that love money so much they'd pimp there mother so a nuclear base wouldn't make them think twice but foreign nukes on US soil?  I don't fucking think so!

NOTE:  Don't  hit me with the canard that foreign ships visit and that some carry nuclear weapons.  That's a temporary thing.  A naval base that services nuclear deterrent submarines is something else entirely.  

Army ditches armor while everyone else heavies up.

Thanks for the link Jonathan!

vai Defense News.
Frost & Sullivan analyst Wayne Plucker credited the conceptual vehicles as more sustainable than the multi-ton mine-resistant ambush- protected vehicle, and said they might allow troops to operate a week without support, from an “airborne beachhead.”
“My Marine colleague here called this, ‘too light to fight,’ ” Plucker said. “The Marines have several layers they can bring in via sealift, and this is the Army saying, ‘we can do this too,’ but they might need to finagle on the weights and sustainability. ... If we were inserting ourselves into Africa, say, not near a coast, it would probably work for a while.”
The LRV, envisioned for a six-scout squad, would host basic and advanced surveillance systems. Infrared systems, ground surveillance radar and links to UAVs would be among them. This would replace Humvees kitted with surveillance gear. Not meant as a fighting vehicle, it would have a medium-caliber weapon system and baseline protection against small arms, 152mm shrapnel and anti-personnel mines, with the ability to receive heavier armor.
The LRV’s capabilities development document is still in draft form; its estimated operating time frame is fiscal 2020. The platform is considered to be in the technology development phase with plans to hold a performance demonstration in the third or fourth quarter of fiscal 2015.
To be considered, the vehicles would have to be transportable inside or by sling load by a CH-47.
The MPF, envisioned for 2024, has an initial capabilities document scheduled for consideration in October by the Army Requirements Oversight Council.
In concept, the MPF would quickly engage enemy forces, protecting the infantry brigade’s freedom to maneuver.
The Army is in even worse shape than the Marine Corps when it comes to forming a coherent doctrine...or to use Pentagon-speak..."shape a direction for future armored/mechanized transport" of their forces.

I mean seriously!  They are going from a fully motorized force, into an airlanded intervention force!  I know that some will say that they're simply attempting to fulfill the vision of the force that General Shinseki laid out when he introduced the Stryker ICV as an interim vehicle.

I disagree.

We're looking at a US Army that is setting itself up for even worse trouble than what I see happening with SPMAGTF-CR's.

If they actually follow through with this we will see the 82nd Airborne Initial Ready Company being hung out to dry for 72 hours or more against forces that will have at least technicals, probably heavy anti-tank weapons and possibly even Chinese or Russian main battle tanks or armored personnel carriers.

The US Army is setting itself up for a bloodbath in a far off land.  Blackhawk Down will look like a picnic in comparison.

The Fuji Firepower Exercise 2014 (Japanese weapons overview)