Monday, November 23, 2009

737 AEW&C WedgeTail...

The Boeing 737 AEW&C. Boeing flubbs a bunch of projects. This is one they seem to get right and the sky is the limit with the 737 platform being adopted to military uses.   Stats from wiki...

Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C)
Boeing IDS
First flight
Early 2009 
Under development
Primary users
Royal Australian Air Force
Turkish Air Force
Republic of Korea Air Force
Unit cost
US$490 million
Developed from
Boeing 737
C-40 Clipper
P-8 Poseidon

V-22...Why not redirect the exhaust??

The V-22 causes ship decks to buckle, the AH-1Z had problems with the tailboom heating.  With the AH-1Z they simply "redirected" the exhaust.  Why not do the same with the V-22????  Below are pics with the fix in place...the straight exhaust has "burns" on the tailboom the modified one (top pic) has the turned exhaust.  It should be fairly simple to reroute the exhaust to the front, back or side (away from the aircraft).

Amazing Frugality!

Hat tip to Survival Spot Blog!  This is amazing frugality...give the vid a look before you tune it out...
Yeah its outside the sphere of "covering everything military" but this is just awesome!

China's 5th Generation Stealth Fighter...

Aviation Week ran a story a while ago about the theft of information on the F-35.  The Air Force and DOD came out and state that the loss of information was limited.  Seems like they lied.  According to a follow up article, it seems that the conventional wisdom now states that China has all the information needed to produce a 5th generation fighter.

Pity that our security to all these thefts of information hasn't improved.  A bigger pity that we're aware of it but still allow it to happen.  Its really treason.  But that's for another time.  What might this plane look like.  Well much like the PAK-FA, the web is hot with speculation.  Here's a few guesses...

It would seem that they're all variations on a similar theme.  Either semi- or full copies of the F-22 or F-23.  Additionally most feature canards.  I'm not sure but I thought that canards were definitely unstealthy.  Anyway here's your peek at what many are imagining.

Anyway here's a link to hook you in to the debate....

Singapore's 3rd Generation Armed Forces....part 2...

"The SAF is undergoing a transformation. The 3rd Generation SAF will be leaner and more potent. It will employ new operating concepts and systems, and optimise the use of our limited manpower resources"

- Mr Teo Chee Hean
Minister for Defence

I did an earlier post on Singapore's 3rd Generation Armed Forces.  After a look at the concept it might be something that we might want to imitate.  They break it down into these categories...

Capable of a Spectrum of Operations
The 3rd Generation SAF will possess the capabilities to fight decisively in war and respond flexibly in peacetime for counter-terrorism, peacekeeping and humanitarian aid.

Focused on People and Values

The 3rd Generation SAF will continue to rely on the dynamism, will and competence of its people. It will remain steadfast to the core values that have nurtured our people.

Integrated and Networked

Forces operating on land, in the air and on/under the sea would be interconnected and able to fight co-operatively.

Holistic Advancements
Besides fighting strength, the 3rd Generation SAF will also see improvements to administration, training, human resource management, planning and logistics.

Technologically Advanced
The 3rd Generation SAF will continue to employ state-of-the-art technology to gain an asymmetric edge over its potential adversaries, such as in areas of precision strike, advanced networks and unmanned systems.

Its basically what every other advanced military is doing...but they have a focus on it from the Ministry of Defense.  Not at the service level.  For all of Rummy's push to centralize power in the DOD that effort has failed and you have the 5 services (I count SpecOps Command as its own mini kingdom) flailing about finding their own way in the world.  The  best example of this dysfunction would have to be in the UAV fiasco.  The DOD has numerous projects in the work and no one is able to rationalize the process.

We might do well to follow the example of a small Asian country that seems to have its act together.

Japan to build largest Helicopter Destroyer to date...

This from the Telegraph UK....

"The nation's Maritime Self-Defence Force is reportedly planning to construct a new 284 metre long destroyer capable of transporting 14 helicopters, 4,000 people and 50 trucks."

Can we say F-35 for Japan???  Seems a natural fit doesn't it?????

Marines are doing US Army Special Forces A-Team Mission....

Look back into history my friends...before the war on terror and what do you see?  That the living and talking to locals and leading and training a newly established military was a job for US Army A-Teams.

Those days are no more.  Not only are conventional US Marine and Army units doing that mission but it appears that they are doing it well.  Next question becomes this.  If the US Army Rangers are the strike force of choice then what do our other elite forces do?  The Army Rangers are leading the way in direct action missions.  US Marine and Army units are training foreign nationals.  What are the SEALs and A-Teams and Force Recon doing?  Deep Recon?  In the war we're in that can be handled by Drones.  Specialized assaults against high value targets?  Ranger mission, if the target is heavily're getting into company sized assault teams...that's what got the SEALs mauled in Panama (and they said so themselves---I think the quote was that they wouldn't do multiple Platoon size ops again)....So where are they and what are they doing????

Lance Cpl. Ray Alvarado, Jr., a rifleman with India Company, 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, shares food with local children in the village of Kace Satar, Afghanistan, during a patrol of the village and surrounding area, Nov. 11.
Photo by Cpl. Zachary Nola

Marines from India Company, 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, walk with local elders during a patrol of the village of Kace Satar, Afghanistan, Nov. 11.
Photo by Cpl. Zachary Nola

 Cpl. Nic Rodriguez, a vehicle commander with India Company,3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment speaks with Afghan villagers during a patrol of Kace Satar, Afghanistan, Nov. 11.
Photo by Cpl. Zachary Nola

Decks buckle under V-22 exhaust heat...

A couple of other bloggers posted on this but I blew it off....old news I said....It was one of Sweetman's talking points to be anti- F-35 and V-22... Now Navy Times is on the bandwagon and I can't look away any longer. This might be a problem. Lets hope they can solve it.  Aviation Week had this in June...

Flight decks buckle from heat in 10 minutes

By Andrew Tilghman - Staff writer
Posted : Monday Nov 23, 2009 6:53:38 EST

Leaving an MV-22 Osprey’s rotors idling on a flight deck will create enough heat to melt and buckle the deck in about 10 minutes.
Repeated deck buckling will ruin the flight deck in about 40 percent of the ship’s projected life span.
And introducing the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jump-jet variant will only add to the problem.
Those are among the issues cited by the Office of Naval Research as it seeks a modification for flight decks to better withstand and distribute the heat from the new aircraft’s exhaust and downwash.
ONR is seeking proposals on how to build a “flight deck thermal management” system that will help distribute the heat from the aircraft and keep the deck temperatures below 300 degrees.
Testing shows Osprey downwash can raise deck temperatures as high as 350 degrees.
“Currently there are no available solutions other than heavy structural modifications to mitigate deck buckling and thermo-mechanical deck failure,” according to a recent document seeking proposals from private companies, known as a broad agency announcement.
The new systems — which could involve a one-inch plate on top of the deck or a cooling system installed below the deck — will likely be installed in the Wasp-class amphibious assault ships and future America-class flattops, according to the ONR document.
The ONR announcement reveals the Navy’s challenges as it tries to introduce a new generation of aircraft with tilt-rotor and short-take-off-vertical-landing ability on ships designed for traditional helicopters.
The Ospreys, the military’s first tilt-rotor aircraft, create extraordinary heat and force when the nacelles are tilted upward and the rotors muster enough force to lift the aircraft like a helicopter.
The F-35B Lightning IIs that are expected to join the fleet in 2012 have a unique vertical-landing feature that turns the jet’s thrusters to face downward during landing and expose the flight deck to hot exhaust that could damage the flight decks.
Osprey’s downwash creates enough force to knock sailors and aircraft off the flight deck, according to a report from the Government Accountability Office.
Naval Sea Systems Command has not made any determination on the need for flight deck modifications, and potential solutions are still under consideration, NavSea spokesman Alan Baribeau said. Procedures used on the Osprey’s first at-sea deployment aboard the amphibious assault ship Bataan were effective and will be used again, he said.


The Office of Naval Research’s proposed timeline aims to develop a flight deck cooling system by 2014:
• 2010: Award contract.
• 2011: Test materials to handle aircraft heat.
• 2012: Build a large-scale test panel.
• 2013: Conduct land-based testing.
• 2014: Install the Thermal Flight Deck Management system on a ship.