Senate The Weekly Discussion of Military Technology

Discussion in 'Community' started by Mr44, Nov 27, 2003.

  1. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Bah, I'm always correct,... At times, I just may be less correct than others.
  2. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    ADF and the DOD have darn nearly always cross-talked, although I don't think technology sharing per se got big until they purchased the F-111 back in the day. @Ender_Sai, care to provide some sarcastic illumination on that?

    The JLTV is a pretty big deal, although I'm hoping the Oshkosh submission wins-it's basically a modified MATV, which is in service now; I'd really, really like to see a trend towards iterative development take hold, as opposed to the everything-and-the-kitchen-sink approach we take now., and I think deciding that a vehicle that's already in service is the "new" truck might help with that.
  3. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    Well I know we ran a lot of US aircraft in key fighter squadrons (i.e. 77Sn was formed to defend Darwin from Japanese attack and flew P40s) but I think you're right, that tech sharing didn't come into play until the Aardvark purchase.

    The full extent of the tech-sharing collaboration I'm honestly not aware of; what I did know, I can't remember (it's been nearly 5 years since I left to go into investment banking). Old age is a terrible curse.
  4. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Thanks, Ender. I think Australia is up there with the UK , Japan, Israel, and the Saudis for first-access to new technology. Not sure how much they've exploited that-they seem content to pick only the really good stuff, which makes sense.
  5. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    To be fair I have no idea how the soulless vampires we didn't elect to government this time around are engaging with the US. Labor typically struggles to get any traction with Defence since they neither understand the culture or their own limitations.
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  6. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Well, when you look at what they've bought...off the top of my head: M1A2 tanks, M4 carbine (for ASAS), F-111F, F/A-18F. All of those are absolutely top of the line, although the Super Hornet is something of an odd pick for a land-based fighter.
  7. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    By ASAS you mean SASR? :p
  8. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
  9. DarthCane Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 4
  10. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Yep! I honestly hope this breaks the trend of naming carriers after Presidents. I doubt it will, but one can hope :p
  11. DarthCane Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 4
    We can hope. Some of them are notable (the "Presidential Mountain" trio), and I can't exactly blame the Navy for a few of the others (George H.W. Bush and Gerald Ford served on carriers in WWII, and John F. Kennedy was a Navy vet and namesake of a Cold War carrier). However - c'mon, I admire Harry Truman, but on his watch the carrier fleet and the Navy damn near atrophied to irrelevance. However, I'd like to see the Navy dig back in with names like Constellation, United States, Lexington, Saratoga, or Yorktown. Heck, maybe even dig up some old ones like Alliance or Monitor.
    Last edited by DarthCane, Dec 2, 2012
  12. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Well, after the bad luck that's always plagued ships named United States, I'd say that's off the drawing board. But yeah-the Yorktown/Saratoga/Lexington/etc names have way more special meaning than President's names do.
  13. DarthCane Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 4
    I wouldn't say United States has bad luck associated with it; the original ship had a long and sterling career (albeit with an ignominious end). It's just that the last three iterations (one Lexington-class battlecruiser and two supercarriers) have either been scrapped on the ways or renamed.
    Last edited by DarthCane, Dec 2, 2012
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  14. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    Well I think we've sorta run out of presidents to name carriers after. And while we're at it, maybe go back to naming submarines after sea creatures?

    Wasn't that all because of the Able and Baker nuclear tests, after which people were asking whether naval ships could even survive in the nuclear age? And then there was all that interservice fighting where the USAF said they could take care of all our defense needs with the B-36 and the atom bomb.
  15. DarthCane Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 4
    That, and also the fact that at the time the US was switching from a wartime footing to a peacetime footing. The USN commissioned 24 Essex-class carriers and 3 Midway-class large carriers during and after WWII, along with 9 Independence-class light carriers. After the war that looked excessive in light of the required cuts across the newly-formed DoD. All the major services were trying to shove the others in front of the budget axe; a number of highly influential figures like Truman, Eisenhower, and George Marshall wanted to fold the Marine Corps into the Army, the Air Force was pushing to take over all military aviation and sideline the Army and the Navy with nuclear bombers, and the Navy was trying to bump off the B-36. At least it wasn't as bad as the budgetary fratricide in the UK services that continues on up to this day, I suppose ...

    As far as subs, I dunno - much as I miss those classic sea creature names, it's nice to see the old battleship hallmarks resurrected. Given that the subs are probably going to be the front-line punchers in a major war, it works for me.
  16. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Well, the B-36/atom bomb combination was facing stiff competition at the time from the Navy's planned CVA-58/USS United States, which was designed with an atomic mission expressly in mind. Needless to say the Air Force won that fight, but you can say that the SSBN fleet is CVA-58's spiritual heirs-using the vastness of the ocean to provide an impossible to counter deterrent.
  17. DarthCane Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 4
    The USAF's "victory" with the B-36 was fairly short-lived. Along came Korea and the realization that a) jet fighters like the MiG-15 would make hash out of piston-engined bombers and b) nukes or even strategic bombing were not a cure-all or even an available option in many circumstances. What makes the carrier such a valuable weapon is that it's not a one-trick pony; even back when CVA-58 was being designed with the nuclear mission specifically in mind the Navy also had an eye towards using her for a variety of conventional missions including launching airborne assaults. Some forty-five years later we saw the America and Eisenhower loaded up with Army troops and choppers for the intervention in Haiti, and more recently Constellation served as a Special Forces staging base during the initial strikes on Afghanistan.
  18. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Yeah, I remember that air assault in Haiti-wasn't along for the ride, but part of my first unit (10th MTN) was there. I should have been more clear, I guess: the USAF victory was assuming the main role in the deterrent force.
  19. DarthCane Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 4
    Even that didn't last. These days, the Minuteman ICBM force and the air-dropped nukes are just there as an insurance policy, and some are arguing the fixed ICBM silos are an obsolete waste of money. There's been talk of closing at least one of the three Minuteman bases. The bulk of the US nuclear deterrent is on the Ohio-class SSBNs, even after they've been restricted to carrying only about 120 warheads per boat (roughly 1/2 full payload).
  20. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    I'd agree about the land-based silos. Still, bombers + nukes are a whole lot more flexible than the Ohios-they can be called back, after all. Ohios can't.
  21. DarthCane Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 4
    Exactly. Those two legs of the triad compliment each other. The bombers are harder to detect on the actual attack (either via a B-2 ninja-dropping a few hundred kilotons of hurt or a B-52 using standoff cruise missiles) and can be recalled. The SSBNs on the other hand can't call their missiles back and once they launch the missiles are there for early-warning systems to spot, but even if you got insanely lucky and knocked out the entire US command structure and every missile and bomber base you'd still have about 1200 warheads worth of hurt skulking around at sea for the counterpunch. Even the old Soviet Navy on it's best day couldn't have hunted them down in time. I suppose the land-based ICBMs have some pluses - they're easily secured, have more reliable comms (although the SSBNs are pretty well equipped for that; a Crimson Tide scenario is pure Hollywood plot device), and with only one warhead per missile it's easier to launch a limited-scale attack. However, I would suspect the main reason they're kept on is the USAF is loathe to relinquish their little chunk of the "fifteen minutes or the next order is free" nuclear arsenal.
  22. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Yep. Although if the hypersonic cruise missile ever becomes a thing, they'd start thinking about getting rid of them, I think; you'd combine the thirty-minute response time with flexibility.
  23. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    Well, the only reason a bomber can be called back is because it takes it a hell of a lot longer for it to reach its target in the first place right?

    And I thought the only reason we wanted a hypersonic cruise missile is because we can't fire a conventional payload on a ballistic missile without an adversary thinking that it's a nuke. If we start putting nukes on hypersonic cruise missiles then isn't it just a more expensive way of doing the same job?
  24. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    No, you can call a bomber back because it has a crew on board. ICBMs do not, obviously.

    ICBMs are also not exactly cheap, even in relation to a hypersonic cruise missile, particularly when you consider the indirect costs-upkeep of the silo, etc. The nuclear weapons arsenal we currently maintain consumes about 5% annually, although if current plans proceed, that's actually going to increase-right now we're programmed to spend about 64 billion a year on nuclear weapons and associated costs, with a total DOD budget in the neighborhood of 550-600 billion a year for the next 6 or so years. To put that in some context of other individual expenditures-the total DOD procurement budget last year was about 150 billion.

    Basically, nukes are spendy, and the need for land-based ICBMs has been an iffy one for awhile now. Future technologies are going to make it more so.
  25. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    You can self destruct them though...Although you'd still have to go get the actual nuclear device payload, which might be a dicey undertaking, depending on how relations are with the country you just launched a nuclear strike against. While I agree that their role will become increasingly limited and specialized, ICBM's will have a role into the future because you can protect them, and they're more readily MIRV'd. In fact, just this month, the Russian missile forces upgraded their RS-24 "Yars" MIRV'd ICBM in the silo....

    Lots of other interesting news this week.

    1)The Czech military was so impressed with the performance of the MRAP in Afghanistan, the Czech Ministry of Defense is placing an 1 Billion Cz Koruna (that's about 51 million US Dollars) order for a fleet of MRAP's, which appear to match the Marine Corps Mk5A specs.

    2)In a "what were they thinking" kind of story, it seems that Hugo Chavez wanted to show off the "might" of the Venezuelan air force and hosted an air show during the country's "military aviation day" celebration. Except right away, a Venezuelan K-8 light attack jet crashed, and shortly after, a medium helicopter lost engine power while in flight and had to do a controlled decent. I think after those incidents, the entire thing was quickly wrapped up. Good ole Hugo Chavez is certainly cementing the wacky dictator role.

    3) In armored news, Germany is finalizing trials of the latest version of the Leopard tank, the Leopard 2A7. And a private company formerly associated with General Dynamics Land Systems and based in Michigan, has started selling an upgrade kit for the M-60 tank. Although the M-60 itself is no longer 1st Tier status, apparently, enough other countries still use the tank to justify an upgrade.