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
    Yeah, that sounds pretty cool. The Falcon series is just what the space program needs. We'll just have to see what comes up from a budgetary standpoint. "14 out of 50 projected Air Force launches" seems rather ambitious to me.

    The only problem is that the founder's last name is Musk, which isn't the best as far as Fortune 500 sounding names go...certainly not as power-named like a Gates, or Trump... But he certainly has his hands in a lot of pies-also co-founding Tesla motors and Paypal.....
  2. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Well, Trump is a moron :p So Musk has him there.

    I agree about the ambitiousness. But well, why wouldn't the USAF contract out, as opposed to being held hostage to a NASA launch cycle that Congress randomly cuts money from based on the phases of the moon?
  3. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    What I mean is that 50 total launches seems ambitious, not to mention contracting out 14 of them. You're right though, that it is the Air Force, which has a greater pull in Congress than NASA, which probably shouldn't be the case. But I could see the projected ratio come down to something like "3 out of 14 total missions" instead of Congress paying for all 50. But yeah, Space X is going t be huge, assuming it avoids the pitfalls of being a DOD contractor.
  4. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    I think it will-for one thing, it's main focus isn't military contracts so much as space exploration; military contracts are just the guaranteed-money stream to support that.

    Plus, those fifty launches are over a decade...five or so a year doesn't seem like a whole lot, necessarily.
  5. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    (I got S1 of Strike Back on your recommendation Mr44)
  6. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    (So, it's one of the dwarves from the Hobbit with Rick from Walking Dead/the guy who had the hots for Keira Knightley in Love Actually)
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  7. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    That's the 6 episode series with Richard Armitage (he's Thorin in the Hobbit). That's the one that's not available in the US, and has become the prologue to the other 2 series. I haven't seen that one. It's the one that fits more closely with Ryan's book. You'll have to give a report on it, as I would be interested in seeing what it comprises, as they only reference it in the later series.

    Outside the US, I think the first Cinemax produced series is called Strike Back: Project Dawn, with Vengeance being the second. (The US releases don't have the secondary titles) PD is the one that I would highly recommend. Without giving anything away, it has an...interesting... depiction of the ISI that would fit well around here.
  8. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    So, in another interesting bit of news from a week, 2 weeks ago.... It looks like Denmark just bough a batch of US Navy grouped MH-60R sea patrol "Seahawk" helicopters. As the name suggests, the Seahawk is a slightly modified version of the UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter. The version that Denmark is buying has a pretty powerful sonar system attached, and can be fitted either air-dropped torpedoes or Hellfire missiles. The other choice came down to the British Royal Navy's Lynx helicopter, although that design seems to be the older one, and wasn't selected. The Eurocopter Panther was also being considered by the Danish Ministry of Defense, but was eliminated in trials compared to the Seahawk and Lynx.

    I wonder what role the Royal Danish Military has for the new helicopters? Since the US/NATO base at Thule Greenland has a mixture of about 600 US and Danish troops, I'm sure a large role is going to go in support of it.
  9. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
  10. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    So far it's like Spooks meets The Unit. I'm not saying either of those shows are bad (though I only watched the first two seasons of Spooks I watched all 4 of the Unit and enjoyed most of it) - but this doesn't offer me anything new. I'll wait for S2, I think.
  11. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Never heard of The Spooks, myself. I'm assuming it's about spies? :p
  12. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Yeah, Spooks is the original title in the UK. It's actually available in the US except it's called MI5, if you see that title in any schedule. Here, MI5/Spooks is on our PBS channel. (its on Weds nights) All 10 seasons are available on DVD as well. Like E_S, I haven't seen a lot of Spooks/MI5. I'd say it is closer to maybe 24 but with a British flavor, or Chuck without the nerdy humor. What stands out about Spooks which US audiences would not be familiar with is that the show puts its main characters through the wringer. Imagine MASH if Hawkeye got captured in the second season, tortured by North Korean troops, and then beheaded and his head left at the camp entrance. Then when Winchester showed up to replace him, he's kidnapped and thrown from a helicopter 4 episodes later.....And a new character still has to come in and replace both of them....That's Spooks/MI5.

    E_S, yes wait until the 2nd season forward. If you liked the Unit, you'll love the post-John Porter Strike Back with Stonebridge and Scott.
  13. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Oh, that. Yeah I think its on Netflix.
  14. Darth Mulacki Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 4, 1999
    star 5
    From what I've been hearing in the local news and press releases, the new helicopters will just replace the role the former Lynx had. Most of that role being used in territorial waters for search and rescue missions, transport, and support missions. One or two will most likely also be sent to support the Royal Navy ship that are conduction anti-pirate operations in the Aden bay.

    Even if they are capable of carrying missiles, they usually only have a heavy machine gun, like an Browning M2 mounted on either side.

    From what I know the Thule base primarily uses USAF helicopters as the danish ones aren't fitted for operations in extreme cold operations.
  15. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Interesting. So it's more like the Danish military invested in the "rather have it and not need it..." philosophy considering that the reason the MH-60 R version seems to have won out because it could be fixed with a more powerful sensor package and the Lynx had older tech in this regard.
  16. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Well, that just plain makes sense. Buying a platform with zero upgradeability is stupid, especially in this budget environment.
  17. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    Well it lacks the chest thumping idiocy of 24 (I lost respect in the 2nd season when Kiefer Sutherland shot a Federal witness and cut his head off. I mean, come on!) but otherwise, that's an accurate description. MI5 was quite chuffed with the series - the accuracy is of course dubious and the amount of action overstated, but as a recruiter for the Security Service? It's been a great asset.
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  18. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Well, I would both agree and disagree, it just depends on how much this purchase represented within Denmark's overall military budget. If 99% of the time, Denmark uses the helicopters in the search and support role, it would make sense to simply get the $21-22 million base model instead of a $30 million dollar advanced model since the additional costs adds up to +/- $72-90 million dollars over the total contract, especially if the new version is still better than the older Lynx. It's like needing to replace Hueys with Blackhawks, but deciding to buy Apaches simply in case the extra capability is needed. Well, ok, it's not exactly the same.....but still..... If Denmark was looking to increase its own role in NATO's Northern patrol and/or integration, the extra cost would be worth it. If Denmark is simply going to mount a Minimi or M2 in the door gunner position and fly them around the North Sea 13 miles out, I'm not sure the extra bells and whistles would be worth it just to have. Although the ADF just selected a similar version of the Seahawk as well, and I'm pretty sure there are close ties between Denmark and Australia.

    But Denmark also gets a giant gold star in my book since they almost exclusively use Colt small arms, (mostly Colt-Canada, which is still a division of the main Colt Company) including Colt's original Automatic rifle. Although at this point, the Colt AR is kind of retro-chic, and Denmark is phasing it out for the Minimi. Maybe Colt will submit their updated IAR concept, the one the Marines didn't select, and Denmark could continue its "nearly all Colt" tradition?
  19. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    I'm still sticking to upgradeability being worth it over potentially having to buy brand-new helicopters a decade down the road. Especially for an European military.
  20. DarthCane Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 4
    The MH-60R is a pretty versatile bird - its original purpose is to hunt subs, but it's also good for hunting down small surface targets, popping stuff on land, SAR, and surveillance tasks. It fits well with their new Absalon- and Ivar Huitfeldt-class ships, which are designed to swap out StaniFlex mission modules (basically they're far less sucky examples of the Littoral Combat Ship idea, except they're also twice the size). The other contenders included the Agusta/Westland AW101 Merlin and NHI NH-90, both of which have had teething problems. By contrast the Romeo Hawk is in service, ready to go, and is being used by the USN and will be used soon by Australia and Qatar. It should have parts commonality with the MH-60S cargo variant, which is used by the USN and has been ordered by the Republic of Korea. I'm not sure what the parts commonality is with older H-60 models, but that's a big factor right there - the more customers using the platform, the cheaper the O&M costs will be. The smartest move in that area, IMO, was when the USN decided to go with a Boeing 737 variant as their new maritime patrol aircraft. Contrast that with the UK Ministry of Defence/Duncery that decided it was a good idea to blow hundreds of millions of pounds on modernizing the world's only remaining handful of De Havilland Comet airframes :oops:
  21. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Yeah, the MH-60R is also supposed to go on the new LCS ships when they start being deployed.
  22. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Guys, guys, you seemed to miss the thrust of my original post, as most of the above 2 posts seem to think that someone was advocating that Denmark keep its aged Lynx helicopters. I wasn't questioning the choice of the Seahawk, I was looking for speculation on any new roles the new helicopters would be undertaking.

    Because as things stand, it doesn't look like Denmark needs the latest version, unless there are other plans waiting in the wings. Remember, this is a 690 million dollar contract we're talking about, and if Denmark knocked off 90-100 million dollars from that, that's not a small amount. Because Denmark could have bought the "B-2" version and still achieved commonality with NATO allies at millions in price reduction. It could have bought the "F" version as well, and so on... As Mulacki pointed out, even the official press release says "The new helicopter will be primarily tasked to defend Danish interests in the North Atlantic, executing anti-piracy operations, and conducting other missions including search and rescue and surveillance operations, but will also be used for a number of other secondary missions such as fishery inspection or joint exercises." I'm pretty sure that if it comes down Royal Danish helicopters operating off of the decks of US Navy Littoral Combat ships, then it means we're in the middle of WWIII......But even then, I'm sure that a B, F, or J version would fit just as well as a MH-60R with all the bells and whistles.. It just seems like overkill to add in 10 million dollars worth of additional equipment per helicopter like a 99 channel sonobuy system in 8 directions, if the helicopters are going to be engaged in "fishery inspection" 99% of the time. In a nutshell, it's going to be difficult to recoup the investment by simply mounting a M2 on the door and flying after North Atlantic pirates.

    The Seahawk is a great helicopter for Denmark, I was just wondering if the new purchase meant that the Danish Ministry of Defense was looking at increasing its international presence or assuming an additional responsibility under NATO.
  23. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    North atlantic pirates? o_O
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  24. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Hey, it wasn't my press release...

    Besides, you wouldn't scoff if you've ever felt the scourge of the dreaded North Atlantic pirate...They make the Lord's Resistance Army seem like a Nickelodeon special. Apparently to the tune of 100 million dollars worth of a solution..... :p
  25. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    I wasn't aware Blackbeard had made a return :p