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
    So, there's a little blurb that came from the Jordan Times.

    The Chinese government just provided the Jordanian military with a 5 million dollar grant that Jordan has to then turn around and purchase the same amount of Chinese military hardware. It's a minor amount compared to other contracts, but it represents an interesting aspect of the arms race in the region. Of course, this is what 5 million dollars buys Jordan:

    [IMG]

    That's a Type W86 120mm mortar produced by the Chinese company Norinco, mounted on a Jordanian military "mobile chassis," But still, Jordan has always been quite-Western focused at least for its high-tech military contracts. Maybe Jordan is turning to China to buy all the low tech stuff that could be used to keep insurgents and refugees and such in line? (hint-Syria?)
  2. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    So, last week, the Philippine army announced that it modified 14 of its armored personnel carriers by adding the 2 person turret salvaged from old British Scorpion recon tanks.

    The turret itself houses a 76mm low velocity gun:

    [IMG]

    The interesting part of the announcement is that the combined vehicle isn't suitable for direct armor to armor combat, but rather the Philippine MOD is going to use them for internal threats and against insurgents. The Philippines has a fairly active al Qaida cell that operates within the country, and has engaged in frequent kidnapping operations. Last week, Warren Rodwell, an Australian, was released by the cell after being held captive for about a year and a half. Currently, al Qaeda there is holding anywhere from 6-12 people of various nationalities.
  3. Sarge Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 1998
    star 4
    ^ Is that an old M-113 chassis?
  4. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    It's not old. The Philippines still uses the M113 on front line service. Technically, the US Army still uses the A3 version in the support role, even though the US stopped buying them about 5 years ago and is going to retire them all in 4 more years. The Mortar carrier variant was still being used by the US in Iraq as late as 2005. The Israeli's actually collect used M113's and refurbish them to sell on the secondary market.

    This Philippine variant makes sense for their use. Old turrets from decommissioned British light tanks mounted on a surplus M113 chassis. It's like a new vehicle at a fraction of the price. The 76mm gun can also fire the old British "squash head" round, which blasts through concrete and brick. Kind of the poor man's bunker buster. The only thing that is going to give the Philippine commanders nightmares is that their version doesn't have any modern protection against RPG's. Give a terrorist an RPG-7 and it's going to be 1967 all over again.
    Last edited by Mr44, Jan 19, 2014
    CloneUncleOwen and Sarge like this.
  5. Sarge Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 1998
    star 4
    I didn't realize it stayed in production that long. Anyway, I meant old design. It's not exactly cutting edge tech anymore, even with upgrades.
  6. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    So, in another commentary on how hot spots change, The Japanese Defense Forces just spent 20 million Yen to conduct a study to upgrade a class of their amphibious landing ships to be able to carry V-22 Ospreys and AAV-7 tracked landing vehicles. The interesting aspect is that currently, only the US Marines use the Osprey and AAV-7's in large numbers. (Taiwan is probably the largest user of AAV-7's besides the Marines, and only Japan and Israel have orders for the Osprey)

    So basically, Japan is spending millions of Yen of its own money to refit its landing ships to deliver US Marines to hostile beaches. That's a pretty specific set of circumstances, as Japan is obviously directing this toward North Korea and/or China. At the very least, Japan is certainly sending a message that it will continue to take a more active role in the region...(even if that role also involves the US)
    CloneUncleOwen likes this.
  7. Sarge Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 1998
    star 4
    What makes you think Japan isn't considering buying more V-22s and AAV-7s?
  8. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Oh, I think they certainly are. But even then, I'm not sure the numbers that the JDF would buy would justify the modification, especially since they seem to be doing the modification first. For example, I'm almost positive that Japan hasn't actually taken delivery of any Ospreys-I think they are all just on order. (They might have a couple of test versions or something, but nothing in large numbers)

    I think it's a good option for the JDF to have if it is looking at taking a larger role in the region.
  9. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Although the laser itself has already been examined around here, it looks like the US Navy is ready to field its laser system for real world use. The "high energy laser system" (or "AN/SEQ-3" in navyspeak) is ready to complete its final laboratory test. After completion, the laser system will be mounted on the USS Ponce in a couple of months and sailed to various locations. The prototype laser was also mounted on the USS Dewey, although in more controlled situations.

    While the Ponce itself is an older ship and is currently used as a test bed for new concepts, is the rest of the world ready for the US Navy basically sailing miniature Death Stars around the world?

    [IMG]
  10. beezel26 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2003
    star 7
    The Osprey is the worse design in the world. It can't any fire or strong wind. Can't land upclose next to others. The military simply forgot that VStol technology works much better with higher outputs and fewer problems. Plus they can take a hit and still stay in the air. They should have expanded the use of the harrier jump jet configuration and increased the horsepower and you end up with a lot easier vehicle to fly. And carry more troops and equipment.
  11. Sarge Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 1998
    star 4
    Are you suggesting a jet-powered V-22? That wouldn't work. Jets are efficient at high speed and high altitude. For the Osprey's mission, it has to be efficient when it's low and slow. Turboprops are far more efficient in that regime. A jet powered Osprey would be extremely limited in range and endurance, and the whole point of the Osprey was to make a helicopter with better range and endurance.
  12. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    Anyone read "The Dream Machine" by Richard Whittle? I got the impression that if the Marines had gone for a lighter tiltrotor more along the lines of the XV-15 or the AW609, they could've had a simpler aircraft, with less re-design headaches, delays, and cost overruns. Of course the tradeoff would be less carrying capacity, but considering that the Osprey's main asset is speed, that's probably something they could live with.
  13. beezel26 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2003
    star 7
    We have marine Harriers. Its not that difficult to adapt to the set up. Hell I know of at least four to five different ways of doing it with modern engineering. You just have to think outside the conventional forward facing props works for everything. Hell the Germans built the worlds first Stealth Bomber but didn't have time to get it off the ground. It was a flying wing with jet engines invented before the end of the war. The germans came up with many an airplane that was unusual but that became the normal when conventional thinkers were retired and the smart guys got their shots.
  14. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    I haven't read the Book, AR. From what I understand from following the story because the Osprey was in constant danger of being cancelled, it had to achieve a performance leaps above what a helicopter could deliver, otherwise, the Marines would have to simply buy new helicopters. (which I think they should have) It had to be an evolutionary jump above a Sea Knight or Chinook, etc... Of course, in typical government/procurement fashion, once billions of dollars of extra money is poured into something, it has to be finished to see the result. I've softened my opinion over the Osprey a bit. It has apparently had great success with Air Force special operations for limited use. But I don't think it will ever be worth the cost for what it is.

    Ironically, the same combat weaknesses that the Osprey faces has made it quite effective for humanitarian missions and search and rescue operations because it can fly longer distances and just land where the food/medicine/supplies are needed. Case in point, I think the Osprey's first 3 or so major missions have all been focused on delivering disaster relief and aid and the like. Again, I don't know if that alone justifies the cost, but there it is. I'd say that the Marines should transfer their Ospreys to the Coast Guard where the Osprey would be effective, but then the Marines would still have to buy new helicopters. Regardless, I don't think the Osprey will ever land squads and squads of Marines into combat zones.
  15. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    Mmm, so I think the big news a while ago was that Sweden finally made a major Gripen sale, beating out the Super Hornet in Brazil's fighter competition (and quite likely due to the kerfuffle over the NSA spying). So what do you think, will the Gripen be seeing more customers elsewhere?
  16. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    I guess it depends. The Gripen, despite being a decent fighter, has had a very rocky history. I think the air disasters it suffered early on turned a lot of countries away in the beginning of its development when it mattered, and as a result, only a smattering have been sold here and there. The contract with Brazil is a solid order, but the terms itself are very interesting. 4 years ago, when the F/A-18 and the Rafale were still being considered, the original contract was going to be for $6 billion. Saab knocked off $1.5 billion dollars, and the contract that was signed with Brazil is for $4.5 billion dollars, which represents a deep, deep discount. Saab has been taking this approach and offering huge discounts in its recent proposals. I wonder if figures are available which break down if Saab took a loss on the Brazil sale just to win the contract?

    I'd say most damaging to the Gripen's future, is that Gripens were sent to patrol the no-fly zone over Libya during that operation. While no Gripens were used for combat roles, a Swedish air force officer turned in a scathing after action report against the Gripen compared to other NATO jets that were used during that operation. Basically, the officer suggested that the Gripen will be obsolete for air to air combat in 6 years. (without numerous and costly upgrades)

    So while I can see the Gripen still getting modest contracts with third tier militaries where cost is a factor, no first tier nation is going to buy them. As a private company supported by the Swedish Defense Ministry, maybe that's all Saab needs to keep the line going?
  17. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Sarge, we examined this before...But as if right on cue, the Philippine military just placed another order for more M113's from Israel. (someone there must read TF.N...)

    Basically, the Elbit company out of Haifa buys surplus M113's from the US, upgrades/refurbishes them, and then sells them back to countries like the Philippines. The price for the upgraded vehicles are about $670,000. It's interesting because the US will have a large number of retired M113's over the next 4-5 years. And this will keep the M113 in service for another 20 years or so, considering it was first fielded back in 1960. That's not bad for a vehicle which is basically nothing more than an aluminum box on tracks. Here's another image painted in unique Pilipino camouflage:

    [IMG]

    The question is, why is the Philippines buying so many armored vehicles recently? Major operation in the works?
  18. Sarge Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 1998
    star 4
    Might be seen as a good choice for COIN in the Philippines. Is that Ma Deuce on top?
  19. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    So, switching gears to India for a moment, the Indian Ministry of Defense seems to be participating in an orgy of military hardware purchases:

    The big news is that the Indian government is planning on purchasing 37 helicopters from the US. 15 Chinook transport helicopters and 22 Apache attack helicopters. All are a direct response to Pakistan and focused on quickly moving troops to the mountainous region that separates the 2 countries..

    But for 2014 alone, here is India's "shopping list" of weapons and equipment:
    126 Dassault Rafale fighter aircraft
    6 Airbus Tanker Transport aircraft
    145 M777 howitzers (used by the US, Canada, and Australia)
    66,000 assault rifles, along with 44,618 carbines.
    33.6 million rounds of ammunition
    197 non-finalized light utility helicopters.

    The total amount for the contracts reach into the billions of dollars. How Pakistan responds to the escalation is anyone's guess.
  20. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    Buy more stuff from China? Embrace radical militants again? Seems like every time Pakistan wants to even the playing field with India, the world suffers for it. I read something to the extent of the U.S. State Department trying to convince India to relinquish Kashmir couple decades back, only for India to tell us to "mind your own business". So I guess we can't do much about that either.
  21. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 8
    Sorry... you have a ship named USS Ponce?
  22. Point Given Mod of Literature and Community

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Dec 12, 2006
    star 5
    The name is from Ponce, Puerto Rico
    Last edited by Point Given, Feb 12, 2014
  23. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 8
    ponce
    p…íns/
    BRIT.informal
    noun

    1. 1.
      derogatory
      an effeminate man.
    2. 2.
      a man who lives off a prostitute's earnings.
    verb

    1. 1.
      live off a prostitute's earnings.
      "he was arrested for poncing on the girl"
    Clearly it's cultural but an unfortunately choice as a result.
  24. Lord Vivec Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 7
    One solution is for india not to escalate. That way no one feels like they need to catch up.
  25. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 8

    Solutions need to be viable, Vivec.