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Senate The Weekly Discussion of Military Technology

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

  1. Mr44

    Mr44 VIP star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    May 21, 2002
    So, the government of the UAE is making two rather large purchases. While the Ministry of Defense has not confirmed the rationale behind the purchases (of course), they do have a rather obvious role in any potential action against ISIS.

    1)The first order is for 4,500(!) MRAP's (mine resistant vehicles) from the US Department of Defense. This order is rather er...crazy...excessive? 4,500 MRAPS come with a total price of 2.5 Billion dollars. The UAE already has 750 MRAP's which it bought in 2012. Now, the UAE also uses a variant of this vehicle for a lightly armored mortar carrier, and a number from this order is going to be modified to the mortar variant. But still, the UAE could potentially end up with more than 5,000 MRAP's. The standard MRAP:
    [​IMG]

    2)The UAE is also buying 12 more HIMARS multiple rocket launchers from Lockheed Martin. The HIMARS carries a pod of missiles which are fired against ground targets. The version requested by the UAE is the larger anti-personnel variant:
    [​IMG]

    All total, the UAE is going to spend about 4 Billion dollars for these 2 purchases.
     
  2. Ender Sai

    Ender Sai Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Feb 18, 2001
    So they are worried about IS or a variant rising up locally, to the point of spending insane sums on IED resistant craft?

    OK...
     
  3. Mr44

    Mr44 VIP star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    May 21, 2002
    Yeah, I think they're probably considering them to be one in the same.... Or rather probably hedging their bets now.
     
  4. Mr44

    Mr44 VIP star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    May 21, 2002
    So, this week has 2 interesting articles.

    1)Due to successes in the program, the US Navy accelerated the deployment of its directed energy weapon. The news of the laser's testing isn't new on its own, but the laser is being moved to more standard deployment among Navy ships:

    [​IMG]

    2)Not related to the above, but the Brazilian Air Force announced plans to purchase 108 Gripen fighters produced by Saab. Currently, Brazil uses older F-5 fighters which were developed in the 1960's, as well as a joint Italian fighter called the AMX, which was developed in the 1980's. Not only is it a major purchase, it represents a huge increase in the standing of the Brazilian air force. Brazil currently has =/- 109 models of the older fighters, so this is a one for one replacement. The Gripen isn't a "next generation" fighter like more advanced models, but certainly represents a military jump for Brazil. The only problem that could arise is that the overall contract is based on economic standards, and is organized in 3 batches which are stretched out all the way to 2032. So if Brazil's economic situation declines, the batches can be cancelled, and when the last fighters are delivered, they will all need upgrade programs, which, I suppose is the endless cycle of military procurement.
     
  5. Mr44

    Mr44 VIP star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    May 21, 2002
    Back to back aviation news.

    So, it seems that the RAF just signed for its first 4 operational status F-35 fighters. Previously, the RAF purchased 3 F-35's, but those were strictly testing and training models. These 4 aircraft are the core of the RAF's operational fighter squadron of 14 F-35's. And the UK MOD is putting them in the historic 617 RAF Squadron, the "Dambusters." The initial purchase is for 48 F-35's total, up to a maximum of 138. Training for UK pilots is taking place at Beaufort Pilot Training Center at the air station in Beaufort, South Carolina, so there are going to be a lot of British pilots in South Carolina.

    This version of the F-35 is the "B" version, which replaces the Harrier jet that was used by the UK, but has been phased out of service:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  6. heels1785

    heels1785 JCC/PT/New Films Manager star 7 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Dec 10, 2003
    Nice. Beaufort is about an hour from my home.
     
  7. Mr44

    Mr44 VIP star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    May 21, 2002
    So, in an interesting turn of events, Bulgaria just transferred 18 artillery pieces to the government of Iraq. Why? Because the Iraqi forces had been using more modern US supplied M198 artillery, and the Iraqi military abandoned a good number of them, which were then captured by ISIS fighters. In fact, Iraq just signed an agreement with Russia to supply 2 or 3 divisions worth with artillery pieces and unguided ground to ground rockets. Iraq just can't seem to stay away from the "dumb" type, popularized by the SCUD missile system, which is more of a terror weapon than any kind of tactical system.

    The other interesting thing is that NATO spec'ed artillery is 150mm in caliber, while the Bulgarian/Russian supplied artillery is 152mm, so the two are not going to be compatible. That's going to create some logistical problems for the Iraqi forces, which already have their share of issues. Here's an image of the Bulgarian gun. While it's all spit polished for the picture, it does look like it stepped right out of 1950:
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Sarge

    Sarge Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Oct 4, 1998
    What kind of ammo comes with those? Roundshot, grape, and chain?
     
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  9. heels1785

    heels1785 JCC/PT/New Films Manager star 7 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Dec 10, 2003
    44 - thoughts on China stealing the F-35 plans (per Snowden)?

    Big deal, or headline aimed at riling people up? I defer to your expertise on military tech.
     
  10. Mr44

    Mr44 VIP star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    May 21, 2002
    Heh. Bocce ball. That way, it doubles for lawn parties as well.

    No big deal. What matters is that even Snowden's accounts indicate that China (although China denies it) only hacked the physical design specifications from Lockheed Martin. Anyone can get the physical designs from a basic internet search, so this isn't a big deal. Lockheed Martin has said that no classified documents were stored on their servers. Because that's where it would matter. If sensitive or next gen technology was taken, that would be a bigger deal. The F-35 and F-22 have advanced data linking systems, etc.... that set them apart from other fighters. For instance, the radar system is the heart of any fighter. Getting the radar plans would mean that a foreign power could A)copy the radar, but B) use the specs to come up with anti-radar or jamming systems.

    And lo and behold, China has a prototype that looks like the F-35, called the J-31 Falcon Eagle or Falcon Hawk (which combines 2 the names of 2 US fighters in a rather awkward fashion), but it's a low cost version, without all of the special equipment:

    [​IMG]

    Even the prototype looks like it's built only for display, and one would expect to find an empty wood frame underneath. So it's like if someone stole the plans for the next model of Ferrari, copied the body, but then only had a Corolla engine to stick in under the hood. It would look vaguely Farrari-esque, but it wouldn't be a Ferrari.
     
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  11. Mr44

    Mr44 VIP star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    May 21, 2002
    So, public images have been released which detail construction occurring on a newly built Chinese military base on the Nanji Islands:
    [​IMG]

    It looks to have 10 helipads and supporting structures. The importance of this base is that it sits about 180 miles away from another island chain, known as the East China Sea Islands (or Diaoyu Islands in China or Senkaku Islands in Japan)

    The he East China Sea Islands are currently under dispute by both the governments of Japan and China, and this new Chinese military base represents a escalation in that dispute. The nearest Japanese allied military base is Okinawa, which also has a large US Marine presence. Although both China and Japan acknowledge that Japan annexed the islands back in 1895, the US actually governed the islands as part of Japan's WWII surrender up until 1972, when the US traded the islands for some more military facilities on Okinawa. Here's a Japanese Maritime Defense patrol plane flying over the disputed islands.

    [​IMG]

    The US Navy is also repositioning a guided missile carrier-The USS Chancellorsville- to the Japanese port of Yokosuka.
     
  12. heels1785

    heels1785 JCC/PT/New Films Manager star 7 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Dec 10, 2003
    That does not appear to be a small military base that they're building. /Ric Ollie

    Interesting development.
     
  13. Mr44

    Mr44 VIP star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    May 21, 2002
    It's also larger than in the one image, because it's actually a series of connected facilities. Here's an image taken from a different facing:

    [​IMG]

    Interestingly, the base is speculated to be powered by wind turbines, because of the difficulty of shipping fossil fuels. Surely, there has to be some sort of large scale battery backup, because you don't want to have your radar systems dependent on the wind.
     
  14. Mr44

    Mr44 VIP star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    May 21, 2002
    So, last week, Russia finalized the deal for new assault rifles for segments of its military forces. Although honestly, it looks to be a mixed bag, as evidenced by the following quote from the Deputy Minister of Defense Yuriy Borisov:

    "We selected assault rifles from Izhmash. It won in cost to effectiveness terms. The quality is also acceptable for us.."

    I'm sure some of that might be due to differences in translation, but saying "quality is acceptable..." sure gives an insight as to the financial situation of the military. And, in fact, the new rifle actually failed a first round of tests, but was re-submitted after political pressure. This is the version which replaces the AK-74, although the AK-74 will continue to be used along side the new rifle:

    [​IMG]

    It does look rather...crude...compared to other modern military rifles. There's another version for export and for second line troops which uses the older Soviet ammunition.
     
  15. Mr44

    Mr44 VIP star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    May 21, 2002
    So, piggybacking off of the purchase of Russia's new assault rifle, the Russian government just updated its military doctrine policy guideline, which it last did in 2009 for 2010.

    It has an important guiding clause which says that Russia will not retreat from its security concerns and will engage in a programme of military expansion. The language is most definitely a return to a mindset that was active during the cold war and while the policy paper has a general focus, it's obviously a slap at the West (and specifically the Ukraine) with room for future events.

    Russia is what can be called...internationally grumpy....and it's going to have important ramifications in the near future. The US is increasingly shifting its focus to the Asian region, so it will be interesting to see which country in Europe takes the lead in dealing with Russia and vital EU energy concerns. The obvious choice is Germany, but Germany has traditionally relied on the US for power projection, and the US has been shrinking and consolidating its overseas bases. Either the US will have to expand its bases again, or perhaps the EU will increase in the role of the combined EU forces, which at the moment, are relatively small?

    And in fact, Russia is providing Kazakhstan with Russian fighter planes (Sukhoi 30SM 'Flanker' versions) and what's more interesting, is that even with the US President's visit to India, the Indian government agreed to spend the sum of 5.5 billion US for new Russian fighter jets as well.
     
  16. Mr44

    Mr44 VIP star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    May 21, 2002
    So, in a move which has rather direct international diplomacy connotations, for the first time since about 1999, the US Air Force is deploying the A-10 Warthog to Europe as part of a NATO security package relating to the situation in the Ukraine:

    [​IMG]

    The A-10 was originally developed during the cold war with the single purpose of destroying Soviet tanks which were predicted to pour across Europe back then. It's the attack aircraft which uses the infamous 30mm gatling gun which fires depleted uranium projectiles. A package of 12 A-10's, along with support personnel, are being sent to Germany, where they will be further divided up and deployed to undisclosed air bases in Eastern Europe. So it looks like the A-10 has come full circle. The A-10 is easily the US's most powerful ground attack aircraft, and it sends a pretty powerful message to Russia, even if it is a further heating up of the new cold war which seems to be developing. It will be interesting to see how Russia reacts.

    It's also interesting, because internally, just a few short months ago, the A-10 was being looked at for budget cuts. Instead, the A-10's budget is increased to 338 million dollars, which is rather substantial for a plane which the last one was built in 1984. But for its role, nothing beats it, which is why it has lasted for so long.
     
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  17. Sarge

    Sarge Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Oct 4, 1998
    I have a 30mm casing from an A-10 on my window sill. It's about the size of a small Coke bottle. That GAU-8 gun is obscene, in the best sense of the word.
     
  18. Ender Sai

    Ender Sai Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Feb 18, 2001

    It looks like one of those AK copies, like the Galil or the Chinese ones, with rail mountings.

    So yeah. Not great.
     
  19. Alpha-Red

    Alpha-Red Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Apr 25, 2004
    So, I was looking up some stuff on the GAU-8 Avenger on Google, and apparently it's not actually able to kill tanks, but is used on softer targets instead? If this is the case, how did it get a reputation as being a "tank-killer"?
     
  20. Mr44

    Mr44 VIP star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    May 21, 2002
    I suppose it depends on what you mean, and what "Google sources" you looked up. What do you mean it isn't able to kill tanks?

    During Desert Storm, A-10's destroyed roughly 806 vehicles with the gatling gun alone, the rest with missiles. The actual number was probably greater, but granted, this doesn't separate out heavily armored tanks vs other armored vehicles. Dealing with the tanks, even if most of those are "technical kills-" ie the tank's tread, communications, etc.. were destroyed, the cannon is still doing quite well. In fact, here's an assessment on the gun's overall effectiveness vs the T-72, which was the main Iraqi battle tank during Desert Storm:
    "During Operation DESERT STORM 30mm Armor Piercing Incendiary munitions using a depleted uranium penetrator slug from the GAU-8 Gatling gun. The armor-piercing capability of the projectiles fired from A/OA-10s proved exceptionally effective in countering threats from the Iraqi tanks so that a successful ground offensive could then be achieved."

    And here's an earlier assessment of the gun's effectiveness vs Soviet tanks of the time. It's a 93 page .pdf, but it basically says the GAU-8 kills tanks:

    [link=http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a085713.pdf]HERE[/link]

    The tanks destroyed were older Soviet T-62 models, but still, out of 6 tanks shot, 3 suffered from immediate catastrophic explosions and 2 suffered 100% mobility loss. That's an 83% kill effectiveness. The tank that survived was attacked from the front where the armor is strongest. But who is going to attack a tank from head on, especially since the A-10 is designed to attack from the top and/or from diving angles? Shooting at the front of a tank was a "what if" scenario.

    So, yeah, I guess, technically, the 30mm cannon isn't going to kill a tank by shooting through its front armor, but since the A-10 operates in the sky, it isn't limited to attacking from the front. Otherwise, a 83% kill rate against tanks is more than effective, and which formed its reputation as a tank killer.
     
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  21. Darth Punk

    Darth Punk Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Nov 25, 2013
    Anyone seen the latest effort from darpa funded boston dynamics?
     
  22. Ender Sai

    Ender Sai Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Feb 18, 2001
    Yeah I'd seen similar assessments, 44, and was surprised it's being touted as "not a tank killer".

    EDIT: Though, wow, those are some crude illustrations of an A-10 attacking a tank. In an official DoD document. Drawings. Crude drawings.
     
  23. VadersLaMent

    VadersLaMent Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Apr 3, 2002
  24. Alpha-Red

    Alpha-Red Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Apr 25, 2004
    Another thread jump.


    So from what I can gather, the whole rationale for the F-35 is because we supposedly need stealth aircraft to beat the S-300? Why can't this be accomplished with jamming and SEAD like we used to do?
     
  25. Sarge

    Sarge Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Oct 4, 1998
    You can't always rely on jamming and SEAD. What if the hostile radar switches to a freq that the jammer isn't set up for? What if the wild weasels miss a site during a SEAD mission? I wouldn't want to fly a combat mission without having multiple backup plans to survive. And I'd trust stealth to be more reliable than jamming or SEAD. (If anyone is wondering that's Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses, basically attacking the enemy's guns, missiles, radar, etc)
     
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