Saturday, August 31, 2013


This is coolbert:

From a comment to the blog by Steiner:

"America's best fighter, forgotten today, was the mighty P-47 Thunderbolt. Powerful, fast, heavily armed and armoured, it absorbed the Luftwaffe's blows during the AAF's difficult days in 1942 and '43."

That P-47 Thunderbolt in the tactical aviation role most impressive.

Tactical aviation in the ground-attack mission especially so during the Battle of France [1944].

German ground forces subjected to ground-attack on a relentless basis the P-47 ideally suited for the task.

Bombs, rockets and the eight .50 caliber [12.7 mm] machine guns as carried by the P-47!

The American tactical aviation assets primarily the P-47 operating out of field expedient airfields well forward, German units unable to move during hours of daylight without coming under attack.

That soil of the Normandy area more suitable also for the construction of those "field expedient airfields". As advanced the armies eastward, so did the air strips and the P-47 warplanes.

Consider merely this one incident from the Battle of France [1944]:

"Thirty-six P-47's of the 406th Fighter Group took off on September 7, 1944 at 15:05 hours and raced south of the Loire River to find the road from Chateauroux to Issoudon clogged with military transport, horse drawn vehicles, horse drawn artillery, armored vehicles and personnel. Attacking this enemy concentration, at minimum altitude, in spite of accurate ground fire, the...pilots...made pass after pass until their bombs, rockets, and ammunition were expended. The road was blocked for 15 miles with personnel casualties, wrecked and burning military transport. More than 300 enemy military vehicles were destroyed in this attack alone."

This almost sounds like that Turkish brigade annihilated during the withdrawal from Megiddo, 1918.

Strafing attacks by allied tactical aviation in Normandy most deadly in that regard at a most crucial moment, a significant number of senior German combat commanders killed and wounded !

"Fight the enemy with weapons you have and he does not" - - Suvorov. Surely in Normandy that was the case with the P-47!!


Friday, August 30, 2013


This is coolbert:

"do it the ze French way!"

Yet one more indication the South China Sea situation is heating up. That arms race continually the pot boiling.

The Filipino increasing their naval military might yet again, this time courtesy of the French.

Purchasing additional refurbished patrol vessels, complementing those American Coast Guard cutters already in the inventory.

Thanks to StrategyPage and as shown in entirety:

"France Helps The Philippines Get Respectable Against China"

 "August 29, 2013: The Philippines has turned to France to obtain more offshore patrol ships for its coast guard. The first to arrive (in 2014) is a recently retired P400 class patrol boat. The 373 ton, 54.8 meter (180 foot) long vessel has a crew of up to 29 and two ten-seat small power boats on board.  Top speed is 44 kilometers an hour and can stay out up to 20 days at a time. Armament consists of a 40mm and 20mm autocannon, plus two heavy machine-guns and some small arms. The 26 year old P400 will be refurbished before delivery to the Philippines. Total cost to the Philippines will be about $8 million.

"Separately, the Philippines is buying a newly built 82 meter (271-foot) patrol ship and four 24 meter (79-foot) patrol boats from France for $120 million. The larger ship is similar to the P400 and meant to patrol hundreds of kilometers off the coast, while the smaller boats are for coastal patrols. The larger vessels will be dealing with even larger ships China is building for patrols off the coast of neighboring countries. China claims all of the South China Sea, including areas very close to the Filipino coast."

These patrol boats just that, patrol, the offensive capability limited at best. Vessels the intention of which was for patrolling the FRENCH EEZ [Economic Exclusion Zone].

That Filipino now demonstrating a certain MARKED determination to protect what they perceive as vital interests, land-masses and an EEZ in the South China Sea over which their is contested dominion.

The Filipino having only recently either obtained or contracted for a variety of naval and naval related assets. Read further here and here.


Blue Book.

This is coolbert:

That topic of space aliens and unidentified flying objects [UFO] NOW having a rational and objective explanation? NOT flying saucers from outer space. NOT alien space craft traveling across the galaxy or even beyond. Creatures from another world NOT observing earthlings from afar or even close-up.

The UFO phenomenon and craze still existing to some extent but much ameliorated and restrained.

"Blue Book director claimed he was forewarned of D.C. UFOs"

"Those in ufology circles have long pondered the Washington, D.C. UFO flap of 1952. Numerous reported sightings occurred in the vicinity of the capitol and were detected on radar, earning the chain of events its popular acceptance as one of the most significant UFO cases of all time. Much less popularly discussed is that Air Force Captain Edward Ruppelt, who directed Project Blue Book, claimed he was informed about the sightings – two days before they happened."

That Washington , D.C. "UFO flap of 1952" the thing of legend?

SWARMS of UFO spotted over DC during the Eisenhower administration, the story always having been that Eisenhower was told by his scientific advisers to refrain from responding in ANY MANNER, so prodigious, ominous and unknown was perceived the threat.

UFO "spotted" and "seen" NOT so much by observers on the ground with the unaided eye but rather by civilian and military radar operators? More of a figurative sighting than a literal?

UFO "spotted" and "seen" all the while those "alien" spacecraft the result of CIA/military experimentation into radar SPOOFING?

The entire "UFO flap" part and parcel of what was called Project Palladium?

"Basically, we received the radar signal and fed it into a variable-delay line before transmitting the signal back to the radar. By smoothly varying the length of the delay line, we could simulate the false target’s range and speed. Knowing the radar’s power and spatial coverage from the aircraft precision measurements, we could now simulate an aircraft of any radar cross section, from an invisible stealth airplane to one that made a large blip on Soviet radar screens — and anything in between, at any speed and altitude — and fly it along any prescribed path."

Read further about Palladium here and here.

The entire UFO "craze" beginning with the "Foo fighters" as observed by all aerial combatants of the Second World War [WW2]? That detonation of the the first atomic bomb creating almost simultaneously a hysteria among the general public that an Armageddon was imminent, the very existence of the human species at stake. OF COURSE the space aliens would arrive. What else could it be?


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Fiat G.55.

This is coolbert:

"The GRU [Soviet/Russian military intelligence] knows that the Italians have very good brains, the brains of great inventors." - - Suvorov.

From the David Irving book: "THE RISE AND FALL OF THE Luftwaffe
The Life of Field Marshal Erhard Milch" this extract: 

"Reluctantly, he [Milch] now had to give up all hope of manufacturing Professor Gabrielli’s exceptionally fast piston-engined fighter, the Fiat G.55, in Italy."

That Fiat G.55 an Italian pursuit propeller-driven warplane superior to any German model of the period analogous to the American P-51!

"The Fiat G.55 . . . was a single-engine single-seat World War II fighter aircraft used by the Regia Aeronautica and the A.N.R. (Aeronautica Nazionale Repubblicana) in 1943-1945. It was designed and built in Turin by Fiat. The Fiat G.55 was probably the best type produced in Italy during World War II"

NOT necessarily merely exceptionally fast BUT also superior in handling capability and most so when operated at higher altitudes. AND ALSO the best Axis propeller-drive single-seat fighter of the era.

And this determined evidently as the result of a World War Two [WW2] DACT style exercise.

"The tests began 20 February 1943 with the German commission very impressed by the Italian aircraft, the G.55 in particular . . . the G.55 was also competitive with its German opponents in term of speed and climb rate at high altitudes still maintaining superior handling characteristics. The definitive evaluation by the German commission was "excellent" for the G.55 . . . Oberst Petersen [test pilot?] defined the G.55 'the best fighter in the Axis'"

That Fiat G.55 not produced in sufficient numbers or the German able to transfer the necessary manufacturing capability into the Reich proper in time.

Johannes Steinhoff rated the American P-51 as the BEST fighter plane of WW2. The Fiat G.55 was not far behind however?




This is coolbert:

From this headline and article courtesy of the Times of Israel thanks to the tip from Freeper the Israeli populace taking appropriate measure in response to the ever worsening situation in Syria.

That Israeli citizenry obviously worried they might come under chemical attack!!

"Vital sarin antidote missing from gas mask kits"

"Anti-chemical warfare supplies being distributed to Israelis lack atropine and pralidoxime, the key remedies to nerve gas"

Masks being issued with filters but sans the antidote to nerve gas poisoning.

"In May, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced a $350 million initiative to equip every Israeli with a gas mask, but as of this week there were only enough to service 60% of the population"

This image thanks to Israel Hayom shows Israeli civilians lined up to receive their gas masks.

My understanding is that EVERY Israeli had been equipped with a gas mask of inexpensive but use-able design.

And also the filters in a sealed bag with a shelf-life of about seven years.


To an extent you can understand why the masks are being issued without the necessary antidote for nerve gas poisoning.

Those antidotes for nerve gas poisoning atropine and pralidoxime of themselves POISONS LETHAL UNLESS ADMINISTERED CORRECTLY AND WHEN NEEDED!

Normally the issuance of a gas mask and antidotes to trained personnel done ONLY in a time of crisis. The abuse of mis-use of the antidotes might lead to death EVEN when not under chemical attack.

That Syrian Alawite population [3 million of them] each and every Alawite having that latest version Russian gas mask with filter. So have been the reports, Assad having months ago "made ready" with regard to chemical warfare.

Personally I own an Israeli gas mask with Finnish manufactured Mark 95 [produced according to exacting Israeli standards] sealed-in-bags filters. Adequate for the task if you are trained. I do live upwind of that MOST NUCLEAR SPOT IN THE UNITED STATES!

P.S.: Warning! To all Israeli readers of the blog. Those filters for the gas mask even when in a sealed bag have a shelf live. I believe about seven years. Beyond that not effective. AND if a filter at any time has been removed from the sealed bag it immediately begins to absorb moisture and in a short manner of time even when not exposed to chemical attack becomes non-effective. Bear that in mind!


Wednesday, August 28, 2013


This is coolbert:

Count this as a plus for the good guys.

First we have Hornet. Then we have Super Hornet. NOW we have Advanced Super Hornet.

That F-18 fighter plane for some time as used by the U.S. Navy.

This is a F-18 but not the Advanced Super version of the Hornet. The plane does LOOK SHARP!

Thanks to Wall Street Journal, Boeing and the tip from Freeper.

"Advanced Super Hornet Demonstrates Significant Stealth, Range Improvements"

"- Tests prove aircraft will outpace future threats "

 ST. LOUIS, Aug. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- During three weeks of flight testing the Advanced Super Hornet, Boeing [NYSE: BA] and partner Northrop Grumman demonstrated that the fighter can outperform threats for decades to come with improvements that make the jet much harder for radar to detect and give it significantly more combat range."

"Through 21 flights in St. Louis and Patuxent River, Md., that began Aug. 5, the team tested conformal fuel tanks (CFT), an enclosed weapons pod (EWP), and signature enhancements, each of which can be affordably retrofitted on an existing Block II Super Hornet aircraft or included on a new jet."

"'We continually insert new capabilities into today's highly capable, already stealthy Super Hornet, and the Advanced Super Hornet is the next phase of this technology evolution,' . . . 'Boeing and our industry partners are investing in next-generation [NG] capabilities so warfighters have what they need when they need it, and so the customer can acquire it in a cost-effective manner.'"

"Improvements to the aircraft's radar signature, including the enclosed pod, resulted in a 50 percent reduction compared with the U.S. Navy's stealth requirement for the current Super Hornet variant. The tests also showed that the CFTs increase the jet's combat radius by up to 130 nautical miles, for a total combat radius of more than 700 nautical miles."

The U.S. Navy preferring the military warplane with TWO ENGINES! More suitable for the risky carrier type take-off? That F-18 also having become a jack-of-all-trades. Able to perform very well a variety of missions.

F-18 already a proven winner and now for "decades to come" will continue to be so? Gripen NG has a rival more than worthy of the challenge.

And the navy too very wary and afraid of the F-35 not being able to accomplish mission as desired or required? An interim alternative has been sought AND HAS BEEN FOUND?


Tuesday, August 27, 2013


This is coolbert:

From the Israeli web site Ynet we have these items.

That situation in the Middle East most intense and with the possibility of becoming more drastic very soon.

To an extent this is 1914 all over again? An action will beget a reaction and so forth, the consequences most profound and not desirable.

From Ynet:
1. "West: No decision yet on Syria attack"

"White House says Obama yet to decide on response to alleged chemical attack by Assad regime; British PM Cameron also says no decision taken but world cannot 'stand idly by'"

2. "Western coalition to attack Syria"

"Analysis: Kerry's statement was unequivocal. There are 2 possible courses of action: Striking chemical weapons reserves or attacking Syrian army, regime establishments. How will Assad act against Israel, what will Russia do?"

3. "Top Syrian official: Tel Aviv will be hit if Damascus attacked"

"Senior Assad army officer tells Iranian news agency 'Israel will also be set on fire' if war waged against Syria"

4. "Netanyahu warns of 'strong Israeli response' if attacked by Syria"

"PM, Israeli top brass hold special meeting on Syria issue, on eve of Western strike against Assad. 'Israel is prepared for every scenario,' Netanyahu says"

That action and reaction to include:

* Allied forces attack the Syrian.
* Syria retaliates against Israel.
* Israel retaliates against Syria.
* Hezbollah acts as a proxy for Iran.

And in turn the Russian will respond HOW?

We shall see or will the proverbial cooler heads prevail!


Collateral Damage?

This is coolbert:

Thanks to Lew Rockwell and the story as originally by Mr. McAdams:

"US Bombing Syrian Chemical Weapons Stockpiles Will Kill Many Thousands"

That red-line in the sand has been crossed, the gauntlet has been thrown, now for retaliation?

The hazards of which cannot be under-estimated.

At this very  moment, American warships in the eastern Mediterranean are "making ready", a barrage of cruise missiles to be launched by surface vessels and submarines both is imminent?

"The Obama Administration is reportedly planning a cruise missile attack on what it believes are the Syrian government’s chemical weapons stockpiles. This is said to be in retaliation for what it claims is a Syrian government chemical attack in which as few as 300 or less were killed."

"The US bombing of Syrian chemical weapons stores is said to be logistically all but impossible, and, more importantly would risk a mass-disbursement of deadly chemicals that could kill thousands upon thousands of Syrian civilians who happen to live in proximity."

And this article is correct. A release of the deadly chemicals following an attack will create a plume of toxicity the consequences for those in the immediate area of the chemical munitions depots and downwind will be horrific in the extreme. THAT NUMBER DEAD FROM UNINTENDED COLLATERAL DAMAGE MAGNITUDES GREATER THAN FROM A DELIBERATE CHEMICAL ATTACK BY ASSAD!

"The buck stops here" and yes it does! For absolute clarity sake President Obama on the phone in this particular instance with the crew of the space shuttle Atlantis.

Worse yet perhaps the consequences for escalation are also enormous and also a hazard, a civil war may explode in an unanticipated manner into a regional war and EVEN BEYOND!

Syria has promised an attack on Israel if and when foreign intervention from the western power does occur. With all that will mean.

Devoted readers in an intuitive sense know how deadly this can become and in almost an instant. Hezbollah, Israel, Iran, Russia, the western allies and assorted proxies.

Be prepared and "make ready" yourself for news headlines that both alarmist and factual in nature.


Monday, August 26, 2013

Four Levels.

This is coolbert:

Originally from the Fred Reed "Fred on Everything" web site as extracted with commentary:


"A Voice From The Past"

"This column was written at about the time of the first attempt [1993] at bombing the World Trade Center. I'm republishing it untouched":

There existing the four levels of bio-terrorism. The nation-state or the ingenious and determined terrorist hell-bent on murder and mayhem the death of many millions the objective on an apocalyptic scale, Biblical in proportions .

"There exist at least four reasonably distinct levels of possible biological attack."

1. "The first is . . . in which no real organisms are used."

A threat made but no biological organisms present. NO casualties.

2. "The second level consists in the release of real bacteria or viruses, but without the intention of infecting many people."

Real bad germ stuff used but not in a large enough amount to infect a lot of folks. Terrorizes more than anything else. Some casualties.

3. "The third level consists in trying to get a lot of people sick, and maybe dead, but not necessarily to start a self-sustaining epidemic."

More massive numbers of casualties but not sustained and widespread.

4. "The fourth level consists of a self-sustaining, unstoppable epidemic sweeping the nation."

Lots of casualties and widespread dissemination.

AND AS for that authoritative and knowledgeable source that Fred is familiar with and provided background material for the article we find the name of Steve Hatfill:

"A fellow I know is Steve Hatfill, a medical doctor with years of experience in the Third World, and therefore with the diseases to be found there"

Again that original article by Mr. Reed from just after the first attack on the NYC WTC [1993]. The name of Steve Hatfill known to only a certain select few. AND in the aftermath of the anthrax attacks of 2001, bio-agent delivered via the mail to unsuspecting targets. Mr. Hatfill as the prime suspect for a number of years to follow. Mr. Hatfill a person of interest what they are called but ultimately exonerated.

Mr. Hatfill indeed noted on several occasions embellishing or falsifying his military credentials, academic background and degrees but nonetheless a man having a profound [?] understanding of bio-warfare!


Saturday, August 24, 2013


This is coolbert:

Thanks to the Guardian and the tip from Freeper we have this interesting item.

And placed properly in the strange but true category.

That very basis of the German diet and cuisine, the sausage, unobtainable or scarce during a period of the Great War [WW1], casings deemed a controlled item, the gut of cattle an essential element as needed for Zeppelin manufacture.

Who would have thought of such a thing!

"Wurst luck – how Zeppelins hit German sausage-eaters"

"Quantity of cow intestines used in manufacturing airships was so enormous that making of sausages was temporarily outlawed in Germany"

"To millions of sausage-starved Germans, however, Zeppelins were perhaps less harbingers of a new kind of warfare than colossal reminders of the culinary sacrifices required by the fatherland."
. . . .

"With the guts from more than 250,000 cows needed to produce the bags that held the hydrogen gas in each Zeppelin, the German war machine had to choose between long-range bombing and wurst. It chose the former."

"In the heart of England". That Zeppelin WW1 bombing offensive hardly worth the effort. Zeppelin as a scouting vehicle we can understand, strategic bombardment NO!

NOT so much a lack of beef and pork but that the outer layer [casing] of the sausage in demand by butchers, the supply very limited or non-existent.

The German populace, military and civilian both during that period of WW1 suffering from malnutrition that inhibited combat and industrial operations both!

Rommel as a lieutenant finding his men unable to continue the pace during a pursuit.

Industrial accidents in the Ruhr during the war years the number of which far beyond normal, workers malnourished and hungry, not having that requisite strength to perform ordinary tasks.

Indeed, such deprivation common to all the combatants during the war? Horses the prime movers so much English land set aside for the growing of fodder the local population having to ration their diet.

Or as in the Second World War [WW2] also the German going hungry, potato as harvested a large percentage used in the production of fuel for the V-2 missile!

Give us wurst or give us the opportunity to drop bombs on England and the German chose the latter, the results of which were not so impressive? Many millions of hungry bellies knew for sure!


M777 & AGS II.

This is coolbert:


Here with yet one more possible solution to the Philippines military planner dilemma of how to provide coastal defense and also power projection into those adjacent waters the dominion of which contested between the Philippines and China and to include the Filipino EEZ [Economic Exclusion Zone].

A monitor type warship as fitted with the American AGS [advanced gun system]!

Combat monitors vessels used only sparingly in the last one hundred years, and then only in the riverine type of combat.

Combat monitors perhaps of the trimaran variety [American shipyards can produce such a ship in six months from start to finish] each warship equipped with a single AGS turret.

Monitors not designed to operate in deep [pelagic] waters, coastal huggers but providing a flexibility of response that might very well be effective. Ideal solution for the Philippines, island nation as it is!

Monitors of the type I am describing having not seen naval service or combat action in almost one hundred years!

GPS guidance against an ephemeral target such as a "steaming" enemy warship, early warning [EW], target acquisition [TA] and fire control [FC] is possible using the combat seaplane? See my many part series of blog entries for the combat seaplane beginning here.

These GPS guided rounds such as the Excalibur can receive an update while on-course?

"A monitor was the class of relatively small warship which was neither fast nor strongly armoured but carried disproportionately large guns."

"In the early 20th century, the term "monitor" was revived for shallow-draft armoured shore bombardment vessels, particularly those of the British Royal Navy"

Those monitors whose mission was predominantly if not exclusively shore bombardment of the "Lord Clive" class.

This image shows the "General Wolfe" monitor the view from stern toward the bow. That is an 18" [45 cm.] gun in that rear turret.

And several comments to a forum regarding the AGS: [all emphasis mine]

* "I seriously doubt that the U.S. Navy ever planned to use Army 155mm ammo on any of its vessels. Army 155mm ammo uses bag propellant, whereas AGS will use a metal canister which is historically much safer. I doubt the U.S. Navy or any Navy will use bag propellant ever again. As for expensive, relative to what? A cruise missile, a flight of JSFs? In any respect I'm sure? the conventional ballistic projectile will be plenty cheap."

* "Another worthless program wasting the tax payers money"

- "The AGS was originally supposed to fire the Army's 155mm ammo, but now it cannot fire the army's ammo and needs a special and expensive 155mm rounds."

- "Originally the AGS was? supposed to have a range of 200 nautical miles, however the production AGS has a range of only 60-70 nm."

- "Only 6 AGS will be made for the 3 DDX planned, making it very expensive. Originally 32 DDX were planned with 64 AGS."

And this is correct. That cost as must have originally been stated for the AGS gun when in mass production and sixty-four of the system as required. Cost including R&D and for so few production turrets with gun [six total] the cost becomes prohibitive.

Here a somewhat better image of the "General Wolfe" "Lord Clive" class monitor from that era of WW1. A 12" [30 cm.] gun in the forward turret and that 18" [45 cm.] gun in the rear turret. This is a monitor and not a conventional naval warship capable of pelagic operation but nonetheless formidable.

Monitors that can a number of pre-designated firing positions planned in advance with a carefully surveyed GPS location for which to fire from!

This is all pie-in-the-sky nonsense on my part or is this do-able? I am not naval or artillery and am not sure. NOR am I aviation so all the talk too of combat seaplanes is an idea never coming to pass? That too is what I ask the devoted reader to the blog.


Thursday, August 22, 2013

M777 & AGS I.

This is coolbert:


A most recent Strategy page article: "Excalibur Joins The Navy" NOT 100 % totally correct?

That 155 mm round as fired by the American M777 towed artillery and the naval Advanced Gun System [AGS] not interchangeable. I believe this to be so.

The Excalibur and naval AGS round however both ABLE to fire a precision long-range GPS [global-positioning-system] round, that precision with long-range.

That M777 Excalibur being fired out to 50 kilometers [30 miles] and the AGS round out to 190 kilometers [114 miles]. Extraordinary!

That government of the Philippines now anxious and concerned over those territorial waters to include certain of the Spratly Islands and the Philippine EEZ [Economic Exclusion Zone] now obtaining naval armaments in increasing numbers and variety.

The Filipino NOT content with merely a mutual defense treaty with the United States for their own protection. An independent means of action for defense NOW high on the Filipino agenda.

* The Philippines having obtained two refurbished, remodeled and improved American coast guard cutter type ships.

* The Philippines in the process of acquiring ten additional brand-new cutter type vessels from the Japanese.

* The Philippines also purchasing two naval frigates from Italy, warships with an offensive capability.

The Filipino perhaps also needing some sort of coastal defense and as having been speculated by myself the anti-ship-missile [ASM] with significant range [200 kilometers/120 miles] an obvious choice.

Coastal artillery also a national defense alternative for the Filipino? Modern artillery firing GPS as a possible?

From that item as posted on StrategyPage:

"September 30, 2011: Recently, after six years of development, the U.S. Navy successfully test fired its new 155mm AGS (Advanced Gun System) cannon. Designed for use on the new DDG 1000 ("Zumwalt") destroyers, the AGS fires GPS guided shells up to 190 kilometers. The recent test firing of two shells only went out to 81 kilometers. The GPS guidance enables the shells to land inside a 50 meter (155 foot) circle."

"The U.S. Army has a similar round, the Excalibur, which entered service four years ago. Excalibur has a max range of 50 kilometers and will land within a 20 meter (62 foot) circle. In practice, Excalibur will land within a few meters of where it's aimed. Each Excalibur shell carries 9 kg (20 pounds) of explosives. The AGS shell has a longer range because it is fired from a longer barrel using a more powerful propellant charge. AGS rounds are also capable of the same accuracy as Excalibur, but it depends on the quality of the GPS signal in the area."


"The M777 howitzer is a towed 155 mm artillery piece, successor to the M198 howitzer in the United States Marine Corps and United States Army." And firing that GPS guided Excalibur round.

A battery [6 guns] of M777 mounted on a barge, each gun having a stabilized platform, that barge towed or pushed to various locations within Filipino waters, run aground if necessary, able to engage and defeat naval targets over-the-horizon [OTH], GPS guided munitions being given target correction while en route? Those barges located at a previously surveyed position with differential GPS affording additional accuracy.

This image gives you some sense of the scale of the M777. During the Vietnam War the riverine task forces did mount a single complete battery [6 guns] of 105 mm howitzers on a barge for movement and fire support of engaged ground elements. Such a concept is not only feasible, it has been done.

Input firing data with GPS location of the target as provided by combat seaplanes. For that matter those combat seaplanes also having a formidable offensive capability themselves.

What I suggest in a speculative manner is possible? Devoted readers to the blog can comment. Please recall in all instances the Philippines is not a rich nation and the cheap and dirty but effective method if it can be found is preferred.


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Game Warden.

This is coolbert:

I was vaguely aware of this but not so sure as to the extent.

Thanks to the Ken Burns PBS television series "The National Parks" this now has been made more clear.

The U.S. Army as game warden/forest ranger.

Protectors of the American national parks as constituted in that time in those years subsequent to the end of the American Civil War.

Those national parks and the national park system at the time:

* Yellowstone.
* Yosemite.
* Sequoia.
* General Grant.

That original exploratory party to  the Yellowstone basin consisting of surveyors, naturalists, geologists, gentleman adventurers requiring a company of U.S. Army cavalry for protection.

That national park system however without administration or protection, a variety of threats apparent:

* Poachers.
* Vandals.
* Persons careless with fires.

Destruction and continued abuse of preserved land continuing, legislation notwithstanding.

"For the decade after 1872 when Yellowstone National Park was established, the park was under serious threat from those who would exploit, rather than protect, its resources. Poachers killed animals. Souvenir hunters broke large pieces off the geysers and hot springs. Developers set up camps for tourists, along with bath and laundry facilities at hot springs."

That solution being a thirty year presence of the U.S. Cavalry in the national parks, Ft. Yellowstone the archetype . A company of men on constant patrol, living rough, subjected to harsh conditions, there existing an element of danger at all times from various quarters.

Game warden then and now a very hazardous business, and recognized as so.

"Ft. Yellowstone."
"Yellowstone National Park turned to the U.S. Army for help. Invoking the Sundry Civil Act of 1883, the Secretary of the Interior called upon the Secretary of War for assistance in protecting the park. The Army came to the rescue and in 1886 men from Company M, First United States Cavalry, Fort Custer, Montana Territory under Captain Moses Harris came to Yellowstone to begin what would be more than 30 years of military presence in Yellowstone."

Here the company of U.S. Army cavalry at Yellowstone escorts President Theodore Roosevelt during a visit. Today a presidential visit would necessitate an entourage of about 4,000 persons!

Those U.S. Army troops guardians of the national parks not having a legal standing to enforce laws and regulations! Forbidden by posse comitatus from law enforcement action, those soldiers relying upon gentle and rational persuasion, cajoling and of course an armed presence!

That Yellowstone Basin and the national park indeed one of the great scenic attractions of the natural world and in large measure intact and pretty much in a pristine state thanks to the efforts of the U.S. Army. National parks as they now exist throughout the world often referred to as: "America's Best Idea". Yes indeed!



This is coolbert:

That most advanced and at the time TOP SECRET bomb sight from the era just prior to the Second World War [WW2], the Norden Bomb sight, still in use during the Vietnam War?

This according to the wiki entry for the bomb sight and this has been confirmed.

"The Norden bombsight was a tachometric bomb sight used by the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) and the United States Navy during World War II, and the United States Air Force in the Korean and the Vietnam Wars to aid the crew of bomber aircraft in dropping bombs accurately. The last combat use of the Norden was in the US Navy's VO-67 squadron, which used them to drop sensors onto the Ho Chi Minh Trail as late as 1967"

This is only half of the Norden appartatus.

Norden used for the precision dropping of remote Seismic Intrusion Devices [SID's] part and parcel of the Igloo White program as deployed in the Vietnam theatre.

"Tens of thousands of ADSID (Air Delivered Seismic Intrusion Device) were mass produced in three basic variants, supplemented by a range of ground personnel delivered SIDs (Seismic Intrusion Device)."

". . . Initially, most ADSID deliveries were performed by the OP-2E –four heavily modified P-2H Neptune airframes repainted in green, grey or black camouflage and flown by US Navy observation squadron VO-67. The aircraft was fitted with the . . . DIANE (Digital Inertial
Attack and Navigation Equipment) and the World War II Norden optical bomb sight for precision ADSID drops."

From a WW2 USAAF document that entire Norden and as also linked to the planes autopilot.

That P-2 navy patrol plane also from that era of WW2 [1945] in the "observation" role during the Vietnam War dropping multitudes of sensors up and the down the length and breadth of the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Sensors the purpose of which was to detect enemy movement and traffic, target and devote same for destruction.

As for the efficacy of the entire Igloo White program, that is still an item for discussion. But almost thirty years after that initial development of Norden, that the bomb sight still going strong and providing an adequate level of performance is quite remarkable.


Sunday, August 18, 2013


This is coolbert:

"Human fiend"

From the Chicago Tribune of Sunday, 18 August. That continuing series: "Flashback is commemorating the War Between the States".


Thanks to Stephan Benzkofer and the Tribune.


"Quantrill's Raiders descended on Lawrence, and death rode with them"

"William Quantrill, the Confederate guerrilla leader who terrorized the citizens of Kansas and Missouri during the Civil War, was described in the Tribune as a 'cold blooded, heartless but intelligent villain.' And that was well over a year before he cemented his notoriety by leading his gang of several hundred men into Lawrence, Kan. [USA] at dawn on Aug. 21, 1863. After ordering a perimeter guard to make sure nobody escaped, Quantrill and his men killed nearly 200 men and destroyed a large area of the town in a paroxysm of violence that shocked a war-torn nation that probably didn't realize it could still be shocked."

Here is the human fiend himself, William Quantrill.


"One Hundred and Eighty Killed and Wounded."



"Gallant Jim Lane Escapes and has an Engagement with the Guerillas."

My understanding has been that Lawrence, Kansas, USA, WAS BURNED TO THE GROUND THREE TIMES DURING THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR. Wooden structures as used at the time very susceptible to arson, entire towns and sections of a town going up in flames at the touch of a match or torch.

Jim Lane too that American Senator from Kansas, referred to as "The Grim Chieftain". A man very anti-slavery, an ardent and active abolitionist, and make no mistake about it, a prime target of the southern partisans, those commanded by William Quantrill, forever known as the "Bushwhackers".

Guerrilla as spelled at the time guerilla.


P-8 II.

This is coolbert:

The Poseidon Adventure.


The P-8 Poseidon naval aviation patrol plane not having an organic MAD detector.

MAD that magnetic anomaly detector.

As was standard equipment for the P-3 Orion and the P-2 Neptune before it. A standard feature that trailing boom making those ASW [anti-submarine-warfare] aircraft recognizable at a distance.

That boom extending rearward from the tail of this Orion the MAD apparatus.

Orion the "hunter" in the role of slow flying and low flying warplane able in the offensive role to detect enemy submarines.

Orion flying low over the ocean that MAD apparatus having a capacity to detect a submerged [but not too deeply] submarine, the detection of and abrupt change to the magnetic field indicative of a large object made of ferrous [iron or steel] underneath the water.

[that combination of low flight and shallow submergence both needing to be satisfied for MAD to work?]

P-8 NOT to be equipped with that trailing boom, MAD not as included in the standard Poseidon combat package.

P-8 to begin with flying as intended too high and too fast to make MAD effective?

And the U.S. Navy having taken this into consideration and having an alternative already available?

This is Seaglider?

As described in an aviation forum:

 "a prototype UUV called Seaglider that will allow the USN to put thousands of these small autonomous swimmers, each of which can stay at sea for many months, to listen for adversary subs or surface ships, reporting these findings periodically to satellites when it surfaces, allowing the P-8 to prosecute an actual datum rather than staring at empty ocean for hours and hours day after day like the P-3 community often did. A sensor rich environment and net centricity replace hundreds of ships and airplanes patrolling the ocean." [my emphasis]

Thousands of the military version of the Seaglider to be deployed in pelagic [blue] waters settling to the bottom and listening for submarine activity, surfacing and transmitting a formatted message in response, alerting the P-8 "hunter" crews. That "about" location of an enemy submarine made apparent to the P-8 crew even prior to take-off?

A Seaglider is about 2 meters [6 feet] long!

As a consequence, that standard and very laborious and time consuming almost never-ending search over deep waters for enemy submarines using MAD not required. That task of the P-8 much less tedious, far less time consuming and more effective?

A military version of the Seaglider already exists? To be deployed in pelagic waters and even in the abysmal depths. And a version that will work?


P-8 I.

This is coolbert:

The Poseidon Adventure!

Poseidon, the P-8 replacement for the ancient and venerable P-3 naval aviation warplane, able to fly much faster and higher.

Poseidon a patrol plane as is the P-3 and the P-2 even before that, but best understood as much more.
A naval aviation land-based aircraft also possessing a combat capability.

Actively seek out and destroy if necessary enemy submarines, and surface vessels for good measure too if required.

Poseidon not without reason referred to as a Multi-role Maritime Aircraft [MMA].

Poseidon however while able to fly much faster and higher than the P-3, do not think these are necessarily positives of a major nature.

That "patrol" role, surveillance and search mission quite often the low and slow approach to flight better. Especially when attempting to search for, locate, and track and enemy submarine.

P-3 in particular [and the P-2 for that matter also] noted for an ability to loiter in an area for hours on end, ENDURANCE almost without peer a feature of these patrol planes considered a big plus.

That P-3 airborne endurance with a single fueling indeed a marvel according to the wiki about 16 hours:

"Long deep-water, coastal or border patrol missions can last over 10 hours and may include extra crew. The record time aloft for a P-3 is 21.5 hours"

That P-2 even before the P-3 also noted for extreme airborne endurance on a single fueling, the P-2 at one point having established an aviation record most remarkable:

"11,236.6 mi (18,083.6 km) from its starting point. It was the longest un-refueled flight made to that point" 

A P-2 of this type but sans internal gear and carrying a minimum crew but extra fuel tanks able to fly non-stop from Perth Australia to Columbus OH, USA!!


P-8 capable of MID-AIR REFUELING!

This will be a necessity.

And with regard to mid-air refueling, this noted by an acknowledged aviation expert:

"Having a shorter ranged plane like a B-737 means it isn't up there and forgotten for 24 hours or so--it has to be provided with refueling support every few hours, which doubles or triples the cost [my emphasis] and amount of planes, time, and crew members (adding the refueling planes crews) that a single plane flying on its own would consume."

Speed however, that Poseidon faster than the P-3, will be a virtue?

Reaction time to an area of contact or interest, that ability of the P-8 to be airborne and in the target area faster will be a plus? Or is this so?

Again from the acknowledged aviation expert:

"the idea with the P-3 was to throw it up and forget about it . . . for 20 or more hours, during which it covered thousands of square miles of ocean, scanned all of it, and was 'on station' for attacks when necessary." [again in both cases my emphasis]

More to follow!


Friday, August 16, 2013


This is coolbert:

That Italian Maestrale frigate as to be purchased by the Filipino navy indeed able to fire the Otomat/Teseo anti-ship-missile [ASM].

"4 × TESEO Mk-2 anti-ship missiles launchers". This per single Maestrale frigate.

Additional missiles of the Otomat/Teseo ASM also capable of being deployed in a land-based coastal defense version, if and when the Philippines decides to further bolster their national defenses against a perceived Chinese threat.

The Otomat/Teseo available in a coastal defense version this DOES MAKE SENSE!

"The Otomat/Teseo is an Italian-built, anti-ship and coastal attack missile AND '[exists as a] variant in service [as a] coastal defense version . . . All necessary electronics are trailer-mounted as well as twin missile launchers, which makes it a high mobility system.'"

Alternatives to the Otomat/Teseo do exist? A quick perusal of the Internet wiki entry for anti-ship missiles seems to suggest this is so. That criteria being operational range [about equal to or exceeding an operational range of 180+ km]  and already existing in a land-based coastal defense version.

1. BrahMos. "BrahMos – Supersonic cruise missile (range of 290?km) jointly developed by India and Russia." "BrahMos . . . is a supersonic cruise missile that can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft or land."

BrahMos is state-of-the-art, supersonic, the total package but I might think expensive and perhaps not being for export.

Indian Army land based BrahMos launchers.

2. Russian P-800 Oniks. "The P-800 Oniks . . . also known in export markets as Yakhont . . . is a Russian/Soviet supersonic anti-ship cruise missile . . .  Development reportedly started in 1983, and by 2001 allowed the launch of the missile from land, sea, air and submarine."

A Russian P-800 Oniks.

3. Swedish RBS-15. "RBS-15 Mk. III - originally Sweden" "The RBS-15 (Robotsystem 15) is a long-range fire-and-forget surface-to-surface and air-to-surface, anti-ship missile."

A  RBS-15 coastal defense firing unit.

"The Swedish coastal artillery was also equipped with RBS-15Ms, which were mounted on Volvo trucks"

A Swedish RBS-15 during launch form a coastal defense vehicle. Those are booster rockets sending the missile aloft prior to ignition of the turbojet engine.

4. Norwegian Naval Strike Missile. "Naval Strike Missile (NSM) – Norway; made by KDA (imaging infrared)" "The Naval Strike Missile (NSM) is an anti-ship and land-attack missile"

Norwegian Naval Strike Missile. Two persons barely visible in the extreme right of the image give you some idea of the scale and size of the ASM.

"In June 2013 Poland completed the Coastal Missile Division . . . Ultimately, the Coastal Missile Division will be equipped with 48 missiles and six launchers."

5. Japanese Type 88. "Type 88 Surface-to-Ship Missile (SSM-1)"

"The Type 88 Surface-to-Ship Missile . . . is a surface-to-ship missile developed in Japan."

"SSM-1 is an improved and land-launched version of ASM-1."

"The basic configuration composes the same launcher vehicles and loader vehicles (6 SSM-1), some radar vehicles, fire control systems, and a command control system."

Japanese Type 88 ASM missiles in the coastal defense configuration.

6. Taiwanese HF II. "Hsiung Feng II - Brave Wind II is a subsonic missile with ship-to-ship, surface-to-ship, and air-to-ship versions."

"The Hsiung Feng II (HF-2) . . . is an anti-ship missile system . . . The HF-2 is designed to be deployed aboard ships or at facilities on land . . . The HF-2 has ECCM [electronic-counter-counter-measures] capabilities and is deployed . . . at several land-based sites"

This slightly blurry and enlarged image shows a firing battery of Taiwanese HF-2 ASM.

NO Chinese ASM were considered worthy for inclusion. I hardly think the Chinese willing to sell to potential rivals and adversaries their most advanced weaponry.

Devoted readers to the blog can suggest other possible ASM for inclusion?


P-3 & P-8.

This is coolbert:

"but can it stay airborne for 20 or more hours, like the P-3?"

First from several years ago read my original blog entry, that P-3 Orion naval patrol plane of venerable but very accomplished war plane.

Described as a "patrol" plane but also having an impressive offensive capability as well. During that era of the Cold War the P-3 even  able to deliver nuclear munitions [depth charges].

That P-3 Orion as stated and for some time at the end of expected life expectancy, now being slowly but surely taken out of service.

Secondly read this very recent StrategyPage web site article, that P-3 acknowledged as a real winner of some repute.

And of course a replacement for the Orion now in the works, the prototypes now operational [?] and flying, that replacement also based on a venerable and somewhat dated but nonetheless WINNING AIRFRAME.

"Older But Safer"

"August 11, 2013: Recently a U.S. Navy maritime patrol squadron (VP-45) achieved a rare feat, 44 years of flying without a mishap (an accident that costs more than $2 million to repair). That’s over 265,000 flight hours without loss. The squadron has long had a reputation for being fanatic about maintenance and quality control. Despite the advancing age of its P-3 aircraft, that sort of effort paid off."

As has been previously noted, the P-3 based in large measure on the original design of the Electra commercial turbo-prop aircraft. Electra not such a world-beater with a lot of mishaps, that NOT being the case however with the P-3.

The P-3 having been repeatedly refurbished, rebuilt, and modified, often at a cost of $10 million per aircraft!

P-3 now being phased out of service, that replacement as designated the P-8, a jet aircraft based on the civilian Boeing 737 design.

That 737 commercial version first having flown in 1965. The basic concept and design at least fifty years old, but a proven and worthy airplane!

"The P-8A is based on the widely used Boeing 737 airliner. Although the Boeing 737 based P-8A is a two engine jet, compared to the four engine turboprop P-3, it is a more capable plane."

Presumably these brand-new P-8 will indeed be BRAND NEW! Having just come off the assembly line? One would like to think so.

"The 737 has, like the P-3, been equipped with hard points on the wings for torpedoes or missiles. The B-737 is a more modern design and has been used successfully since the 1960s by commercial aviation. Navy aviators are confident that it will be as reliable as the P-3. The Boeing 737 first flew in 1965, and over 5,000 have been built. The P-8A will be the first 737 designed with a bomb bay and four wing racks for weapons. The P-8 costs about $275 million each."

Poseidon [P-8] again as with the P-3 having an offensive capability but not anymore nuclear I would think! Undoubtedly too there will be an export market for this warplane!

That cost of a brand-new P-8 NOT CHEAP! Anything but that. Will not I would think not to be acquired in staggering numbers. The P-8 too that cost mostly from the electronic suites what they are called. Electronic devices and apparatus, entire systems that bulk of the cost for ONE PLANE!

Good luck P-8!


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

INS Sindhurakshak.

This is coolbert:

More submarine disaster.

An INS [India] submarine of the Kilo class [Russian] explodes and sinks to the bottom, WHILE AT BERTH!

Thanks to the Economic Times [of India] and the tip from Freeper:

"Submarine INS Sindhurakshak sinks after blasts; shows sub-par naval abilities"

NOT only an initial explosion but secondary detonations occurring afterwards, the damage apparently catastrophic!

AND one day after the indigenous built and first-of-a-kind INS nuclear submarine reactor goes CRITICAL!

The Sindhurakshak ONLY just recently have undergone a comprehensive upgrade. Improvements having been made perhaps now of dubious value will be the thinking. The Kilo class [Russian] boat not new but a diesel/electric boat of considerable performance.

"NEW DELHI/MUMBAI: India's worst naval accident in at least three decades that gutted and sank INS Sindhurakshak early morning on Wednesday remains unexplained"

"INS Sindhurakshak, a Russia-made Kilo class submarine first commissioned in 1997 and comprehensively upgraded last year"

From archival footage he INS Sindhurakshak during a better time. Eighteen men on board at the time of the disaster. I fear all hands lost, that combination of explosion/secondary explosion, smoke inhalation and submergence too much!

"in addition to conventional torpedoes, it was armed with anti-ship Klub missiles. Multiple warheads on the boat appear to have been detonated during the incident, the navy chief said. The incident came a day after Indian Navy announced that the reactor on board the nuclear-powered INS Arihant had gone critical."

It remains a fact [?] that there seems to be greater danger to these submarines while in port, docked or at berth, danger that exists during sea duty and operations not even as hazardous?


American GPS?

This is coolbert:

Came across this quite by accident.

BrahMos supersonic cruise missile, Indian and Russian design. State-of-the-art and reputed to be invulnerable to counter-measures, known or anticipated.

A test of the missile failing at least in part. That navigation faulty. Using American GPS [?] in part for guidance, that GPS not functioning as normal, unexpectedly in a manner not known to those involved in the missile test.

"During a user trial on 20 January 2009, BrahMos was tested with a new navigation system but it failed to hit the target."

According to:  Dr Sivathanu Pillai [BrahMos Aerospace Corporation's director]

"'The missile performance was absolutely normal until the last phase, but the missile missed the target, though it maintained the direction.'" and that 'The problem was in the software, not hardware'."


"The Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) [Indian] said that here were 'small hitches' in the last stage of the test firing, which was attributed that to the US GPS satellites, which were switched off on that day as Barack Obama was sworn in as the President of the United States."

BrahMos the missile of which the propulsion system of Russian origian, that guidance systems as designed in India.

The Russians not insisting that their indigenous GLONASS analog of the American GPS incorporated into BrahMos? GLONASS and GLONASS alone?

GLONASS-K now in orbit and functioning.

American GPS was SWITCHED OFF [?] the day Obama was sworn in? I guess that was a security measure to prevent someone from using a large-size RC [radio-controlled] plane to deliver a bomb on the capitol building while the inauguration was taking place!

Maybe not switched off but rather encrypted or jimmied in a manner to prevent use practical or otherwise by unauthorized parties.

I  never saw this mentioned anywhere else. But it does make sense.

Al L.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


This is coolbert:
"the Italians have very good brains, the brains of great inventors"

From that previous blog entry:

"The Maestrales are 3,100 ton ships, each armed with four anti-ship missiles"

Those Italian Maestrales warships having an organic offensive anti-ship missile [ASM] combat capability.

This ASM presumably the Otomat/Teseo? Also Italian designed and manufactured.

"The Otomat/Teseo is an Italian-built, anti-ship and coastal attack missile"

The Otomat/Teseo about 4.5 meters/14 feet long.

 Filipino naval planners also desiring to have a coastal defense ASM quite possibly able to standardize and adopt that land-based Otomat/Teseo as the weapon of choice?

There already existing a coastal defense version:

"[there is] in service is a coastal defense version . . . All necessary electronics are trailer-mounted as well as twin missile launchers, which makes it a high mobility system."

The Otomat/Teseo to be most effective in the over-the-horizon [OTH] mode requiring target data from an "airborne platform" of some sort. This is said to be a weakness of the Otomat/Teseo system?Mid-course correction also possible

The Otomat/Teseo ASM also somewhat unique [?], that ASM on impact having a downward trajectory with the force of the detonation "holing" the target below the waterline.

"The warhead is designed to explode inside the ship with the force of the explosion directed to the bottom of the target ship."

Devoted readers to the blog can suggest an alternative to the Otomat/Teseo ASM that is more capable and cheaper? The Philippines is not a wealthy country and has to be judicious when making costly decisions involving national defense.



This is coolbert:

Thanks to the article by Jim from StrategyPage surely another indication that "arms race" in the South China Sea and environs heating up.

The Filipino now desiring an independent and organic offensive naval capability. Purchasing BRAND NEW and unused warships from the Italian.

The Philippines up-until-this-point content to purchase refurbished and re-built American Coast Guard cutters. Those cutters not necessarily meeting the definition of a warship?

The Italian frigate Maestrale make no mistake about it, however, A WARSHIP!


"The Philippines Buys Italian To Confront China"

"The Philippines has decided to buy two newly built Italian Maestrale class frigates for $208 million each. Italy has some older Maestrales for sale at a much lower price but the Filipino navy is full of second hand ships, and the government wants some new ones to help persuade China to back off from claiming many shoals and uninhabited islands off the Filipino coast."

"The Maestrales are 3,100 ton ships, each armed with four anti-ship missiles, short range anti-aircraft missiles, a 127mm gun, two autocannons for defense against missiles, and eight torpedo tubes. Two helicopters can be carried. These ships are well equipped for anti-submarine operations. Top speed is 59 kilometers an hour and crew size is 225."

Those helicopters able to fire either anti-ship missiles and torpedoes I might think!

As usual I refer to the comments of the Soviet defector and GRU case officer Suvorov:

"The GRU know that the Italians have very good brains, the brains of great inventors. Few people realize that before the Second World War Italy's technology was at an incredibly high level. The Italians were not especially brilliant in battle, and that obscured the extent of  Italian achievement in military technology."

And this question posed to devoted readers of the blog! If you were a Filipino naval planner and considering the purchase of anti-ship missiles [ASM] of whomever manufacture to be employed in the coast defense role, that one ASM most cost efficient and capable would be?


Sunday, August 11, 2013


This is coolbert:

From a previous blog entry, that Russian T-90 tank able to engage targets with a variety of ordnance:

"That T-90 able to fire an anti-tank guided-missile [ATGM] and also on demand a surface-air-missile [SAM]."

It seems that I am part right and part wrong.

The T-90 able to engage a target with an anti-tank guided-missile [ATGM]. This ATGM the Russian AT-11 Sniper [Sniper the NATO code name]. Sniper fired from the main gun of the T-90, NOT as I might have thought an ATGM mounted outside the tank. No need for the crew to expose themselves in case of reloading to fire another ATGM.

There NOT EXISTING A DEDICATED SAM AS FIRED BY THE T-90. Sniper also able to engage enemy low-flying aircraft, I would think almost exclusively Sniper used to engage a hovering enemy attack helicopter.

"The 9M119 Svir and 9M119M Refleks are laser beam riding, guided anti-tank missiles developed in the former Soviet Union. The two missiles are similar, but vary in range and launch platform. Both are designed to be fired from smooth bore 125 mm tank and anti-tank gun  (2A45, 2A46 and 2A46M). Their NATO reporting name is AT-11 Sniper."

2A45 that "Sprut-B anti-tank gun."

Sprut a direct fire anti-tank gun that fires the same [?] rounds as does the T-90 tank? To include the Sniper ATGM?

"The Refleks missile . . . It has an effective range of 100 m to 6 km . . . Refleks . . . can also engage low-flying air targets such as helicopters"

That range of the AT-11 having an effectiveness of up to or beyond 4,000 meters. The T-90 using that ATGM able to out-range with an anti-tank round the main gun of the Abrams? This is my instantaneous reaction. Abrams not having a counter to the AT-11 at a distinct disadvantage during a tank battle when arrayed against the T-90?

Here from a forum a response:

"The T-90 cannot destroy an Abrams with the AT-11 ATGM. Though it outranges the ammunition the Abrams can fire, that is a moot point for two reasons, one, most tank v. tank engagement zones in Europe do not extend past 800 m, and two, if the T-90 were able to land an ATGM on the Abrams (remember the Abrams can move out of the LOS or deploy it's smoke grenades, both of which will successfully counter an ATGM), it would not do any catastrophic damage to the Abrams if it hits (unless for some reason it hit the rear side of the Abrams which is a statistical improbability). Thus, the ATGM of the T-90 would be ineffective against the Abrams."

Tank duels in the desert or steppe land however quite capable of occurring at ranges beyond 800 meters? In such an instance the T-90 might very well dominate the Abrams? Devoted readers to the blog have thoughts on this matter?



This is coolbert:

Again, very serendipitous and apropos finding this item as reported by National Public Radio [NPR]

"Russia Invites U.S. To A 'Tank Biathlon'"

Tank competition in the manner of the Canadian Army Trophy. American and Russian tankers testing their skills driving and gunnery both.

"As to what exactly happens in a tank biathlon, think of a regular biathlon — then forget about it"

"In the tank biathlon, every tank runs almost 20 kilometres at a maximum possible speed, while firing from all weapons the targets, which are rising in different directions and distances. On the course, a tank has to pass repeatedly a ford, fences, a rut bridge, high-speed sections and overtaking passages. At all the times, the crew remains constantly in the firing position."

American Abrams tank of the latest mark versus the T-90 I might suppose. That T-90 able to fire an anti-tank guided-missile [ATGM] and also on demand a surface to air missile [SAM].

"The T-90 is a Russian third-generation main battle tank that is a modernisation of the T-72 . . . It is currently the most modern tank in service with the Russian Ground Forces and Naval Infantry. Although a development of the T-72, the T-90 uses a 125mm 2A46 smooth bore tank gun, 1G46 gunner sights, a new engine, and thermal sights."

This will become an annual or bi-annual competition? These sorts of events used to be quite popular during the height of the Cold War but mostly involving sports teams and never anything as I recall having a military dimension to it.

See this Pravda web site article comparing the Abrams with the T-90. An appreciation from the Russian point-of-view.

Russian versus American DACT exercises is next? Top Gun over Siberia surely!


Saturday, August 10, 2013


This is coolbert:

The third in the class of the Japanese super-battleship from that era of the Second World War the hull as laid down in the years just prior to Pearl Harbor and 7 December 1941 also a victim of combat ON THE MAIDEN VOYAGE, NOT SURVIVING EVEN A FULL DAY AT SEA!

IJN Shinano NOT taking to sea as a battleship, rather as an aircraft carrier of rather dubious utility and usefulness!

From the book "A GLORIOUS WAY TO DIE" by Russell Spurr.

"The battleship's demise was finally recognized in the decision to convert the half-built Shinano into an aircraft carrier. Her hull was completed up to the weather deck when the Japanese navy lost the decisive carrier battle at Midway. Valuable time was wasted while the planner haggled over conversion plans. The eventual compromise produced what was in effect an enormous carrier-support ship. The 70,755-ton hybrid boasted an armored deck, enormous fuel and ammunition storage, but only 47 aircraft for her own defense."

Please be aware that no good close-up images of the Shinano even exist. Such was the secrecy surrounding the construction and the initial sailing and sinking of the vessel photographic evidence of the warship as they exist very scant!

 "The ill-conceived project did not survive 24 hours at sea [my emphasis]. While transiting from the building yard at Yokosuka for further outfitting in Kure on November 29, 1944 Shinano was waylaid by the U.S. submarine Archerfish, whose commander fired six torpedoes in the dark at his large, zigzagging target and dived to escape counterattack. All he heard was loud explosions as the torpex warheads hit home, enough to claim an important but unidentified kill."

Shinano was a monstrosity that amount of time, energy, resources, effort could have been much better applied in a variety of other and more meaningful directions.

Indeed, it can be suggested that the ship was jinxed from the start, doomed. EVEN BEFORE THAT MAIDEN VOYAGE THE SHIP WHEN LAUNCHED SUSTAINING DAMAGE. A BAD OMEN IF THERE EVER WAS ONE:

"Shinano's launch on 8 October 1944, with Captain Toshio Abe in command, was marred by what some considered an ill-omened accident. During the floating-out procedure, one of the caissons at the end of the dock unexpectedly lifted as the water rose to the level of the harbor (no one had checked to ensure that all the caissons were properly ballasted with seawater). The sudden inrush of water into the graving dock pushed the carrier into the forward end, damaging the bow structure below the waterline and necessitating another dry-dock for repairs"

The warship not even complete but sunk while in transit "for further outfitting".

On top of it all and perhaps even more so, the humiliation most acute.


USS Miami.

This is coolbert:

Gone with the wind.

USS Miami RIP!

That USS Miami nuclear attack submarine heavily damaged as the result of arson NOW to be scrapped.

Funds available for repair [even beyond what already allocated for refurbishment] now lacking, the submarine now to be stricken from the registry and turned into scrap metal.

 "Navy drops plans to repair fire-damaged USS Miami sub"

"PORTLAND, Maine –  The Navy has decided that it will not repair the nuclear-powered submarine USS Miami after concluding that the cost of repairing damage from a fire set by a civilian worker is more than it can afford due to mandated budget cuts."

"The decision to scrap the Groton, Conn.-based sub comes after a damage assessment by the Navy found that estimated repair costs, originally estimated to be about $450 million, have risen dramatically"

The sub while in dry dock originally for refurbishment, now needing in addition extensive and almost overwhelming repair. Beyond the costs of funding of which had already been allocated.

As had been the subject of a previous blog entry from less than a year ago, the USS Miami the object of an arson attack by a disgruntled worker that man responsible claiming an "anxiety attack".

One man, one match, and poof! Strange and hard to believe but true.