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Breaking News

Inspired by faithful commenter D.E. Reddick, feel free to add any Breaking News Links relevant to our discussions by clicking on the comments, of a military nature of course. No politics please unless it relates to the latter. Spammers will be blocked permanently.

Anytime, day or night, this is your page!


Update-You may have noticed I have changed the WordPress template, and now any Breaking News posted here will appear also on the Frontpage in an RSS Feed. Recommend that you open each post with the title, like:

Japan’s Fighter Contest Heats Up

Followed by whatever commentary you want, then the link. Thanks again for all your help and interest!

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    So when he is around, we often hear about soccer or we read
    about it on his Facebook page,. The area used to be larger but was subdivided, the north eastern half being renamed Fisher.

  109. July 5, 2013 3:59 pm

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  111. Alexander permalink
    June 6, 2013 8:30 pm

    Here is the design for the new Type 216 Submarine, designed for Australia, india and Canada.

  112. Alexander permalink
    June 3, 2013 5:55 pm

    Canada has choosen the “Berlin Class” for it’s next AOR.

  113. Alexander permalink
    February 12, 2013 6:55 pm

    Breaking news!! LM announces that the cost of the F-35 fighter has dropped by 50%!! This will make a huge difference for Canada. Not only should this move our program ahead, but we should be able to purchase at least 80 aircraft, hopefully more. And, actually with our initial purchase budget of 9 billion, we could actually purchase over 100 aircraft, although that number isn’t likely.

    I expect that our re-evaluation of our new fighter purchase will go ahead anyway, but this means the F-35 is certain to win, as it is much cheaper than the competition.

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  117. Alexander permalink
    December 7, 2012 11:46 am

    Curious to see how this plays out. The F35 program just seems to be finding it’s legs, and the outlook seems to be improving. So, curious timing to start over.

  118. Alexander permalink
    December 7, 2012 10:38 am

    Breaking news!!!

    The F-35 jet fighter purchase, the most persistent thorn in the Harper government’s side and the subject of a devastating auditor-general’s report last spring, is dead.

    Faced with the imminent release of an audit by accountants KPMG that will push the total projected life-cycle costs of the aircraft above $30 billion, the Harper Conservatives have decided to scrap the controversial sole-source program and go back to the drawing board, a source familiar with the decision said. This occurred after Chief of the Defence Staff Thomas Lawson, while en route overseas, was called back urgently to appear before members of the cabinet, the source said.

    The decision was to go before the cabinet planning and priorities committee Friday morning but the outcome is not in doubt, the source said.

    PMO spokesman Andrew MacDougall took to Twitter Thursday evening to deny a decision has been made. “The government will fulfill its seven-point plan,” he tweeted.

    The government is “awaiting reports that will be tabled as part of the seven-point plan,” MacDougall said later in an email. “Government will need this information to make an informed decision.”

    The cabinet meeting Friday morning was to have established a communications plan for unveiling the change of direction to Canadians, Postmedia’s source said.

    The decision is sure to have ripple effects around the world, as any reduction in the number of aircraft on order causes the price to go up for all the other buyers. Canada is one of nine F-35 consortium members, including the United States.

    The CF-18s currently flown by the RCAF are at the tail end of their life cycle and are not expected to be operable much beyond 2020 at the outside.

    The fighter procurement process has been the responsibility of Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose since last spring, following an audit by Auditor General Michael Ferguson. It is understood that veteran senior bureaucrat Tom Ring, who handled the government’s much-praised shipbuilding contract process in the fall of 2011, is now steering the reframed fighter replacement process, from within Public Works.

    Last spring, Ferguson ignited a political firestorm when he reported that the top-line cost cited by the Conservatives in the 2011 election campaign – $9-billion for 65 planes, or $15-billion including maintenance and other life-cycle costs – was $10-billion below the Defence department’s internal estimate.

    Even the internal figure of $25.1-billion was suspect, critics said, because it assumed a 20-year life cycle. The longevity of the Lockheed-Martin-built aircraft, according to the Pentagon, is 36 years.

    KPMG’s audit, due out next week, has confirmed the contention, long made by critics such as former assistant deputy minister (materiel) Alan Williams, that the F-35 program’s real cost would be much higher than any previously stated government estimate, sources say.

    Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page predicted a cost of $30 billion over a 30-year life cycle.

    Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose, who took on the F-35 file after Ferguson’s audit, has been signalling since last spring that she was unhappy with the procurement process. On Nov. 22 in the House of Commons, Ambrose said the government is committed to “a full evaluation of all choices, not simply a refresh.”

    Lawson, in an appearance before the House of Commons defence committee Nov. 29, further opened the door when he confirmed what industry critics have long said: the F-35 is not the only modern fighter with measures to evade radar, though it is considered to be the most advanced in this respect. “Is there only one airplane that can meet the standard of stealth that’s set out in the statement of requirements?” Liberal defence critic John McKay asked. Lawson’s answer: “No.”

    The F-35’s unique stealthiness had long been advanced as the single most compelling argument for buying that plane.

    Also in the mix, former Industry Minister David Emerson last week published a report on the aerospace and space sectors, calling on Ottawa to more aggressively press for Industrial and Regional Benefits (IRBs) and In-Service Support (ISS) contracts when inking procurement deals. Lockheed-Martin has in the past been reluctant to hand over its proprietary technology to clients. Industry insiders believe the Emerson report added impetus to the decision to start over.

    Boeing’s Super Hornet, Dassault’s Rafale, Saab’s Gripen, the Eurofighter Typhoon and the F-35 are seen as the leading contenders in any new contest to replace the CF-18 fleet.

  119. Alexander permalink
    November 26, 2012 5:35 pm

    New laser technology out of Germany. This mobile unit can vaporize incoming mortar shells and take out drones. In 3-5 years they expect to have a unit with 10x the power, which could then engage main battle tanks, and anything else on the battlefield, I’m guessing.

    And, the 10x power unit could then also soon replace a point defence system on a ship. It could be choosen in place of a goalkeeper system and would be capable of destroying incoming missles, aircraft and vaporizing incoming naval shells.

  120. November 20, 2012 10:57 pm

    Let’s see what all gets covered under a motor insurance -. They would like to get something and they would like to get it now. Driving a motor vehicle without having any insurance in place is definitely a driving offence which is certainly one that you should try your very best not to be guilty of but yet is rather simple to be in default of.

  121. November 4, 2012 1:50 am

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  122. September 12, 2012 7:21 pm

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  123. September 8, 2012 9:54 pm

    I’ve got a new blog now:
    Still US Coast Guard centric. Stop by if you get a chance.

    All my previous posts from CGBlog are also there.

  124. Alexander permalink
    June 14, 2012 11:23 am

    Looks like the Harper government will still try to push through the F35. If things start to improve in that program it will certainly help.

  125. Alexander permalink
    April 22, 2012 2:18 pm

    Here is some info on the new Rafale radar. Put this together with the new 90kn engine and we’re really talking about a Super Rafale.

  126. Alexander permalink
    April 21, 2012 8:13 pm

    Here’s another one.

  127. Alexander permalink
    April 21, 2012 8:09 pm

    Nothing at all conclusive here, just interesting.

  128. Alexander permalink
    April 21, 2012 6:41 pm

    Totally depends on what your looking at as a source. The Rafale has actually done very well in dogfights according to some sources. They only now have the new Radar and will soon have the 90+ kn engine. They are not a big target at all, but are among the smaller fighters out there, which makes them more agile, not less. I would definitely choose the rafale, especially against the Typhoon and the Super Hornet, which are not superior dogfighters. If you’d like to provide some sources, that would be good.

  129. April 21, 2012 12:58 pm

    The Rafale is a plane if you want planes fast to build an air force. However, the Rafale’s I have seen in real world mock fights does not last long against the Typhoon, F/A-18 C [not the super hornet], and loses 60% of the dogfights against a MIG-29 UBT. Now as an aircraft it is a good design, and with the upgrade it should be better the only thing is that its weapons loads make it a big target. If generation 4.5 aircraft that it is grouped in can outperform it. Then the Rafale’s which were mostly the M version were crap. Though I cannot say about the other two versions. I’ll just say this if I had to chose a generation 4.5 fighter jet to chose from I’d clearly take the JAS-39 Gripen, SU-37 Terminator, or the F/A-18F Super Hornet. In this these would be the better of the gen 4.5 jets that I would pick. However, if I had to pick a gen 5 fighter I would be looking at the F-22 or the PAK TA-50 not the crap F-35 which is probably going to be this generation early version of the F-4 Phantom.

  130. Alexander permalink
    April 16, 2012 11:26 am

    The Rafale is a very good aircraft and is getting the 90 kN engine because India is demanding the engine upgrade. The only crashing problems I am aware of was due to a mid-air collision which was accidental and pilot error. Once it gets the better, more powerful engine, it will be a supercruise aircraft and we would be smart to take a real close look. Personally, I hope we buy the Rafale, but our government will be more concerned with pleasing the Americans.

  131. Jacob permalink
    April 16, 2012 7:08 am

    The only thing we can do is upgrade to F15SE’s, the British Dominions have thrown away over 100Billion into this shitty american F35 program for a plane which “can’t turn, can’t climb, can’t run”, we could have easily made our own superior plane that can actually compete with the T-50, Pak-Fa and Chinese planes… Hell I suspect that with 100Billion in research grants we would have made enormous scientific advancement which in turn would have fueled economic growth. Instead we have stupid F35s which are worse than F15SEs…

    Im actually surprised that the auditor-general wasn’t corrupt like the rest of the politicians… I just hope they don’t buy rafeles which have crashing problems, should buy F15SE’s or design a new plane… I hope they don’t decide not to have fighter planes…

  132. alex|adrian|alima permalink
    April 10, 2012 11:51 pm

    We valued your writing. Keep the great findings up!

  133. Alexander permalink
    April 8, 2012 12:32 pm

    Looks like it will now be between the Super Hornet and the Rafale.

  134. Alexander permalink
    April 6, 2012 1:36 pm

    Looks like Canada is now out of the F35 program. I don’t think there is any way Canadians would accept buying the jets now.

    Auditor general: F-35 funding frozen; Conservatives promise public review

    OTTAWA — The Conservative government reacted quickly Tuesday to a scathing auditor general’s report on the F-35, promising a complete and public review of the stealth fighter program and opening the door to potential competitors.
    “Funding will remain frozen and Canada will not purchase new aircraft until further due diligence, oversight, and transparency is applied to the process of replacing the Canadian Forces’ aging CF-18 fleet,” Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose said in a statement.
    Auditor General Michael Ferguson’s report, tabled in the House of Commons on Tuesday, alleges Defence Department officials twisted government rules, misled ministers and Parliament, and whitewashed cost overruns and delays in a determined effort to ensure Canada purchased the F-35 stealth fighter.
    The biting assessment puts the military’s own cost estimates for Canada’s involvement at $25 billion — instead of the publicly stated $16 billion — and questions assertions that Canadian industry stands to benefit from $12 billion in contracts.
    It also says the F-35 was “clearly the fighter jet of choice” as early as 2006, and that officials intentionally played up the F-35’s stealth capabilities to sidestep established purchasing guidelines.
    “National Defence did not exercise the diligence that would be expected in managing a $25-billion commitment,” Ferguson said. “It is important that a purchase of this size be managed rigorously and transparently.”
    In its response, the government said it is taking the project out of the Defence Department’s hands and giving it to Public Works, with a committee of senior bureaucrats from different departments providing oversight.
    It will also commission an independent review of the F-35 project while ensuring full compliance with government purchasing rules before approving any purchase, and provide regular updates on costs and schedules.
    The military will also continue to evaluate other options for replacing the country’s CF-18s, which opens the door to a potential competition. At the same time, Industry Canada will look at ways Canadian companies can continue to benefit from the project.
    “Our participation has generated $435 million in contracts for over 60 Canadian companies resulting in skilled work that otherwise would not exist, with more opportunities to come,” Industry Minister Christian Paradis said in a statement.
    Ferguson’s highly anticipated report says Canada initially joined the F-35 program in 1997 not with the intention of purchasing the stealth fighter, but to ensure Canadian industry could win contracts associated with developing and producing the fighter.
    That changed in 2006 when a memorandum of understanding was signed by Canada and eight other partner nations committing them to long-term participation in the project. By then, the military was knee-deep in the program.
    “By the end of 2006, the (Defence) Department was actively involved in developing the F-35, and a number of activities had put in motion its eventual procurement,” the audit report says.
    The report says that in convincing the Conservative government to sign on to the MOU, the military talked up the potential billions in contracts Canadian industry could secure if the country continued to participate in the project.
    However, “while ministers were told, correctly, that signing the 2006 MOU did not commit Canada to buy the F-35, we did not see evidence they were told that retaining industrial benefits depended on buying the F-35 as a partner in the (Joint Strike Fighter) program.”
    In addition, “in the majority of cases, only the most optimistic scenario was put forward, rather than a range of potential benefits that reflected the inherent uncertainties in the projections.”
    Defence Department officials also did not tell ministers that by signing the memorandum of understanding, the government would be hard-pressed to run a fair competition in the future to replace Canada’s aging fleet of CF-18s.
    Normal government procurement rules say departments must lay out their requirements so multiple companies can bid on the contracts. That, however, didn’t happen with the F-35.
    In fact, starting in late 2008, the report says, Defence officials “led a process to get a government decision to buy the F-35, partly in response to pressure from industry.” Following Canada’s signing on to the MOU in 2006, the report says, the Defence Department began putting together necessary documents to support the eventual purchase of the aircraft.
    To get around requirements for a competitive bidding process, officials intentionally played up the fact the F-35 was the only fifth-generation aircraft available to Canada.
    In May 2010, the Public Works Department, which is supposed to provide oversight of all major government purchases, questioned the military’s assertion that no other aircraft could meet Canada’s requirements.
    It eventually agreed to waive requirements for a competitive bidding process “if National Defence provided a letter confirming National Defence’s requirement for a fifth-generation fighter and confirming that the F-35 is the only such aircraft available.”
    Over the four years between when the MOU was signed and the Conservative government’s announcement in July 2010 that Canada would purchase 65 F-35s, the report says, military officials regularly downplayed or glossed over cost overruns and delays afflicting the stealth fighter program.
    “Officials from National Defence who participated in the senior decision-making committees of the (Joint Strike Fighter) program were regularly informed of these problems,” the report says. “Yet in briefing materials from 2006 through 2010 that we have reviewed, neither the minister nor decision makers in National Defence and central agencies were kept informed of these problems and the associated risks of relying on the F-35 to replace the CF-18.”
    The report also notes “significant concerns about the completeness of cost information provided to parliamentarians.
    In particular, it notes that in response to Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page’s estimate in March 2011 that Canada’s purchase of 65 F-35s would cost $30 billion, the Defence Department “did not include estimated operating, personnel or ongoing training costs” in putting the cost at $14.7 billion.
    The fact is, the report says, National Defence’s own cost estimates put the program at $25 billion in June 2010.
    That wasn’t the only time the military provided incomplete information, according to the auditor general’s office.
    “We observed that National Defence told parliamentarians that cost data provided by U.S. authorities had been validated by U.S. experts and partner countries, which was not accurate at the time,” the report says. “At the time of its response, National Defence knew the costs were likely to increase but did not so inform parliamentarians.”
    Ferguson’s report says National Defence “has been overly confident” about the F-35 program’s budget and schedule, and raised concerns that the stealth fighter would not be ready by the time Canada’s CF-18s are due to retire by 2020. It notes that “decisions taken to date as well as those yet to come will have impacts for the next 40 years.”
    In a rare move, the Defence and Public Works departments both said they disagreed with the auditor general’s report, arguing they had conducted due diligence in managing the program.
    The Conservative government initially announced in July 2010 that Canada would buy 65 F-35s for $9 billion, a decision it steadfastly supported for the next year and a half, including during the last federal election.
    The announcement was made without an open bidding process and would be this country’s largest-ever military purchase.
    But recent months have seen the Conservative government back away from that commitment, with Associate Defence Minister Julian Fantino admitting last month that the government hasn’t closed the door on walking away from the F-35.
    This isn’t the first time an auditor general has blasted the military for its conduct in the purchase of a major piece of equipment. Previous reports in 2006 and 2010 criticized the Defence Department for deliberately low-balling costs in order to get the equipment it wanted.
    Two years ago, then auditor general Sheila Fraser concluded National Defence knew the Chinook heavy lift helicopter it wanted to buy was not an “off the shelf” model, with a relatively low risk of cost and time overruns.
    Yet the department did not reveal this to Treasury Board when it sought project approval. As a result, the cost of the 15 Chinooks more than doubled to $4.9 billion and the helicopters still have not been delivered.
    A similar story accompanied the purchase of 28 maritime helicopters, according to Fraser, who lamented the gaps in the fullness of information supplied to MPs. DND “underestimated and understated the complexity and developmental nature of the helicopters it intended to buy,” she said.
    © Copyright © Postmedia News

    Read more:…l#ixzz1qztJMpSY

  135. March 24, 2012 1:22 pm

    Good to see the best and perfect theme Speed mentoring conference welcomes small businesses Center for ….

  136. February 23, 2012 3:26 pm

    Sounds good to me.

  137. grahamcstrouse permalink
    February 22, 2012 1:16 am

    @Chuck Hill One quick and dirty possibility (and let’s be honest, Mike would appreciate that sort of approach) would be to set up a moderated group on facebook. It’s a little crude, yeah, but there are some potential advantages. We could cover more ground. We wouldn’t have to dig up somebody with web design skill & with 4 or 5 or 6 moderators, say, it wouldn’t be such a burden on any one individual. Also, I think the approach Mike B. took to New Wars would lend itself pretty well to a facebook topic: Mike usually ran with a graph or two with a couple links and opened up the field for discussion. FB is pretty good at that sort of thing. I’d be willing to go in as a mod if I could get a few more folks stoked. We’d have to agree on the ground rules for the group but I don’t see that as terribly problematic. This really is one of the most civilized sites I’ve frequented. Chuck, anyone? Thoughts?

  138. February 16, 2012 6:07 pm


    I know what you mean. I still come here occasionally because there are still a few interesting posts. (Particularly Thank you Scott B.)

    I write for, but the focus there is narrow, being Coast Guard centric. I do virtually all the writing, but other people started it. I would not have a clue how to start from scratch.

    I commonly check and On both the conversation is generally civil. Unfortunately neither have an “open mic” option like NewWars developed.

    If anyone wants to restart NewWars, I would participate.

  139. grahamcstrouse permalink
    February 12, 2012 12:27 am

    Gentlemen, this is a bit off-point, I suppose, but I miss New Wars. Civilized and intelligent discussion on crucial matters is such an Internet rarity. Do y’all suppose it’s possible we might revive the forum in some way? Not as a stump, but as a branch. It’s just a thought, I guess. It’s just that their is so little informed discourse on military matters ANYWHERE in the mainstream. Everyone has an ideology or an agenda and will fight for it to the death in the face of reason. And the thing is that this abject arrogance and stupidity does affect all our lives. It saps the economy, weakens our effective force structure, confuses people as to what an effective force structure actually is (“What business are we in” to borrow from John T. Reed’s business school definition). We are being defended by a great deal of gold-plated crap. It’s only natural we’d have $600 toilet seats, I suppose. My point is, maybe New Wars needs a new life. There are some pretty canny people here. We work hard enough, maybe we can come up with some solutions to our national defense nightmare. We work a little harder, maybe we can even get some people to listen. Thoughts, gentlemen?

  140. hokie_1997 permalink
    January 4, 2012 1:47 pm

    Navy Testing Drone That Tracks Suspicious Vessels

    (BAMS / Global Hawk demonstrator)

  141. Scott B. permalink
    January 4, 2012 12:14 pm

    Scott B. said : “Tejas program skips 2011 : Unsurprisingly, our Indian pals continue to procrastinate…”

    Meanwhile, our South Korean pals deliver :

    Seoul places $600m order for 20 FA-50s

    “South Korea has placed a $600 million order with Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) for 20 examples of the FA-50 attack variant of the T-50 advanced jet trainer.


    The FA-50 is the most advanced variant of the T-50. It will have the Link 16 tactical data link, as well as an Elta Systems EL/M-2032 pulse doppler radar.

    Northrop Grumman and Raytheon have said the FA-50 is a candidate for their respective active electronically scanned array (AESA) radars developed for the Lockheed Martin F-16. If the FA-50 does get an AESA radar, it is likely to be the same one chosen for the eventual F-16 radar upgrade for the US Air Force and Republic of Korea Air Force.


    The FA-50 also has a radar warning recover and a night vision imaging system. It is capable of carrying 4,500kg (9,920lb) of weapons, including the Boeing Joint Direct Attack Munition and Textron CBU-97 Sensor Fused Weapon. Like the TA-50, it also has a 20mm cannon and can carry air-to-air missiles.”

  142. Scott B. permalink
    January 3, 2012 4:32 pm

    Mail mix-up makes Hawker Beechcraft miss protest deadline for USAF contract; appeal filed in federal court

    “Beechcraft claims its executives were unaware of the agency’s decision for more than 10 days because the USAF unexpectedly mailed the exclusion notice to an inappropriate address. It then took 11 days for the notice to be routed to the right office within the company.


  143. Scott B. permalink
    January 3, 2012 1:14 pm

    Can 2012 be the Year of Gripen ?

    Saab Gripen sees as a complement to JSF

  144. Scott B. permalink
    January 3, 2012 12:25 pm

    MMRCA Jet Deal Results Expected In Three Weeks

    Unsurprisingly, our Indian pals continue to procrastinate… BIG TIME !!!

  145. Scott B. permalink
    January 3, 2012 12:20 pm

    Tejas program skips 2011

    Unsurprisingly, our Indian pals continue to procrastinate…

  146. Scott B. permalink
    January 3, 2012 11:29 am

    Yet another thing the Paleo-Burlesonians got wrong, like real bad :

    Super Tucano wins USAF order, but Hawker Beechcraft launches challenge

    “”It is simply wrong from the Obama Administration to hire a Brazilian company to handle national security when we have a qualified and competent American company that can do the job,” Representative Tim Huelskamp said.”

    So, the best aircraft wins, but the Tea Party Lunatics are not happy about it cuz it is… NIH.

    Like I said previously, this entire Tea Party thingy was just plain BS !!!

  147. Scott B. permalink
    January 2, 2012 1:57 pm

    The Burlesonian JSF has arrived !!!

    Embraer Win USAF LAS

    Happy New Year to all the Burlesonians out there (neos and paleos) !!!

  148. December 24, 2011 5:52 pm

    Scott B,

    Nice to see the site still being used.

  149. Scott B. permalink
    December 23, 2011 3:55 pm

    Programs On Congressional Cut List Squeak By

    “In 2011, more than 80 freshmen lawmakers came to Washington to scale back government spending and pledged not to care about their reelection prospects. Individual defense committees did zero out several programs and one committee handed down steep reductions to the Pentagon’s largest weapons system, the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).

    But by the time differences among those bills were resolved, it became apparent that tea party freshmen were just as resistant to whacking defense programs as colleagues who have operated inside the Beltway for decades.”

    IOW, this entire Tea Party thingy was just plain BS.

    What a surprise…

  150. Scott B. permalink
    December 23, 2011 3:11 pm

    USAF’s New Drone Not Going to Afghanistan

    Just in case it won’t get lost in Iran ???

  151. Scott B. permalink
    December 23, 2011 3:06 pm

    DDG-1000 Zumwalt to raise from ashes ?

    Destructive Destroyer Decisions

  152. Scott B. permalink
    December 22, 2011 7:40 pm

    US Navy Subs to Deploy Switchblade UAV

    Simply Burlesonian !!!

  153. Scott B. permalink
    December 21, 2011 8:05 am

    More bad news for Eurofighter ?

    German Defense Minister Attacks Industry

    “The attack on German industry performance comes as de Maizière continues talks with defense companies to heavily cut existing procurement orders as part of plans to restructure the military here.

    On Oct. 18, Reuters reported that the German government was eyeing several programs for cuts, including a reduction in Eurofighter fighter-jet orders by 37 to 140.

  154. Scott B. permalink
    December 21, 2011 7:04 am

    Painful decisions on US defence spending delayed in 2011 will come back to haunt industry next year

    “Two targets for spending cuts that have been identified by multiple budget reviews are the F-35 and the Bell Boeing MV-22B.

    There have been calls to eliminate one of the three F-35 variants. In October, General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, told Congress that the cost of developing all three variants was unaffordable, but he later retracted his statement. So far, programme officials have warned only there will be further cuts to the production ramp increase as the development phase continues.

    The MV-22 also faces a reduction of orders over the next five years. The USMC originally planned to buy 124 MV-22s from FY2013-17. That number has already been whittled down to 98 and could be cut further.”

  155. Scott B. permalink
    December 20, 2011 7:34 pm

    More on JSF for Japan :

    Japan F-X Competition Win Key Victory for JSF Program

  156. Scott B. permalink
    December 20, 2011 10:33 am

    Bad news for all the Eurofighter Typhoon lovers out there :

    Lockheed Lightning II Strikes in Tokyo

    F-35 Wins Japan Fighter Competition

  157. Kurt permalink
    December 17, 2011 7:41 pm

    In my opinion the Gripen is an aircraft with great potential, just give it a stronger engine with thrust vectoring. Stealth or low observeability can in part be replaced by cheap imitation drone “wingmen” with the ability to use very high-g maneuvers to escape threats that have a secondary role as very light fighters and reconnaisance crafts. The combined system would be less expensive than an F22 and equally capable in securing aerial supremacy.

  158. Scott B. permalink
    December 15, 2011 2:19 pm

    One for all the paleo-Burlesonians out there :

    Austal Multi-Role Vessel MRV-80 Trimaran

    My opinion : yet another aluminium deathtrap !!!

  159. Scott B. permalink
    December 15, 2011 1:52 pm

    Bigger Avenger UAV Being Developed for Combat Use

    “General Atomics is the “only company that has built and flown a demonstrator with the required capabilities [which include some stealth and heavier weapons] and is developing a larger, more capable version suitable for deployment,” the Air Force document says.”


    They also contend that the Avenger’s radar reflectivity can be made smaller and that UAS stealth is one of the capabilities that will be studied in the test program. “

  160. Scott B. permalink
    December 15, 2011 1:48 pm

    Buying the Joint Strike Fighter Caucus

    “It’s the steal of the century. For the price of buying a condo in Washington, DC, you can support the political campaigns of Members of Congress who support your trillion-dollar program. Talk about return on investment!”

  161. Scott B. permalink
    December 14, 2011 3:42 pm

    Gripen for Brazil : SAAB ratchets up the PRessure

    Raven ES-05 AESA Brings Wider Eyes For The Gripen NG

  162. Scott B. permalink
    December 14, 2011 3:28 pm

    A sad day for US Airpower :

    Final F-22 Raptor Rolls Off Production Line

  163. Scott B. permalink
    December 13, 2011 9:32 am

    More @ Flight International :

    Special DoD review recommends curtailing early F-35 production

  164. Scott B. permalink
    December 13, 2011 9:21 am

    JSF – What’s Really Happening

    The full report – which may be online later today – is densely packed and makes fascinating reading. Personal view? What keeps going through my mind is Gus McCrae from Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove, after one of the Hat Creek outfit has ridden into a nest of water moccasins:

    “Eight sets of bites, not countin’ the legs. Ain’t no point in countin’ the legs.”

  165. hokie_1997 permalink
    December 13, 2011 9:14 am

    Give us our UAV back… or we’ll ask again.

  166. Scott B. permalink
    December 13, 2011 8:54 am

    Meanwhile, …

    Cheney: U.S. Should Have Destroyed Downed Drone

    “I was told that the president had three options on his desk. He rejected all of them,” Cheney said, without offering more details.

    “They all involved sending somebody in, you know, to try to recover it or if you can’t do that, and admittedly, that’d be a difficult operation, you certainly could have gone in and destroyed it on the ground with an air strike,” he said.

    “But he didn’t take any of the options. He asked nicely for them to return it, and they aren’t going to do that.”

  167. Scott B. permalink
    December 13, 2011 8:49 am

    I’ll kick start the contest with these :

    “Give Our UAV Back”… or we’ll cry all our tears

    “Give Our UAV Back”… or you’ll get nuked

    “Give Our UAV Back”… please

  168. Scott B. permalink
    December 13, 2011 8:44 am

    In the spirit of the best Burlesonian entertainment, I’m pleased to announce the Christmas 2011 “Finish This Sentence” Contest !!!

    Sentence to be finished is this one :

    Give Our UAV Back”

  169. Scott B. permalink
    December 13, 2011 7:48 am

    U.S. to Iran: Give Our UAV Back

    How Embarrassing !!!

  170. Scott B. permalink
    December 13, 2011 7:43 am

    Top Senators Express Dismay Over Latest F-35 Deal

    “Levin expressed his displeasure with the Pentagon for moving ahead with the buy while Congress was still in negotiations.

    “Frankly … we took umbrage at the idea that the Air Force, the acquisition folks, would sign a contract for Lot 5 in the face of a Senate provision saying, ‘We want no cost-plus contract on Lot 5,’ ” he said.

    Because the Senate provision has not become law, the Pentagon could do it. “But frankly,” Levin said, “I’ll be calling in these acquisition folks, and I know Senator McCain will be right there at my side.”

    While the contract used for Lot 5 is not being called a cost-plus contract, it contains too many caveats and loopholes that allow cost increases to be picked up by the government, McCain said.”

    KILL THE F-35 !!!

    BRING BACK THE F-22 !!!

  171. Scott B. permalink
    December 13, 2011 5:50 am

    One thing that will make all the Burlesonians (neos- and paleos-) happy :

    Predator C heading to Afghanistan, packing a 2,000-pounder

  172. Scott B. permalink
    December 13, 2011 5:47 am

    More Good News for Gripen ?

    Indian Light Combat Aircraft Slipping A Year

    “Fresh troubles are delaying India’s indigenous Tejas Light Combat Aircraft program, with final operational clearance slipping by over a year to December 2014.”


    “IAF leaders, who had grudgingly accepted initial operating capability in January after ceding certain marked-down performance parameters, are not happy.”

  173. Scott B. permalink
    December 12, 2011 2:57 pm

    One more thing the paleo-burlesonian got wrong : (part 7)

    Iran To Reverse-Engineer U.S. Drone: Lawmaker

  174. Scott B. permalink
    December 12, 2011 2:53 pm

    F-35 Unit Cost Nears $160M as Lockheed Wins $4Bn for LRIP 5 Lot

    “(EDITOR’S NOTE: A straightforward division using the above figures sets the average unit cost of a LRIP 5 aircraft at $133.7 million.

    However, on July 6, 2010 Lockheed was awarded a $522.2 million contract for LRIP 5 long-lead items, which adds another $12.4 million per aircraft (because it was awarded when LRIP5 was due to comprise 42 aircraft).

    But these figures exclude the cost of the engine, which is a useful addition to a fighter aircraft. The contract for the LRIP 5 engines has not been awarded yet, but the May 13, 2011 contract awarded for LRIP 4 engines was worth $910.15 million for 67 engines, which works out to an average of $13.6 million each.

    Consequently, the cost of each LRIP 5 aircraft can be estimated at $133.7m + $12.4m + $13.6m, or about $159.7 million per aircraft.

    And this amount does not include the cost of the modifications to bring existing aircraft up to scratch by embodying modifications and upgrades shown to be necessary by the flight test program.

    It will be interesting to see what spin Lockheed will put on these figures.)”

  175. Scott B. permalink
    December 11, 2011 3:50 pm

    One more thing the paleo-burlesonian got wrong : (part 6)

    Why The Beast Was Lost

    “The more one looks at it, the simplest answer seems to fit the data best – equipment failure. As unglamorous as it sounds, loss of propulsion is the most likely reason for the loss of the Sentinel.”

  176. Scott B. permalink
    December 11, 2011 1:38 pm

    One more thing the paleo-burlesonian got wrong : (part 5)

    Iran’s Boasts Over Drone Reveal Inconsistencies

    “But none was able to explain how the drone – programmed to either automatically return to its base in Afghanistan or possibly even self-destruct – was recovered by the Iranians.”

  177. Scott B. permalink
    December 11, 2011 1:35 pm

    One more thing the paleo-burlesonian got wrong : (part 4)

    Iran’s Captured RQ-170: How Bad Is the Damage?

  178. Scott B. permalink
    December 8, 2011 3:51 pm

    One more thing the paleo-burlesonian got wrong : (part 3)

    Iran shows film of captured US drone

  179. Scott B. permalink
    December 8, 2011 3:35 pm

    One more thing the paleo-burlesonian got wrong : (part 2)

    Loss Of Stealth Drone Undermines Case For Replacing Manned Systems

  180. Scott B. permalink
    December 8, 2011 9:02 am

    And yet another very pro-Gripen article @ Aviation Week :

    Swiss Give Saab, Gripen NG A Boost

  181. Scott B. permalink
    December 8, 2011 8:51 am

    More good news for Gripen (if confirmed) :

    India May Cancel Fighter Competition

  182. Alexander permalink
    December 7, 2011 12:11 pm

    If they could lengthen the Raptor by just a few feet, it would allow more room in the weapons bays, and add more fuel. Then use a more durable stealth coating, and a radar system that has 360 situational awareness. Even with that cost, a large order spread among the NATO nations, would likely bring the cost down to at least 125 million per unit. This would be a much better option than the F35, IMHO.

  183. Scott B. permalink
    December 7, 2011 11:15 am

    Alexander said : “This is a quote from a US Air Force General, it is where I got my number from.”

    1) The article you’ve used is dated June 2006. The document I used is dated February 2010.

    2) The flyaway cost for the F-22 would most likely decline with a larger production run (650 aircraft, as planned in 1991, would be a nice target).

    3) Once all is said and done, I very much doubt the flyaway cost for the F-35 will be lower than $100 million per unit for the A variant.

    BRING BACK THE F-22 !!!

    KILL THE F-35 !!!

  184. Alexander permalink
    December 7, 2011 10:43 am

    This is a quote from a US Air Force General, it is where I got my number from.

    But the reality is, if the Air Force wanted to buy just one more jet, it would cost the taxpayer less than half that amount. The current cost for a single copy of an F-22 stands at about $137 million. And that number has dropped by 23 percent since Lot 3 procurement, General Lewis said.

    “The cost of the airplane is going down,” he said. “And the next 100 aircraft, if I am allowed to buy another 100 aircraft … the average fly-away cost would be $116 million per airplane.”

    The F-22 Raptor is not an inexpensive fighter jet. But it brings to the fight a capability that eclipses that of legacy aircraft such as the F-15, F-16, F-117, the Navy’s F-18 Hornet and even the yet-to-fly F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

    “Even without stealth, this is the world’s best fighter,” General Lewis said. “The F-22, its ability with speed and maneuverability, is unprecedented. The problem with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter in establishing air dominance is that you have to buy two or three to replace the F-22, because it only has half the weapons load, and it doesn’t have the speed. You can’t replace (the F-22) one-for-one with an F-35 or any other legacy fighter such as the F-15E.”

  185. Scott B. permalink
    December 7, 2011 10:17 am

    Speaking of the All Mighty Raptor :

    F-22 Production Line Back on Track

    BRING BACK THE F-22 !!!

    KILL THE F-35 !!!

  186. Scott B. permalink
    December 7, 2011 10:11 am

    Alexandre said : “When they cancelled the F22, the cost per 100 aircraft was down to about 120 million per plane, so just as it becomes affordable, they cancell the program and bring in the now equally expensive F35. It’s mamagement like this that could one day cause the west to lose its military superiority.”

    F-22A flyaway cost ~ $150 million per unit
    see page 63

    F-35A flyaway cost ~ $90 million per unit
    see page 57

    Killing the F-22A (a decision supported at the time by the Paleo-Burlesonians) was nevertheless a HUGE mistake.

  187. Scott B. permalink
    December 7, 2011 9:36 am

    Analysts: Lost USAF UAV Likely Malfunctioned

    Published: 6 Dec 2011 16:57

    “Iran’s claims to have brought down one of the U.S. Air Force’s stealthy unmanned RQ-170 Sentinel reconnaissance aircraft are highly dubious, analysts and Pentagon officials said.

    However, the loss of contact with the pilotless jet cast doubts on the service’s claim that it has a good handle on maintaining uninterrupted control of such aircraft.”


    “As such, the incident highlights a fundamental problem that plagues current unmanned aircraft, which is that they have little in the way of active defenses and very little situational awareness, Thompson said.”

  188. Alexander permalink
    December 6, 2011 7:07 pm

    Can you imagine if they cancelled the F35, would that ever throw a wrench into things. If that were to happen they should do a quick update on the F22, giving it 360 degree situational awareness and a low maintenance stealth coating and make it available to the NATO nations. When they cancelled the F22, the cost per 100 aircraft was down to about 120 million per plane, so just as it becomes affordable, they cancell the program and bring in the now equally expensive F35. It’s mamagement like this that could one day cause the west to lose its military superiority.

  189. Scott B. permalink
    December 6, 2011 8:47 am

    More bas news for the Paleos :

    McCain Slams JSF, Calls Program ‘Scandal And A Tragedy’

  190. Scott B. permalink
    December 6, 2011 8:02 am

    One more thing the paleo-burlesonian got wrong :

    Drone that crashed in Iran risks secret U.S. technology

    “An American drone that crashed in Iran last Thursday was on a mission for the CIA, and is now in the hands of Iran’s military, NBC News has learned.

    U.S. officials tell NBC that CIA operators were flying the unmanned drone when it veered out of control and headed deep into Iran. The drone eventually ran out of fuel and crashed in Iran’s remote mountains.

    The nature of the drone’s mission was secret and sources say it’s still not clear whether the drone was operating in Iran or Afghanistan.

    Officials here confirm that the vehicle was a highly secret stealth drone called an RQ-170, which looks more like a flying wing than an airplane — the same kind of drone that circled over Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan as Navy Seals targeted the fugitive al-Qaida leader.”

  191. Scott B. permalink
    December 6, 2011 7:31 am

    Ajai Shukla and Gripen for India : from paleo-burlesonian to neo-burlesonian

    A visit to Gripen: Saab executives say “combat aircraft contest not over”

    by Ajai Shukla
    5th Dec 11

    There are celebrations at Linkoping, the home of the Gripen NG fighter, which is barely two hours from Stockholm on one of Sweden’s ultra-friendly inter-city trains. On Tuesday, the Swiss government announced its selection of the Gripen-D fighter for the Swiss Air Force, rejecting the Eurofighter Typhoon and the Dassault Rafale.

    “If confirmed, a win in Switzerland [according to the Swiss constitution, this might even require a national referendum] will provide a much-needed boost to Saab’s status as a fighter manufacturer, after its Gripen was eliminated in another high-profile contest in India,” observed aviation magazine, Flight Global.

    India has decided differently, short-listing the Typhoon and Rafale over the Gripen NG in New Delhi’s ongoing selection of 126 medium, multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA). But, visiting Linkoping, Broadsword saw little despondency. With India’s defence ministry (MoD) uncomfortable with the idea of doubling its $10.5 billion allocation for those heavy fighters, Gripen is not yet ruling itself out of the MMRCA competition.

    “It’s not over till it’s over,” says Eddy de la Motte, Head of Gripen Export. “We have been and are still confident that Gripen is the perfect match for the IAF as well as for the Indian defence and aviation industry.”

    Eddy de la Motte also points out that Gripen has provided details of its Sea Gripen fighter (which is still being developed) in response to an Indian Navy’s enquiry.

    Executives in Linkoping all insist that the Gripen NG — the New Generation version of the current Gripen-D fighter — would provide India with the fighter it needs for a far cheaper procurement and operating cost. They say it would be one-third the cost of the Typhoon and the Rafale, calculated on a “through-life” basis.

    “Our experience of operating the Gripen is that it costs US $4000 per flight hour. This calculation is based on the experience of 150,000 hours flown,” says Peter Ringh, a senior executive with the Gripen programme.

    I tour the Linkoping facility, which Sweden set up in 1930 after it was prevented from buying fighters because of the embargoes that preceded World War II. Over the next eight decades, a fierce focus on aerospace R&D — 20% of Saab’s aerospace revenues go back into research — has driven the development of several world-beating aircraft at Linkoping. These include the Saab-21A in 1945 (the world’s first aircraft with an ejection seat); the Saab 29 Tunnan (the first aircraft with swept wings); and the Viggen, which the Indian Air Force had selected in the 1970s as a ground strike aircraft. But an angry Washington, seething after India’s nuclear experiment in Pokhran, vetoed the supply of the Viggen’s American-origin engines to India. The IAF bought the Jaguar instead.

    “In 70 years in the aeronautics business, Saab has built more than 4000 aircraft. This includes 500 airliners, of which 450 are still operating,” says de la Motte.

    Today, Linkoping is dedicated to the Gripen. Over 200 Gripens currently fly with five air forces — Sweden, South Africa, Thailand, Czech Republic and Hungary — and Switzerland will be the sixth. Gripen is also a leading contender (along with the Rafale) in the Brazilian Air Force’s purchase of medium fighters.

    But India demanded a more capable MMRCA than the current Gripen-D; and Saab offered its futuristic Gripen NG fighter, of which only a single prototype exists. This is numbered 39-7; the first Gripen test aircraft was numbered 39-1… and this is the 7th test fighter).

    Housed in a secluded hangar, the Gripen Demonstrator (as the first prototype of the Gripen NG is called) is discernibly bigger than the Gripen-D. The earlier Gripens are light, agile fighters, which can land and take off from 800-metre stretches of regular highway. A carefully inbuilt ability to be refuelled and rearmed within just 10 minutes of landing allow a small number of Gripen-Ds to fly as many sorties as a significantly larger number of heavier-maintenance fighters. But, along with low maintenance, India wanted a heavier fighter, with more weaponry and a longer range and endurance. Enter the Gripen NG.

    “The NG is essentially a Mark III Gripen fighter. The Gripen A/B, a 12-tonne light fighter, was the Mark I. This went up to 14-tonnes in the Gripen C/D, which can be considered the Mark II. Our latest development, the Gripen NG, will be a 16.5 tonne medium fighter,” explains de la Motte.

    That extra weight includes an additional tonne of fuel. Along with two 450-gallon fuel pods on the wings, this allows the Gripen NG to fly a staggering 4,100 kilometres. On internal fuel alone, it flies 2,500 kilometres. That exceeds the range of much bigger aircraft like the Typhoon.

    Moving the undercarriage to the wings for enlarging the fuel tanks also created space for two additional hard points on which weapons are mounted. The Gripen NG now has ten stations, extraordinary for a 16-tonne fighter. Flying into combat, it would typically carry two IRIS-T air-to-air missiles on its wing tips, which can shoot down enemy aircraft 25 kilometres away; two Meteor beyond-visual-range (BVR) missiles, deadly accurate at ranges in excess of 100 kilometres; two fuel pods with 900 gallons of fuel; three GBU-12 precision-guided bombs for ground targets; and a reconnaissance pod.

    To power all this weight, the Gripen-D’s General Electric F-404 engine is being replaced with the advanced F-414 engine, an upgrade that is common to India’s Tejas fighter. With thrust increased from 18,000 pounds to 22,000 pounds, the Gripen NG already super-cruises, or flies supersonic in economy mode.

    The Gripen Demonstrator has demonstrated the capability to supercruise at Mach 1.2, and exceed Mach 1.6 on afterburner. Gripen engineers say that they have still to optimise the air intakes, which they expect will boost engine power by another 25%.

    But the NG’s real strength is the cockpit, which is a fighter pilot’s delight. Using Saab’s acknowledged data link capability, information is drawn from multiple sensors inside and outside the aircraft, including satellites. A terabyte-capacity computer screens out superfluous information, providing the pilot only the best input of each category. This allows him to concentrate on battle, rather than handling information.

    “We do that by sensor fusion… using data fusion technology. This covers information coming in from radars, IRST, EW sensors, targeting pods, 3rd party sensors (including air-land-sea) and also information from the weapons,” says the Gripen test pilot who is conducting me around the fighter.

    The pilot also reveals that the Gripen demonstrator is ready for being fitted with the Selex ES 05 Raven AESA radar. “This will be capable of electronically steering radar elements in specific directions. The current AESA radars have 70% coverage on each side. We will put that on a swashplate, which would give us 100% coverage, a big advantage in BVR. We can fire a missile and turn away without entering the enemy fighter’s weapons engagement zone, and yet be able to guide our missile to the hand-over point. This is called the F-Pole manoeuvre, which means that you fire and then turn away so that you are outside his radar pickup… but can still control the missile,” he explains.

    The Gripen demonstrator will also have the ability to hand over the missile in mid-flight to another aircraft.

    And finally, the pilot has satellite communications, permitting him to communicate across the globe. In a sensitive situation — such as an attack that could start, or escalate a war, or even on a nuclear strike mission — the pilot might need to take permission before launching weapons. This could be done over the satellite radio.

    “During the Indian trials, when the Gripen successfully took off from Leh, the pilot called Linkoping on the satellite radio to say all is well,” said one of the Gripen NG pilots.

  192. Scott B. permalink
    December 3, 2011 7:37 am

    In the same vein :

    GE Brings Good Things To Hornet, Gripen

  193. Scott B. permalink
    December 3, 2011 7:28 am

    GE, Rolls Give Up on F136 JSF Alternate Engine

    Meaning that, in the medium term, GE will focus heavily on the F414, i.e. EPE and hopefully TVC.

    Now that would be another giant step forward for the neo-burlesonian Sea Gripen !!!

  194. Scott B. permalink
    December 2, 2011 9:36 am

    More infos on the Swiss Gripen @ ARES Blog :

    Swiss Gripen NG: Details Emerge
    Posted by Robert Wall at 12/2/2011 3:59 AM CST

    Adding fuel to yesterday’s Ares discussion about the developmental effort that has to go into fielding the Swiss Gripen, a few details have emerged about what the Swiss air force’s JAS-39E/F Gripen NG will include:

    One element, and this was always the most obvious one, is the use of the General Electric F414G engine.

    The other is that Switzerland has opted for the Active Electronically Scanned Array radar. That was not clearly stated initially by the Swiss government, but now is being confirmed.

  195. Scott B. permalink
    December 1, 2011 2:09 pm

    IMNSHO, 22 + 10 ,= 32 is a big boost for Gripen in the Brazilian fighter competition.

    Winning the Brazilian fighter competition could turn Sea Gripen into a reality.

    Another neo-burlesonian vision would come true !!!

  196. Scott B. permalink
    December 1, 2011 12:48 pm

    More good news for Gripen @ ARES blog :

    Sweden Gives Gripen NG Another Boost

    Posted by Robert Wall at 12/1/2011 5:14 AM CST

    The Swedish government always said it would support any export customer for the Gripen NG by accelerating its own procurement plans for the latest iteration of the single-engine fighter. Current plans call for procurement of the Gripen NG for Sweden starting around 2017/18.

    A day after Switzerland committed to buying the aircraft, with a planned fielding in 2015, Stockholm is trying to make good on its commitment. A Swedish parliamentary committee has endorsed the idea of buying ten JAS-39E/Fs for the Swedish air force early. That effort will likely get full government endorsement next year.

    The exact configuration of the Gripen NG for Switzerland remains to be sorted out. That situation is actually raising some questions.

    Switzerland had indicated it would buy its Tiger replacement fighter off-the-shelf, with critics of the decision to go for Gripen saying the NG is not that. Dassault argues that “the ‘Swiss-tailored’ Gripen only exists on paper. Its technical development and production risk significantly increasing the financial efforts required of the Swiss Authorities to accomplish the country’s fighter aircraft program.”

  197. Alexander permalink
    December 1, 2011 10:50 am

    Wow! 22 aircraft is not many for a countries main air defence fighter. I would have expected more like 50.

  198. Scott B. permalink
    December 1, 2011 4:18 am

    Gripen E/F ~ Gripen NG

    Specs here (PDF, Swiss MOD)

  199. Scott B. permalink
    December 1, 2011 4:10 am

    Gripen Beats Rafale, Typhoon for Swiss

    By Robert Wall
    November 30, 2011

    Switzerland has opted to buy 22 Saab Gripen JAS-39E/Fs in its long-running F-5 Tiger replacement program, says Defense Minister Ueli Maurer.

    Gripen beat out the Dassault Rafale and Eurofighter Typhoon—Boeing withdrew the F/A-18E/F early from the program.

    The arrangement marks a big setback for Dassault, which was hoping to finally secure its first export deal for Rafale. Eurofighter also was eager to convince Switzerland to join the family; Italy, Austria and Germany already fly the aircraft. Switzerland also considered an F-5 extension, but that was deemed too expensive.

    All three main contenders met the requirements put forward by the services. But the Gripen had several advantages, Maurer says, including price, which leaves money left over for other military needs.

    The Gripen had both the lowest acquisition costs and lower 30-year life-cycle costs by far, says Maurer. The procurement program is likely to cost less than 3 billion Swiss francs ($3.3 billion).

    Moreover, Switzerland liked the potential for industrial cooperation on offer from Saab.

    Maurer acknowledges the Swedish fighter may not be the highest-end technical option, but he says it is a good fit for Switzerland and meets the country’s needs.

    Switzerland and Sweden will now refine the program in the coming months. That includes setting up pilot training, including potential training in Sweden. Also still under review is whether final assembly of the aircraft will take place in Switzerland.

    All three bidders provided good offset packages that were essentially equivalent—100% of the value of the deal has to be offset. The industrial participation packages were also attractive across the board, the Swiss say.

    The exact delivery schedule is being negotiated. The first aircraft is likely to arrive in 2015 and all aircraft are to be handed over in a 2-3-year period.

    Maurer says no decision has been made on whether the Gripen would also serve as the eventual replacement for Switzerland’s existing fleet of older F/A-18s.

    The Swiss government also considered a smaller procurement, but a decision was made to field at least two squadrons, requiring 22 aircraft. At one point, the program was sized to equip three squadrons, or 33 aircraft, but was ruled out for financial reasons.

  200. November 24, 2011 3:49 am

    Hi, thanks for all the visitors, I will add many more video tutorials in future days, admin

  201. Scott B. permalink
    November 18, 2011 4:29 pm

    It is with much sadness that I have to announce that my friend René LOIRE passed away today at the age of 88.

    René was well known in naval circles for his pioneering and ardent advocacy of the Arsenal Ship concept, aka LE FRAPPEUR.

    May He Rest In Peace.

  202. Alexander permalink
    October 22, 2011 2:59 pm

    Nice blog. Just thought I’d mention that the Vancouver yard, which is Seaspan, is US owned, just in case this is of interest.

  203. October 22, 2011 1:57 pm

    Alexander, thanks, I did a post on this for my blog.
    Our discussion here helped me prep the post.

  204. Alexander permalink
    October 22, 2011 11:38 am

    Yes, good choices. The third yard in the competition, the Davie Yard, was pulled out of bankruptcy just to make the bid, so I don’t think they should have been choosen. I’m in Vancouver so we are elated out here, and the eastern contract will produce sub-contracts all over eastern Canada. There is still one more 2 billion dollar contract to be awarded for smaller vessels. It was a very good day!

  205. October 22, 2011 2:12 am

    So, Alexander, what do you think? Good choice?

  206. Alexander permalink
    October 19, 2011 10:23 am

    Announcement is today at 2pm, but I don’t know if it’s ET or PT.

  207. October 5, 2011 9:41 pm

    Thanks, I’ll watch for the announcement.

  208. Alexander permalink
    October 3, 2011 9:45 pm

    Canada to annouce shipbuilding yards for new navy on October 17th, at least that is the date as of now, it’s about one month late, but we’re still moving ahead here.

  209. August 16, 2011 12:38 pm

    I was aware of the programs but the last I had heard they were on hold. The last link did not work, but I was able to find the article. This one should work.

  210. Alexander permalink
    August 15, 2011 1:50 pm

    Here is an article on the overall program. We still have very little in the way of details. It looked like all this might go ahead back in 2007, then the western economies almost went off the cliff in the sub-prime mess. Then the Canadian economy improved and Harper won a majority government, so earlier this year they decided to go full steam ahead.

  211. Alexander permalink
    August 15, 2011 12:02 pm

    Here’s another link.

  212. Alexander permalink
    August 15, 2011 11:55 am

    This is an older article but I believe it is still accurate as the Canadian design will be based on the Norwegian Svalbard Class. Not sure exactly how many we are building. We are also building one Polar Class icebreaker, but may be smaller than the original proposed years ago under the Mulroney Government.

    Here is the Svalbard Class:

  213. August 15, 2011 11:27 am


    Do you have a source I can site. Particularly interested in the Icebreaker information. I had seen some info on the Arctic Patrol Vessels. I would like to update this:

  214. Alexander permalink
    August 14, 2011 9:32 pm

    The budget has been approved by the government and, I believe, had the support of all the parties. There are some rather urgent sovereignty issues for Canada right now concerning resources up in the artic and we know that some strength is required.

    The goverment is going to select 2 canadian shipyards to build the ships and the bids from the shipyards have already been submitted. The selection of the 2 winners will be announced in September of this year, next month.

    We are likely going to build 3 modified Berlin Class supply ships. One Polar Class ice breaker and 5-6 lighter icebreakers, as well as coastal patrol boats and coast guard vessels.

    Then, there is the 20 billion for 15 detroyers, likely based on a european design, using the smart-L radar, and I hope at least a 48 cell MK 41 VLS launcher. The budget has been fully approved by the canadian government and they are already proceeding with implementation.

  215. August 14, 2011 2:30 pm

    Alexander, I hope you are right.

  216. Alexander permalink
    August 7, 2011 1:09 pm

    Our Government has just recently announced a new 30 year, 35 billion dollar ship building program mainly for the military. There is 20 billion dollars for 15 new wide area, anti-ballistic missle, capable destroyers which will be build in Canada, so about 1.3 billion each, which can be done. We will likely license an existing design to be built in Canada. We are also getting new ice breakers, supply ships, coastal patrol vessels, and some new coast guard ships. The bids to select two canadian shipyards are already in and the two yards will be announced later this year, they will begin cutting steel in about 2 years. Other than subs, this will completely rebuild our existing navy.

  217. Alexander permalink
    August 3, 2011 5:20 pm

    The Republicans are setting themselves up to be hammered in the 2012 election, after which the Democrats will put in place a more balanced approach which will include the rich paying their fair share of taxes. This may restore some funding to Defence, or you just won’t see the cuts in the first place because they won’t be necessary. Thing is, with Russia and China building a total of 10-15 new carrier battle groups it’s not going to take long for your defence department to get their money back.

    I’m pleased that we are rebuilding our navy and relatively soon Canada will have 15 new wide area defence, anti-ballistic missle capable Detroyers.

  218. Joe permalink
    July 28, 2011 12:13 am

    Debt Ceiling Talks Update (per defense spending that is)

    The so-called “Reid Plan” is one that seems to have the best chance of passing in Washington and is not friendly to defense. Your level of worry depends on how much you think the chances are that 10-year budget plans ever get implemented. But considering that, according to House Armed Services Chair Buck McKeon, it lays out a framework for shrinking defense by $868 billion over the next 10 years if you look at the 2011 baseline request as the starting point for comparison purposes.

    Is that defense’s “fair share”? You be the judge…

    Read More Here!

  219. Joe permalink
    July 9, 2011 11:39 pm

    $700 billion in defense cuts over 10-12 years?

    Our *retired* leader must be pinching himself at the prospect of there being massive cuts in the Pentagon budget as part of the debt ceiling talks. Of course, it could end up being smoke and mirrors. After all, it’s Washington.

    Read More Here!

  220. Hudson permalink
    June 20, 2011 12:15 am

    For WWII buffs looking for new blogs to conquer, The Atlantic online is beginning a 20-part series on the war, in photos, with comments. The Atlantic occasionally posts on military subjects.

  221. June 3, 2011 2:14 pm

    Nice to see this blog refuses to die.

    I would also welcome a Scott B. blog.

  222. June 3, 2011 2:15 am

    An arms smuggling ship has been detained by Cypriot authorities for carrying explosives bound for Sudan. This would be in violation of an UN arms embargo placed on Sudan. Also, fifteen armored fighting vehicles bound for Singapore are reportedly aboard the ship.

  223. Joe permalink
    June 1, 2011 5:41 pm

    I think it’s going to be up to you Scott B – start the successor site/forum to this one. It appears our departed host is going to remain just that…

  224. Scott B. permalink
    May 18, 2011 5:25 pm

    Missiles-In-A-Box : a Burlesonian dream given a new chance to come true ?

    IAI plans display of missiles

    “TEL AVIV, Israel, May 17 (UPI) — Israel Aerospace Industries reports it will present a new maritime application for its Jumper autonomous artillery system in Singapore this week.”

  225. Scott B. permalink
    May 18, 2011 5:20 pm

    Our (neo- ? paleo- ?) Burlesonian host would have loved this headline :

    Cost Estimate Rises for New U.K. Missile Submarine

    “Figures released by the Ministry of Defence on May 18 show that the overall cost of the program to build three or four submarines to replace the existing Vanguard class of boats starting in 2028 could be as much as 25 billion pounds ($40.4 billion).”

  226. Scott B. permalink
    May 6, 2011 3:56 am

    BKK : another Burlesonian dream come true ?

    High Speed Catamaran Developed for littoral operations (DTI, May 2011, page 14) :

    “Undersea Warfare Specialist WASS, part of Italy’s Finmeccanica Group, is developing an ultra-fast catamaran for coastal ASW and area-denial operations.


    The ship is engineered to exceed 80 knots in SS3. In a lightweight configuration with a remotely operated machine gun and more powerful engines, it can reportedly reach 100 knots.


    In its current form, BKK is 15.5 meters (51.5 ft) long, 4.25 meters wide and has a draft of 0.6 meters at full load.”

    The Burlesonism is not dead (yet) !!!

  227. Scott B. permalink
    April 16, 2011 1:30 pm

    Piranha USV : a Burlesonian dream come true ?

    Piranha Specs Sheet

    Zyvex Technologies Reveals the Piranha Unmanned Surface Vessel

    The Burlesonism is not dead (yet) !!!

    Piranha Completes Sea Trials

    Piranha USV on Youtube

  228. Hokie_1997 permalink
    April 14, 2011 12:01 pm

    Scott B.

    The only reason RAN can get away with fielding low-end amphibs is that they are a close ally of US – which controls the sea with unmatched high-end naval capabilities.

    It’s called free-riderism. Make friends with a weight lifter and you don’t have to spend much time in the gym yourself!

  229. Hudson permalink
    April 13, 2011 3:22 pm

    I couldn’t resist…

    Bulletproof skivvies for Marines.

  230. Scott B. permalink
    April 7, 2011 2:49 pm

    Australian SECDEF goes Burleson :

    From Defense News :

    “We are now looking very closely at the possibility of further acquisitions or leases of commercial amphibious vessels, whether catamarans or trimarans, to ensure that we have appropriate transitional arrangements from now until the arrival of the Bay class and also until the arrival of the LHDs”

    The Burlesonism is not dead (yet) !!!

  231. Steve permalink
    March 18, 2011 3:50 pm

    Hi, I’m Scott B. And I’m Hudson. When we’re not beating each other off, we like to play make-believe soldier.

    Fu*king dimwits.

  232. Scott B. permalink
    February 8, 2011 5:13 pm

    Arsenal Ship Returns !

    “Ross Babbage, who served on the government’s advisory panel for the 2009 Defence white paper, believes Australia should acquire a fleet of 12 nuclear-powered attack submarines.

    He also favours developing a conventionally armed cruise and ballistic missile capability to be carried on new “arsenal ships”, as well as a massive increase in Australia’s cyber-warfare investment.”

    Source : The Australian, 02/05/2011

    Very Neo-Burlesonian…

  233. Scott B. permalink
    January 13, 2011 3:35 pm

    Defense Program Begins To Swing Back Towards “High-End” Conflicts

    aka :

    The Paleo-Burlesonism is dead. Will the Neo-Burlesonism ever see the light ?

  234. Joe permalink
    January 3, 2011 10:06 pm

    Get ready to laugh and giggle….a Loren Thompson article:

    “Low-Cost Warship Rescues Navy From Shrinking Fleet”

    Faced with a worsening fiscal crisis and a Pentagon management team preoccupied by the fight ashore, the Navy had to come up with something radically different to arrest the decline in warship numbers. It has. Under the leadership of former Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Vern Clark, the service invented a smaller, cheaper warship called the Littoral Combat Ship that broke the mold on naval design and acquisition while potentially offering a warfighting system better suited to emerging threats than the legacy vessels already in the fleet. Shortly before Christmas, Congress approved a plan to buy 20 Littoral Combat Ships between 2010 and 2015 at prices far below what any other class of warship currently costs. The Navy’s goal is to eventually build 55 of the vessels.


    Nowhere in the article does Mr. Jackwagon inform the reader of what the per ship price of this ode to boondoggles costs….simply extolls how much cheaper it is than other crud we build.

    Is this article proof enough that we need you back, Mike???

  235. January 3, 2011 12:55 am

    Come back Mike–Happy New Year to you and all the faithful.

  236. Scott B. permalink
    January 1, 2011 5:41 am

    May this great blog rise from the ashes in 2011 !

    Meanwhile, Happy New Year to all the Neos (and the Paleos too) !

  237. Scott B. permalink
    December 22, 2010 8:12 am

    Meanwhile, in Galrahnistan, Mr. Raymond “Flip-Flop” Pritchett finally tells the truth :

    “As the last remaining member of the Littoral Combat Ship fanclub, I’ll celebrate for all of us.”

  238. Scott B. permalink
    December 21, 2010 1:31 pm


    Some interesting numbers released at a recent testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee : (fast forward to 54:15)

    Average expected cost for 20 ships : $440 – $460 million per unit (included a 5% margin for change orders and a management reserve for cost growth)

    Excluding the margins for change orders and cost growth, this puts the average cost to about $400 million per unit (very optimistic number, but hey, let’s pretend…).

    OTOH, the combat systems are reported to cost about $70 million per unit :

    Click to access 12-09_McCain_Letter_Final.pdf

    These $70 million apparently include the sensors (radars, electro-optical systems, comms), the effectors (57mm gun, RAM / SeaRAM, decoys and HMGs) and the CMS (COMBATSS-21 and ICMS / Tacticos).

    This puts that the HM&E cost for the seaframe at over $300 million per unit.

  239. D. E. Reddick permalink
    December 18, 2010 10:22 pm

    A Chinese fishing trawler has rammed a South Korean Coast Guard vessel. One Chinese fisherman seems to have died, two Chinese fishermen appear to be missing, and four SK coast guardsmen have been injured (some news reports about the incident differ on details). The 63 ton Chinese trawler capsized after ramming the larger SKCG vessel. Reportedly, there were 50 Chinese trawlers fishing within SK territorial waters at the time of the incident (the ramming Chinese vessel may have covering the escape of the other Chinese fishing vessels). The video from Al Jazeera (English) demonstrates just how violently the Chinese crew were acting during the incident. This all follows the recent Chinese fishing vessel ramming of two Japanese Coast Guard ships. And then, too – there’s the issue of Chinese support for North Korea in its recent attacks upon a South Korean naval vessel and island.

    RTT News – Chinese Fisherman Killed In Clash With South Korean Coast Guard

    A video and text report from Al Jazeera – Chinese trawler in Yellow Sea clash

    A routine check goes awry after Chinese fishermen stop South Korean coast guards from boarding trawler in Yellow Sea.

  240. D. E. Reddick permalink
    December 10, 2010 8:26 pm

    Here’s some information on the USN’s program to field a rail gun as naval artillery.

    First is a discussion at Information Dissemination. Second is a discussion amongst the folks at A range of 290 nautical miles (NM) with a launch velocity of mach 7 and a terminal velocity of mach 5 are mentioned for the final version of the expected, deployed weapons system…

    Navy Sets New World Record With Latest Electromagnetic Railgun Demo

  241. Chuck Hill permalink
    December 3, 2010 8:49 pm

    Heretic asked, “$480 million? Isn’t that the price of an LCS…? {rolls eyes}”

    Actually I think it is less than any of the LCSs so far and it is almost 50% larger than LCS-1.

    However that may not include some long lead time items previously purchased.

  242. D. E. Reddick permalink
    December 2, 2010 8:54 pm

    The USN will be participating with the Japanese MSDF in an exercise which will simulate the retaking of an invaded island among the chain of Japanese territories south of Okinawa. Read the entire article, as it provides some additional insights into what might be driving Chinese actions along the eastern border of the East China Sea.

    Asia Times Online – US sails with Japan to flashpoint channel
    By Todd Crowell

    TOKYO – This month, Japan’s Self Defense Forces will hold their first-ever island defense exercise in concert with the United States military in Japan.

    Is the threat of China seizing any of these islands by force realistic?

    It would be beneficial to China if it could occupy and fortify many of the islands in the southern Sakishima chain. They would be useful in the unlikely event of any war with Taiwan, by allowing the Chinese navy to operate more readily along Taiwan’s east coast, which is honeycombed with military installations, many dating back to Japanese occupation and fear of invasion – from the east.

  243. D. E. Reddick permalink
    December 1, 2010 7:48 pm

    Oh, I forgot to mention this…

    Recent news reports have the Danish Iver Huitfeldt class of AAW frigates (really, DDGs) being prepared to assume a BMD mission role in northern European waters. Can you imagine either LCS type (at about twice the cost) attempting to assume the BMD role. Oh, yeah – those three Iver Huitfeldt class AAW warships cost one-third (1/3rd) to one-quarter (1/4th) the cost of the lastest version of USN Arleigh Burke class DDGs.

  244. D. E. Reddick permalink
    December 1, 2010 7:41 pm


    That’s about half-way between the cost of both LCS-1 & LCS-2 versus the following three types of frigates. The following cost examples are from the the Warship Costs page here at New Wars:

    Absalon (Denmark)-$269 million

    Iver Huitfeldt (Denmark)-$332 millon

    Valour MEKO A200 (South Africa)-$327 million

  245. Heretic permalink
    December 1, 2010 2:10 pm

    $480 million?

    Isn’t that the price of an LCS…? {rolls eyes}

  246. Chuck Hill permalink
    December 1, 2010 2:12 am

    Coast Guard orders forth National Security Cutter

    price $480M

  247. Scott B. permalink
    November 26, 2010 5:35 pm

    Chuck Hill said : “Maybe they need SU-25s to supply the attack portion of new carrier wings.”

    I don’t think so.

    The Su-25 is used by the Russian Naval Aviation as a trainer, and the specific variant being used for carrier ops (Su-25UTG) lacks the following items :

    * targeting & sighting equipment
    * weapons control unit
    * built-in cannon
    * weapons hardpoints and pylons
    * self-protection systems (chaff / flare dispensers)

    Furthermore, without folding wings, the Su-25UTG (15.3m length x 14.4m wingspan) takes a lot more deck space than the Su-33 (21.9m x 7.4m wings folded) and forthcoming (?) MiG-29K (17.3m x 7.8m wings folded).

  248. Chuck Hill permalink
    November 26, 2010 4:02 pm

    Maybe they need SU-25s to supply the attack portion of new carrier wings. Also their best COIN aircraft.

  249. Scott B. permalink
    November 26, 2010 6:43 am

    Powerful Su-25 strike aircraft to stage triumphant comeback?

    The Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant (UUAZ) in Eastern Siberia could resume production of Sukhoi Su-25 Frogfoot strike aircraft on orders from the Russian Defense Ministry and the United Aircraft Building Corporation.

  250. D. E. Reddick permalink
    November 20, 2010 12:44 am

    Royal Marines have been blowing up things off the coast of Somalia. Some pictures of what they’ve been doing are included in the following – they can be entertaining…

    Take that! Royal Marines blow up Somali pirates’ ammunition-packed boat in battle to keep Indian Ocean safe

  251. Chuck Hill permalink
    November 17, 2010 2:13 pm

    A bit of a critique on Offshore Patrol Cutter “Industry Day Presentation” with more detail on the project:

  252. Chuck Hill permalink
    November 13, 2010 4:50 pm

    Some new information on the Offshore Patrol Cutter including an artist’s rendering:

    China builds a high endurance cutter:

  253. D. E. Reddick permalink
    November 13, 2010 4:32 pm

    Somali pirates keep proving that they aren’t very good at ship recognition. Or, they are actually trying to take on warships. Although, this attack did occur at night. Anyhow, at least four Somali pirates tried to seize a Kenyan naval vessel. Results: three pirates shot dead; one pirate drowned. Two reports follow:

    Daily Nation – Kenya Navy kills three pirates

    Time LIVE – Pirates shot dead attacking Kenyan navy

  254. Joe permalink
    November 11, 2010 11:45 am

    Deficit Commission Proposal: Slash F-35 Program

    The co-heads of the deficit-reduction commission suggested canceling the F-35’s Marine Corps version. Separately, they suggested substituting Lockheed’s older F-16 and the Boeing F/A-18E for half of the Air Force’s and Navy’s planned F-35 purchases.

    Also, the Pentagon should cut 15 percent of its arms purchases, 10 percent of its research spending.

    Fourteen of the panel’s 18 members need to approve a final report for President Barack Obama containing recommendations to balance the budget. In the absence of any such consensus, the full commission is unlikely to embrace such austerity moves on arms purchases.


  255. D. E. Reddick permalink
    November 10, 2010 8:52 pm

    Yonaguni Island, the southwestern most extension of Japan, is getting a garrison of Japanese GSDF troops and a RADAR station. This is an action aimed at monitoring Chinese PLAN activities near Japanese islands bordering the East China Sea.

    Galrahn commented on this earlier:

    Information Dissemination – Japan to Watch China At Sea

    Now Kyle Mizokami confirms the move to place forces on Yonaguni:

    Japan Security Watch – Yonaguni is getting a garrison

  256. D. E. Reddick permalink
    November 8, 2010 11:30 pm

    More reporting and discussion regarding the Somali pirate or else an Al-Shabaab attack on SPS Infanta Christina and MV Petra-1.

    Information Dissemination – Observing Al Shabaab’s First Naval Operation

    EagleSpeak – Somali Pirates: Using big “mother ship” to attack Spanish warship escorting food vessel

  257. D. E. Reddick permalink
    November 8, 2010 2:39 pm

    Things have been happening off the coast of Somalia. Pirates actually attacked the Spanish frigate Infanta Christina, firing upon the warship. The frigate returned fire and the pirates fled.

    Pirates open fire on Spanish warship escorting food aid

    A Spanish warship fought off an assault by Somali pirates in the first such attack on a European naval vessel escorting a consignment of food aid.

    South African skipper escapes Somali pirate

    Yachtsman refuses to leave hijacked vessel after it runs aground, while crew members taken ashore as hostages

  258. Heretic permalink
    November 5, 2010 9:06 am

    The “solution” to the LCS “problem” reveals that these vessels are more about providing jobs and placating parochial congressional interests than in defense of the nation.

  259. November 4, 2010 9:20 pm


    the latest from the British defence review:

    Imagine the United States Navy merging with Mexico’s and control being handed to N.A.F.T.A.!


  260. D. E. Reddick permalink
    November 4, 2010 5:03 pm

    I just posted this over at CGBlog. There ain’t no mistaking what happened.

    Here are two Youtube videos (posted to of that Chinese fishing boat striking two different Japanese Coast Guard ships near the Senkaku Islands. In the first 11 & 1/2 minute video you can see the Chinese boat hoisting a net load of fish on deck. Then, right in sight is one of the Japanese controlled islands (ergo, the Chinese vessel was really in close). Before the ramming one can see exhaust suddenly increase from the Chinese boat as it turns to ram the Coast Guard vessel. Both before and after the ramming one can see several other vessels in the area (is this a heavily trafficked sealane or fishing ground?).

    The second three & 1/2 video has the second ramming. There isn’t any doubt about these being accidental collisions. That Chinese ship captain was trying to emulate an ancient Greek trireme in his ramming tactics.

  261. D. E. Reddick permalink
    November 3, 2010 9:31 pm


    By ‘PR’ I suppose you mean PRognostication… ;-)

    Still, he has been flipping and jumping about, recently – hasn’t he. But then, many of us do suffer from that tendency when viewing and attempting to evaluate subjects such as LCS. Though, clearly you don’t have that problem (station-wagon frigate, etc. – as a means to replace the LCS program).

  262. Scott B. permalink
    November 3, 2010 7:34 pm

    Reddick said : “It seems like Galrahn’s prediction from yesterday was amazingly spot-on…”

    Don’t confuse PR with prediction

  263. D. E. Reddick permalink
    November 3, 2010 6:50 pm


    More of the same:

    Navy asks Congress to buy both LCS designs

    It seems like Galrahn’s prediction from yesterday was amazingly spot-on…

  264. Scott B. permalink
    November 3, 2010 5:02 pm

    More LCS nonsense :

    U.S. Navy To Build Both LCS Designs

    “Sources told Defense News that the Navy, rather than selecting one team to build 10 ships, will instead award construction contracts to both Lockheed Martin and Austal USA to build 10 of their ships, for a total of 20 new LCS ships.”

  265. Scott B. permalink
    November 3, 2010 2:45 am

    Joe said : “US Rep Gene Taylor, D-MS, loses reelection bid.”

    Taylor *The Traitor* bites the dust : EXCELLENT NEWS !!!

  266. Joe permalink
    November 2, 2010 11:52 pm

    US Rep Gene Taylor, D-MS, loses reelection bid.

    Whatever your personal politics, he’s been highly interested in naval affairs and has been a positive thorn in the side of those at the Pentagon who seemingly don’t give a flip sometimes, imo.

    Mr. Taylor conceded just a short time ago. LINK

  267. D. E. Reddick permalink
    November 2, 2010 4:04 pm

    Kill the F-35. That’s the title of an analysis and opinion piece by David Axe of War Is Boring. Build only a few F-35 airframes (already paid for) and use them as developmental platforms. Then, build more F-22 Raptors for the task of sanitizing contested air space. Behind the F-22s bring in the new F-15SE (Silent Eagle) and the latest versions of F-16 and F/A-18 Super Hornet.

    War Is Boring – Kill the F-35:

  268. D. E. Reddick permalink
    November 2, 2010 3:39 pm

    Victor at War News Updates has us recalling the Russian Club-K cruise missile launch system hidden in a standard 40 foot shipping contain. WSB-TV in Atlanta checked with officials in the Port of Savannah and they had never heard of it.


    Report – New Hidden Missile System Unknown To Feds:

  269. Chuck Hill permalink
    October 31, 2010 10:41 pm

    DER, thanks for that one too. When you put the additional site up on combatfleetoftheworld, I pointed my reads toward them as well.

  270. D. E. Reddick permalink
    October 30, 2010 11:25 pm

    Here are some interesting photos from the EURONAVAL 2010 naval exhibition in France. First, Mike Colombaro of Combat Fleets Of The World offers three sets of imagery.

    Oct 27, 2010
    Pictures from EURONAVAL 2010

    Oct 28, 2010
    Pictures from EURONAVAL 2010 (Part 2)

    Oct 29, 2010
    Pictures from EURONAVAL 2010 (Part 3)

    Then, there’s a useful discussion and imagery thread about the exhibition at The pictures appear mostly on the third page of the thread, but the earlier discussion is interesting. Note the French DCNS SMX-25 submarine/corvette (‘submarine gunship’) design and also some interestingly modular models of ships originating (apparently) out of Colombia (experience with COIN and anti-narco operations may be telling in these designs).

    Euronaval news

  271. Chuck Hill permalink
    October 29, 2010 8:32 pm

    DER, thanks, I published something on this here:

    For some reason it published out of order.

  272. D. E. Reddick permalink
    October 28, 2010 12:26 am

    It would appear that Chinese Coast Guard forces are being built up and expanded in the South China Sea. Well, they do claim it as their own private maritime domain. And, given recent analyses regarding the PRC leadership’s likely wholly & completely sino-centric worldview (i.e., they’re basically blind – blundering & thrashing about without any real-world vision), then this isn’t too surprising. High-speed monitoring ship joins S. China Sea fleet

    Reuters Africa: China to expand fleet to patrol disputed seas

  273. D. E. Reddick permalink
    October 24, 2010 9:00 pm

    Having mentioned this development over in the Dept. of Silly Ideas, then it seems a bit more appropriate to place it here. The Japanese Maritime SDF recently launched its first 19DD class stealth AAW destroyer. This is the future JDS Akizuki (DDG-115), which carries an AEGIS-like combat system. Kyle Mizokami covers this new class of DDG or large AAW frigate in the following at his Japanese Security Watch blog:

    New destroyer Akizuki launched (corrected)

    Kyle’s posting borrows from a thread about the newly launched DDG. But, that thread also explores upcoming developments regarding new AEGIS-equipped KDX-IIa DDGs planned for the South Korean Navy. It is a truly informative thread. Given the apparent upcoming failure & termination of the troubled LCS program within the USN, then perhaps American naval leaders should be looking at some of the ship types that our allies are producing…

    Jsdf launches new class of destroyer 5000T

  274. Chuck Hill permalink
    September 15, 2010 11:48 am

    “The Coast Guard awarded a $166.1 million contract option to Bollinger Shipyards of Lockport, La., on September 14 to begin production of four Sentinel-class Fast Response Cutters (FRCs). ”

  275. Chuck Hill permalink
    September 13, 2010 11:25 pm

    You might want to take a look at this blog. “The Phoenix Think Tank”

  276. D. E. Reddick permalink
    September 10, 2010 3:00 pm

    Mike Colombaro of Combat Fleet Of The World has provided us with a review of Iranian naval forces.

    Future of the Iranian Navy

  277. D. E. Reddick permalink
    September 10, 2010 2:31 pm

    Here’s an interesting report about the Chinese PLA Navy using a large amphibious warship (Type 081 LHD Kunlunshan) to counter a multi-skiff attack by Somali pirates.

    The International Institute of Strategic Studies

    04 September 2010 – – South China Morning Post – PLA navy repels pirates with grenades, bullets

    By Greg Torode

    The PLA navy has displayed a fresh appetite to confront pirates plaguing vital sea lanes off the Horn of Africa, breaking up recent attacks on shipping with stun grenades and machine-gun fire.

    PLA commanders appear determined to showcase the potential of the large amphibious assault ship Kunlunshan just as monsoonal calms spark fresh attacks by Somali pirates on ships plying the Indian Ocean trade routes linking Asia to Europe and the Middle East.

    State media reports and CCTV military broadcasts have highlighted an incident on August 28 when three waves of fast-moving pirate skiffs attempted to attack a convoy of 21 commercial ships under PLA escort.

    The incident comes in a high-profile week for China’s rapidly modernising navy, with ships fresh from unprecedented exercises in the Mediterranean sailing up the Irrawaddy River to stop in Yangon, Myanmar, while another crossed the Coral Sea to visit Vanuatu and Tonga as part of a Pacific tour.

    Helicopters launched from the 17,600-tonne Kunlunshan and the destroyer Lanzhou helped repel the pirate skiffs, with marines firing stun grenades and heavy machine guns to warn off the pirates, who later fled the area.

    At one point a skiff came within less than a nautical mile of the freighter Haijie, the PLA Daily reported, but was chased off. Special operations troops were then placed aboard the slow-moving ship for extra protection.

  278. D. E. Reddick permalink
    September 10, 2010 12:56 pm

    Here is Capt. Alex Martin’s description of his Marine platoon’s retaking of the MV Magellan Star from Somali pirates and rescue of the ship’s crew.

    The Magellan Star: Pirate Takedown, Force Recon Style
    by Capt. Alexander Martin

  279. Tony permalink
    September 10, 2010 10:10 am


    It is difficult to fix, track and target a moving carrier, – and getting more difficult every day to destroy them.
    The UK is having a hard time just finding their own future carriers… ; )

    It is an interesting arms race between the Anti-ship Ballistic Missiles and the counter-weapons:
    The RIM-156 SM-2:
    The ATL:
    The Tactical Relay Mirror System (TRMS):
    A laser for the LCS?
    The ABL:
    A nice summary by Army Lt Gen Patrick O’Reilly:

    Here’s an old article from the Toronto Star about the Anti-Missile arms race and the issues it raises:

    And its not just the US building anti-ballistic missile defenses:
    India: (caution, annoying pop-up)
    Russia & China (bottom of article, after an interesting history of US HEL weapons):
    Almost all countries involved in Missile Defense Systems on one page:

    Interesting reading.
    History’s weapon lesson: actual use determines value.

  280. Hokie_1997 permalink
    September 10, 2010 8:31 am

    @ Tony (regarding GPS and DF-21),

    Good points! As you can probably guess, I’m not a firm believer that the Chinese carrier-killer is as yet as potent as some may believe.

    Having tried to accomplish the task in multiple exercies, I believe trying to find, fix, track, and target a carrier moving at 30+ kts is no mean feat.

  281. Juramentado permalink
    September 10, 2010 8:15 am

    Figures. Management’s out and the trolls come in.

    D.E. – forget this fool.

  282. B.Smitty permalink
    September 10, 2010 7:28 am

    D. E. Reddick,

    Just ignore trolls.

  283. Joe permalink
    September 9, 2010 12:55 pm

    Feels kind of odd posting in a “retired” forum, but checking back and seeing this about Galrahn made me want to post as I have handy another example that helps back up the flip-flop nature of the man. At least our (?temporarily?) absent host believes what he believes.

    Going back to 11/13/07, Galrahn had a post called “The DDG-1000 vs the SSGN” Long posting but here’s the key paragraph:


    At the end of the day, the only unique capability that constitutes a fleet requirement on the DDG-1000 is its gun system for NSFS, a gun system that doesn’t need to be on a 3.5 billion dollar platform to be effective. It raises the question, beyond the first 2 DDG-1000s, 2 prototypes I believe are very important in managing the transition phase of the US Navy to the next generation of surface combatants, why would the Navy build the 5 additional DDG-1000s when under any measurement, the money is better spent on other platforms in dealing with the challenges that are not only most likely, but unquestionably contains the characteristics most needed in the US Navy in 21st century.



  284. D. E. Reddick permalink
    September 9, 2010 12:51 pm


    You’re tiresome and witless…


    For everyone else, here’s another report on the retaking of the MV Magellan Star. It’s in the words of the Marine Captain commanding the Force Recon unit which retook the ship.

    USNI Blog – Pirates Beware: Force Recon Really Does Have Your Number

  285. CBD permalink
    September 9, 2010 12:27 pm

    US Marines retake hijacked tanker
    Magellan Star retaken by Marines

  286. Anonymous permalink
    September 9, 2010 12:27 pm

    Great, Mike B goes and Scott B carries on posting his ignorant bull****. The world really is going to hell.

  287. Scott B. permalink
    September 9, 2010 5:15 am

    Another *interesting* FLIP-FLOP in Galrahnistan :

    Then (FLIP) : “This approach to balancing the fleet first requires the cancellation of the DDG-1000, which is why we see this as great news.

    Now (FLOP) : As a huge DDG-1000 supporter I note many people are starting to come back around to my position.”

  288. Scott B. permalink
    September 9, 2010 4:56 am

    Interestingly, right after Mike B. announced his decision to quit milblogging, Mr. Flip-Flop over in Galrahnistan started to channel New Wars wrt the LCS failed program :

    Red Flags Everywhere

    The New Wars afficionados won’t discover anything new in this *article*, for most of the themes alluded to have been discussed at length on Mike’s blog on an almost weekly basis.

    What’s *interesting* is the contrast between now and then :

    Then (FLIP) : “This ship is clearly designed to be exported as a warship, with plenty of reconfigurable space to insure you can stick just about any weapon system you can afford on that seaframe.”

    Now (FLOP) : “The LCS is a $25 billion shipbuilding program that makes no sense at all from a strategic view, tactical view, or doctrinal view. I understand the need to build a few to resolve the mission module issues and test mothership concepts, but come November 1st the only good choice the Navy has is to cancel the LCS program in total and start over.

  289. Tony permalink
    September 8, 2010 10:00 am

    D.E. Reddick,

    Indeed; icebergs melt and China is building to spread like cancer.
    Your valuable opinion is supported by other intelligent, informed people:

    and, with the best quote: “Beijing is currently playing the provocative troublemaker..”,1518,679568,00.html

    The only remotely ‘positive’ from China’s actions are the jobs in the industrial/military sector generated by worried governments, new weapons development research, and the world-wide economic stimulus all that activity generates.

  290. D. E. Reddick permalink
    September 7, 2010 10:58 pm


    Concerning China’s apparent ambitions it would seem to be way beyond any analogy to an iceberg. With expansive / nationalistic / expansionistic Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) resource zones surrounding tiny little islands, islets, and semi-submerged reefs; and with petroleum and natural gas fields underlying so many such distant and offshore so-called possessions these are perhaps the fuel for what might turn out to be nuclear encounters. China’s claims exclude all other nations’ claims as accorded by international law. Such is a recipe for disaster. There appear to be power-hungry and arrogant fools in decision-making positions that they have no right or responsibility to be filling. Of course, that’s just my humble, ill-informed, and un-educated opinion. Thankfully, I was never educated in the PRC…

    Exclusive Economic Zone

  291. Tony permalink
    September 7, 2010 7:32 pm

    That’s an interesting Japan vs. China story D.E. Reddick!
    Kind of the tip of an on-going iceberg, eh?

    Find some good background on the Senkaku/Diaoyutai Islands at

    China also contends they own the Paracel and Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. Taiwan and Vietnam say ‘no,’ they own the Xisha (Paracel) Islands.
    Brunei, China, Malaysia, The Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam insist the Nansha (Spratly) Islands belongs to each of them, separately.
    There’s an interesting blog about it all at:

    China has property issues with almost all their neighbors. Scroll down the CIA’s world fact book to ‘China’ at and read all about it.

  292. D. E. Reddick permalink
    September 7, 2010 2:28 pm

    A Chinese fishing vessel was caught in Japanese territorial waters of the Senkaku Islands and when approached it collided with two different Japanese Coast Guard vessels. This has been in the news today, but Kyle Mizokami of Japan Defense Watch has a more informed description of the incident. This probably directly relates to Chinese claims that they have traditional, historical claims to the islands and the waters surrounding them.

    Chinese fishing boat, Japan Coast Guard ships collide off Senkakus

  293. D. E. Reddick permalink
    September 7, 2010 1:49 pm

    No. 820 Naval Air Squadron of the RN is deploying with its Merlin helos to RFA Fort Victoria off the shores of Somalia in support of the efforts against Somali pirates. I wonder how many birds will be deployed?

    Defence Management – Merlin to tackle Somalia piracy

    Tuesday, September 07, 2010

    A Royal Navy Merlin helicopter squadron is deploying to the Horn of Africa and the Gulf of Aden to carry out anti-piracy operations.

    820 Naval Air Squadron will be embarked on Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship Fort Victoria and will be equipped to counter piracy and maritime terrorism, protecting the UK’s national interests and those of the Commonwealth and its allies overseas.

    820 Naval Air Squadron was first established in 1933 and has quite a history, with one of its aircraft having torpedoed the Bismarck.

  294. Tony permalink
    September 7, 2010 12:45 pm

    Hopefully they would use the US GPS system and miss.
    However, until their system is fully operational, they would most likely use GLONASS, the Russian GPS-type system:
    or the EU Galileo ‘GPS’ type system:
    Both of them would most likely remain operational unless there was cosmic sharing of Intel between the USA, Russia and the EU.
    GPS, GLONASS and Galileo probably all have some common electronic components ‘made in china’ anyways…

  295. Hokie_1997 permalink
    September 7, 2010 12:33 pm


    Umm – are you assuming they would get this GPS accuracy by using the US GPS system?

    I’m no expert and have no inside infor, but I would think in any kind of pending crisis the US would encode or selectively deny use of its GPS to the bad guys.

    The news I’ve seen is that China won’t have the Beido Navigation System (BNS) operational until 2015. And I would think the survivability of any satellite-based GPS system (US or PRC) in a wartime environment would be measured in minutes.

  296. Tony permalink
    September 7, 2010 12:16 pm

    Interesting article and interview with “Professor Arthur Ding, who is a research fellow at the China Politics Division at Taiwan’s National Chengchi University and a professor at the Political Warfare Cadres Academy in Taipei.”
    Interesting how Professor Ding says: “when the missile (DF-21) re-enters the atmosphere, its speed would be somewhere around Mach 7 [2,382.03 meters/second]. That is so fast that there would not be sufficient time to re-direct the warhead to hit an US aircraft carrier precisely. A carrier could only be hit indirectly by a special warhead, such as a fuel-air explosive. ”

    If the good Professor Ding had access to Wikipedia,, then he would be edified to know the DF-21D: “…would be … capable of targeting a moving aircraft carrier strike group from long-range, land-based mobile launchers.[11][12] These would combine maneuverable reentry vehicles (MaRVs) with some kind of terminal guidance system.”

    Even the older DF-21C has GPS terminal guidance and a CEP of 30-40metres.

    Thirty-40 metres from the bow, fore, aft, port or starboard; – is still a hit.

  297. Hokie_1997 permalink
    September 7, 2010 11:23 am

    Doubts over China’s “Wonder Weapon” (DF-21)

  298. D. E. Reddick permalink
    September 6, 2010 6:47 pm

    Piracy Search Tools – Here are four useful Google News searches for following news items about piracy involving Somalis and in & around the Strait of Malacca. These four different searches produce differing results.

    Somali Pirates

    Malacca Straits Piracy

    Somali Piracy

    Piracy in the Strait of Malacca

  299. September 6, 2010 5:43 pm

    I get the feeling that our friends from the sub-continent won’t be as hindered by ROE as Western Forces.

    As for the South China Sea since we lost Hong Kong we have ripped up all the charts for that part of the world. So it ain’t our problem……….. :)

  300. D. E. Reddick permalink
    September 6, 2010 2:31 pm

    EagleSpeak and now War News Updates are reporting on a rise in the number of pirate attacks in the South China Sea.

    Pirates of the South China Sea: ReCAAP Reports

    South China Sea Pirates: Tanker Attack 1 Sept 10

    South China Sea Pirates: Chemical Tanker Robbed

    A New Naval Piracy Threat Rising?

  301. D. E. Reddick permalink
    September 6, 2010 2:18 pm

    War News Update and Naval Open Source INTelligence are both reporting on these two related stories from India. First, India successfully tested a surface to surface version of its BrahMos supersonic anti-ship cruise missile on Sunday. Second, they’ve announced an agreement to continue development of a hypersonic version of BrahMos.

    India Successfully Tests A Supersonic Cruise Missile

    India, Russia To Develop Missiles Having Speed Of 6,000 kmph — Economic Times

    BrahMos cruise missile test-fired from Orissa coast

    India, Russia to develop 6,000kmph cruise missiles

  302. D. E. Reddick permalink
    September 6, 2010 12:16 pm

    The Indian Navy destroyer INS Delhi captured and disarmed a group of Somali and Yemeni pirates on Sunday. The Delhi was escorting a convoy of twelve merchant vessels when the pirates attempted an attack run. I suppose those pirates couldn’t perceive the different appearance of the 13th ship that they were approaching…

    NDTV – Indian Navy ship thwarts piracy bid in Gulf of Aden

    Press Trust of India, Updated: September 06, 2010

    New Delhi: Somali and Yemeni pirates’ attempt to hijack for ransom Indian cargo vessels, sailing off the Somalia coast, was thwarted by an Indian warship, a Navy spokesperson said in New Delhi on Monday.

    INS Delhi, a guided missile destroyer, was assisting the merchant ships that were sailing through the Gulf of Aden when the armed sea brigands made the attempt on one of the 12 ships in the formation on Sunday.

    The pirates’ boat was intercepted by the Indian warship that deployed a helicopter with marine commandos, who seized a cache of weapons and offloaded the fuel and left their boat adrift, the spokesperson said.

  303. D. E. Reddick permalink
    September 6, 2010 12:10 pm

    Mike has an illness in his family. That’s the reason he hasn’t been posting.

  304. elgatoso permalink
    September 6, 2010 1:06 am

    where is Mike????

  305. September 5, 2010 12:52 pm

    @ Joe

    Boyce was very fluffy on Radio 4 the other morning, not to convincing at all.

    I think we need to get away for ideas of trade protection. Even though I don’t think (know?) that our food is security situation is as good as the bods over at ThinkDefence think it is……..

  306. CBD permalink
    September 5, 2010 11:32 am

    “Will these end up on an Israeli combattant?”
    It’s almost certainly a development of the Popeye Turbo cruise missiles (or a variant with extended range, which reportedly equips the Dolphin-class subs and has a nuclear warhead) or even the Gabriel V/Advanced Naval Attack Missile, which will likely equip any future Israeli surface vessel.

    Either system could always use some developmental funding, which India is happy to provide, in order to be perfected for the use of the latest Israeli surface ships and subs.

    Given the on-going development of the Barak 8/MR-SAM (which will reportedly have ESSM or even SM-2 like capabilities), the Israelis may be trying to develop their own VL system (comparable to the Sylver system) with both an air defense and anti-ship components. The lack of a new US AShM in several decades and the on-going development of the EU’s Sylver/Aster/Naval Scalp VLS.

    As there are several countries that already use the earlier Barak systems, these countries might prefer an upgrade from the early Barak VLS to a larger Barak VLS (with the Barak/MR-SAM and Gabriel V) rather than using the politically fraught European Sylver or American Mk41 systems (or, less likely, the Chinese VLS). The presence of an Israeli VLS could thus offer an attractive option for India, which would likely also use the new VLS as the basis of its own series of missile launch systems.

  307. Joe permalink
    September 4, 2010 4:42 pm

    Former First Sea Lord Issues Warning Over ‘anorexic’ Levels of Naval Resources.

    Writing ahead of Great Britain’s Strategic Defence Review, he urges the Government not to focus solely on land-based conflicts such as Afghanistan.

    He also calls on the governing Coalition to maintain Britain’s nuclear deterrent at sea to enforce global security.

    Among his comments:

    “The numbers game must not drive us to cut corners on the capability upon which credible deterrence depends.

    “Were this to happen, any deterrent effect from our conventional forces would be completely undermined as a hostile adversary may be tempted to press home an attack – and possibly succeed.”

    Lord Boyce said the Navy was also responsible for protecting the sea and trade from piracy, traffickers and criminals.

    “All this cannot be done if our current anorexic maritime force levels are reduced even further.


  308. September 4, 2010 3:17 pm

    I like how the article from “War is Boring” says the crew of the LSV is mid-sized. He should read up on modern container vessels………

  309. D. E. Reddick permalink
    September 4, 2010 2:26 pm

    Mike Colombaro of Combat Fleet Of The World provides us with a review of the Korean Navy.

    Future of the South Korean Navy

  310. D. E. Reddick permalink
    September 4, 2010 2:08 pm

    The Army’s LSV has been a topic of discussion here at New Wars. David Axe at War Is Boring has now presented it as a force enhancer for littoral operations.

    Warships International Fleet Review: For Littoral Ops, the Navy Should Look to the Army

  311. D. E. Reddick permalink
    September 3, 2010 10:29 pm

    Some more on Chinese naval matters relating to the the USN presence in the western Pacific. These two offerings are from War News Update, with many associated links. Note the near simultaneous naval exercises in the Yellow Sea by the Chinese PLA Navy vis-a-vis the ROK Navy and the USN.

    Is U.S. Navy Dominance Really Ending?

    Dueling Naval War Games Between The U.S. And China

  312. Chuck Hill permalink
    September 3, 2010 4:45 pm

    D E R, thanks, looks good.

  313. D. E. Reddick permalink
    September 3, 2010 3:35 pm


    Another naval information resource is a Dutch (at least I think the blog owner is Dutch) site entitled Naval Open Source INTelligence. It’s quite similar in content and even appearance to Mike Colombaro’s blog Combat Fleet Of The World.

  314. September 3, 2010 10:17 am

    Dr Liam Fox (British Secretary of State for Defence) has confirmed that the carriers won’t be shared. All this co-operation talk seems to be about logistics.

    Sorry its the BBC…………

  315. Chuck Hill permalink
    September 2, 2010 11:45 pm

    Not as active as Mike normally is, but Columbaro does good work. I make it a point to read his blog daily. Amazing English is not his first language.

  316. D. E. Reddick permalink
    September 2, 2010 9:00 pm


    Mike Colombaro must have snuck that one in after I read his blog earlier today. Sounds as though it might be a nuclear version of the supersonic BrahMos AShM or perhaps a nuclear variant of the hypersonic BrahMos follow-on currently under development.

    Did you notice the Canadian Navy and Coast Guard review and editorial commentary posted a few days back?

    Future of the Canadian Navy

  317. Chuck Hill permalink
    September 2, 2010 8:43 pm


    India to build four 6,800 ton DDGs for $6.5B

    The thing that got me was that they included “a 1,000-kilometer-range nuclear capable cruise missile currently being developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation with Israeli help” and “an extended-range surface-to-air missile system, which is being developed jointly between India and Israel.”

    Will these end up on an Israeli combattant?

  318. D. E. Reddick permalink
    September 2, 2010 5:19 pm

    War News Update has more about the possible transmogrifying recombinant DNA merger of British RN & French MN naval aviation. MoD sources are denying that it’s going to happen…

    Anyhow, there are lots of links available to read:

    Despite British Denials, More Talk Of Britain And France Sharing Aircraft Carriers – – –

    Merge Our Proud Navy With The Feeble French? Whoever Dreamt That One Up Should Walk The Plank — The Daily Mail – – –

  319. Tony permalink
    September 2, 2010 5:03 pm

    Thanks X!

    Good friends are like good coffee; – keeping in mind: “Coffee tastes better if the latrines are dug downstream from an encampment.”
    – US Army Field Regulations, 1861 Military Quote

  320. September 2, 2010 4:08 pm

    @ Tony

    :) You are a sport. I make mistakes like that all the time.

    Reminds me of all those stories from 1982 when a good number here in the UK thought that Argentina had invaded a part of Scotland.

    Being a precious child I of course knew better.

  321. Chuck Hill permalink
    September 1, 2010 11:54 pm

    “When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.” –Edmund Burke

  322. D. E. Reddick permalink
    September 1, 2010 10:05 pm


    Nicely done. Bingo!

    However, beyond all of that – then there’s the recent hostage situation and killings of Chinese tourists in the Philippines. Those Hong Kong Chinese killed by that ex-police investigator and/or that so-called Philippino SWAT team have created a situation in which the Chinese are making demands against the Philippines’ government. Given the blatantly absurd claims of jurisdiction of the entirety of the South China Sea by the PRC (right up to the border of the Philippines’ territorial waters – i.e., across the whole, entire breadth of the South China Sea), then President Aquino’s government may be presented with some intransigent difficulties.

    The governments of Australia, France, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Vietnam just might want to consider how they might assist and reinforce the armed forces of the Republic of the Philippines against overt Chinese encroachment.

  323. Chuck Hill permalink
    September 1, 2010 8:12 pm

    “China is the only member of the UN Security Council which has not realized complete reunification,” Chen said. “We still face many challenges, such as maritime disputes with other countries, that the army cannot handle alone.”

    –alarm bells should be going off in capitals around the South China Sea

    “China does not hold an intention to challenge the US in the central Pacific or engage in a military clash with Japan in close waters, though it is willing to protect its core interests at any cost.”

    Not going to “challenge the US in the central Pacific,” but the western Pacific might be different.

    South China Sea=Core Interest

    “Asia’s navies should not repeat history in the Atlantic Ocean where world powers tried to use their naval powers to conquer each other.”

    –It has happened in the Pacific too.

    No they are not interested in “Global Hegemony,” Regional Hegemony will do nicely for now,.

  324. D. E. Reddick permalink
    September 1, 2010 6:14 pm

    The Chinese press keeps on asserting that its PLA Navy is not a threat to neighboring countries. However, there are some doubts about these assertions:

    Global Times – Asian navies should trust each other

    Global Times – Growing Chinese navy no cause for fear

    Global Times – Chinese navy build-up no threat to ASEAN countries

    Oh, and our friends at are discussing this in interesting ways…

  325. D. E. Reddick permalink
    September 1, 2010 5:55 pm


    Was that “Du-oh!” in the style of Homer Simpson or in the original Klingon?

    As to the Maldives, it is an independent republic. But yeah, the Indians would likely intervene if someone invaded.

    Then, too – the Indian Navy could probably project a force far enough to retake the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) if the Argentinians tried it again… ;-)

  326. Tony permalink
    September 1, 2010 5:43 pm

    Du-oh! Good catch; – my bad.
    Thank you for the correction D.E. Reddick!
    – Wrong side of the planet:
    “Maldive Islands, officially Republic of Maldives, is an island nation in the Indian Ocean formed by a double chain of twenty-six atolls stretching in a north-south direction off India’s Lakshadweep islands, between Minicoy Island and Chagos Archipelago.”
    India would stomp Argentina if it messed with the Maldives…

  327. D. E. Reddick permalink
    September 1, 2010 5:33 pm

    Expect an announcement this Friday concerning the sharing of naval resources between the British Royal Navy and the French Marine Nationale (aka La Royale). This is by Phil Ewing of Scoop Deck:

    The age of the Euro-carrier

    “All engines ahead two-thirds, old chap.” “Oui, monsieur!”

  328. D. E. Reddick permalink
    September 1, 2010 4:52 pm

    The Japanese Self Defense Force is actually going to raise up a force of amphibious troops modeled upon United States Marine Corps. Kyle Mizokami has the story at his blog Japan Security Watch:

    It’s official: Japan is getting Marines
    Posted on August 31, 2010 by Kyle Mizokami

  329. D. E. Reddick permalink
    September 1, 2010 4:42 pm


    I do believe that you meant the Malvinas (Falklands) rather than the Maldives.

    Also, I seem to recall that one of those two Argentine Type 42 destroyers is now a parts hulk and the second has been converted into a quasi-amphibious vessel with enlarged flight deck and hanger for something like three helos.

  330. Tony permalink
    September 1, 2010 4:32 pm

    Argentina wants the oil around the Maldives just like the UK does. But to “secure it’, they have their acquisition work cut out for them.

    This could get awkward for Uncle Sam…

    What they have now:
    The 50% increase may help build its Navy…
    “The Argentine Navy (ARA) has a total headcount of 17,800 and has in its inventory 13 major surface ships, 3 submarines, 53 airplanes and 22 helicopters. Included in the above headcount are 2,500 marines.”
    They have two class T-42 destroyers, three class A-69 corvettes, six class 140 MEKO corvettes, four class 360H2 MEKO destroyers and logistical, oceanographic, hydrographic, patrol ships, general support ships, and amphibious personal carriers.
    The Argentine submarine fleet consists of two class TR 1700, one Class
    209-1200 and one rescue vessel.

    More info for weapons suppliers about Argentine capabilities and limitations:$File/X_8585619.PDF?OpenElement

  331. September 1, 2010 3:47 pm

    Argentina can’t get used to it’s falling status in Latin America; they want to be Brazil!

    A singular nuclear submarine isn’t that much of a threat even with our defence cuts. And won’t really do much against their most likely adversary Chile whose army is still one of the best in Latin America.

    If the Falklands oil fields are as rich as thought it won’t be long before HMG gets its hands on substantial tax revenues. And though HMG is normally parsimonious with respect to defence spending I think even the Treasury would see that it would be prudent to invest in protecting the South Atlantic cash cow.

    And I don’t mean a squadron or two of Typhoon at RAF Mount Pleasant.

  332. D. E. Reddick permalink
    September 1, 2010 2:32 pm

    Argentina intends to increase its spending on defense by 50 percent. And this is supposed to directly be a result of the Falklands conflict… …And the RN and RAF are being downsized?

    Merco Press – Argentine to increase budget defence 50%, recovering losses of Falklands war

    Defence minister Nilda Garré said the Argentine government would increase the defence budget in coming years from 0.9% to 1.5% of GDP to help overcome decades of divestment following the defeat in the (1982) Falklands/Malvinas war.

  333. D. E. Reddick permalink
    August 31, 2010 8:48 pm

    War News Update and the Ares of Aviation Week cover this, in part. But as the editor at WNU points out, it’s this graph from The Economist that simply makes it simple and plain. The Chinese PLAN now has more ships in commission than the USN. Of course, that doesn’t take into account numbers per class type of such as CV(N)s, SSNs, SSBNs, SSGNs, CGs, DDGs, LHDs, LSDs, etc., etc., etc….

  334. Scott B. permalink
    August 31, 2010 8:32 pm

    Re : latest GAO report on the LCS program (31 August 2010)

    Phil Ewing’s reporting of the GAO findings :

    GAO: Early LCS Deployment Hurt The Program

    “This year’s “early deployment” of the littoral combat ship Freedom, praised by commanders as proof of the ships’ potential, actually hurt the overall progress of the full LCS program, according to a congressional report issued Tuesday, which also found that LCS will not help the Navy hunt submarines as well as originally advertised.”

    “Investigators also found that the Navy continues to struggle with technical problems aboard its first two ships, even as work continues on its third and fourth, putting the service and its shipbuilders in the potentially awkward situation of needing to change designs, redo work or make other late alterations to LCS 3 and 4, when that would be most costly.”

    “As it has before, GAO also faulted the Navy for charging ahead with the LCS program even though it hasn’t finished what GAO considers a full or complete analysis.”

    ONCE AGAIN : will Bob Work bite the bullet and terminate this failed program ? The world wonders…

  335. Scott B. permalink
    August 31, 2010 8:25 pm

    BREAKING : latest GAO report on the LCS program (31 August 2010) :

    Navy’s Ability to Overcome Challenges Facing the Littoral Combat Ship Will Determine Eventual Capabilities

    Bottom line : nothing under control, program still a huge mess.

    Will Bob Work ever swallow his pride and terminate this failed program ?

  336. D. E. Reddick permalink
    August 31, 2010 5:08 pm

    This isn’t news, but instead – history. National Public Radio (NPR) is running a story about how USS Kirk (DE/FF-1087) saved hundreds and then thousands of South Vietnamese refugees in 1975. It has just run on the program ‘All Things Considered’ and will be continued tomorrow (as a portion of a three part series). Note that an audio track of these programs will be made available, later. It’s an incredible story.

    NPR: All Things Considered – Forgotten Ship: A Daring Rescue As Saigon Fell
    Joseph Shapiro and Sandra Bartlett

  337. August 31, 2010 1:39 pm

    Oh yes! And I did speculate a while back whether there will be a carrier version of Taranis and of course that would mean CATOBAR.

  338. August 31, 2010 7:23 am

    Sorry! As I have said before I really should start keeping up with events again.

    All we need now is to scupper the International Development and Aid budget. buy a third carrier, and will be ready to fight the emerging threats of the 70’s Cold War.

    Look out Breshnev we coming for yer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  339. D. E. Reddick permalink
    August 30, 2010 4:49 pm


    Yeah, I posted that information here in Breaking News back on both August 17th & 24th – in two separate parts. The Harriers will be departing service early. If true, then this says a lot about what the future of RN naval aviation / Fleet Air Arm will look like with the two QE class CVs:


  340. August 30, 2010 3:44 pm

    Apparently the Royal Navy has sent pilots (some sources say as many as 12) to the US for carrier training.

    All over the interwebs so google it.

    Goodbye jump jet, hello CATOBAR?

    Not sure how I feel about this. I hope it isn’t part of some MoD stitch up where RN gains a conventional carrier capability and loses something else. Like the second carrier or fixed wing aviation to the Crabs.

  341. D. E. Reddick permalink
    August 29, 2010 8:21 pm

    Since the USN and ROK Navy are holding a naval exercise in the Yellow Sea, then of course the Chinese PLA Navy also has to hold a live fire exercise in the same waters.

    Chinese navy to hold drills in Yellow Sea

    By GILLIAN WONG (AP) BEIJING — China said Sunday its navy will stage live-ammunition drills in the Yellow Sea this week, after it condemned U.S.-South Korean joint naval exercises in the region and vowed to respond in kind.

    Beijing has said last month’s U.S.-South Korea joint naval drills risked heightening tensions on the Korean peninsula and ignored China’s objections to any foreign military exercises off its coast.

    Asia Pacific News – China to stage war games in Yellow Sea
    Posted: 29 August 2010

    BEIJING: China will hold live-fire naval exercises in the Yellow Sea this week, state media reported Sunday, after voicing opposition to similar war games to be staged there by the United States and South Korea.

    The Beihai fleet of the navy of the People’s Liberation Army will conduct a “live ammunition drill” from Wednesday to Saturday off the coast of eastern China’s Qingdao city, Xinhua news agency reported.

  342. D. E. Reddick permalink
    August 29, 2010 8:04 pm

    USS Kauffman (FFG-59) was involved in the multinational effort to capture a skiff of Somali pirates.

    International operation intercepts pirates off Somalia

    (AFP) LONDON — Japanese, EU and NATO forces cooperated on Sunday to intercept pirates who were preparing to attack ships in the Gulf of Aden, the NATO counter-piracy task force said.

    A Japanese Maritime Self Defence (JMSDF) aircraft spotted a pirate skiff with seven suspected pirates on board and alerted a helicopter from the Danish warship Esbern Snare under NATO command, which intercepted the skiff.

    “Subsequently the suspected pirates threw their weapons overboard and surrendered,” a NATO statement, released in London, said.

    An Italian helicopter from another vessel under NATO command provided support for the operation.

    Crew members from an American warship, the USS Kauffman, also in NATO’s counter-piracy operation, boarded the skiff and found a ladder pirates used to board ships “and other pirate-related paraphernalia,” the statement added.

  343. Al L. permalink
    August 29, 2010 12:22 am

    Chuck Hill said:

    “Al L., thanks, I used your info already. Posted it on CGbl”
    “Retired Cdr., 22 years”

    THANK YOU Sir.

  344. D. E. Reddick permalink
    August 28, 2010 9:19 pm

    The Danish Command & Support frigate Esbern Snare has broken up an attack by Somali pirates on two merchant vessels. HDMS Esbern Snare is the sistership of HDMS Absalon, which has become the champion and most efficient of pirate catchers off the Somali coast.

    Danish navy helicopter foils pirate attack off Somali coast

    (AFP) COPENHAGEN — A helicopter from a Danish warship under NATO operational control foiled a pirate attack Saturday on a merchant vessel in the Gulf of Aden, a Danish navy spokesman said.

    The Danish ship Esbern Snare launched a helicopter in response to a call for help from a merchant vessel, the Danish navy’s duty officer, who declined to give his name, told AFP.

    “The merchant ship was shot upon. When the helicopter went over there … the pirates aborted their attack and tried to head for Somalia,” he said.

    “To stop the pirates’ boat from getting there, the helicopter fired one shot in front of the boat and then they stopped,” he added.

    A statement from NATO’s maritime command said the attacked merchant ship was the Panamanian flagged MV Caribbean Carrier.

    It added the pirates also tried to attack Norwegian ship MV Hoegh Oslo, but fled when the Esbern Snare’s helicopter arrived at her position.

    A team from the Danish ship boarded the pirates’ boat and “found spent and unused ammunition, knives and other piracy related paraphernalia onboard,” the statement said.

  345. Chuck Hill permalink
    August 28, 2010 7:54 pm

    Retired Cdr., 22 years.

  346. August 28, 2010 3:56 pm

    Didn’t know you were a Coastie Chuck. Super!!!

  347. Chuck Hill permalink
    August 28, 2010 3:23 pm

    Al L. said, “Chuck Hill/ShockwaveLover/Juramentado: I found that LCS module pdf and posted it at the LCS news page.”

    Al L., thanks, I used your info already. Posted it on CGblog.

  348. August 28, 2010 2:49 pm

    Them Ruskies are pinging our bombers!!!!

    The only thing of interest is that activity has picked up a tad, not that it happens………..

  349. Al L. permalink
    August 28, 2010 1:40 pm

    Chuck Hill/ShockwaveLover/Juramentado:

    I found that LCS module pdf and posted it at the LCS news page.

  350. Al L. permalink
    August 28, 2010 1:12 am

    Greatly appreciate that direction.

    I read the entire solicitation. I don’t get out of it what you got. It’s more like what one does when one decides a contractor has had it too easy too long and you need to let him know you’re willing to look at other options to replace him. Bravo for the Navy. They may have somebody in mind who can plug in but needed to keep the solicitation as broad as possible to avoid improprieties. But I’d say it’s due dilligence. If the LM/Raytheon partnership doesn’t pony up results fast they’ll take that solicitation for sources and turn it into a program if they can.

    From what I’ve followed on NLOS/LCS this is what I understand.

    The mission module spaces are just rectangular empty holes. They have routing for the ship to provide electrical, cooling, etc. Everything the weapons need to operate has to be fit in that space(controls can be separate and distributed in a couple places on the ship). NLOS and the MK 46 gun each had a package engineered as far back as 2005 to fit the weapon and fit the space involving a subframe,shoring, closure panels, mechanical equipment needed for support, etc. In order to replace NLOS in that package the new missile system would have to be very close to NLOS (Only 1 system comes to mind IAI’s Jumper) or the whole package would have to be redesigned. In the answers to questions addendum this is basically what comes out when the Navy refuses to provide anything but overall outer dimensions, and general system requirements.

    I think that if an “SSM EOD” is being fitted to LCS-2’s front weapons zone at this time there’s only 1 thing it could be designed around, because there’s only 1 system that’s been considered for this ship under any formal guidelines.

    And I would guess that it’s being labeled generically as SSM in lieu of NLOS so the Navy can break from the B.S. way this system has been puffed up with air by doing stupid stuff like doing a “Future Weapons” episode and telling the world how smart your missile is before it’s met it’s contract requirements.

  351. Juramentado permalink
    August 27, 2010 11:01 pm

    A1 L: Apologies – there is a PDF that you can download using the Packages Tab on the bid page, but the Synopsis questions on the Notice Tab will address the issue of the extensions above the coaming and that NAVSEA will not provide the NLOS-ICD, but it is implied that this is what the engineering of the replacement with have to conform to. (Questions 2, 3, 6 and 8).

  352. Al L. permalink
    August 27, 2010 8:03 pm


    That bid solicitation document is interesting. Could not find the auxiliary docs section you refer to could you point me in the right direction.

  353. Tony permalink
    August 27, 2010 5:12 pm

    Considering the death of NLOS,,,
    the Navy should revive the canceled NATACMS program and put two boxes of them on the LCS too. A box with BAT sub-munitions for small boat swarms and a box for the 500lb unitary warhead version.

    While they’re at it, replace the 5″ gun or augment it with a “Surface-Launched AMRAAM (SL-AMRAAM / CLAWS) Medium-Range Air Defense System launcher for improved anti-air capabilities

  354. Juramentado permalink
    August 27, 2010 4:49 pm

    @A1L/Chuck Hill/ShockwaveLover:

    Well, I hate to be the one to break up the NLOS party, but it is still dead. People, put the body back in the coffin – yes it looks good now, but trust me, the corpse will start to stink in a couple of days.

    Proof: The FBO for the MR SSM is still underway:

    Note in the bid’s auxiliary documents section. The bay itself is intact which refers to the Engineering Design Model (EDM) being referenced on LCS-2, but the bid is seeking new missiles, and containers therein. There is a possible modification to add up to about 3 feet of vertical clearance on the missile bay itself (what does that do I wonder to the RCS given the missile weapon zone is located forward of the superstructure?), but all other aspects must conform to what the NLOS CLU would have done – power, connectivity, cooling etc.

  355. Heretic permalink
    August 27, 2010 4:15 pm

    And one for the silly ideas thread: strap 150 more CLU’s on the 11100 sqft flight deck for 2505 missiles. (of course the 270+ tons that entails might cause some problems)

    Okay, so they simply don’t embark the V-22 support module for that deployment, and everything balances out fine.

    What? Why are you looking at me like that…?

  356. Retired Now permalink
    August 27, 2010 3:49 pm

    Here’s a photo of a helo shooting very cheap rockets at a destroyer. If that target destroyer was LCS-2, she would be able to detect and engage that helo. However, if that target destroyer was LCS-1 and the helo approached from the stern, it is doubtful that LCS-1 could even detect, much less engage the helo.

    The topside design on LCS-2 is far superior than LCS-1 which has several large active and passive sensors with notable blind zones. But LCS-1 will win anyway. Some “competition” the NAVSEA folks are running.

  357. Al L. permalink
    August 27, 2010 1:20 pm

    Oh one mor thing to add to my last comment. How many may depend more on the price of the missiles,the last estimated production price I saw was $200,000 each. $12 million just for the missiles is no chump change.

  358. Al L. permalink
    August 27, 2010 1:09 pm

    ShockwaveLover asked, “…any idea how many LCS-2 can carry?”

    What chuck said is the most commonly quoted standard plan: 4 CLUs in a modular rack in the front weapons station for 60 missiles. There was a great web page that had all kinds of LCS module info I’ve had a link to for years, but it seems to have been taken down so I can’t link it.

    However I’ve also seen evidence they’ve cut the standard kit to 3 CLUs to get the whole kit to fit in a standard container for storing and transporting the modules(presumably the 4th hole would remain so one could be dropped in) This seems to be designed around a standard modular weapons station of 12’x12’+- on both LCS types.

    How many LCS-2 could ultimately carry is a good question because the front weapons station appears to be a bit bigger than 12’x12′. Its more like 15’x15′ that would allow it to fit up to 9 CLUs in that station for 135 missiles. And of course theres always the other 2 weapons stations that can hold 60 each. However carrying that many (255) seems unlikely.

    And one for the silly ideas thread: strap 150 more CLU’s on the 11100 sqft flight deck for 2505 missiles. (of course the 270+ tons that entails might cause some problems)

  359. Chuck Hill permalink
    August 27, 2010 11:57 am

    ShockwaveLover asked, “…any idea how many LCS-2 can carry?

    The plan was for the LCSs to have four 15 round containers for a total of 60 missiles. If the Navy gets it working, single 15 round containers could also be used on smaller vessels.

  360. CBD permalink
    August 27, 2010 11:06 am

    FYI- If anyone is in the Balt/DC area and has an open weekend:
    LSD-41 Whidbey Island & PC-4 Monsoon will be at the Baltimore Inner Harbor from the 28th to September 1st.

    Come see a successful USN patrol boat while they last!

    I’ll be taking some time from studies to attend.

    Via Sail Baltimore

  361. ShockwaveLover permalink
    August 27, 2010 10:56 am


    ‘Sprint and drift’…that’s a submarine tactic, isn’t it?

  362. Heretic permalink
    August 27, 2010 10:12 am

    Wow … this gets even better. It only took 48 hours for the anti-PowerPoint Colonel in-theater to lose his job on staff. Makes you wonder how many other troops wish they could get kicked out of Afghanistan for criticizing PowerPoint …

  363. Bill permalink
    August 27, 2010 9:53 am

    @BSmitty who asked “Was there any mention of an off-cushion loiter mode?”

    They can always can do that..but not in higher sea states. The loitering in higher sea states is best done lifted, on cushion. USCG calle dthe tactic ‘sprint and drift’..their SES cutters were (by their own report) the best they ever owned for employing that tactic with good result.

  364. Heretic permalink
    August 27, 2010 9:42 am

    In-theater colonel rants against PowerPoint and its incredible power of Stupifiction towards anything that really matters.

    Epic Win.

  365. ShockwaveLover permalink
    August 27, 2010 2:37 am

    Cheers for the info Al, any idea how many LCS-2 can carry?

    Also, those targeting parameters seem a little loose; technically that could be Victoria Beckham going for a swim -‘hotter than the water, pointy on one end, and moving.’


  366. Al L. permalink
    August 27, 2010 12:21 am

    Re: the news that they’ve loaded an SSM launcher in LCS-2

    It is NLOS. Before the Army canceled it, this program was WAY along. They were I believe doing LRIP phase 2 production. There’s probably a dozen CLU’s and maybe a couple hundred missiles out there somewhere. This missile hit it’s target just about everytime it was fired in GPS and Laser designation modes.

    The problem was the whole concept the Army had of launching this thing at a bunch of dispersed variable type targets at varous locations all controlled by a network that looked like a spider web. Not only that but when it got to the approximate location of the target is was supposed to pick the target out using its IR seeker. That’s right if they told it to hit a T-72 tank sitting on a road next to an APC and a truck, it was supposed to hit the T-72.

    The Army was asking for pie in the sky and it got pie in the face.

    Since the Navy’s concept would be more like launching the missile to an approximate point then hitting whatever was hotter than the water, pointy on one end, and moving, it should get better results now that it’s taken over the program.

    Some good background here including a diagram of the LCS conops:

    Click to access rtn_rms_ps_nlos_datasheet.pdf

    For fun go here and watch the “Future Weapons” episode on it and listen to the Army program manager brag on how smart the missile is:

  367. D. E. Reddick permalink
    August 26, 2010 5:44 pm

    It seems that Israel has decided (or is considering a decision) to build its own corvettes rather than buy variants of either the US LCS-1 or German MEKO-100 designs.

    Globes – Military mulls NIS 1b plan to build warships

    A new design could give Israel another foothold in the global arms market.
    26 August 10 17:52, Yuval Azulai

    The defense establishment is considering building two future warships for the Israel Navy on its own. The ships will be designed overseas, probably in Germany, but will be built at Israel Shipyards Ltd. in Haifa.

  368. Chuck Hill permalink
    August 26, 2010 4:30 pm

    The Dutch integrated mast on the Holland Class OPVs seems to be similar.

    Type 45s does look out of proportion, but presumably it is light enough not to adversely effect stability.

    Mast on LPD 17 also look similar though looks smaller on a larger ship.

  369. Hudson permalink
    August 26, 2010 4:22 pm

    Yes, Type 45 (!). Yamato is an excellent example of rangefinder height, also the length of the rangefinder itself, if memory serves. Didn’t do the Big Y much good in battle. The way it was taken apart by aircraft was almost cruel, one could say. Still, the rangefinder was integrated into the architecture of the superstructure, whereas the Type 45 just shoots the radar up there like a permanent periscope. Wonder how all that will handle is severe weather. I’m sure they ran tests.

  370. Chuck Hill permalink
    August 26, 2010 3:12 pm

    Range finder height influenced ships in the past, just look at the Yamato.

    Presume you meant Type 45

  371. Hudson permalink
    August 26, 2010 2:15 pm

    Re: Type 54 Destroyer vs. Other Ships

    In the previous Sea Links was a report of a successful test firing of the Sea Viper (PAAMS) missile, apparently a salvo of the former against a fast skimmer. From the link:

    “A key element of Sea Viper’s capability is the sophisticated, phased-array Sampson radar, which has a range of 400 kilometres. Its onboard position about 30 metres above the water widens its horizon at sea level to enable the system to react to high-speed, very low-level, anti-ship missiles.”

    This makes me wonder if the mast height/architecture and radar will influence naval design in consideration of the difficulty of tracking and shooting down Mach 3+ AS missiles such as are already deployed. Will it influence future Burkes? Absalons?

  372. Chuck Hill permalink
    August 26, 2010 1:45 pm

    Shockwavelover asked, “What SSM is the LCS being armed with?”

    They have got to be still planning on the NLOS.

  373. Heretic permalink
    August 26, 2010 10:26 am

    Trick Question Bill.

    If the review specs were “scaled up” from being a 270 ton to a 500 ton vessel, with the intent to increase the fuel fraction and crew consumables (and thus, range) … how far do you think you could go (range) while keeping the other specs relatively the same? Essentially, is what you’re looking at something that could be scaled up into a trans-Altantic and/or trans-Pacific self-deploying missile torpedo boat?

  374. B.Smitty (The Original) permalink
    August 26, 2010 10:20 am

    Ooooh. I’m drooling. Don’t keep us waiting too long Bill! ;)

    Was there any mention of an off-cushion loiter mode?

  375. Heretic permalink
    August 26, 2010 10:15 am

    Army Abruptly Cancels Ground Combat Vehicle Competion

    The thing that interested me though was found in one of the comments to the article, which I’ll quote here:

    On my last rotation to a-stan my company was paired up with a Polish Company equipped with the Rosomak(Wolverine) IFV. Now it was superior to the Stryker in almost everyway. I saw one get hit with a RPG-9 from 200 meter which detonated on the side of the drivers station, but did not penetrate. well we come to a river and we have to find a fiord point to cross. The Rosomak crews seal up a few hatches plunge into the river and start zipping around very fast looking for our crossing point. Mil specs say it can get 10Kts in the water. The line mechanics told us they can get 35KPH in the water once they tweak to motor. These guys said they water skied from them in Poland. Comes with 30mm, 40mm, and twin 120mortar(AMOS). Sights, C3 and Armor all first rate. Costs less than $3MillionUS with the mortar(most expensive). Buy them off the self. USMC problem solved. Now when a US defense Contractor gets involved we may be able to get them in 12 years for $30million a piece and it will not float(oh thats my Stryker).

    Wikipedia link to the KTO Rosomak, which looks like a rather nice bit of kit in the 22 ton class for under $3 mil USD a copy.

  376. Bill permalink
    August 26, 2010 9:17 am

    Mmmm. Guess who just recieved the first review copy of the specifications and general arrangment for a multi-role, longer range variant of the RNoN Skjold corvette ?

    I’m liking what I’m seeing..although its pretty clear from looking at the 7m RHIB (2) launch and recovery integration that supporting an 11m RHIB does not look possible. Oh is only a 270-ton vessel after all. The first cut does not offer quite the range I was hoping for either, at 1800 nm. That achieves that range at a speed three times that of a Cyclone’s speed for max range. LOL.

    Details soon.

  377. ShockwaveLover permalink
    August 26, 2010 7:25 am

    LCS-2 gets second 30mm cannon

    Also, an interesting line pokes it’s head out:

    “The team also installed the first EDM of the launcher for the Surface-to-Surface Missile Module (SSMM) in the forward centerline weapon zone. LCS 2 is built with a center-line weapon zone and port and starboard weapon zones. Current planning for SUW employment has the 30mm GMM carried in the port and starboard weapon zones and the SSMM carried in the centerline weapon zone.”

    What SSM is the LCS being armed with?

  378. Mike Burleson permalink*
    August 25, 2010 3:34 pm

    New Wars on Wikipedia! Well, sort of. They get the idea though:

    “New wars describe international or civil wars of low-intensity conflict that involve a myriad of transnational connections so that the distinctions between internal and external, aggression and repression, local and global are difficult to sustain. The term is an antonym of conventional warfare whereupon conventional military weapons and battlefield tactics are no longer used between two or more states in open confrontation. A key thinker in New Wars theory is Mary Kaldor[1] who explained how globalisation has made three changes to war; it is based on claiming identity not territory, Guerrilla or terror tactics are used and international crime has changed how wars are funded. An example for the theory is the civil war in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

    Other supporters of the new wars theory are Herfried Münkler from Germany and Martin van Creveld from the Netherlands.”

  379. August 25, 2010 7:01 am

    @ Scott – 1:41 “In short : Think BIG, not small : bring on the STATION WAGON !!!”

    agreed, the minimum for good sea-keeping is 2000-2500 tonnes, let alone the other nine factors, and even then this is not suitable for a warship designed to operate in a high-threat environment.

  380. August 25, 2010 6:54 am

    Thank you Think Defence, the reference is appreciated.

  381. D. E. Reddick permalink
    August 24, 2010 10:17 pm

    The Royal Navy may be forced to borrow US Marine Corps aircraft and pilots to provide a fighter complement for its two aircraft carriers being built. What have things come to?

    Mail Online – Britain will be forced to borrow U.S. jets to fly from our NEW aircraft carriers as cutbacks bite

    By Tim Shipman

    Britain will be forced to borrow U.S. warplanes to fly from the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carriers because of defence cuts, the Daily Mail can reveal.

    The Navy’s Harrier Jump Jets – the aircraft that won renown in the Falklands conflict – are to be retired early leaving the two new carriers with no aircraft when they come into service.

    Under the plans, the U.S. Marines would be invited to fly from the British carriers in joint operations and the Navy is also examining the prospect of leasing aircraft from the Americans.

    Major costs savings are necessary because the Treasury budget for the carriers only covers the costs of building an empty shell – leaving no money for the aircraft to fly from them.

    A senior military source said: ‘The U.S. Marines have the aircraft. Their aircraft would fly from the British carriers. Or we could borrow some from them.

  382. August 23, 2010 7:36 pm

    Scott, with you on the think big theme. It simply does not make sense from an economic perspective to try and squeeze capabilities into small hulls

    One of my fellow UK bloggers has a good take on the RUSI article here

    JBT’s writing is always good, add him to your reading list!

  383. D. E. Reddick permalink
    August 23, 2010 2:40 pm

    Iran presents another set of naval wunder-weapons: it’s a series of boats, some of which are based on the Bladerunner 51 fast boat. One of the new boats (Zolfiqar type) is fitted with two AShM launch canisters – probably the Kowsar (an Iranian copy of the Chinese C-701 missile). The following is an thread with several included links and pictures. Oh, and it features the usual humorous observations by various commentators.

    Iran mass produced copy of Bladerunner 51 as rocket launcher boat

  384. Scott B. permalink
    August 23, 2010 1:41 pm

    Mike Burleson said : “The ships needed to fulfil these missions must have endurance, versatility, role adaptability and number, and be cheaper.”

    This CANNOT be Plan Burleson, for the mythical 1,000-ton corvette, which is at the very heart of the Paleo-Burlesonian credo, fails to possess most if not all of the 10 critical attributes defined by Dr Dalsjö, among which endurance, versatility and adaptability.

    However, if you read the RUSI article in full, you’ll come across some interesting tidbit on the last page :

    “In fact, designs for suitable ships, and builders for them, are immediately available on the world market if UK shipbuilders are unable to meet this challenge. At about a quarter the cost of a Type 45, the Danish Absalon-class Stanflex design, for example, is a 6,000-ton frigate that is world-leading in its utilisation of modularity and role-adaption, and which uniquely has amphibious warfare potentiality. It has much to recommend it for many C2 purposes.

    In short : Think BIG, not small : bring on the STATION WAGON !!!

  385. Hokie_1997 permalink
    August 23, 2010 12:32 pm

    Commentary on study by Mitchell Institute on history of USAF unmanned air vehicles (UAVs).

    1) Effectively dismisses Mike’s argument that there is some sinister cabal of fighter-pilot generals trying to kill UAVs. UAV’s survive or perish on their own merits — and sometimes unmanned isn’t the best solution.

    2) Stresses some very real practical issues of operating UAVs which Mike frequently glosses over in his quest to go whole hog into unmanned (e.g. how do you get them to operate safely in same airpace as manned aircraft.)

  386. Mike Burleson permalink*
    August 23, 2010 6:40 am

    Burleson Plan gets converts overseas-UK Reuters-Navy needs more and cheaper ships – thinktank

    “The Royal Navy must urgently expand its fleet to secure vital trade routes, and should order cheaper, more adaptable vessels rather than expensive, specialised ones, a defence thinktank said on Monday.

    The Ministry of Defence is conducting a sweeping review of its future military requirements and is looking at ways to provide capability more cheaply — part of a government drive to slash a bulging budget deficit.

    An article in the journal of the Royal United Services Institute said Britain needs at least 10 more frigates and that ships in the current fleet were nearing the end of their useful life.

    “Real world tasks urgently require significantly more surface combatants, of lower cost and capability. Use of the sea demands presence along the sea routes,” the article, by retired Vice-Admiral Jeremy Blackham and Gwyn Prins, a professor at the London School of Economics, said.

    The ships needed to fulfil these missions must have endurance, versatility, role adaptability and number, and be cheaper. Presence demands numbers,” it said.”

    Here’s the RUSI article:

    Click to access blackhamprins.pdf

  387. D. E. Reddick permalink
    August 22, 2010 7:53 pm


    In that thread I linked to there is discussion of how its upper body resembles the parachute housing of older re-usable drones – especially the Soviet Tupolev Tu-143. It might be a copy of the more recent Russian Tupolev Tu-300. Personally, I suspect that it’s a composite back-engineered example of several different types of drones.

    Tupolev Tu-143 / Tu-243 / Tu-300

  388. Chuck Hill permalink
    August 22, 2010 7:26 pm

    RE Iran’s Drone Bomber, I don’t see any landing gear. Catch it in a net? If it returns from a mission with ordnance still catch it in a net?

    Don’t see any sensors. Against fixed targets could use GPS. Against mobile targets perhaps fly to an assigned area, loiter, and drop on Command with someone else providing laser designation?

  389. D. E. Reddick permalink
    August 22, 2010 4:12 pm

    Iran has unveiled its new Karrar re-usable unmanned cruise missile / drone aircraft. It bears a strong resemblance to the NAZI V-1 missile of WW-II and also several other drones produced by the USA and USSR. Interestingly, it can carry external ordnance – one picture shows it armed with two air-launched AShMs.

    VOA – Iran Unveils Domestically-Built Drone

    BBC – Iran unveils first bomber drone

    Here’s a thread with pictures mixed in throughout it. Some images are of similar US, Soviet, and Iraqi drone designs.

    Iran unveils new military drone

  390. Scott B. permalink
    August 21, 2010 5:17 pm

    Interesting :

    New ICBM Killer Could Grow Beyond Aegis

    “However, David Burns from MDA’s Advanced Technology Directorate says the IIB need not comply with the confines of the MK41 vertical launch system now placed in the eight-pack configuration on Aegis destroyers. Instead, bidders can simply design a new launch module as long as it fits into the MK41 module’s footprint; the result could be a launch system with fewer interceptors, each of which is larger in diameter and length.”

  391. elgatoso permalink
    August 21, 2010 1:31 am

    Hello,Tangosix. I know your blog Grand Logistics .(Very good blog ,BTW).But this one is your YOUTUBE blog??

  392. August 20, 2010 9:50 pm

    Hello elgatoso,

    I have a feeling Our Dear Leader will love that.


  393. elgatoso permalink
    August 20, 2010 8:58 pm

    I want one of those.

  394. D. E. Reddick permalink
    August 20, 2010 5:33 pm


    Better yet – Infamously Prophetic!

  395. Mike Burleson permalink*
    August 20, 2010 4:25 pm

    Or “Infamous”? LOL

  396. Juramentado permalink
    August 20, 2010 1:52 pm

    Congrats Mike – now you’re famous!

  397. Mike Burleson permalink*
    August 20, 2010 1:12 pm

    Scoop Deck-“Plan Burleson”!

  398. D. E. Reddick permalink
    August 19, 2010 1:48 pm

    Recall the recent Chinese PLA Navy activities near the Japanese Ryukyu islands. Well, maybe the Chinese want to claim the Senkaku Islands or even Okinawa!

    The Chosun Ilbo – Chinese Claims to Okinawa Gain Support Among Historians

    The Mainichi Daily News – Japan says Senkaku Islands subject to Japan-U.S. security pact

    Senkaku Islands

  399. D. E. Reddick permalink
    August 18, 2010 8:25 pm

    Potential Mach 3.3 ship-killing ramjet missile tested.

    Aerojets Ramjet Propulsion Engine Successfully Meets Coyote High Diver Mission Requirements

    (Sacramento, Calif., August 13, 2010) — Aerojet, a GenCorp (NYSE: GY) company, announced today that its Supersonic Sea-Skimming Target (SSST) ramjet propulsion system successfully completed the first flight test of the Coyote High Diver variant supersonic target mission. Orbital Sciences Corporation (Orbital) developed the target vehicle and uses Aerojet’s solid-fueled Variable Flow Ducted Rocket (VFDR) propulsion engine. Orbital upgraded the original SSST configuration with guidance software modifications that enable the vehicle to operate at altitudes up to 50,000 feet.

    During the naval test at San Nicolas Island, Calif., the Coyote High Diver vehicle was rail-launched from the ground and boosted by a solid rocket motor to ramjet-takeover speed. Under ramjet-power, the system ascended subsequently to an altitude of 35,000 feet and reached a cruise speed of approximately Mach 3.3. At the end of its 110 nautical-mile-long flight, the vehicle executed a planned 40-degree unpowered dive to its objective point near the ocean’s surface. This flight mission was crucial in validating the vehicle’s suitability for future high-altitude naval threat simulations and anti-missile response system tests.

    Note the system diagram of the missile in this link:

    GQM-163 SSST: A Tricky Coyote to Match Wits With Defenses

  400. D. E. Reddick permalink
    August 18, 2010 7:35 pm

    Interesting pictures: USN CNO Admiral Gary Roughead is shown visiting aboard the Skjold-class coastal corvette HNoMS Skudd and other Norwegian naval combatants. The best image is the last one, as it displays the faceted stealth features for the superstructure of the corvette and also that of its 76 mm gun turret. Just go to this thread and scroll down to posting # 2.

  401. Mike Burleson permalink*
    August 18, 2010 3:46 pm

    U.K. testing hybrid landing craft-UPI

    “Called the ‘Partial Air Cushion Supported CATamaran,” the all-aluminum vessel is 98.4 feet long and about 25 feet in the beam. It has a design vehicle payload of more than 60 tons and a loaded weight of about 192.9 tons.
    It is powered by twin MJP water jets that are driven by diesel engines built by Maritime Assessment Associates Ltd.
    Defense Update said the experimental vessel has completed more than 100 hours at sea in contractor evaluation sea trials, gradually reaching unloaded speeds exceeding 30 knots.”

  402. Mike Burleson permalink*
    August 18, 2010 4:55 am

    The Gulf War plus 20-Scoop Deck

    “But if the first Gulf War was the dawn of today’s military era, the force itself is definitely in a different epoch. In 1990, for example, the Navy had 566 ships, and the ones that went to war had names we don’t hear anymore: America, Ranger, Saratoga, Missouri, Wisconsin. The carriers were launching planes long since grounded: A-7 Corsairs; A-6 Intruders; S-3 Vikings; F-14 Tomcats. Today the Navy has 290 ships, one and a half models of strike aircraft, and, no longer content to just support operations from the sea, it has 9,300 sailors on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan. Oh, right, that’s the other thing — 20 years after the Gulf War, we’re still there.”

  403. D. E. Reddick permalink
    August 17, 2010 8:52 pm

    A greater than normal number of RN carrier pilots are participating in USN CATOBAR aircraft carrier training in the F/A-18 platform. Could the RN be rethinking its planned acquisition of the F-35B and instead be preparing to acquire the F/A-18 E & F and/or the F-35C?

  404. D. E. Reddick permalink
    August 17, 2010 7:11 pm

    Here’s a report and video of a successful test of the new JAGM missile – a replacement for both the Maverick and Hellfire missile families. It already has a range of 28 km and utilizes three different seekers for finding its targets. Now, what if a launch booster was added to extend its range out to something like 60 to 100 km. Also modify it for launch from a VLS box launcher. How does that sound as a replacement for the failed NLOS missile system?

    Flightglobal – VIDEO: Raytheon/Boeing show JAGM direct hit
    By Stephen Trimble

    A Raytheon/Boeing team has released the first video showing a live firing of their proposed replacement for the AGM-114 Hellfire and AGM-65 Maverick missiles.

    The 23 June test shot by the Raytheon/Boeing team is one of the final steps in the bidding process for the joint air to ground missile (JAGM) contract, which the army intends to award around December or January. The army also is evaluating a JAGM bid from Lockheed Martin.

    The video shows the unarmed missile striking a 2.4 x 2.4m (8 x 8ft) target board from a distance of 16km – the required range for a JAGM launched by a helicopter.

  405. D. E. Reddick permalink
    August 17, 2010 4:25 pm

    A Norfolk judge has dismissed charges of piracy against six Somalis who attacked USS Ashland in April.

    Yahoo! News: Judge throws out piracy charges against 6 Somalis

    RICHMOND, Va. – A judge on Tuesday dismissed piracy charges against six Somali men accused of attacking a Navy ship off the coast of Africa, concluding the U.S. government failed to make the case their alleged actions amounted to piracy.

    The dismissal of the piracy count by U.S. District Judge Raymond A. Jackson tosses the most serious charge against the men, but leaves intact seven other charges related to the alleged April 10 attack on the USS Ashland in the Gulf of Aden. A piracy conviction carries a mandatory life term.

    Defense attorneys argued last month that the Ashland defendants did not meet the U.S. legal definition of piracy because they did not take command of and rob the amphibious dock landing ship.

    Jackson agreed in his ruling, finding that the government “failed to establish that any unauthorized acts of violence or aggression committed on the high seas constitutes piracy as defined by the law of nations.”

  406. Heretic permalink
    August 17, 2010 3:58 pm

    How An Autoloader Can Hurt M-1 Tanks

    It’s a question of manpower, workload and keeping your crews rested or exhausted for lack of an extra pair of hands (attached to strong arms).

  407. Mike Burleson permalink*
    August 17, 2010 6:29 am

    HMS Astute: Relic or Revolution for the Royal Navy-The price paid for perfection. Why SSK’s are also needed to balance the force and save industry.

    “Is it feasible for the UK defence sector to adequately safeguard its long term nuclear deterrence objectives with the Astute? The worry among senior experts is that the Astute will inevitably deflate the industry. By producing few submarines, the experience-curve effect initially described by Bruce D. Henderson will not be substantially employed to reduce cost. The fixed price offered for submarines of the magnitude of Astute will not be adequate for any economy of scales to take effect, and the result will be an overpriced bespoke design which the Ministry of Defence (MoD) will not be able to sustain.

    The submarines turned out at Barrow-in-Furness are simply too few in number, too cumbersome and too costly for a sustainable industry. Furthermore, the lag time between each successor program in the UK submarine industry has further proven detrimental as it has been impossible to retain trained personnel in the Barrow yard. For the Astute programme, the problem initially was overcome by subcontracting certain project elements to Electric Boat technicians, which is extremely cost-intensive.”

  408. elgatoso permalink
    August 16, 2010 1:22 pm

    This is not a breaking news but it is so hilarious!!!!

  409. Juramentado permalink
    August 16, 2010 11:35 am

    Will Gates’ resignation result in a re-think (again) of current strategy and force structure for the USN? Or will Roughead & Mullen stay the course until the new SECDEF takes office?

  410. Joe permalink
    August 16, 2010 11:30 am

    Gates Announces Intent to Resign by End of 2011

    Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has announced his intention to resign his post by no later than the end of 2011. Administration officials indicate it would likely be in the Spring of 2011. Timing-wise, it’s a battle between happening early enough in the year to give the successor time to get acclimated to the post…without making the resignation happen too late in the year that the successor has to go through confirmation during 2012.


  411. elgatoso permalink
    August 16, 2010 5:11 am

    “China Marine Surveillance No. 83” is the first 3,000-ton research and exploration vessel that is independently designed by China and equipped with compact podded electric propulsion and level I dynamic positioning system

  412. D. E. Reddick permalink
    August 15, 2010 2:00 pm

    Two days ago I posted two articles concerning China’s over-grasping concerns about US Navy activities in the international waters of the South China Sea and Yellow Sea. Now an ex-officer of the Chinese PLA Navy has produced an interesting propaganda-esq ‘news’ piece aimed at the Japanese populace regarding US presence in the WESTPAC region. Kyle Mizokami of Japan Security Watch has the entirety of this piece along with his own comments regarding its intent. It is well worth reading.

    So rich, you may develop gout just reading it

    POINT OF VIEW/ Song Xiaojun: China ready to replace U.S. as world’s ‘top cop’

  413. D. E. Reddick permalink
    August 15, 2010 1:27 pm

    Several months back the French BPC (LHD) Mistral visited St. Petersburg in Russia and Russian helicopters practiced landings and takeoffs from the helicopter carrier (including the newly introduced Ka-52 attack helo). The French and Russian governments are now in the final stages of agreeing to the sale of four Mistral class helicopter carriers for use by the Russian Navy. And the Russian government has now announced its intent to equip those ships with Kamov Ka-52 Alligator attack choppers.

    Ka-52 “Alligator”

    RIA Novosti – French warships for Russia to be armed with Ka-52 helicopters

    Mistral-class helicopter carriers, which Russia plans to buy from France, will be armed with Russian Ka-52 Alligator helicopters, Air Force Commander Colonel General Alexander Zelin told the Ekho Moskvy FM station on Saturday.

  414. Hudson permalink
    August 15, 2010 2:15 am

    New York Times article on the widening war on al-Qaeda and similar terrorist groups, including more drone strikes, commando raids, and better spying, in Pakistan, Yeman, Somalia, and across the globe, bringing the fight to the enemy–a scalpel instead of a hammer.

  415. elgatoso permalink
    August 14, 2010 12:50 pm

    The Navy will soon decide which version of the Littoral Combat Ship it will buy. Selecting the ship model, however, is only the beginning of what could be a long, arduous adjustment for sailors who will be serving aboard these new vessels.

  416. D. E. Reddick permalink
    August 13, 2010 3:44 pm

    Well, the Chinese PLAN apparently really, Really, REALLY doesn’t want USN warships in the international waters of the South China Sea and Yellow Sea.

    Reuters – Chinese admiral says U.S. drill courts confrontation

    (Reuters) – A senior Chinese military strategist called planned U.S. naval exercises in the region a provocation and accused the Obama administration of seeking to encircle China and pursuing a “chaotic” approach toward Beijing.

    The Times of India – Will retaliate if offended by US, warns China Gen

    BEIJING: A Chinese General on Friday termed as “flagrant provocation” US plans to send a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to the Yellow Sea and said the country would retaliate if “offended”.

  417. D. E. Reddick permalink
    August 13, 2010 2:56 pm

    It seems the new government in the UK has pulled a complete 180 degree turnabout from its days in the opposition when it demanded more helos for British forces. Now they’re calling for cuts in the helo fleet and elimination of some types presently in use. – Helicopters to be scrapped amid defence spending cuts

    The British military helicopter fleet is facing 20 per cent cuts, it has emerged as Liam Fox announced plans to completely overhaul defence spending.

    …a leaked internal Ministry of Defence memo sets out demands for £3.96 billion of savings across the so-called rotary wing fleets operated by the Royal Navy, Army and RAF.

    Options outlined in the document include scrapping the entire £1.7 billion fleet of 62 new Lynx Wildcats for the Navy and Army, phasing out the Navy and RAF’s Sea Kings and the ”deletion” of the RAF’s Puma helicopter, according to London’s Evening Standard.

    Other scenarios could see numbers of Chinooks, Merlins or Apaches reduced, the Evening Standard reported.

    The provision of helicopters for British forces serving in Iraq and Afghanistan has been a politically charged issue.

    While in opposition, the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats argued that Labour ministers were putting troops’ lives at risk by failing to provide enough of the highly manoeuvrable aircraft.

  418. Juramentado permalink
    August 13, 2010 10:25 am

    Hokie – message received and understood. No offense taken. I’ll have to pare down in the future.

  419. Hokie_1997 permalink
    August 12, 2010 7:21 pm


    Not trying to be a jerk — just seemed very borderline to me.



  420. Juramentado permalink
    August 12, 2010 12:45 pm

    Hokie – for the sake of tradition – “Roger, out.”

    And in following the tradition, we can cut up the corpse off-circuit. For the record – it’s all unclass. Truly. I am more than willing to show you where it all is. Just ask Mike to provide you with my e-mail so we can conduct secure comms if you prefer.

  421. Mike Burleson permalink*
    August 12, 2010 7:39 am

    Think Defence:Excellent!

  422. August 12, 2010 6:01 am

    Mothership RN style

    HMS Albion Deploys Royal Marine Assault Craft

  423. August 11, 2010 7:52 pm


    an interesting piece on the future of amphibious forces:

    Much of that is what I was trying to get at in this post:


  424. Hokie_1997 permalink
    August 11, 2010 12:51 pm

    Re: Small Boat Threats from Iran OPNAV N86


    Juramentado. Are you familiar with the term beadwindow?

  425. Juramentado permalink
    August 11, 2010 11:38 am

    Re: Small Boat Threats from Iran

    OPNAV N86 has sponsored three discrete SuW Threat Studies through NDIA, including the possiblities and recommendations for small-boat swarms, both against organic single-ship and multiple vessel defense. Phase I in 1999 actually came to many of the same considerations that TF Hip Pocket did (why they never connected remains a mystery), namely that there needs to be a layered defense, precision tracking, missile guidance cap beyond 2nm and a focus on using high performing but small caliber stabilized gun systems (Bushmaster, twin-50s, etc). Phase III recently came to a close, but all phases of the study continually evaluated the small-boat swarm, but what is telling is that without PAM/NLOS, LCS is not going to be an effective asset against such a threat.

  426. D. E. Reddick permalink
    August 11, 2010 12:44 am

    Eagle1 of EagleSpeak provides us with more about new Iranian IRGC speed boats armed with torpedoes and rockets / missiles:

    Iran Announces Revolutionary Guard Torpedo Boats

    PressTV – Torpedo launcher boats join IRGC fleet

    Here’s THE VIDEO from PressTV. Note that some of these vessels are “72 knot” ‘frigates’…

  427. D. E. Reddick permalink
    August 11, 2010 12:01 am

    This appears to be confirmation that several starving Somalis found in the waters of the Indian Lakshadweep archipelago earlier this spring were actually pirates working the northwest Indian Ocean.

    Express Buzz – Somalis caught off Lakshadweep were pirates

    Anil S
    Express News Service
    First Published : 11 Aug 2010

    KOCHI: The worst maritime fears of India have been confirmed. In a clear indication that the Somali pirates are gradually shifting base to the Indian waters, highly placed sources in the coastal security agencies have confirmed that the Somali nationals caught recently from the Lakshadweep Islands were pirates.

    It was in May that eight people were taken into custody from the Lakshadweep Islands. The Somali nationals claimed that they were fishermen who left the Somali coast in March for fishing. They said they did not have enough food and fuel and got stranded. The Somalis claimed to have reached the Indian coast after the mother ship sank.

    The officials had then said that looking at the imprints of piracy, it could be seen that the pirates had earlier shifted to Mauritius and Seychelles coasts and were now coming upward. The officials had added that there were 13 incidents of piracy within 400 miles off the Lakshadweep Island and though the Somalis had not been identified as pirates, they had no business of being there.

    “However, they have now been identified as pirates. Of course, they have not come to the Indian waters intentionally. They were part of a bigger group, they came by a mother ship, drifted away in two boats. They, however, have crossed the Mauritius and Seychelles coasts. From the Somali coast, they came up to here. The area of operation is quite big,” said the sources.

    The Somali pirates have been later handed over to the police for interrogation. The incident points to the need of the coastal security agencies to maintain a close relationship with the local people and the fisher community.

  428. D. E. Reddick permalink
    August 10, 2010 11:43 pm

    Back to Iranian swarming boat attacks: Iran may produce large numbers of copies of the Bladerunner 51, the fast boat they recently acquired.

    Defense News – Iran To Arm Own ‘Bladerunner’ Boats: Commander
    Published: 10 Aug 2010

    TEHRAN – Iran will mass produce replicas of the Bladerunner 51, often described as the world’s fastest boat, and equip them with weapons to be deployed in the Gulf, a top commander said Aug. 10.

    “The Bladerunner is a British ship that holds the world speed record. We got a copy (on which) we made some changes so it can launch missiles and torpedoes,” said Gen. Ali Fadavi of the Revolutionary Guards’ navy.

    “The Revolutionary Guards will be equipped with many” of them within a year, he said at a ceremony marking the delivery of 12 other speed boats equipped with missiles and torpedoes to the Guards.

    The Bladerunner 51, weighing 16 tons and measuring 45 feet long, is manufactured at the ICE Marine shipyard in Britain and can reach a maximum speed of 65 knots.

    The boat, powered by two 1,000-horsepower engines, reportedly conducted in 2005 a tour of the British Isles in a little more than 27 hours at an average speed of 63 knots.

    General Fadavi did not fully explain how Iran managed to get a copy of the boat, only saying it had come “via South Africa.”

    He said a U.S. ship had tried to intercept the boat before it entered Iranian waters 18 months ago, but added Iranian forces protected it and ensured its arrival.

    Fadavi further warned that “in case of a conflict we will be everywhere and nowhere to face the enemies,” recalling that Iran controls the strategic Strait of Hormuz through which 40 percent of world’s seaborne oil supplies pass.

    In recent weeks Iranian military officials have stepped up their warnings against any attack on the Islamic republic.

    The U.S. and Israel have not ruled out a military strike against Iran to stop its controversial nuclear program.

    Iranian leaders have also repeatedly warned Tehran would retaliate against any attempt by Western countries to inspect its vessels, as set out in the latest sanctions the U.N. Security Council adopted on June 9.

    On Sunday, Iran took delivery of four new mini-submarines of the home-produced Ghadir class. Weighing 120 tons, the “stealth” submarines are aimed at operations in shallow waters, notably in the Gulf.

  429. elgatoso permalink
    August 10, 2010 5:26 am

    Navy Aiming for Laser Weapons at Sea

  430. elgatoso permalink
    August 10, 2010 4:55 am

    Devoid of much fanfare and defying the expectations of critics, production of the Navy’s DDG 1000 Zumwalt-class destroyer program is steadily moving forward.

  431. D. E. Reddick permalink
    August 9, 2010 12:50 pm

    USS Kauffman (FFG-59) has broken up an apparent Somali pirate attack and captured the pirates in the Gulf of Aden. – U.S. Navy chopper prevents pirate attack
    Published: Aug. 9, 2010

    LONDON, Aug. 9 (UPI) — A helicopter from the Navy ship USS Kauffman prevented a pirate attack on a ship crossing the Gulf of Aden, a NATO report from London said Monday.

    The helicopter was doing surveillance in the area when it spotted a suspect vessel, and it prevented a possible attack on the ship MV Ice Explorer, the report said.

    Officers aboard the Kauffman ordered the helicopter crew to pursue the pirate skiff, from which weapons and other objects were tossed into the water, the report said.

    An unspecified number of pirates were taken into custody, along with some “pirate paraphernalia.”

    “The Somali pirates continue to operate in the Gulf of Aden and we will catch them,” said Navy Cmdr. Douglas Edson.

    “The combination of determined crews from multiple International Task Forces conducting counter-piracy, coupled with merchant vessels utilizing the best management practices, is the key to minimizing the effectiveness of Somali pirates in these dangerous waters,” the NATO statement said.

  432. August 9, 2010 12:15 pm

    Hello Chuck Hill,

    British forces have the same problem with the addition of a weight limit on how heavy army helicopters can be.
    Only the Royal Air Force is allowed to operate the bigger aircraft like Chinooks.
    Consequently the British army gets it’s helicopter support from a joint army/air force helicopter force.
    I am hoping this artifial divide will be abolished in the forthcoming defence review.
    I would like to see all army and air force battlefield support helicopters formed into a single organisation,a reformed Royal Flying Corps.


  433. Chuck Hill permalink
    August 9, 2010 11:30 am

    Much of the rationale for the attack helicopter in the US, goes back to the prohibition against the Army having fixed wing close air support aircraft. They couldn’t have fixed wing attack aircraft so they did it with helos.

  434. August 8, 2010 9:59 pm

    Hello Anonymous,

    the entire British amphibious fleet has been replaced with new vessels in recent years in addition to new sea lift ships and landing craft.
    They currently have 6 new Point class sealift ships for army vehicles,4 new Bay class auxiliary landing ships and 2 new Albion class landing ships both classes having docks and landing craft,in addition to the 1 Ocean class helicopter assault ship and 2 Invincible class aircraft carriers which are being replaced with the Queen Elizabeth class.
    If more sealift was needed it is very cheap,the current contract for six sealift ships costs just £60 Million a year.
    The aviation capacity to accommodate attack helicopters is however rather limited with so many other aircraft types needing hangar and flightdeck space.

    Attack helicopters are a dead end technology which will be withdrawn from British service without replacement in future years anyway.
    Nobody is going to develop a new attack helicopter so when the Apaches come to the end of their service lives there will be nothing to replace them.
    Much of the reason for the existence of the attack helicopter evaporated with developments in precision weapons and sensors for fixed wing aircraft.
    Back in the 1960s-1980s fixed wing combat aircraft had problems identifying and engaging ground targets with “dumb” ordnance.
    The low cost helicopter flying low and slow using guns,rockets and wire/laser guided anti-tank weapons filled this niche left by fast air.
    During the cold war period attack helicopters could rely on operating in lower threat environments when falling back into friendly battlespace in a N.A.T.O. context or fighting poorly equipped opponents outside that theatre.
    Today,attack helicopters are no longer cheap,they cost almost as much as fighter aircraft.
    Manned and unmanned fixed wing aircraft have the precision weapons and sensors they once lacked to find and engage ground targets.
    Combat operations are likely to involve advancing into enemy held terrain where the attack helicopter is far more overt and vulnerable than the enemy it is looking for:

    Attack helicopters will remain very useful platforms in high terrain density,low threat density environments but they are far from essential in high threat environments,unlike heavy armour whose job of seizing high threat ground cannot be performed by air or other ground units.


  435. D. E. Reddick permalink
    August 8, 2010 4:39 pm

    Perhaps we should call this Submarine Sunday… The Iranian Navy has just doubled its submarine fleet with the commissioning of four new Ghadir / Ghadeer class short-ranged, midget, coastal, ‘stealth’ subs. These are close copies of a North Korean class of midget submarine (one of which may have sunk the South Korean corvette Cheonan). As a commenter in the following Iranian videos notes – more, larger subs are about to be introduced into Iranian naval service. All of these new Iranian subs are apparently of local manufacture. Of the four following videos the first three are from Iranian state-sponsored PressTV and in English, while fourth is in Persian. However, that fourth video shows the interior of a sub while underway (also, it’s the shortest at just under two minutes). Note the control panels and visible instrumentation of this indigenously built Iranian submarine.

  436. D. E. Reddick permalink
    August 8, 2010 3:49 pm

    After threatening South Korea over anti-submarine exercises in the West Sea (Yellow Sea), NorKland forces have seized a South Korean fishing boat in the East Sea (Sea of Japan). Here are three reports about the seizure. Then there’s a link to a cartoon about NorK explosive mines being floated into South Korean waters (the news of which I placed here several days ago).

    Bloomberg – North Korea May Have Seized South Korean Fishing Boat Off Peninsula’s East

    The Christian Science Monitor – North Korea seizes South Korean fishing boat. How long will it hold the crew?

    The New York Times – North Korea Seizes South Korean Fishing Boat

    JoongAng Daily – 2010.8.2 CARTOON

  437. D. E. Reddick permalink
    August 8, 2010 3:23 pm

    This sub design looks more like a spaceship – and it’s a new Chinese PLAN SSBN. At 12,500 tons submerged, it’s designed to carry either 22 SLBMs or 7 cruise missiles in each of the 22 launch tubes (SSGN configuration). I suppose they could mix and match that configuration, if they ever thought that was desirable.

    China Military Report: China’s 098 strategic nuclear submarine – A sophisticated weapon for checking U.S. imperialism!

  438. Anonymous permalink
    August 8, 2010 2:06 pm

    getting rid of attack helicopters before an armored brigade is just dumb, I mean the brits can’t operate an armored brigade off their new aircraft carriers now can they? and they’ll be lucky to get replacements for their landingcraft and amphibious ships. Brit RAF and army helicopters operate off royal navy boats like Ocean all the time, so they are a force multiplier.

    can u explain how you would get your heavy and impractical armored brigades to where the trouble is? otherwise this idea don’t float, pardon the pun

  439. ShockwaveLover permalink
    August 8, 2010 12:28 pm

    Not everything the US military does has to cost billions…

    Quick, Dirty, Cheap and it Works

  440. August 6, 2010 6:20 pm


    the latest rumours on British defence cuts:

    Many of those cuts I consider sensible but I would get rid of the army’s attack helicopters before I would cut an armoured brigade.

    The increase in the size of the infantry would be very,very welcome.


  441. D. E. Reddick permalink
    August 6, 2010 5:57 pm

    LCS-2 Independence now has two 30 mm MK 46 gun turrets installed. Also, work on a forward, centerline missile installation is underway. I’m not that I understand that latter development, as NLOS is presently a flop.

    Global Security: First Gun Mission Module Installed Aboard LCS 2

    Navy NewsStand

    Story Number: NNS100805-07

    From Program Executive Office Littoral and Mine Warfare Public Affairs

    WASHINGTON (NNS) — The Navy installed the second gun mission module (GMM) aboard USS Independence (LCS 2) July 28 in Norfolk, Va.

    The GMM is an integral part of Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Surface Warfare (SUW) Mission Package used for counter-piracy, maritime interdiction and security missions. GMM consists of two MK 46 turret mounted, axis-stabilized, 30mm chain gun systems that can fire up to 200 rounds per minute.

    Following installation, integration and end-to-end testing was conducted.

    The team also installed the first EDM of the launcher for the Surface-to-Surface Missile Module (SSMM) in the forward centerline weapon zone. LCS 2 is built with a center-line weapon zone and port and starboard weapon zones. Current planning for SUW employment has the 30mm GMM carried in the port and starboard weapon zones and the SSMM carried in the centerline weapon zone.

  442. August 6, 2010 2:45 pm


    European defence projects facing cuts:


  443. D. E. Reddick permalink
    August 6, 2010 11:49 am

    Here’s a better report from the BBC regarding the finding of explosives traces on M Star.

    “An examination carried out by specialised teams had confirmed that the tanker had been the subject of a terrorist attack,” the news agency said, quoting an unidentified coastguard source.

    “UAE explosives experts who collected and examined samples found a dent on the starboard side above the water line and remains of home-made explosives on the hull,” it said.

    “Probably the tanker had encountered a terrorist attack from a boat loaded with explosives,” the source was quoted as saying.

  444. D. E. Reddick permalink
    August 6, 2010 11:32 am

    “Investigators had found traces of explosives” on the VLCC M Star, according to a U.A.E. news source.

    Reuters: Ships on alert after Japanese tanker attack report
    Fri Aug 6, 2010

    * Japanese tanker seen targeted

    * Insurance market awaiting outcome of investigations

    By Jonathan Saul

    LONDON, Aug 6 (Reuters) – A suspected militant strike on a Japanese tanker illustrates how vulnerable merchant ships are to attack on the high seas with navies already stretched fighting Somali piracy, analysts and shipping sources said on Friday.

    There have been growing concerns for maritime security after the United Arab Emirates state news agency said earlier on Friday that investigators had found traces of explosives on the Japanese tanker damaged near the Strait of Hormuz last week.

  445. Chuck Hill permalink
    August 6, 2010 10:39 am

    The Coast Guard Acquisition Directorate (CG-9) has published a list, in pdf format, of the companies that have expressed an interest in the Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) project.

    They include nine shipbuilders: AUSTAL, Bath Iron Works, Bollinger, Marinette Marine, Nassco, Northrup Gruman Shipbuilding, Todd Pacific Shipyards, and VT Halter Marine, Inc.

    The complete list including contact information is available here:

  446. Sizzler permalink
    August 6, 2010 6:49 am

    China Builds First Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile Base? (Defense News)

    According to a report by the Washington-based Project 2049 Institute, China is instituting a carrier-denial policy in the South China Sea by creating a major missile base containing carrier-killing ballistic missiles, plus cruise missiles for land and sea targets. Have they identified a smarter way to wage war?

  447. Mike Burleson permalink*
    August 5, 2010 6:50 pm

    Piracy then and now…Pauline engages in a major scoop:

    “Rather than increasing premiums in a time when piracy is not only escalating in the Gulf of Aden but spreading out into the Indian Ocean thanks to larger, better equipped mother ships, marine insurance carriers are engaging in a price war. Effectively, the increase in pirate attacks with their resulting ransom demands has brought more insurers into the business and lowered what is known as kidnap and ransom (K & R) insurance premiums.

    As the article notes, the insurance covers “… the ransom of the ship and its crew, including negotiations with pirates and hiring of ex-special forces teams to deliver the money.” Since the pirates return vessels with little or no damage more often than not, the K & R insurance – and it’s handy affordability – makes hijackings and the resulting ransoms a simple cost of doing business. No higher costs to consumers, no screeching public, just sailors at the mercy of pirates.”

  448. August 5, 2010 2:31 pm


    there are some more pictures of the damage to M.Star here:


  449. Mike Burleson permalink*
    August 5, 2010 7:30 am

    US to sell Taiwan decommissioned warships-I think we discussed this in the comments a while back about where some decommissioned Perry’s were going. There you go:

    “A Taiwanese newspaper reported Thursday that the U.S. will sell the democratic island two warships, a move that would almost certainly anger China and further undermine Beijing’s already tense relations with Washington.
    The report, in the mass circulation Apple Daily, quotes an unnamed Taiwanese senior officer as saying that the U.S. Navy will sell Taiwan two Perry class frigates, about to be decommissioned, for $20 million each.”

  450. Joe permalink
    August 4, 2010 11:47 pm

    Italy Cutting Defense Spending Due to Deficit Concerns

    They are buying only 6 FREMM Frigates, versus the 10 planned and also cutting EF-Typhoon purchases from 121 to 96.


    Considering that Italy is already down to 0.91% of GDP for its level of defense spending, how much lower will they go?

  451. elgatoso permalink
    August 4, 2010 11:13 pm

    Inside the Navy’s next-generation destroyer

  452. elgatoso permalink
    August 4, 2010 11:11 pm

    And the M Star was a giant mutated lizard

  453. elgatoso permalink
    August 4, 2010 11:10 pm

    I am reading this article
    and look interesting .
    this is the site
    and look interesting too

  454. Chuck Hill permalink
    August 4, 2010 8:16 pm

    Good point. M Star almost certainly has a GPS Glass panel navigation system that would have recorded with great accuracy where she was at the time of the explosion. Time to get out the mine hunting sonar and put some divers on it.

    Who owns it?
    Who paid for it?
    Follow the money.

  455. D. E. Reddick permalink
    August 4, 2010 8:05 pm


    Have you noticed how the superstructure of M Star is actually centered and does not project out to the gunwales of the hull on the ship? And yet a starboard hatch and several portholes high on that centerline superstructure were blown in without those spaces effected being wetted by seawater. Then there’s also the starboard lifeboat being blown away. That was a large blast to have reached that far above the hull and to have done that much damage to a part of the superstructure so far from the gunwales.

    If that starboard lifeboat was blast damaged then I wonder if it has a transponder that became activated once it was immersed in seawater (if it wasn’t destroyed during the incident). If the lifeboat sank rather than floated then that might point to the location of remains of whatever struck the M Star.

  456. Chuck Hill permalink
    August 4, 2010 6:57 pm

    I hope we are trying to find the suicide boat so that we can search it for evidence and links to the perpetrators.

  457. D. E. Reddick permalink
    August 4, 2010 4:35 pm

    If it really was a suicide boat strike against M Star, then it was definitely a Fail in that the apparent explosion happened near the stern and underneath the superstructure and also occurred with the blast not being in direct contact with the ship’s hull. If it been an actual contact explosion further forward then the hull might have been breached and so an oil spill would likely have followed. That would have generated immediate economic consequences, which is undoubtedly a part of the goals set desired by those who instigated this incident.

  458. Juramentado permalink
    August 4, 2010 3:36 pm

    So does the attack on M. Star count as an Epic Fail? I guess they didn’t model the explosive effects correctly…

  459. D. E. Reddick permalink
    August 4, 2010 1:35 pm

    The attack on the VLCC M Star is now being claimed by an Al Queda linked terrorist group which has previously conducted attacks in the Middle East.

    Islamist group claims tanker attack
    By Saad Abedine, CNN
    August 4, 2010

    (CNN) — A militant Islamist group has claimed responsibility for the explosion aboard an oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz near Oman last month.

    In a statement posted on various websites that regularly carry messages from al Qaeda leaders, the Abdullah Azzam Brigades included a picture of a man they claimed carried out a suicide attack on the tanker on July 28.

    The group said the attack was intended to “strike an economic blow to the infidels.”

    CNN was not immediately able to authenticate the claim.

    The group, said to be inspired by al Qaeda, is believed to be behind several attacks in the Middle East, including the October 2004 attack on a hotel and nearby camp sites in Egypt that killed more than three dozen people.

  460. Juramentado permalink
    August 3, 2010 1:36 pm

    USS Shoup Collides with Civilian Vessel

    The destroyer Shoup collided with a civilian craft in the waters off Southern California late Sunday night, causing “minor” damage to both vessels, 3rd Fleet officials said Monday morning. No one was injured.


    From other news sources, the other ship was a 21-foot long dive boat. CO’s probably headed for the beach but who’s going to get the Repair bill? Bad times ahead for some of the watchstanders – so much for anti-small boat tactics…

  461. D. E. Reddick permalink
    August 2, 2010 11:25 pm

    The artillery of NorKland is being repositioned away from ground-based fire by ROK & US forces.

    JoongAng Daily: North repositions artillery: sources
    August 03, 2010

    North Korea is repositioning its arsenal near the South Korean border in an attempt to make it more difficult for long-range artillery fire to inflict significant damage on its resources, according to intelligence sources.

    The sources told the JoongAng Ilbo on Sunday that the North Korean military is relocating its long-range artillery fire, which is set up in mountain caves, from near the southern gate of the caves to the northern gate. The North is also building a protective cover over the facility, the sources said.

    “Over several years, South Korea and the United States have prepared against the threat from North Korean long-range artillery fire,” said a military official. “As far as I know, the North Korean military is taking measures to improve the chances that its long-range artillery fire will survive [an attack from the South] by repositioning them inside the [caves].”

    Another source said if artillery were relocated to the back of the caves, the South Korea-U.S. alliance would have trouble counterattacking a North Korean attack and hitting the North Korean long-range artillery fire with K9 (155-millimeter) artillery and a multiple launch rocket system.

    Only a Joint Direct Attack Munition (a kind of smart bomb) or missiles dropped from a combat plane could destroy the long-range artillery fire moved to the rear, the second source said, adding that it would significantly limit the ways Seoul and Washington could respond to an attack.

    The protective cover the North is setting up is meant to counter cluster bombs, the second source said. Cluster bombs are air-dropped weapons that eject a cluster of smaller bombs. The sources said the South Korean military is considering developing new weapons that could destroy this cover.

    North Korea’s long-range artillery fire, either a 240-millimeter caliber multiple-launch rocket system or a 170-millimeter self-propelled artillery, claim an effective range of 55 to 65 kilometers (34 to 40 miles). According to the South Korean Defense White Paper and other military data, about 600 such North Korean munitions have been set up near the border, posing a significant threat to Seoul.

  462. D. E. Reddick permalink
    August 2, 2010 8:59 pm


    Check out the latest comment in “LCS Acronyms.” ;-)

  463. August 2, 2010 7:54 pm


    there is a picture and some particulars of M.Star here:

    I have decided she shall no longer be known as a V.L.C.C.,henceforth she is the new L.C.S. (Large Corvette Ship).


  464. August 2, 2010 7:48 pm

    Hello D. E. Reddick,

    this incident is very interesting.
    A suicide boat which couldn’t even penetrate the hull of a civilian ship.
    Has the suicide boat threat been overblown?

    Does this mean we need to build really big ships to overcome the suicide boat menace?
    Is the 300,000 tonne Very Large Crude Carrier (V.L.C.C.) the new 1,000 tonne corvette?

    Given the visible damage,I wonder if the tanker’s hull plating is a more ductile material than that on a destroyer.
    The “give” in the plating appears to have prevented any perforation.


  465. D. E. Reddick permalink
    August 2, 2010 5:17 pm

    Back to what happened to the VLCC oil tanker M Star near the Strait of Hormuz. It really may have been small boat carrying a bomb.

    Safety at Sea International: VLCC boat bomb suspected
    02 Aug 2010

    EXPLOSIVES inspectors are nearing consensus that a VLCC was damaged last week by a small boat blowing up near the hull, a US intelligence source told Fairplay today.

    The theory that an improvised explosive device aboard a small craft in the Strait of Hormuz was detonated 10-20 from the tanker M. Star’s waterline, “is gaining traction” among the dozen or so investigators still working to solve the mystery in the UAE, the source said.

  466. Chuck Hill permalink
    August 2, 2010 1:32 pm

    A return to the Bastion concept. Defending a portion of the ocean where their SSBNs can hide.

  467. Hokie_1997 permalink
    August 2, 2010 1:19 pm

    “If, for example, we do not have an aircraft carrier in the North, the battle capability of the Northern Fleet’s guided-missile submarines will be reduced to zero after Day One because the submarines’ principal adversary is aviation,” he said.”


    Mike — even the Russki’s get it.

    It’s ASW aviation that is the sub’s foe: MPA and helos. Not other submarines and certainly not surface forces.

  468. D. E. Reddick permalink
    August 2, 2010 1:05 pm

    The Russian Navy expects to have a design for new aircraft carriers finalized by the end of this year.

    RIA Novosti: Russian aircraft carrier blueprint to be ready by yearend – Navy chief

    A technical design for a new-generation aircraft carrier will be ready by the end of the year, the head of the Russian Navy said on Monday.

    In an interview with RIA Novosti, Adm. Vladimir Vysotsky said several organizations were working on the warship’s design, including the Severnoye and the Nevskoye design bureaus.

    He said it was too early to say what the new aircraft carrier will look like or what its specifications will be.

    “Not even with regard to its displacement. The designers have been given a number of requirements. If they manage to pack everything into a matchbox, they are welcome,” he said.

    Some Navy experts believe the future aircraft carrier will be nuclear-powered with a displacement of 50,000-60,000 tons.

    The admiral said the Russian Navy needs carrier battle groups.

    “If, for example, we do not have an aircraft carrier in the North, the battle capability of the Northern Fleet’s guided-missile submarines will be reduced to zero after Day One because the submarines’ principal adversary is aviation,” he said.

    Vysotsky stressed that a special state program was needed for an aircraft carrier to be built.

  469. Anonymous permalink
    August 1, 2010 4:04 pm

    Dilemmas in the Security Review – The Wall Street Journal.

    “At one level, the British strategic defence and security review is all very simple: the army wants things to stay the same, the Royal Navy wants them to change and the Royal Air Force doesn’t care so long as it can keep the aircraft. ”

  470. D. E. Reddick permalink
    August 1, 2010 2:43 pm

    It’s unclear at present, but whether intentional or unintentional – wooden box explosive mines are floating down rivers from NorKland into South Korea. One man has been killed and another injured in the explosion of a mine they had found while fishing. More of the devices are being found along South Korean waters. ROK Drop and One Free Korea have excellent coverage of what might be another NorK provocation.

    ROK Drop: Did North Korea Just Launch Another Attack Against South Korea With Floating Boxed Landmines?

    One Free Korea: North Korean Land Mine Kills One South Korean, Injures Another

  471. D. E. Reddick permalink
    August 1, 2010 2:00 pm

    China is now claiming ownership of the entire South China Sea. But it’s OK, really… They’ll continue to allow free navigation through their private pond…

    Washington Post: Beijing claims ‘indisputable sovereignty’ over South China Sea

    By John Pomfret
    Saturday, July 31, 2010

    The Chinese military declared Friday that China had “indisputable sovereignty” over the South China Sea but insisted it would continue to allow others to freely navigate one of the busiest waterways in the world.

  472. Hudson permalink
    July 31, 2010 1:22 am

    We’ll buy your carrier. We still have more money than sense. We’ll buy it and lease it back to you. What did they call it in olden times: lend lease? How about Rent-A-Navy, just to spiff it up a bit? You retain naming rights and the right to fly the Union Jack. It will cement that special bond we have between us. So when we want to drag Britain into our next war–after successful wrap-ups in A-stan and Iraq–we can snooker you in a bit with lower interest rates for your compliance.

    So forget about France or India. What do they know about aircraft carriers?

    The important thing is that the ship gets built, and a fine looking ship it is. Call it the QE3. If there’s another dust-up in the Falklands, you’re good to go. Of course, if our property is damaged or sunk, there will be penalties. And when we go bankrupt and sell off fixed assets to the Chinese, they may well retain your services. After all, who knows ships better than the Royal Navy? And who has better naval songs? Even the Germans were singing your tune in “Das Boot”. “It’s a long way to Tip…”

  473. D. E. Reddick permalink
    July 30, 2010 9:27 pm

    I have it!

    And Campbell will love this…

    It was an Al-Queda sponsored sea-skimming suicide airship!

  474. elgatoso permalink
    July 30, 2010 7:54 pm

    M Star Could be a giant mutated dinosaur?Sorry,couldn’t resist.

  475. Mike Burleson permalink*
    July 30, 2010 5:41 pm

    MoD may sell carrier to fill huge hole in defence budget-London Evening Standard:

    “Talks are taking place at the Ministry of Defence about finding a buyer for one of the ships being built at a cost of £5.2 billion for the Royal Navy. The financial crisis at the MoD has deepened after Chancellor George Osborne rejected a bid by Defence Secretary Liam Fox to get the Treasury to pay for the renewal of the Trident nuclear deterrent, which will cost tens of billions.”

    This may be just another rumor but I believe it highly likely.

  476. Hudson permalink
    July 30, 2010 3:36 pm

    It looks like a collision to me, that “stove in her ribs.” Plus smaller bumps. Explosions generate heat that would peel off paint, I should think. Those old horned mines had about 1.000lbs of HE; and if they exploded at all would do considerable damage. Not long ago, a man was killed or badly injured when he set off a Civil War shell.

  477. Chuck Hill permalink
    July 30, 2010 3:35 pm

    The things that appear to be clues to me are:

    We can’t see below the waterline, but the depression in the hull seems to start at the waterline and go up. This indicates to me it was not a mine or the deepest impression would be at the waterline or below.

    For the same reason I don’t think it could have been collision with a submarine.

    There also seems to be a contact scrape and depression on the aft side of the main depression. This might be from a fragment of shrapnel blown onto the side of the ship by an explosion, or it might have been an collision.

    If there was an explosion it appears that it was above water and relatively close to the ship because of the limited radius of the impression on the hull.

    Would have thought that if this were a terrorist attack we would have had a claim by now.

  478. D. E. Reddick permalink
    July 30, 2010 2:03 pm

    I’m wondering if what happened with M Star was a terrorist attack by an explosive-filled small boat. Perhaps the detonation was initiated too soon as the boat approached the tanker. If a blast occurred 20 or more feet short of contact with the hull then what we’re seeing in the way of damage might be explained by a close (but, non-contact) blast.

    One commenter at EagleSpeak suggested that it might have been a meteorite strike close to the ship which caused the observed damage to M Star. That’s more plausible than my suggestion that it was extraterrestrial aliens… ;-)

    Anyhow, here’s a Google News search link that brings up the current news stories regarding whatever is being reported about the M Star incident:

  479. Mike Burleson permalink*
    July 30, 2010 5:09 am

    Scoop Deck-What damaged the M Star? Here’s what it wasn’t

    “Maybe it hit some floating wreckage, or, as some have suggested, a fizzled mine. If M Star hit another ship, what happened to it? Captains usually stick around after fender benders on the water. Another idea is that the M Star, a Marshal Islands-flagged very large crude carrier, collided with a submarine, which then sneaked away. This seems unlikely. Unfortunately, the Navy has already demonstrated what happens when a surface ship hits a submarine in the Strait of Hormuz, and this doesn’t quite match.”

  480. Juramentado permalink
    July 29, 2010 9:45 pm

    Concur – likely a mine, maybe even one of the old but reliable horned horrors (contact mine). As noted in the 80s Tanker Wars, VLCCs took hits during the convoy runs but were easily able to continue on to their destination.

  481. D. E. Reddick permalink
    July 29, 2010 5:02 pm

    Here’s a New York Times report with a video describing the mysterious damage that occurred to the Japanese oil tanker M Star near the Strait of Hormuz. Perhaps it was an old mine from the ’80s Iran-Iraq war which damaged the vessel. A picture displaying the external damage to the ship’s hull could be interpreted as showing evidence of either a collision or an explosion (there is something akin to blast marks near the waterline). The provided video shows two photos of the damage done to the ship’s interior. Reports relating testimony of the crew indicate that no water was found around the blown-in hatches and portholes of the crew’s berthing spaces. If true, then that excludes the actions of a massive rogue wave having caused the damage.

    All in all, it does seem to be a strange and mysterious occurrence in a place where war could too easily start.

    The New York Times: Questions Swirl About Damaged Japanese Tanker

    Published: July 29, 2010

  482. elgatoso permalink
    July 29, 2010 4:08 pm

    INOVELIS Pod (in partnership with DCNS) link doesn’t work

  483. D. E. Reddick permalink
    July 28, 2010 11:29 pm


    I’ve read a number of reports about this and certainly it does seem to be potentially confusing. My list of potential causes are:

    1) Earthquake generated wave;

    2) Rogue wave (in a narrow, shallow portion of the Persian Gulf, no less…);

    3) Assault with a weapon (choose actor [IRGC], weapons system – to your heart’s desire);

    4) Extraterrestrial aliens attempting to incite a global terrestrial war over outmoded petrochemical energy sources; which would further their goal of global conquest;

    5) The Devil (Satan, Shaitan) did it… Well, that’s according to Geraldine. ;-)

  484. Chuck Hill permalink
    July 28, 2010 9:05 pm

    A bit more on the Straits of Hormuz incident:

  485. Scott B. permalink
    July 28, 2010 8:55 pm

    Hi T6,

    Converteam is one of these companies I have a *special* interest for, so I’m following this guys’ news quite closely.

    Below are a couple more thingies from Converteam that might be of interest :

    INOVELIS Pod (in partnership with DCNS)

    Advanced Propulsion Motor

  486. July 28, 2010 4:54 pm

    Hello Scott B.,

    some more details on the EMKIT system:

    Converteam know a thing or two about aircraft carriers:

    It would be interesting to compare it’s development costs with those of EMALS,I suspect there are two or three fewer zeros on the end of the British system’s cost.
    Those are the sort of numbers which make make think that the United States Navy and the Royal Navy could benefit greatly by working together on development.


  487. D. E. Reddick permalink
    July 28, 2010 11:42 am

    An oil tanker in Omani territorial waters may have been attacked just west of the Straight of Hormuz.

    Giant Supertanker Suffers Mystery Explosion
    ‘External Attack’ on MOL Vessel off Omani Coast

    UAE – OMAN – Reports just in that the 160,000 tonne MV M.Star, a Very Large Crude carrier (VLCC) tanker belonging to Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) suffered an explosion at 00.30 hours local time whilst West of the Strait of Hormuz in Omani territorial waters. The ship, which suffered hull damage, was reportedly subjected to ‘an attack seemingly from external sources’ according to the owners.

    M. STAR took on crude oil Tuesday, July 27, at the UAE Port of Das Island, after which it departed for Chiba Port in Japan. The degree and details of hull damage are currently under investigation but no serious injury was reported, although one of the crew was slightly injured, and no oil leaked from the hull. Her precise position at the time of the incident was reportedly at 26º27’ N 56º14’ E.

    Despite reports from UAE sources that the damage was caused by an excessively large wave caused by recent seismic activity in the region, MOL are adamant that the ship suffered an assault. A crew member claims he saw a flash on the horizon followed immediately by an explosion.

    The ship, built in 2008 and flagged in the Marshall Islands is continuing with her voyage and is currently en route to the UAE port of Fujairah, where the damage and its causes will be thoroughly investigated.

  488. Mike Burleson permalink*
    July 28, 2010 4:51 am

    Independent QDR Panel Calls For Increasing Size Of Navy, Bolstering Procurement
    Jason Sherman, Inside Defense, 26 July 2010.

    A bipartisan independent review of the Obama administration’s 20-year blueprint for the Defense Department calls for increasing the size of the Navy to a 346-ship fleet and increasing the U.S. military’s posture in the Western Pacific to counter China’s growing influence in the region, according to a draft report of the Independent Quadrennial Defense Review Panel. obtained a draft copy of the report titled “The QDR in Perspective: Meeting America’s National Security Needs in the 21st Century.”

  489. elgatoso permalink
    July 28, 2010 2:34 am

    I didn’t read it yet but look interesting

    Click to access TechnologyHorizonsVol1_2010.pdf

  490. Joe permalink
    July 28, 2010 2:28 am

    The counter is presently at 999,685 hits. Has anyone heard – will Mike be giving away a used Pontiac or something for the IP address that is the 1,000,000th hit?

    Cake and ice cream?

    Thunderbird and Taco Bell?


    Anyway, pre-congrats on the 1M hits. Even if you don’t contribute regularly here there is learning to be had. For example, how to spell ABSALON!

  491. Scott B. permalink
    July 28, 2010 2:05 am

    Reddick said : “Mike is definitely doing something right in raising the questions he brings up!”

    Mike B. is unquestionably doing something right in raising some of the questions he brings up.

    However, he keeps stumbling upon the same inappropriate solutions because of the *Small is Beautiful* dogma, which is driven by the wrong metrics and systematically emphasizes quantity at the expense of quality.

    As the alternative QDR (set to be unveiled July 29) points out, “military power is a function of quantity as well as quality”.

    The only way to solve this equation is to THINK BIG, not small.

    As New Wars is about to surpass the MILLION HITS, I am confindent that the Neo-Burlesonianism will eventually prevail over the Paleo-Burlesonianism (which repeatedly proved to be a DEAD END).

    This metamorphosis will take time, but Mike B. will get there, eventually. The intelligent and sensible man he is will ultimately realize there’s no realistic alternative.

  492. D. E. Reddick permalink
    July 27, 2010 7:07 pm

    Presently New Wars stands at having had 999,002 hits. At the rate that hits have been accumulating, then sometime this evening or else early in the morning the site will surpass One MILLION hits. Mike is definitely doing something right in raising the questions he brings up!

  493. D. E. Reddick permalink
    July 27, 2010 11:48 am

    Five Indian Ocean island nations are attempting to form a new naval patrol force to counter the threat to their economies posed by Somali pirates.

    Bloomberg: Indian Ocean Island Nations Plan Joint Naval Force to Fight Somali Piracy
    By Fred Ojambo – Jul 27, 2010

    Earth Times: Indian Ocean islands ask for EU aid against piracy at summit,new-anti-fraud-card-system-eu-aid-piracy-summit.html

  494. Scott B. permalink
    July 27, 2010 6:53 am

    Mistrals for Russia : a done deal ? maybe not…

    Russian deal for French Mistrals in limbo

    “In an interview with Ekho Moskvy radio, Adm. Vladimir Vysotsky said the purchase of the Mistral-class helicopter hinged on the “transfer of key, fundamental technologies,” The Moscow Times reported. Otherwise, he said, it would be pointless.”

  495. Scott B. permalink
    July 26, 2010 5:41 pm

    CVF : the CATOBAR option ?

    From Jane’s (26 July 2010) :

    Converteam develops catapult launch system for UK carriers

    The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) is investing in the development of an electromagnetic catapult system for the Royal Navy’s Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers in case procurement of the F-35B short take-off/vertical landing (STOVL) version of the Joint Strike Fighter is abandoned.

    Power conversion specialist Converteam UK announced on 20 July that in 2009 it was awarded a GBP650,000 (USD1 million) follow-on contract to continue the design, development and demonstration of high-power electrical systems for its EMCAT (electro-magnetic catapult) system and that work on the contract was nearing completion.

    The naval director at Converteam UK, Mark Dannatt, told Jane’s on 22 July that a small-scale EMCAT system had been completed in 2007 to prove the operation of modern linear motor, energy stores and control systems. Since then, extensive testing of the system has been successfully undertaken, as well as further work at the request of the MoD to enable Converteam UK to scale the system up to a full-size catapult suitable for the RN’s new aircraft carriers.

    “The EMCAT is designed to fit in the space envelope that has been allowed within the aircraft carrier for a catapult. The intention of building and designing a small electromagnetic catapult and then developing the technology so that it could be scaled up was always a de-risking exercise in case the MoD did not choose the STOVL aircraft or it was considered necessary to launch other types of aircraft from these ships. The option would then exist to fit a catapult and operate conventional carrier-borne aircraft,” Dannatt said.

    (end of non-subscriber abstract)

  496. Scott B. permalink
    July 26, 2010 9:37 am

    Mistrals for Russia : a done deal ?

    France to Build 2 Mistral LHDs for Russia

    The French head of state [President Nicolas Sarkozy] told employees of the STX shipyards that they would build the imminent Russian order. The procurement contract for two ships of the Mistral-class is to be signed by year-end.

    “Together with our Russian friends, you are going to build two Mistral-class BPCs (Bâtiments de Projection et de Commandement). We are negotiating the contract, bt the final decision to go ahead is certain,” the President told employees of the STX shipyard (the former Chantiers de l’Atlantique).

    Sarkozy’s statement will reassure the firm’s 2,280 employees. For the past year, the shipyard has suffered from a drop in production orders, which have led to temporary layoffs for some employees.

    The new order for two ships would be in addition to that of the Dixmude, a third BPC-class ship ordered by the French navy and financed by the government’s economic recovery plan. It is to be delivered in April 2011 at a cost of 300 million euros. (emphasis added)

    The BPC-class ships are about 200 meters long, displace 21,300 tonnes and can transport up to 900 men as well as a substantial volume of ground vehicles, helicopters and amphibious transports. At the same time, they can host a complete headquarters for an international operation, as well as a full-scale hospital.

    (EDITOR’S NOTE: Previous reports stated that Russian wanted to buy up to four Mistral-class ships, but only if France agreed to transfer their technology to Russian shipyards. Russia was originally thought to want to build as many as three ships under license, but recent press reports say that it will only build one. It has also been reported that the ships will be equipped with Russian-made weapons, including guns, missiles and torpedoes, but the sheer complexity of integrating them into the ship’s combat management system makes this unlikely. Finally, the ships’ hulls will be reinforced in Russian shipyards to allow Arctic operations.)

  497. D. E. Reddick permalink
    July 25, 2010 3:29 pm

    Once again there’s the problem of Somalia, but not so much the Somali pirates that we have so often discussed here. Somalia and the Al Shebab fundamentalist Islamic extremist / terrorist movement in that country are now the focus of a meeting of African Union (AU) leadership in Kampala, Uganda. After the recent terrorist attack in Kampala by Somalia’s Al-Qaeda-linked Al Shebab rebels the Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni is stating an intent to send another 2,000 troops to fight the terrorist-linked rebel group in Somalia. Four other AU nations are also considering sending forces to join the already 6,000 Ugandan and Burundian troops present and supporting the central government of Somalia. Here are two reports detailing some of what appears to be happening in response to the ongoing problem that is Somalia.

    First, here’s one from Strategy Page:

    Then, there’s this from Yahoo News:

    Summit urged to ‘defeat terror in Africa’;_ylt=AtZ2l.I2.xUNIrzKu0VyU95vaA8F;_ylu=X3oDMTJwZTcxNGFkBGFzc2V0A2FmcC8yMDEwMDcyNS9hZnJpY2FudW5pb25zdW1taXQEcG9zAzE5BHNlYwN5bl9hcnRpY2xlX3N1bW1hcnlfbGlzdARzbGsDdWdhbmRhbGVhZGVy

  498. D. E. Reddick permalink
    July 25, 2010 1:37 pm

    Let’s have another look at Iranian swarming small boat attacks. The Washington Post quoted an Iranian admiral yesterday with his commentary indicating that they had 100 vessels for each USN warship in the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman. There are reportedly something like 100 naval vessels of all sizes and nationalities in the area of the two gulfs. That would mean the Iranians have something like 10,000 small attack boats! Go figure…

    The Washington Post: Iran says it has 100 vessels for each US warship
    The Associated Press
    Saturday, July 24, 2010

    Mike Colombaro at Combat Fleet Of The World also covers this and one commenter writing there seems as though he has been reading our discussions here at New Wars.

    Then, the good folks over at are engaged in an involved discussion about this threat. More videos of weapons exercises against small, fast surface targets appear in that thread.

  499. elgatoso permalink
    July 25, 2010 1:07 pm

    THIS is for history lovers
    For centuries, power in the Mediterranean had depended on naval might. At the end of the 6th century the Byzantine Empire dominated both the Mediterranean and the Black Seas with naval bases at Carthage, Alexandria, Acre and Constantinople. Yet the number of Byzantine warships remained few, because the Empire faced no serious maritime rivals until the Sassanian occupation of Egypt and Syria. Even more threatening were the subsequent Muslim conquests of these areas, as well as North Africa and, eventually, the Iberian peninsula.

    In the Islamic forces’ first major naval operation in the Mediterranean, they temporarily occupied the island of Cyprus after having driven off a Byzantine fleet near Alexandria in 652 – their first naval victory. Then, in 655, the Islamic fleet won a convincing victory over the Byzantine navy off the south-western coast of what is now Turkey. For nigh on a thousand years Greeks and then Romans had dominated the Mediterranean Sea. Now, in the first major Mediterranean sea battle for centuries, an Arab fleet had successfully challenged the Byzantines in their home waters.

    Surprisingly, given the relative inexperience of the Muslim fleet, this battle saw the Byzantines defeated both at sea and in a skirmish on shore at the same time. This clash in 655 near Cape Chelidonia, off the Lycian coast, came to be known as the ‘Battle of the Masts’ because the Muslims had landed to cut tall trees for the masts and yards of their new fleets, based in Egypt and Syria. A lack of suitable large timber would in fact hamper Muslim naval development throughout the medieval period, though it did encourage technological innovation in Islamic naval architecture. During this encounter the Byzantine ships seem either to have been moored in close formation or to have been tied together. As a result the Muslims were able to win because of their superior boarding and close-combat tactics.

    The possible importance of the Sassanian influence on naval developments in the Middle East has only recently been considered. During their brief occupation of much of the eastern Mediterranean littoral, they had extended as far as to occupy the Greek island of Rhodes, plus some Anatolian coastal towns, though they almost certainly used captured Syrian, Cilician, Egyptian or Greek ships to do so.

    The subsequent Muslim conquest of many of the same regions brought the Arabs to the shores of the Mediterranean for the first time as a great military power and as the inheritors of Sassanian naval traditions. On the other hand the Arabian peoples had a far more active naval heritage than their initially cautious attitude to the Mediterranean might suggest. The pre-Islamic Yemenis and perhaps Omanis had, for example, been raiding Sassanian territory by sea since at least the 4th century AD while various other tribes from both the Gulf and Red Sea coastal regions of Arabia had similar maritime traditions. Here it is worth noting that, following the first wave of Islamic conquest, these same Yemeni and other coastal Arab tribes were often selected as garrison troops for strategic coastal bases including Alexandria.

    In response to the challenge by new Arab-Islamic fleets, a more powerful Romano-Byzantine navy would emerge in the late 7th century. The ‘Battle of the Masts’ would not be the last naval encounter between these two rivals. Indeed, later Byzantine attempts to retake Egypt would convince Mu’awiya, the governor of Syria and subsequently the first Umayyad Caliph, of the need for a full Islamic navy in the Mediterranean.

    The first such fleet was built in Egypt, where all qualified sailors were registered for naval service. Although many of these sailors were in fact Christians, the bulk were Yemeni in origin and Muslim in religion. The new fleet used Tyre and Acre as forward bases while Iranian and Iraqi shipwrights were brought from the Gulf to build and man the new or restored shipyards at Acre, Tyre and Beirut.

    Other naval bases and fleets were established in newly conquered Tunisia and rather later in Libya; the resources of wood, iron and tar essential for medieval naval warfare all being available in North Africa. From the early 8th century onwards these new Islamic fleets undertook almost annual raids against Byzantine territory and islands in the western Mediterranean, mirroring the annual raids undertaken on land.

    If there were any real differences between Byzantine and early Islamic warships, it would seem to have been in the increased height of the forecastle of the latter. This was soon being used to mount stone-throwing engines and to provide an advantage when boarding enemy vessels. The main fighting ship was a galley called a shini which, like the Byzantine galleys of the day, had between 140 and 180 oarsmen. It is also important to note that, with very few exceptions, the oarsmen in medieval galleys, be they Christian or Muslim, were paid volunteers not slaves.

    By the mid-8th century such galleys defended themselves against the terrifying Byzantine incendiary weapon known as ‘Greek fire’ using various systems of water-soaked cotton, and would shortly use Greek fire themselves. However, the vessels of the rival naval powers remained remarkably similar, as there was an exchange of both technology and terminology between them.

    The main difficulty facing any Islamic fleet continued to be a lack of timber. Indeed, this lack of resources may have stimulated the construction of larger ships, which were better able to defend themselves and were no longer regarded as expendable assets. Certainly, there was also a change from the hull- or skin-first method of construction to the more economical frame-first method, although this change would not be truly complete until the 11th century.

  500. Mike Burleson permalink*
    July 24, 2010 3:13 pm

    Here’s more on the German Israeli submarine deal:

    MOD: No talks with Germany over sub

    “The Defense Ministry released a rare statement on Friday denying media reports that talks were being held with Germany regarding the potential sale of a new submarine.

    The statement clarified that since Israel was not in talks with Germany regarding the procurement of a sixth submarine, there were, as a result, no talks regarding an Israeli request to receive German government financial assistance for the deal.”

  501. Mike Burleson permalink*
    July 24, 2010 2:46 pm

    Germany denies talks with Israel over submarine
    ““We wish to clarify that there are no negotiations with Germany for the purchase by Israel of an additional submarine,” said government spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm in Berlin yesterday.”

  502. D. E. Reddick permalink
    July 24, 2010 2:16 pm

    Someone noticed Craig Hooper’s article and so started a new thread regarding the Army’s LSV fleet at There are three pictures of the the LSV Gen. Frank S. Besson provided along with a Wikipedia link to the class characteristics.

    These ships are quite different from the USN’s original LSV class. Those were built in WW-II and the class acronym stood for Landing Ship, Vehicle (rather than the Army’s designation of Logistic Support Vessel).

    Huzzah! For The Humble Yet Effective Logistic Support Vessel (LSV)!-For-The-Humble-Yet-Effective-Logistic-Support-Vessel-(LSV)

  503. elgatoso permalink
    July 23, 2010 4:03 pm

    The LSV is a perfect example of defense “humbletech”–a technical asset so mundane it gets completely overlooked by the wiz-bang gadgetry of modern defense technologists.

  504. D. E. Reddick permalink
    July 22, 2010 8:10 pm

    Venezuela has broken off diplomatic relations with Colombia. While war isn’t exactly likely …still, yet, but… El Presidente Hugo Chavez ain’t exactly floatin’ on an even keel…

    Venezuela breaks ties with Colombia over rebel row

    By Beatriz Lecumberri (AFP) – 5 hours ago

    CARACAS — Venezuela broke off diplomatic ties with Colombia Thursday in a worsening row over accusations from Bogota that it is providing a safe haven to hundreds of leftist guerrillas.

    “I announce with a tear in the heart: Venezuela breaks off from this moment all relations with the government of Colombia,” Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez told reporters.

    His foreign minister, Nicolas Maduro, declared immediately afterward that Colombia had 72 hours to withdraw its diplomats in Venezuela and close its embassy. Venezuela was to close its embassy in Bogota, he added.

  505. Mike Burleson permalink*
    July 22, 2010 12:25 pm

    Thanks Peter! Will check these out.

  506. D. E. Reddick permalink
    July 22, 2010 11:28 am

    HMS Chatham has caught & released 10 Somali pirates while destroying two of their skiffs.

    Times of Malta: Thursday, 22nd July 2010 – 12:17CET
    British frigate destroys two Somali pirate skiffs

    The British navy and an EU anti-piracy surveillance plane intercepted 10 Somali pirates and destroyed their two small boats off the Tanzanian coast, the British embassy saidto day.

    The Somalis were spotted some 240 kilometres (150 miles) off the Tanzanian coast last Friday in a large vessel towing two smaller boats by the EU naval force aircraft and a chopper from the British warship HMS Chatham.

    The frigate then dispatched a team towards the vessel.

    “After monitoring the vessel through the night, at dawn, in a well planned operation, the pirates were forced to surrender by the overwhelming force posed by HMS Chatham, her Lynx helicopter and fast boats containing the ship’s royal marines detachment,” a statement said.

    “The royal marines team boarded the larger craft and found 10 Somalis and a large amount of fuel on board,” it said, adding that the suspected pirates had been seen throwing items into the sea, including their weapons and equipment.

    The two small boats fitted with powerful outboard engines were detached from the larger vessel and destroyed.

    “Disarmed and without the means to commit an act of piracy, the 10 Somalis were left with only enough fuel in the larger vessel to return to Somalia,” the statement explained.

    The HMS Chatham is part of the EU anti-piracy force patrolling the waters off Somalia, where ransom-hunting sea bandits have been hijacking a growing number of vessels.

  507. Juramentado permalink
    July 22, 2010 11:22 am

    Re: Yellow Sea debate shifts focus to China’s first indigenous carrier

    I submit the same comments that I have on other milblogs as more and more nations are planning to stand up CTOL CVs – it takes more than an FLP (practice field) to create a working naval aviation arm. To be fair, the Chinese are approaching the challenge with more genuine sweat than anyone else, even the Indians with their head start thanks to their history of smaller VTOL decks. The land mockup China built speaks volumes to the fidelity of the training program, at least in appearance. However, it doesn’t replace the lessons that can only be learned in deployments.

    I’m not just talking about the pilots facing the ramp monster when they’re 800lbs above bingo and 450nm from a shore field in deteriorating weather. I’m talking about their blackshoes learning to run and navigate their first large combatant, the maintenance troops learning about how to keep an air wing supplied and running at sea. Then tie that into the rest of their fleet so they can actually form a CVBG/CSG. They still have a long, long way to go, but yes – the first time they launch the wing while at sea will be a turning moment for the Red Dragon.

    It’s interesting that their potential CV CO pool is currently handling their latest DDGs and FFGs. While it’s good that they’re learning how to be blackshoes, one would think that the practice of US aviators being assigned to a larger, less nimble vessel like a tanker or replenishment ship would be copied. But to each their own. They will learn their own lessons if they choose not to look closely at other navies’ experiences. And there will be operational losses. But the Chinese have always, always played the long game so they are here to stay.

  508. Peter J. Brown permalink
    July 22, 2010 8:45 am

    Yellow Sea debate shifts focus to China’s first indigenous carrier

    In my commentary – “China’s pro-missile navy sinks carriers” which now appears today at — (not my headline by the way)

    I state that the date for keel-laying of the first Chinese carrier is projected for late 2010 followed by the second carrier in 2011.

    Specifically, this timing was raised in Jim Bussert’s excellent article last April in SIGNAL magazine, “China Enters the Aircraft Carrier Club” where Jim wrote, “China began selecting needed unique aircraft carrier component vendors in 2006. The initial Chinese carriers likely will feature a ski-jump flight deck rather than a steam catapult. The first carrier will be constructed in the Shanghai Changxing complex and is expected to have the keel laid by the end of 2010. A second hull should follow within a year.”


    Feedback on this is arrivng already and more is welcome.

    Peter J. Brown

  509. D. E. Reddick permalink
    July 21, 2010 3:44 pm

    This was mentioned in the thread about arming submarines with major caliber guns. It’s a projected communications system for USN submarines while they remain far below periscope depth.

    Lockheed Martin Successfully Completes Critical Design Review for U.S. Navy’s Communications at Speed and Depth Program

    MARION, Mass., July 12th, 2010 — A Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT]-led industry team has completed a successful critical design review for a system that will give U.S. Navy submarines real-time, two-way communications without requiring platforms to proceed to periscope depth. The review clears the way for the team to begin producing hardware and to deliver engineering design models in early 2011.

    Currently, submarines must come to periscope depth to communicate with other ships, aircraft or shore facilities. This increases the submarine’s detection vulnerability and may result in a large delay in tactical communications. The new system, which can be installed on all classes of submarines, is called Communications at Speed and Depth (CSD).

    The rest of this LockMart announcement is at this URL:

    A report about the system appeared recently in Wired’s Danger Room. There are a large number of explanatory imagery. I could only wish that sensor buoys were added to the system so that the sub would possess greater situational awareness of nearby, potential threats.

    Danger Room: Run Wired, Run Deep: Subs May Finally Get Online

  510. Juramentado permalink
    July 21, 2010 2:00 pm

    How much of that price for each German Corvette is really the ship, and the rest of it is service+support+parts and intermediate maintenance for the lifecycle of the vessel? If it’s the ship price itself, I agree, something is fishy…

  511. Scott B. permalink
    July 21, 2010 4:48 am

    Re : Another mythical corvette that may never be…

    If one Dolphin SSK + 2 mythical corvettes = $1.6 billion (as stated in the Haaretz article)

    And one Dolphin SSK = $650 million (see here and here)

    Does that mean that each mythical corvette is gonna cost around $500 million ?!?

  512. Scott B. permalink
    July 21, 2010 4:16 am

    Another mythical corvette that may never be…

    Report: Germany reconsiders funding Israel’s latest submarine

    “The American weekly Defense News reported on Tuesday that Germany has reconsidered providing funding for a sixth submarine for the Israel Navy, even though it expressed a willingness in the past to help finance the project.

    The publication said the Germans had told Israel that, despite expectations, Germany would not fund about one-third of a $1.6 billion transaction that includes Israel’s sixth Dolphin-class submarine and two warships made in Germany.”

  513. Al L. permalink
    July 21, 2010 12:12 am

    D. E. Reddick said:

    “Yeah, I was also thinking of the gators / amphibs. The San Antonio (LPD-17) class is supposed to have available space for the installation of a Mk 41 VLS. What if what I suggested for all-around defensive weapons systems were added to that large displacement class of gators? They might actually be able to get in closer to shore than what is currently advisable.”

    What has been anticipated and advisable for LPD-17 proximity to shore during amphibious assault for about 2 decades is about 25nm.
    The reason for this is not because of defensive considerations but because of offensive ones. The typical land based radar horizon against such a ship and its compliment would be about 25 nm. Beyond 25 nm an amphibious assault has a reasonable expectation of surprising the enemy at the point of assault. Inside 25 nm anyone with a half-ass radar can track the preparations of an amphibious assault. Having a VLS loaded with missiles and actually using it for defense requires creating emmissions, which only signals location like a big flag that says “here I come”.

    LPD-17 is designed to go in close under the cover of air, in a prepped environment, and not telegraph intentions until the EFV’s appear on radar 36 minutes+- before they hit the beach in a place the opponent didn’t expect.

    You can argue this won’t work, but a VLS won’t help. The LPD-17 will be torched before the VLS comes into play.

    However if the LPD-17 was operating in some capacity other than amphib. assault, without a ddg, cg, or anything capable of shooting at an ASM a vls might be useful, once in a blue moon.

  514. Chuck Hill permalink
    July 20, 2010 11:27 pm

    What he said.

  515. D. E. Reddick permalink
    July 20, 2010 10:39 pm


    Yeah, I was also thinking of the gators / amphibs. The San Antonio (LPD-17) class is supposed to have available space for the installation of a Mk 41 VLS. What if what I suggested for all-around defensive weapons systems were added to that large displacement class of gators? They might actually be able to get in closer to shore than what is currently advisable.

    I’ve always thought that our modern warships are too lightly armed. At the beginning of WW-II the cruiser force mostly carried a mixed AA armament of: 5″ / 25 cal. (127 mm) DP guns; 1.1″ (28 mm) quad mount automatic cannon; and single .50 cal Browning heavy machine-guns. A few cruisers carried 5″ / 38 cal. (127 mm) DP guns (single and dual mounts) and some had single 3″ / 50 cal. AA mounts (the old Omaha class scout class of CLs). By war’s end most cruisers carried: twelve 5″ / 38 cal. (127 mm) DP guns in six dual mounts; up to as many as forty-eight 40 mm Bofors AA cannon in twin and quad mounts; and numerous single and twin mounts of the 20 mm Oerlikon AA cannon. Of course, sometimes those 40 & 20 mm AA mounts were used in surface combat, as was the case with USS Laffey (DD-459) when her few 20 mm mounts were used to rake fire across the superstructure of the battleship IJNS Hiei while her 5″ guns and torpedoes did their best to wound the massive warship. After WW-II the 20 mm cannon were withdrawn from service and many of the 40 mm cannon were replaced with 3″ / 50 cal. twin and single powered gun mounts.

    I do believe that we’ve gone too far in the direction of reducing the number of weapons systems and mounts carried on our warships. USN warships used to bristle with weapons (which was a reflection of poor fire control methods, so one did have to shoot a great many rounds to be effective). But then, look at either LCS-1 or LCS-2. Those two frigate-sized vessels aren’t hardly armed. They are more targets than warships, IMHO. We should arm our ships as if they were meant to go in Harm’s Way, not as if they’re designed so that they’ll have to avoid such an outcome. I’ll end this particular rant with that.

  516. D. E. Reddick permalink
    July 20, 2010 10:04 pm


    This link to the same report does appear to be shorter. Perhaps it will actually work, properly.

  517. Chuck Hill permalink
    July 20, 2010 8:50 pm

    D. E. Reddick said, “Consider a large frigate”

    Actually I was thinking in terms of the new 154 ft CG cutter that mounts a Mk 38 mod 2 forward. The guided Hydra rockets would extend it’s effective range from 2,000 yards to almost 8,000.

    I like your frigate though. In fact I also think it is how the new amphibs should be armed. Just as we went into WWII with too few heavy AAW machineguns, we have too few light AAW systems now, and we no longer have the excuse that it takes too many people to man them, since they now require only one man or are fully automatic.

  518. Chuck Hill permalink
    July 20, 2010 8:37 pm

    Last link did not work. Sounds like TangoSix has another reason to want catapults on his British Carriers.

  519. D. E. Reddick permalink
    July 20, 2010 7:21 pm

    More on an advanced, stealthier F/A-18 Super Hornet development…

    Boeing Claims Secret Strike Weapon Effort
    Jul 20, 2010
    By Bill Sweetman

    More details were available on a new set of modifications to the company’s workhorse F-18 Super Hornet, described as “a roadmap for the international market” but designed to be retrofitted to any Block 2 aircraft. The most visible change is a stealth-configured weapon pod designed to accommodate a range of weapons, including four Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (Amraams), but other changes include conformal fuel tanks and more powerful engines.;AVNOWJSESSIONID=MF3qoJ19nPb8V7puIjGv8xh8GPqiEgK5rNpK9jN8ZIs1By9JurR0!756790295?specialEvent=farn10&id=news%2Fawx%2F2010%2F07%2F20%2Fawx_07_20_2010_p0-242414.xml&headline=Boeing+Claims+Secret+Strike+Weapon+Effort

  520. D. E. Reddick permalink
    July 20, 2010 6:56 pm

    F/A-18SH… No, it’s not a Super Hornet. And it’s not a Strike Hornet. Instead, it’s a Silent Hornet. Think of it as a naval version of the F-15SE – the Silent Eagle. Hmmmm… What about a resurrection of the F-14, for a Silent Tomcat.

    Flightglobal: FARN10: Boeing does strike fighters

  521. D. E. Reddick permalink
    July 20, 2010 5:12 pm


    Recall that the NATO task force flagship HNLMS Johan de Witt (L801, an LPD) has also served along the Somali coast sans helos. Lacking air assets, the LPD used her LCUs and LCVPs to patrol waters near Somali pirate bases. I don’t believe that Carlskrona has those sorts of assets as are carried by the much larger Johan de Witt.

  522. D. E. Reddick permalink
    July 20, 2010 4:58 pm


    Consider a large frigate or a DDG with a short-range weapons mount at each quarter:

    Forward, Starboard – Mk 38 Mod 2 25 mm RWS plus 70mm Hydra (with LCITS) launch tubes attached;

    Forward, Port – Mk 15 Phalanx six-barreled gatling gun mount with a six-tube laser (longer-ranged, perhaps) CIWS, where the gun remains the backup to the laser system;

    Aft, Starboard – Mk 15 Phalanx six-barreled gatling gun mount with a six-tube laser (longer-ranged, perhaps) CIWS, where the gun remains the backup to the laser system;

    Aft, Port – Mk 38 Mod 2 25 mm RWS plus 70mm Hydra with LCITS launch tubes attached.

    Further, mount atop the forward and aft superstructures a Mk 47 RIM-116 RAM launcher. That should provide additional short-range coverage fore and aft.

    Install VLS cells forward or amidships for ESSM, SM-2, SM-3, TLAM or its successor. Add some Harpoon launch canisters or place a successor AShM in the VLS system.

    As a further defensive & offensive measure, make the main gun an Oto Melara (Otobreda) 76 mm Rapide gun system with the Strales upgrade. That’s the mod with the guided DART munitions.

    My thinking is that an expensive, sea control & AAW frigate or DDG should be able to defeat all near, approaching threats via more than a single means. Layered, different weapons systems partially duplicating the capabilities of each other could be the best means by which to defend a highly valuable modern escort or ‘battleship’.

  523. Chuck Hill permalink
    July 20, 2010 4:13 pm

    Could we attach a multiple launcher for the 70mm Hydra with “Low-Cost Imaging Terminal Seeker (LCITS)” to the side of our Mk 38 mod 2 25 mm mounts, like the Israelis attach Spike-ER to their Typhoon mounts that the Mk38 mod 2 is based on?

    That would give us a quick reaction, light, very deadly weapon against swarming boats that considerably out-ranges the gun.

  524. Chuck Hill permalink
    July 20, 2010 3:31 pm

    Since this was done with commercially available lasers and is expected to be operational as early as 2016, it is clear that beam weapons are coming on faster than we might have expected. A capability not addressed in any of the articles I have seen so far is the ability to blind pilots of manned aircraft even if it does not destroy the aircraft directly. There is also the possibility of having very precise ability to disable boats, or the ability to apply it in a low powered, non-lethal way to force compliance by making individuals very uncomfortable. It might even be used against incoming artillery shells.

    Thinking about implications for the future, this does suggest we may want to make sure our future ships have ample electrical generating capacity. Having diesel electric propulsion would make that relatively simple.

  525. Juramentado permalink
    July 20, 2010 3:06 pm

    Swedish Anti-Piracy Flagship Loses Helicopters

    Sweden is pulling out both HKP15 (A109) helicopters assigned to the HMS Carlskrona for re-assignment to the newly stood-up EU Nordic Battlegroup. This leaves the EU anti-piracy flagship with no air assets. What is confusing is that the priority for a unit that is on standby (Nordic BG) was made higher than an on-going operation (Atalanta). There appears to be a dearth of helicopters in Sweden for two to make a great difference…

  526. D. E. Reddick permalink
    July 20, 2010 1:11 pm

    Here’s a more informative report from Scientific American about the six laser module added to a Vulcan Phalanx CIWS gun mount and used to shoot down four drones in USN trials.

    July 19, 2010
    U.S. Navy Laser Weapon Shoots Down Drones in Test [Video]
    During a recent test, a Navy laser using a tracking system from Raytheon shot down four unmanned aerial vehicles

  527. Juramentado permalink
    July 20, 2010 12:47 pm

    As an additional to D.E.’s article on the Seychelles:

    India to Help Seychelles and Maldives Boost Sea Surveillance

    The Seychelles will receive a Dornier and two Chetaks from India over the next 15 months.

    The Maldives received a helo from India in 2009 with another due shortly this year, plus radar stations that are tied into the Indian defense network.

  528. D. E. Reddick permalink
    July 20, 2010 12:41 pm

    Six commercially available lasers were mounted onto a Phalanx CIWS mount and have been used to shoot down four drone target aircraft in a recent series of tests. The tests were run at sea from a USN vessel. Introduction of such a laser-based CIWS into the fleet is expected by 2016. Mike Colombaro presented this story on his blog. A video is provided in the following report.

    The Daily Telegraph: Laser used to shoots down planes
    Laser beams have been used for the first time in naval warfare to shoot down aircraft, it can be disclosed.
    By Thomas Harding, Defence Correspondent
    Published: 3:58PM BST 19 Jul 2010

    The weapon, mounted on a warship’s missile, shot down four unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) in secret testing carried out off the California coast, The Daily Telegraph has learnt.

    In a joint enterprise between US Navy and Raytheon Missile Systems the technology has now got to the stage where lasers will be deployed on warships as part of their short-range defence.

    For the first time a ‘solid state’ 32 mega watt laser beam of directed energy has been fired from a warship to a distance of more than two miles burning into a drone travelling at about 300mph.

    The laser is mounted on a Phalanx close in weapons system that has a radar detection system. The targeting system was used in Iraq, to train fire from a Gatling onto rockets and mortars raining down on British bases.

    Raytheon developed the system after buying six off-the-shelf commercial lasers from the car industry and joining them to make a single, powerful beam guided by the Phalanx’s radars. Unlike other tests which have been conducted on aircraft it uses a solid state laser rather than a chemical generated beam.

    Mike Booen, vice president of Directed Energy Weapons at Raytheon, said the tests off San Nicolas Island were “a great day for the laser”.

    “This is more real than Star Wars,” he said, speaking at the Farnborough Air Show. “Our lasers destroyed the UAVs lighting them on fire.

    “This is the first successful shoot down over water. We are now on the path to deliver the first battlefield lasers integrated into real weapons systems.

    With drones being used more frequently to spy on or attack fleets in future warfare it is necessary to make defences against them.

    The laser system, which is mostly situated under the deck, fires an invisible beam that is only seen when it strikes an intruder. The system is also being developed to tackle small boats and potentially anti-ship missiles and will be ready for full military development by 2016.

    “This will proceed to production because it is solving real problem,” Mr Booen said.

    Raytheon have steadily been developing laser technology for several years developing a land system that can shoot down mortar rounds.

  529. Juramentado permalink
    July 20, 2010 12:37 pm

    Re: Best defense against small swarming boats = HELO + Rockets ?

    The max engagement range of LCITs is just outside the effective range of some MANPADS. So the comment in the article about “engagement timelines” is very telling. In essence, if every other boat in a swarm had a MANPADs and depending on their dispersal pattern, the helo could find itself in a “quick-draw” scenario sooner than it would like. I think I’d still want something with more stand-off capability. The key to boat swarms is still early detection and classification, trading space for time to effectively engage them. I definitely see the value of LCITS if the swarm is a pop-up and you have no where to go as the defender.

  530. Scott B. permalink
    July 20, 2010 12:05 pm

    Best defense against small swarming boats = HELO + Rockets ?

    Advanced Weapon System Helps ONR Respond to Navy Needs

    ARLINGTON, Va — The Low-Cost Imaging Terminal Seeker (LCITS), an Office of Naval Research (ONR)-sponsored technology, could soon give the U.S. Navy and coalition military ships an upper hand in swiftly defeating multiaxis attacks by small swarming boats.

    Managed by ONR’s Naval Air Warfare and Weapons Department as a Future Naval Capability (FNC), LCITS equips the unguided Hydra-70 rocket with a low-cost imaging infrared guidance solution to more accurately strike an intended target.

  531. Juramentado permalink
    July 20, 2010 12:03 pm

    Fire Scout Debuts in CENTCOM 2011

    Having completed TechEval onboard USS McInerney (including a successful catch of a drug smuggler go-fast), the MQ-8 Fire Scout will make it’s theater debut in CENTCOM around 2011. The Operational Evaluation (OPEVAL) will move from McInerney to Halyburton, another Oliver Hazard Perry frigate.

    It’s ironic that the UAV will make an operational debut in a real hot theater well ahead of LCS, but it’s good news for the warfighters as it gives much needed additional air assets in the maritime domain surveillance role.

  532. Mike Burleson permalink*
    July 19, 2010 4:17 am

    Thats great news Steve! Not about the virus but the return of the CASR, a great and important reference sight for years.

  533. Steve Daly C.D. permalink
    July 18, 2010 11:00 pm

    For those interested in The Canadian ~ American Strategic Review: CASR was taken down by staff after it was noted that Google was reporting a malware infection. Efforts to clean the site, and republish it once safe, are underway.

  534. Tony Vander Wall permalink
    July 18, 2010 7:21 pm

    Mike Burleson’s link re: ‘Canadian American Strategic Review’ is a “Reported Attack Page!

    This web page at has been reported as an attack page and has been blocked based on your security preferences.
    Attack pages try to install programs that steal private information, use your computer to attack others, or damage your system.

    Some attack pages intentionally distribute harmful software, but many are compromised without the knowledge or permission of their owners.”

    Please check links before posting.
    Tony V.

  535. Mike Burleson permalink*
    July 18, 2010 7:17 am

    Any of our Canadian friends know the status of the Canadian American Strategic Review? Seems to be down. This was my main “go to” guide on the Canadian military, a great source of reference, especially on the impending JSS.

  536. D. E. Reddick permalink
    July 17, 2010 5:12 pm

    Let’s return to the issue of Somali piracy. The United Arab Emirates is providing the Seychelles with $15 million in funding to improve their coast guard capabilities. The Seychelles CG has had some shoot-outs with pirates and has retaken some pirated vessels and crews. This should be helpful in the fight against the Somali pirates.

    UAE boosts Seychelles anti-piracy force


    NAIROBI — The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has signed a 15-million-dollar deal to boost the Seychelles’ coast guard and help the Indian Ocean archipelago combat Somali piracy, a statement said Thursday.

    The UAE has agreed to fund the construction of new base on a reclamation area off the main island of Mahe for the Seychelles coast guard and provide it with five patrol boats, more than doubling the size of its fleet.

    “Seychelles will be better equipped to fight pirates, and the new radar surveillance system will ensure the safe passage of fishermen and other maritime traffic,” Seychellois President James Michel said in the statement.

    “We will be more capable in the detection of pirate skiffs and our readiness to respond will be amplified,” said Michel, also the island nation’s defence minister.

    The announcement comes after an international symposium on piracy held in the Seychelles earlier this week.

    Since the world’s naval powers started deploying warships to the Gulf of Aden in 2008 to protect the crucial waterway, Somali pirates have extended their reach further out in the Indian Ocean, notably affecting the Seychelles.

    With international backing, the Seychelles — which has a population of 85,000 spread out over 115 islands — has taken a leading role in combatting Somali piracy, which threatens its vital fishing and tourism sectors.

    The presidency’s statement said that the deal with the UAE was the result of talks held during a visit to Abu Dhabi by Michel. The two countries signed a memorandum of understanding on defence cooperation last year.

  537. D. E. Reddick permalink
    July 17, 2010 2:43 pm

    South Korea is placing hundreds of new, longer-ranged land attack cruise missiles near its border with NorKland. These missiles have a range of 1,500 kilometers and payload of 500 kilograms. That newly extended range covers not only all of North Korea, but much of northeastern China – including the capital Beijing. It would seem as though a clear signal is being sent.

    Yonhap News Agency: S. Korea develops cruise missile that can fly 1,500 kilometers

    SEOUL, July 17 (Yonhap) — South Korea has developed an indigenous cruise missile with a range of up to 1,500 kilometers and plans to deploy it along the border with North Korea later this year, a defense official said Saturday.

    The previous version of the Hyunmoo missile had a range of only 1,000km. Under an agreement with the United States, South Korea is allowed to extend the range of its cruise missiles without restriction as long as their payload stays under 500 kilograms.

    “Mass production of the ground-to-ground Hyunmoo-3C has succeeded after the development began in 2008” at the state-run Agency for Defense Development, the official said on condition of anonymity.

    In a bid to match the threat of North Korea’s ballistic missiles, South Korea has been trying to ease a U.S.-supported ban that prevents Seoul from developing other types of missiles with a range of over 300km and a payload of 500kg.

  538. D. E. Reddick permalink
    July 17, 2010 12:53 pm

    Mike Colombaro of Combat Fleet Of The World has a new editorial review article relating to the FFGs, LCS fiasco, and other types & classes of vessels in use by the USN & CG.

    Future of the US Light Surface Combattant Fleet
    Between good and catastrophic ideas…

  539. elgatoso permalink
    July 17, 2010 2:15 am

    The US Naval Research Laboratory plans to demonstrate the launch of an unmanned aircraft from a submerged submarine – and not just any UAV, but a fuel cell-powered aircraft that has already demonstrated the ability to stay aloft more more than 6 hours.

  540. D. E. Reddick permalink
    July 16, 2010 9:05 pm

    While not Breaking News, this is certainly a motivational picture. Posting # 16 of the following thread provides the basic information. Posting # 29 (on the same page) provides a link to a high resolution version of the image. I feel no need to say more about the following, as the imagery is stark realism:

    Lt. Col. Gregory D. Gadson!!-July-16th-2010/page2

  541. D. E. Reddick permalink
    July 15, 2010 2:12 pm

    A possible South Korean LPX Dokdo class (LPH) acquisition for the Russian Navy?

    RIA Novosti: Russian Defense Ministry lukewarm on South Korean warship deal
    Topic: Russia’s purchase of French Mistral-class warship

    The Russian Defense Ministry has effectively dismissed the idea of buying a South Korean warship in place of a French Mistral-class amphibious assault ship, a Russian business daily reported on Thursday.

    According to Kommersant, the United Shipbuilding Corporation proposed the purchase of a $650 million Dokdo helicopter carrier from South Korea.

    In a letter to Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, USC CEO Roman Trotsenko said his corporation could buy a license to build a Dokdo-class ship at a Russian shipyard within three years.

    The Defense Ministry is skeptical about the ability of Russian shipyards to build such ships in principle or their ability to build them on time, Kommersant wrote.

    “The USC’s proposal merits attention, but then you can declare just about anything,” a ministry spokesman told the paper.

    Commenting on the Kommersant report for RIA Novosti, an USC executive who insisted on anonymity confirmed that Trotsenko had indeed sent a letter to Serdyukov.

    “I confirm that such letters were sent to Navy chief Vladimir Vysotsky and Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov a long time ago, but we have not as of yet received a reply,” the executive said.

    He said Dokdo-class ships (designed and built by Hanjin Heavy Industries) were a more cost effective proposition than the Mistral.

    The USC has complained to the Federal Antitrust Service about the Defense Ministry’s reluctance to allow Russian shipyards to compete with foreign shipbuilders on an equal footing, but the service has dismissed its complaints, saying state arms procurements did not fall within its purview.

    ROKS Dokdo (LPH 6111) is the lead ship of the LPX class of amphibious landing ships of the Republic of Korea Navy, commissioned into the ROK Navy in July 2007, with specifications comparable to the French Mistral-class ship Russia is negotiating the purchase of.

    The Mistral class ship is capable of transporting and deploying 16 helicopters, four landing barges, up to 70 armored vehicles including 13 battle tanks, and 450 personnel.

    Many Russian military and industry experts have questioned the financial and military sense of the purchase, and some believe that Russia simply wants to gain access to advanced naval technology that could be used in the future in potential conflicts with NATO and its allies.

  542. elgatoso permalink
    July 15, 2010 9:41 am

    According to Lockheed Martin, the HULC is well on its way to making ordinary Soldiers into Super Soldiers.

    Read more:
    That could be a game changer

  543. elgatoso permalink
    July 15, 2010 12:39 am

    A little bit of History
    Peacemaker’s Global Mission

  544. D. E. Reddick permalink
    July 14, 2010 9:25 pm

    Queen Elizabeth class CV cutaway illustration on pages 54-57 of the UK publication Navy News. That’s the last entry under the News and features section. Also, there’s much more in this online magazine – i.e., much fertile fodder for thought amongst the readers of New Wars.

  545. D. E. Reddick permalink
    July 14, 2010 9:05 pm

    ATK Delivers First Production Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missiles (AARGM) to the United States Navy

  546. D. E. Reddick permalink
    July 14, 2010 12:45 pm

    Northrop Grumman is closing its troubled Avondale shipyard as the last two of the LPD-17 class are finished there.

    Los Angeles Times: Northrop to close Louisiana shipyard
    The military contractor could get out of the shipbuilding business altogether, its CEO says.

    By W.J. Hennigan, Los Angeles Times
    July 14, 2010

    With demand from the Navy for military ships declining, Northrop Grumman Corp. said Tuesday it was closing its Avondale, La., shipyard and may get out of the shipbuilding business altogether.

    The site near New Orleans employs about 5,000 people. Operations there will be consolidated with the company’s Pascagoula, Miss., shipyard about 125 miles away, Northrop said.

    Century City-based Northrop builds transport and amphibious assault ships at both locations. Consolidating ship construction on the Gulf Coast will reduce costs and increase efficiency, Wesley G. Bush, Northrop’s chief executive, said in a statement.

    The Avondale shipyard, which is currently building two transport ships, will cease production by 2013. In February, the Navy canceled the planned purchase of two amphibious ships that were to be built at the yard.,0,4375999.story

  547. Juramentado permalink
    July 14, 2010 8:57 am

    Thanks Scott – that helps sort it out. You may want to drop Mike a note as he references D.E.’s original comment in the latest LCS news but may not have seen this thread…

  548. D. E. Reddick permalink
    July 13, 2010 6:40 pm

    Shades of The Terminator – South Korea has deployed an armed robot on the DMZ separating the ROK from NorKland (aka DPRK). I wonder if it can emulate an Austrian accent?

    S Korea deploys sentry robot on border

    SOUTH Korea deployed a sentry robot capable of detecting and killing intruders along the heavily fortified border with North Korea, officials said overnight.

    “Our military has been testing such robots along the border,” a defence ministry spokesman said.

    Two robots with surveillance, tracking, firing and voice recognition systems were integrated into a single unit, he said, declining to give details.

    The robot unit costing 400 million won ($US330,000) was installed last month at a guard post in the central section of the Demilitarized Zone which bisects the peninsula, Yonhap news agency said.

    It quoted an unidentified military official as saying the ministry would deploy sentry robots along the world’s last Cold War frontier if the test is successful.

    The robot uses heat and motion detectors to sense possible threats, and alerts command centres, Yonhap said.

    If the command centre operator cannot identify possible intruders through the robot’s audio or video communications system, the operator can order it to fire its gun or automatic grenade launcher.

    South Korea is also developing highly sophisticated combat robots armed with weapons and sensors that could complement human soldiers on battlefields.

    It has a largely conscripted military of 655,000 against Pyongyang’s 1.2 million-strong force, but a falling birth rate means Seoul will struggle in the future to maintain troop numbers.

  549. D. E. Reddick permalink
    July 13, 2010 4:36 pm

    We’ve discussed this before, but Mike didn’t feel that it deserved a follow-up. But, I’m bringing it up again.

    Separate from this Breaking News section, New Wars also needs a general discussion section. Leave the Breaking News section to real and actual news items. Having a separate discussion section would help to organize the site in a better manner. Our discussion about projected LCS construction which is currently underway points to this need.

  550. Scott B. permalink
    July 13, 2010 3:40 pm

    Juramentado said : “The 55 number is the USN quoted amount to get to a 313-ship Navy by 2020. Over the course of a traditional 30-year long term plan time hack, the actual number procured would jump to 66 by 2040, so an additional 11 hulls over a 20-year period.”

    Purchases Planned = Number Needed * Planning Horizon / Expected Service Life

    Assume :

    Number Needed = 55 units
    Planning Horizon = 30 years (as in 30-yr Shipbuilding Plan)
    Expected Service Life = 25 years

    Then :

    Purchases Planned = 55 * 30 / 25 = 66

  551. Scott B. permalink
    July 13, 2010 3:14 pm

    Reddick said : “So, Work wants 66 rather 55 of the Literally Confused Ship. What next, 77, 88, or 99 of the monstrosities?”

    Bob Work wants the damn thing to be built indefinitely

  552. Juramentado permalink
    July 13, 2010 2:38 pm

    D.E. – I took a quick look at the CBO analysis. It hurt my simple head to figure out why the numbers weren’t reconciling even inside the CBO document, but I managed to slug my way through it.

    So, Work wants 66 rather 55 of the Literally Confused Ship. What next, 77, 88, or 99 of the monstrosities?

    The 55 number is the USN quoted amount to get to a 313-ship Navy by 2020. Over the course of a traditional 30-year long term plan time hack, the actual number procured would jump to 66 by 2040, so an additional 11 hulls over a 20-year period. In terms of ship-building for a small to mid-size combatant, that growth is quite unremarkable if sustained. That’s down from the previous Navy estimate that it needed *75* of them – that would be enough to replace every last OHP ever built (one of the original program mandates) plus four other ships, presumably the MCMs.

  553. Hudson permalink
    July 13, 2010 12:51 pm


    I’ll take your word for it that you hunted the macaques and not the other way around. The story is a good laugh, anyway.

  554. D. E. Reddick permalink
    July 13, 2010 12:04 pm


    So, Work wants 66 rather 55 of the Literally Confused Ship. What next, 77, 88, or 99 of the monstrosities?

  555. D. E. Reddick permalink
    July 13, 2010 12:00 pm


    I’ve read about that report several times. I’ve worked with rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) on a number of occasions over the years. I’ve even hunted them with anesthetic dart guns.

    The Chinese author(s) and editor(s) who released that item must have constant access to some very fine, high-grade halucinogens if they believe any of what they reported. It simply isn’t credible or possible.

  556. Hudson permalink
    July 13, 2010 11:09 am

    It’s hard to know what to make of this article from today’s NY Post, not known for its subtlety but not for fabricating stories either. The video imbeded in the story is partly animated. The Taliban are not generally known for their marksmanship–or sense of humor. Maybe we’re winning over there, after all.

    Monkey see, monkey kill.

    Taliban terrorists have a secret weapon to destroy the infidel American enemy — monkey marksmen.

    According to The People’s Daily in China, the Taliban in Afghanistan is “training monkeys to use weapons to attack American troops.”

    The newspaper’s bizarre story says the Islamic insurgents have drafted macaques and baboons to be all that they can be, arming them with AK-47 rifles, machine guns and trench mortars in the Waziristan tribal region near the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

    The monkeys, being rewarded with bananas and peanuts, are being turned into snipers at a secret Taliban training base.

    The newspaper says “photos have been widely spread by media agencies and Web sites across the world.”

    One of those sites is the Pakistan Defense Forum, which has pictures of gun-toting monkeys, and makes the wild claim that a monkey-soldier program was first launched by the CIA in Vietnam.

    “Today, the Taliban forces have given the American troops some of their own medicine,” The People’s Daily said.

    Read more:

  557. Scott B. permalink
    July 13, 2010 6:24 am

    Reddick said : “Just where did that last number originate from???”

    Straight from the latest 30-year Shipbuilding Plan, page 20 :

    “The Navy intends to continue procurement of Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) and, allowing for their 25-year service life, plans to build to its inventory total of 55 by FY 2035. A total of 66 of these ships will be procured over the 30-year period; including 17 replacements for those retiring at the end of their planned service life during this period.”

    Don’t forget that Bob Work has such a love affair with LCS that he suggested many times the boondoggle should be built indifinitely…

  558. D. E. Reddick permalink
    July 12, 2010 9:23 pm

    Following up on Scott’s latest postings, have a look at the following. War News Update just pointed to this Wall Street Journal article and its really, really interesting graphic with especial reference to the LCS program. It’s right there in yellow and black (NOTE the NUMBERS). Just where did that last number originate from???

    Littoral Combat Ship
    Number Needed 55
    Purchases Planned 66

    Navy Weighs Ship’s Design, Along With Its Own Future

  559. Scott B. permalink
    July 12, 2010 7:43 pm

    Deep Thought of the Day : if the Austal design gets chosen, will the Navy continue to call it the Freedom-class ?

    From the PEO Ships website :

    “The Freedom (LCS 1) class consists of two different hullforms – a semiplaning monohull and an aluminum trimaran – designed and built by two industry teams, respectively led by Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics.”

    Freedom Class :

    – Freedom (LCS 1)

    – Independence (LCS 2)

    – Fort Worth (LCS 3)

    – Coronado (LCS 4)

  560. Scott B. permalink
    July 12, 2010 7:24 pm

    LockMart / Fincatieri and Austal / GD submitted final bids for LCS today, but so far, this *non-event* didn’t pop up anywhere in the blogosphere :

    Austal, Lockheed submit final offers for LCS contract

    LCS downselect : stealthier than ever !!!

  561. D. E. Reddick permalink
    July 12, 2010 7:18 pm

    Exercise Sea Breeze 2010 is beginning shortly and will focus on the problem of fighting sea piracy. It is being hosted in Ukraine and have participants from twelve nations. This information is from Bosphorus Naval News.

  562. July 11, 2010 5:15 pm


    Spain wins the World Cup.

    Spain 1,Netherlands 0 in extra time.


  563. D. E. Reddick permalink
    July 11, 2010 12:46 pm

    Given Mike’s interest in OPVs & corvettes, then this excellent thread at should be quite interesting reading & viewing for many of New Wars’ readers. There is an excellent series of pictures depicting the Netherlands’ new Holland class of OPVs. And there are several very descriptive postings regarding the multiple classes of small combatants and OPVs in South Korean service, with many features described in useful detail.

    Thread: The latest large armed ocean patrol vessels

  564. Joe permalink
    July 10, 2010 8:03 pm

    British Military Will Shrink & Rely On Allies

    So sayeth the British Armed Forces Minister on Wednesday.

    He said the military had to become more agile and adaptable; more mobile; better integrated; and better merged with “other levels of national power and influence, at home and abroad”.

    Some experts and officers believe such a move threatens Britain’s independence and could leave the country unable to defend itself if forced to fight alone.

    {In a separate speech, MP Nick Harvey} did not give details about greater co-operation with allies, but ministers are known to be exploring ways to work together more closely with France, the only other major European military power.

    There is even speculation in Paris that the UK might offer to share one of the two new Royal Navy aircraft carriers the MoD is planning to buy.

    Mr Harvey warned that the minimum Trident nuclear deterrent would be maintained but said the number of submarines, missiles and warheads might be cut.

    UK Telegraph Link

  565. D. E. Reddick permalink
    July 10, 2010 5:06 pm

    The Indian Navy has released a RFP for six AIP SSK at a cost in the range of $10 to $15 Billion!

    The Times of India – Biggest military deal: Six subs for Rs 50,000 crore
    Rajat Pandit, TNN, Jul 11, 2010

    NEW DELHI: If you thought the Rs 42,000 crore project to procure 126 multi-role fighters for the IAF was the “mother of all defence deals”, think again. The stage is now being set for an even bigger project—this one worth over Rs 50,000 crore for six new-generation submarines for the Indian Navy.

    The Defence Acquisitions Council (DAC), chaired by defence minister A K Antony, has finally decided that three of the six submarines will be constructed at Mazagon Docks (MDL) in Mumbai and one at Hindustan Shipyard Ltd (HSL) in Visakhapatnam, with the help of a foreign collaborator.

    “The other two submarines will either be imported from the foreign vendor directly or constructed at a private shipyard in India. Fresh estimates show each of these six diesel-electric submarines will cost almost Rs 8,500 crore,” a source said.

    Under the programme—called Project-75 India (P-75I)—apart from stealth, land-attack capability and the ability to incorporate futuristic technologies, all the six new submarines will be equipped with air-independent propulsion (AIP) systems to boost their operational capabilities.

    Conventional diesel-electric submarines have to surface every few days to get oxygen to recharge their batteries. With AIP systems, they can stay submerged for much longer periods, narrowing the gap with nuclear-powered submarines which can operate underwater for virtually unlimited periods.

    The selection of the foreign collaborator for P-75I will, of course, take time because a RFP (request for proposal) will first have to be issued to submarine manufacturers like Rosoboronexport (Russian), DCNS/Armaris (French), HDW (German) and Navantia (Spain). Shortlisting and detailed technical and commercial negotiations will follow, before the actual contract can be inked.

  566. Scott B. permalink
    July 10, 2010 12:08 pm

    A revolution in coastal surveillance

    Onera, the French aerospace research center, is developing a surface wave radar that will revolutionize our ability to survey coastal zones.

    Surface wave radars will allow navies, coast guards and customs services to enhance their maritime surveillance capabilities.

    Surface wave radars allow us to see “beyond the horizon”, and detect ships out to a range of 400 kilometers from the coast – versus 50 to 100 kilometers for current radars. These radars comprise a number of whip antennas, which transmit a signal that propagates off the sea surface, giving them extended range, before bouncing back to be captured by an array of receiving antennas along the coast.

  567. Chuck Hill permalink
    July 8, 2010 8:10 pm

    One of the things that they realized regarding the Fire Scout, was that it really did need a radar, something the Navy had not intended to include, but that the Coast Guard had already made a requirement for their version.

    Ultimately it will come out a more capable system.

  568. Scott B. permalink
    July 8, 2010 7:32 pm

    More not-so-good news on the LCS Front @ Defense News :

    Pentagon Wants to Move $3.9B Around

    “The MQ-8 Fire Scout unmanned aerial aircraft received a 50 percent plus-up of $13 million to support completion of operational evaluation (OPEVAL) efforts to take place on board the frigate Halyburton. Continuation of the OPEVAL was necessary after the 2009-2010 effort on board the frigate McInerney encountered numerous technical challenges and discrepancies. The money became available when the service eliminated two of five aircraft it planned to buy this year due to the availability of airframes transferred from the Army.” (bold emphasis added)

  569. Scott B. permalink
    July 8, 2010 7:14 pm

    More on the impending cuts in the German Navy @ Defense News :

    Germany Debates Steep Cuts in Aircraft, Ships

    “The paper recommends the German Navy retire eight frigates, 10 fast-attack boats and 21 Sea King helicopters over the medium and long term. At the moment, it owns 21 Sea Kings, 10 fast-attack boats and 15 frigates. The number of new F125 expeditionary class frigates also could be reduced from four to three.”

  570. elgatoso permalink
    July 8, 2010 2:43 pm

    Loading Prompt Global Strike in VLS Cells Will Transform U.S. Naval Power

    Read more:

  571. Mike Burleson permalink*
    July 8, 2010 6:38 am

    “Mike B. is going to be furious against the Germans !!! ”

    Darn tootin!

  572. Scott B. permalink
    July 7, 2010 9:38 pm

    The German Navy will prematurely decommision its last Gepard-class FACs, according to Stern (last paragraph of the article).

    So first it was the Type 206A submarines, and now the Type 143A Gepard-class.

    Mike B. is going to be furious against the Germans !!! ;-)

  573. ShockwaveLover permalink
    July 7, 2010 9:16 pm

    Hey Mike, would you be interested in some new header images for the site? I noticed you’ve had your current one up for a while, and since I had a bit of time on my hands I whipped up a few, 920×180.

  574. Scott B. permalink
    July 6, 2010 4:24 am

    Campbell said : “However ops in both air and underwater would require changes in buoyancy for that would be way to far out of reach.”

    Well said, Sir !!!

  575. July 5, 2010 8:31 pm

    re: “narco sub” and “flying submarine”
    Bit of irony here, as I’ve always described proposed carbon fiber rigid shelled, stealthy airships as akin to meld between B-2 Bomber and nuclear Submarine.

    However ops in both air and underwater would require changes in buoyancy for that would be way to far out of reach. No need to submerse in any case. Airships can be made stealthy enough already. They can certainly be made strong enough for fast speeds, although I limit that to about 150kts.

    Ten years ago, I got repeated inquiries from “businessmen” in Columbia to build airships……”narco sub” brought that to mind once again.

  576. Scott B. permalink
    July 5, 2010 8:02 pm

    Scott B. said : “Is this the reason why we hear so little about this :
    LPD 17: If everyone’s responsible, is no one to blame?”

    The excellent CDR Salamander doesn’t seem ready to give up the fight though :
    You live by happy-talk ….

    “Yes – we need an open table, Chatham House Rules dissection of this. The first three witnesses need to be Clark, Mullen, and Roughead. This is their baby.”

    Well said, Sir !!!

  577. Scott B. permalink
    July 5, 2010 7:02 pm

    Graham Hawkes said (re: flying submarine) : “It can be done. It just needs a lot of work.”

    Just another bridge for sale.

    More taxpayer money down the drain… :-((

  578. Mike Burleson permalink*
    July 5, 2010 6:15 pm

    Pentagon plans ‘flying submarine’

    “Graham Hawkes, a submarine designer, believes that modern lightweight carbon fibre composites could be used to build a craft that is both strong enough and light enough to fly above and below the water. He has already designed and built a submersible craft called the “Super Falcon” which uses stubby wings to “fly” down to 300 metres. He says that if it were given jet engines and larger wings, it could fly at up to 900kph (560mph) in the air, while still being capable of underwater travel at around 18kph (11mph). At these speeds, the behaviour of water and air over the control surfaces is similar. “Think about it as flying under water,” says Mr Hawkes. “It can be done. It just needs a lot of work.”

  579. Scott B. permalink
    July 5, 2010 5:27 pm

    Anyone remember when the current Under SecNav, Bob Work was proclaiming that LPD-17 was the greatest thing since sliced bread (second only to the LCS boodoggle of course) and suggesting that it should be used as the basis of almost everything : LSD(X), Command Ship, Hospital Ship, BMD cruiser, NSFS platform, etc…

    Is this the reason why we hear so little about this :

    LPD 17: If everyone’s responsible, is no one to blame?

    “Privately, the Navy’s top leaders have got to be angry. But when the latest San Antonio report was released Thursday there were no public statements from anyone in the Pentagon. Naval Sea Systems Command said nothing.”

    And is this is a prelude to the forthcoming tragicomedy with LCS, yet another favorite of Mr Bob Work ?

  580. D. E. Reddick permalink
    July 4, 2010 12:49 pm

    It’s the Real McCoy: a stealthy, diesel-electric narco-trafficker submarine nearly 100 feet long seized in Ecuador!

    (CNN) — A fully functional submarine built for the primary purpose of transporting massive amounts of cocaine has been seized by Ecuadorean authorities with the help of U.S. drug enforcement agents.

    A drug-trafficking organization built the sea-worthy vessel that is now being held near the border of Ecuador and Colombia…

    The vessel utilized twin screws and was diesel electric-powered, the agency said. It was about 30 meters (98 feet) long and nearly 3 meters (nine feet) high from the deck plates to the ceiling. It has a periscope and an air-conditioning system.

    Ecuador authorities seize drug-smuggling sub
    By the CNN Wire Staff
    July 3, 2010

    There are several rather amazing pictures accompanying the following report.

    Fox News: Submarine Seized In Ecuador With DEA’s Help
    July 3, 2010 – 5:45 PM | by: Mike Levine

  581. July 4, 2010 9:47 am

    Hello Mike
    A good holiday to you and yours! Appreciated the story of Navy airships, thank you….

    Navy really needs to begin serious work on new airship technologies. To many advantages to dismiss simply because everyone tends to look backwards at 1930’s tech; a bit like comparing Virgina class submarines to WWI U-boats…….

    anyway, thanks again, I enjoyed the read…

    Darrell (Campbell)

  582. Joe permalink
    July 2, 2010 11:46 pm

    Petraeus Gives Shout-Out to B-1B Lancer Fleet

    As a follow-up of sorts to the news that the Air Force is considering retiring all 66 B-1B’s, Gen. David Petraeus, at his confirmation hearing, talked up the virtues of the B-1B. He said:

    “It is a great platform…It carries a heck of a lot of bombs… and it has very good intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities.” Paraphrasing, when he concluded speaking about the B-1B, he said that it’s not just a bomber, but with all the upgrades to the platform over time, it’s highly capable when even just flying around in circles waiting on specific orders.

    He was not there to comment on the B-1B, but was so prompted on the matter by Senator John Thune, R-South Dakota, whose state has Ellsworth AFB, home to the 28th (B-1B) Bomb Wing. Methinks the battle over the B-1B’s fate has been joined.


  583. D. E. Reddick permalink
    July 2, 2010 7:24 pm

    Mike Colombaro has another review article to be read. This time it’s about the Italian Navy.

    Combat Fleet Of The World

    Future of the Italian Fleet

  584. Mike Burleson permalink*
    July 2, 2010 6:30 pm

    Uncle Sam’s Amazing Warship of the Sky (Sep, 1931)

    A little history for ya!

  585. Mike Burleson permalink*
    July 2, 2010 6:28 pm

    South China Sea: The coming war?

    “Fueling tensions in the sea are untapped oil and natural gas reserves, China’s growing strategic interest in protecting sea lanes by which it gets some of its oil, and Beijing’s desire to develop a “blue-water” navy capable of projecting power far beyond China’s shores.”

  586. Mike Burleson permalink*
    July 2, 2010 6:26 pm

    France’s flagship aircraft carrier looks bound for Afghanistan

    France’s flagship Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier will likely be deployed in the coming months to Afghanistan, the staff officer of Paris’s armies, Admiral Christophe Prazuck, said Wednesday…The Charles de Gaulle, the pride of the French Navy, has already carried out four major military operations in the Afghan war.

  587. Juramentado permalink
    July 2, 2010 10:44 am

    The US Naval War College recently hosted the CIWAG (Center on Irregular Warfare and Armed Groups) Conference, and some striking feedback was made by shipping industry participants regarding the hot-button topic of piracy:,-Military-and-Government-Officials-Discu.aspx

    A panel of businessmen discussed the effects of maritime piracy on the global economic system. Though they agreed that maritime trade is important to the economy, the consensus of the panel was that piracy does not have significant effects on the global economic system.

    “Many in my industry are more worried about poor policy than we are about maritime piracy,” said Gordon Van Hook, who works for a maritime supply company.

    Rick Calhoun, who works for a shipping company, said piracy can be avoided. Other board members said piracy is concentrated in specific areas. “Vessels can go to different places…the market will figure this out,” Calhoun said, explaining that companies consider piracy in their cost calculations, and factor it as a risk. “The market will, and always has, priced risk.”

    It seems that despite the extensive media coverage and the general concern about piracy – the shipping industry overall paid only a minor percentage (approximately $150M in ransoms etc in 2008) of their trillions of dollars gross profit. So it appears that as long as merchant crews are not being put to the death and vessels/cargos are returned, shippers will continue to deal with this as the price of doing business globally. A cold-blooded calculation to be sure.

  588. Hokie_1997 permalink
    July 1, 2010 1:43 pm

    Hi all,

    Interesting RAND paper on USN use of UASs hot off the press:

    Of note in the executive summary (pg. xviii), air-to-air combat evaluated as a non-viable application for UASs due to time latency and vulnerability of GPS and C2 network.

    Very similar to what a lot of folks have been saying on this website for a while — other than our gracious host of course!

  589. D. E. Reddick permalink
    June 30, 2010 10:54 am

    The latest Chinese PLAN flotilla headed for the waters off Somalia includes the Type 071 LPD Kunlunshan, along with a destroyer and a replenishment ship. The Type 071 LPD carries two medium lift helos capable of deploying 20 marines, each. Perhaps the Chinese PLAN has observed the success of Dutch and Russian naval commandos in retaking pirated ships and means to have that capability available against the perceived swarming actions seen with some Somali pirates. This is from the China Defense Blog:

    071 LPD to the Gulf of Aden, confirmed.

  590. D. E. Reddick permalink
    June 29, 2010 5:02 pm

    Black Sea Defense Treaty: There appears to be a newly developing military agreement forming around the Black Sea. Only, it involves just three of six nations that border that body of water. Russia, Ukraine, and NATO member Turkey are in the process of reviving a 2003 agreement regarding defense of the Black Sea and its resources. NATO members Bulgaria and Romania are excluded, along with Georgia (loser of a 2008 conflict with Russia). This is from RIANOVOSTI:

    Nasha Versiya

    Russia, Ukraine, Turkey to establish Black Sea defense alliance

    Russian, Ukrainian and Turkish defense ministries plan to establish a new alliance called the Black Sea Defense Treaty.

    Although most documents paving the way for the new regional alliance were drafted in 2003, the election of Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko in 2005 delayed the creation of the new organization for a long time.

    This idea is currently being negotiated once again. In the past few years, Turkey has been trying to convince the Russian Defense Ministry to launch bilateral talks, saying Ukraine would subsequently join in.

    Now that Ukraine has a new president in office, Kiev is ready to cooperate with Moscow and Ankara. Chief of Turkish General Staff General Ilker Basbug is expected to visit Moscow in July. The sides will probably be able to finalize all the details, and national defense ministers may sign protocols on establishing the new defense organization as early as this August.

    The Turkish Navy’s surface fleet primarily comprises patrol ships and speed boats, while Russia plans to strengthen its Black Sea Fleet with more powerful ships, including a Mistral-class amphibious assault ship. However, Turkey has an edge in advanced submarines.

    The main intrigue is that Turkey is a NATO member, whereas Russia and Ukraine are not. Although Brussels has not yet reacted to the new planned alliance, Turkish analysts say NATO’s reaction will be restrained because Ukraine and Russia have long been involved in joint exercises with NATO and are considered promising partners by the alliance.

    NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen recently said Russia’s NATO-membership prospects were not as far-fetched as some skeptics believed.

    Russia’s motives for creating a new military organization in the Black Sea region remain unclear. Analysts say closer partnership with Ankara will enable the Russian Black Sea Fleet to more actively navigate the Mediterranean Sea. In the next few years, the Black Sea Fleet will receive several new warships, due to be placed on combat duty in the Black and Mediterranean seas.

    Expanded Russian-Turkish partnership will moderate the claims of neighboring Romania and Bulgaria to oil-bearing sectors of the Black Sea shelf.

    Moreover, Russia will receive an additional opportunity to stipulate more reservations regarding the presence of U.S. warships, now frequenting Georgia, in the Black Sea.

    Skeptics believe that Russia would have to act as a regional policeman together with Turkey if such an alliance is established.

  591. Scott B. permalink
    June 28, 2010 4:51 pm

    Levin takes on Gates re: JSF engine :

    SASC Chairman: Never Was a JSF Engine Competition

    “The Defense Writers Group had breakfast with Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, this morning, and the senior senator was uncharacteristically lively in his assertion that the Defense Department never had a competition for the F-35’s powerhouse. “I’m sure of it,” Levin told reporters abruptly, causing a few of us to snap our faces up from our plates of eggs and bacon.”

  592. MatR permalink
    June 28, 2010 12:43 pm

    Video about BAE’s Advanced Gun System (released 24th June).

    Probably timed to accompany the official launch. There’s the normal puffery, but also some interesting pics of the machinery working and shots being fired.

  593. Mike Burleson permalink*
    June 28, 2010 9:26 am

    Missile fixed for Daring Destroyers?

    The headline is telling:

    New £1bn destroyers get post-1940s weaponry at last

    “According to a statement issued today by MBDA:

    Over the last month, firings have been carried out from the Italian Orizzonte frigate “Andrea Doria”, the French Horizon frigate “Forbin” and the UK trials barge “Longbow” at two different ranges in the Mediterranean. The trials were conducted over a range of scenarios of steadily increasing complexity, culminating in a final trial featuring a salvo firing against a sea skimming target performing a high-g terminal manoeuvre. All the trials were fully successful with both the PAAMS ship equipment and Aster missiles operating as expected in each case. This draws to a close the complex and high intensity investigation launched within MBDA after problems encountered in two firing trials last year.”

  594. Mike Burleson permalink*
    June 28, 2010 8:47 am

    BAE hits its target with new cannon

    “BAE was noticeably proud of its gun, which it describes as a new age in weapons technology. It will have a maximum sustained firing rate of 10 rounds a minute and will fire with precision at ranges of 74 nautical miles. BAE could have fired a round at its Fridley facility and landed it squarely on the 18th hole of a golf course in St. Cloud. It is magazine-fed and the 11-foot-long, 155-millimeter projectile exits the barrel at more than 1,500 miles an hour.”

  595. ShockwaveLover permalink
    June 28, 2010 8:30 am

    Interesting, in light of the large number of super-subs the US Navy has, that it’s a relatively humble SSK that’s joining the pirate hunt. Three guesses why there aren’t any of the big boys to be spared…

    SSK Joins Pirate Hunt

    June 28, 2010: When the Netherlands recently announced that it was sending one of its Walrus class submarines for the anti-piracy patrol off Somalia, many people found this puzzling. But the Dutch subs have a well deserved reputation for their ability to secretly collect information at sea using subs. Most recently it has done this off Iraq, Bosnia and in the Caribbean. The special ingredient here is stealth. Entering service in the early 1990s, the Walrus subs can spend 46 days, moving at 16 kilometers an hour, at periscope depth (with only a small air intake/exhaust snorkel above the surface). A submarine can watch portions of the Somali coast, without the pirates knowing they are being observed. This makes it easier to detect new tactics by the pirates, and counter these moves more quickly.

    The Walrus class are large (2,400 ton), diesel electric boats, with a crew of 52. Submerged, they can move at up to 37 kilometers an hour (compared to 24 kilometers on the surface.) They are armed with four 533mm (21 inch) torpedo tubes and twenty torpedoes. On the surface, the crew can deploy several machine-guns. But the Walrus boats are mainly equipped to find stuff. They have a surface search radar (range of nine kilometers), and a powerful sonar (both internal, and towed.) The passive sonar can detect surface ship engines farther than nine kilometers away.

    Holland is not the only nation to use their subs like this. Other nations have used their subs to catch fish poaching ships, which tend to sneak in and illegally deploy their nets, while avoiding surface patrol ships. Subs, with their highly sensitive sonar, can detect the engines of poacher ships, and even the characteristic noise of commercial fishing gear being deployed (especially trawlers, that scrape the bottom of the seas they are fishing).

  596. Anonymous permalink
    June 28, 2010 8:30 am

    Interesting, in light of the large number of super-subs the US Navy has, that it’s a relatively humble SSK that’s joining the pirate hunt. Three guesses why there aren’t any of the big boys to be spared…

    SSK Joins Pirate Hunt

    June 28, 2010: When the Netherlands recently announced that it was sending one of its Walrus class submarines for the anti-piracy patrol off Somalia, many people found this puzzling. But the Dutch subs have a well deserved reputation for their ability to secretly collect information at sea using subs. Most recently it has done this off Iraq, Bosnia and in the Caribbean. The special ingredient here is stealth. Entering service in the early 1990s, the Walrus subs can spend 46 days, moving at 16 kilometers an hour, at periscope depth (with only a small air intake/exhaust snorkel above the surface). A submarine can watch portions of the Somali coast, without the pirates knowing they are being observed. This makes it easier to detect new tactics by the pirates, and counter these moves more quickly.

    The Walrus class are large (2,400 ton), diesel electric boats, with a crew of 52. Submerged, they can move at up to 37 kilometers an hour (compared to 24 kilometers on the surface.) They are armed with four 533mm (21 inch) torpedo tubes and twenty torpedoes. On the surface, the crew can deploy several machine-guns. But the Walrus boats are mainly equipped to find stuff. They have a surface search radar (range of nine kilometers), and a powerful sonar (both internal, and towed.) The passive sonar can detect surface ship engines farther than nine kilometers away.

    Holland is not the only nation to use their subs like this. Other nations have used their subs to catch fish poaching ships, which tend to sneak in and illegally deploy their nets, while avoiding surface patrol ships. Subs, with their highly sensitive sonar, can detect the engines of poacher ships, and even the characteristic noise of commercial fishing gear being deployed (especially trawlers, that scrape the bottom of the seas they are fishing).

  597. D. E. Reddick permalink
    June 27, 2010 4:02 pm

    RIMPAC 2010 is underway since June 23 and through August 1 in Hawaiian waters. Included in the exercise are two SSKs from Japan and Korea. Kyle Mizokami is covering the exercise from the west coast and is asking for the assistance of any bloggers and commenters who might have additional information regarding RIMPAC 2010.

    Japan Security Watch
    RIMPAC 2010
    Posted on June 26, 2010 by Kyle Mizokami

    The MSDF sent three ships to RIMPAC 2010 that I’ve been able to count so far. This is Japan’s 30th year of participating in the annual exercise.

  598. michael permalink
    June 27, 2010 10:53 am

    Just a reminder for UK viewers tonight at 2100 on BBC2, ‘How to build a nuclear submarine’ or perhaps ‘How not too’.
    This first of a four party documentary deals with the building of Astute and will hopefully show it ‘warts and all’ and not just be a PR job.

  599. June 26, 2010 5:48 pm


    Ghana 2,U.S.A. 1.
    Better luck next time.


  600. CBD permalink
    June 25, 2010 3:27 pm

    IX-515 “Sea Flyer” HYSWAC (Former Navy Surface Effects Ship SES-200) for Sale via Must tow out.

  601. D. E. Reddick permalink
    June 25, 2010 11:48 am

    Mike Colombaro of Combat Fleet Of The World has a review and editorial commentary about the status of USN CVNs, LHAs, LHDs, and their future.

    Future of the US Carrier’s & Gator’s Fleet

    Too many, too expensive, too “crew expensive”, too old design, too big. Better to design a radically new smaller flattops design family!

  602. Mike Burleson permalink*
    June 25, 2010 8:17 am

    LCS versus Sumner class?

    This is why I blog–to bask in CDR Salamander’s glow!

  603. Joe permalink
    June 24, 2010 1:47 pm

    B-1B fleet to the boneyard???

    The Air Force Council meets today to consider further cuts in aircraft to meet aggressive savings targets laid out by Defense Secretary Robert Gates. One option on the table: early retirement of all 66 B-1B Lancer bombers (the last delivery of which came back in 1988).


    More penny-wise, pound-foolish logic brought to you courtesy of the best brains ever to sit down around a conference table.

  604. Mike Burleson permalink*
    June 23, 2010 1:35 pm

    Jarico, in answer to your question:

    History of Submarine Aircraft Carriers

  605. Chuck Hill permalink
    June 22, 2010 11:51 pm

    “Has there been any such submarine program since or any that are now being considered by any Navies using Vostol aircraft, helicopter carriers. I am sure you have covered this before, but just curious.”

    The Loon, Regulus, Polaris, and Tomahawk, plus all the other cruise missile launching submarines might be considered follow-on.

    The French also had an aircraft carrying sub, that also had two 8″ guns. The Japanese also had some other subs that carried only one small aircraft.

  606. June 22, 2010 10:19 pm

    I read some of your interesting threads on “Iran proposing to launch UAV’s from subs. Another post about small drones called switch blades that could be launched from corvettes, posted by D.E. Reddick. Wow.
    I imagine that you are all aware of the Japanese 1-400 class submarine WW2 Seiren aircraft project that was not known to the Allies till the end of the war. This was a gigantic sub that could carry up to three Aichi M6A aircraft that could travel 650 miles to bomb there targets.
    These subs were basically the first submersible aircraft carriers as far as I know. Interestingly there potential was never realized for the war ended before the three that were built were scuttled or hidden from the soviets at the Wars end, in a USN mission called “Operation roads end.” The 1-400 class Japanese sub was designed to go around the world one 1/2 times with the goal of attacking U.S. coastal cities on east and western sea board, as well…. with emphasis on the Panama Canal.
    Here is my question? Has there been any such submarine program since or any that are now being considered by any Navies using Vostol aircraft, helicopter carriers. I am sure you have covered this before, but just curious.

  607. Scott B. permalink
    June 22, 2010 6:05 pm

    UAV-based AEW (almost) *around the corner* :

    MP-RTIP Progress Continues

    BUT : you won’t see on a *light* carrier any time soon… ;-)

  608. Hudson permalink
    June 22, 2010 3:43 pm

    These are (my edited for profanity) excerpts from a Rolling Stone piece on Gen. Stanley McCrystal, Commander of Operations in Afghanistan. The General is in hot water with the President for views such as these printed in the article. Link does not copy. Go to MSNBC > U.S. News > Military for full article. This is our big war today, folks.

    ‘One soldier shows me the list of new regulations the platoon was given. “Patrol only in areas that you are reasonably certain that you will not have to defend yourselves with lethal force,” the laminated card reads. For a soldier who has traveled halfway around the world to fight, that’s like telling a cop he should only patrol in areas where he knows he won’t have to make arrests. “Does that make any f—ing sense?” asks Pfc. Jared Pautsch. “We should just drop a f—ing bomb on this place. You sit and ask yourself: What are we doing here?”

    The rules handed out here are not what McChrystal intended – they’ve been distorted as they passed through the chain of command – but knowing that does nothing to lessen the anger of troops on the ground. “F—, when I came over here and heard that McChrystal was in charge, I thought we would get our f—ing gun on,” says Hicks, who has served three tours of combat. “I get COIN. I get all that. McChrystal comes here, explains it, it makes sense. But then he goes away on his bird, and by the time his directives get passed down to us through Big Army, they’re all f—ed up – either because somebody is trying to cover their a–, or because they just don’t understand it themselves. But we’re f—ing losing this thing.”

  609. D. E. Reddick permalink
    June 22, 2010 12:46 pm

    An arms smuggling ship has been detained by Cypriot authorities for carrying explosives bound for Sudan. This would be in violation of an UN arms embargo placed on Sudan. Also, fifteen armored fighting vehicles bound for Singapore are reportedly aboard the ship.

    Voice Of America: Cyprus Holds Arms Ship Thought to be Bound for Sudan

    Authorities in Cyprus have intercepted a ship on grounds it might be carrying weapons bound for Sudan’s Darfur region, in violation of a U.N. embargo.

    Cypriot officials said Tuesday that according to the ship’s manifest, it is carrying explosives destined for Sudan. Authorities are investigating whether the cargo would breach the U.N. embargo.

    The Antigua-and-Barbuda-flagged vessel has been anchored off the port of Limassol since June 11, when it was inspected after asking for refueling.

    News 24: Cyprus detains ‘Sudan arms ship’
    2010-06-22 16:57

    Reuters Africa: Cyprus probes weapons on Sudan-bound ship
    Tue Jun 22, 2010 1:18pm GMT

  610. D. E. Reddick permalink
    June 22, 2010 11:54 am

    There’s a new SM-3 boost-phase ICBM interceptor in the works. This is from the Ares Blog of Aviation Week.

    Course Change on the Super SM-3
    Posted by Bill Sweetman at 6/22/2010 7:00 AM CDT

    When the Obama administration junked the Poland-based “third site” for strategic missile defense in September 2009, replacing it with the new “phased adaptive approach” based on the sea-based Aegis ballistic missile defense architecture, it included the first mention of a Block IIB version of the Raytheon SM-3 interceptor.

    Compared with the in-development Block IIA, a US-Japan project that expands the SM motor to fill the entire Mk43 Vertical Launch System tube, the Block IIB was to have a redesigned upper stage and a new kill vehicle and was intended to allow “early intercept” of intercontinental ballistic missiles, cued by new sensors such as infrared trackers on high-flying UAVs.

    Now, there are signs that Block IIB is morphing into an all-new missile. The Missile Defense Agency has issued a presolicitation notice revealing a competitive concept demonstration phase, starting in FY2011, that will involve up to three primes and embrace a completely new missile, from first-stage booster to kill vehicle, designed for “early intercept” – that is, just after the boost phase, between 20 and 40 km altitude – of an ICBM. It will still be sea-based and Aegis-compatible and is still called Block IIB, but will be all-new. That will give Boeing and Northrop Grumman a chance to compete with SM-3 prime Raytheon.

  611. MatR permalink
    June 22, 2010 7:28 am

    UK’s top Afghan official recalled to London – BBC.

    “The UK’s most senior diplomat in Afghanistan, special envoy Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, is leaving his post. He will take leave over an extended summer break, the Foreign Office said. It is not clear to what role he will return in the autumn. The diplomat has been critical of Nato and US policy, and said talks with the Taliban should have greater priority.”

  612. MatR permalink
    June 22, 2010 7:24 am

    McChrystal recalled to Washington – BBC.

    “The top US commander in Afghanistan has been summoned to Washington, US media report, in the wake of a magazine article that mocked senior Obama administration officials and diplomats.”

  613. elgatoso permalink
    June 22, 2010 3:08 am

    Nammo And Thales To Cooperate On NextGen Aircraft Ammunition

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