Saturday, April 30, 2011

It's The Weekend! 4/30/11

Since it's the weekend and I get two days off from writing, I give this awesome video of a lego minifig scale battleship Yamato.

I did not make this, I do not have that many legos or that much time.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Obama Axes Tank Shaped Like A Dragon

It's a crime I tell you, who doesn't want a tank shaped like a dragon?

This is only a comedy video so don't get mad at me.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

What Happend To the 600-Ship Navy?

     During the 1980s at the height of the Cold War, Ronald Reagan pushed a massive military modernization and expansion plan that for the Navy would have resulted in a 600-Ship Navy. My question is what happened to that idea?
     When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, governments around the world began to make massive budget cuts to their military's, one example is the so called Royal Navy and British Army, both of which are skeletons of their former selves. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union most governments have begun rearming (Britain hasn't) and putting their military's back together. Since 1991 the U.S. has expanded it's military but, the 600-Ship Navy idea is nowhere to be seen. The 600-Ship Navy has become a victim of several groups, socialists/communists who want to redistribute wealth and want a larger government, cost cutters who think now the the USSR is gone we can put the money into other programs, peace groups who think there should be no military at all and the list goes on.
      Few poeple outside the military realize how dire the situation really is, since 1987 the Navy has gone from the 1980s high of 594 ships to about 290 ships in service in 2011. Since 1987 our Navy has been more than halved and almost nobody in the media, the government or the people realizes it. Our Navy has been second to none since the end of WWII when we had over 6,000 ships and still are larger that the next seven navies combined but, China is rabidly increasing the size of their Navy and as of 2011 are second in size to only to the U.S. and climbing.
     The Navy is starting to begin building ships a higher rate in the last couple of years but, as I said a couple of articles ago the Navy is crumbling before our very eyes. And if we do not correct this situation, the cosequences could be extremly bad to say the least.

Photo credit: New Wars

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Chinese Naval Aviation Update

    Well, folks I have it to give the ChiComms, they sure know how to deal with labor unions. Defense News reports that the head of the Taiwanese spy agency, Tsai Teh-sheng claims that the Chinese carrier Varyag will be operational by the end of this year. This a very disturbing development for every nation around the Pacific rim because prior to this Chinese air power was limited to the immediate area, now the Chinese will have the ability to project air power throughout the Pacific Ocean. 
     Tsai Teh-sheng claims are further supported by the fact the China's copy of the Su-33 has just been revealed. This new fighter has received the designation J-15 "Flying Shark" and, is probably going to constitute the core of the Varyag's air wing. Not much about the J-15 is known at the moment except, that it probably has the usual equipment used by carrier aircraft, strengthened  landing gear, longer range and possibly better engines. The possibility that the J-15 has better engines than a normal Su-27 as the Su-33 is the carrier version, is highly unlikely because the Chinese have had trouble producing a good indigenous engine for use in fighter aircraft, usually opting to purchase engines from the Russians and copy them either under license or illegally. 
     While the J-15 is a step forward for the Chinese military, the J-15 is not likely to be able to compare with the Super Hornet now in service in the U.S. Navy due to fact that Chinese pilots have had no real air-to-air combat experience since the confrontation with Taiwan in the Second Taiwan Straight Crisis in 1958. Aviation Week also reports that the J-15 is comparable with a F/A-18C which is now being replaced by the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.
     All in all the J-15 is a step forward for the Chinese but, if push comes to shove between the U.S. and China, I don't believe the J-15 or the surface forces of the Chinese Navy are going to be a serious threat. However, as I said the Chinese surface forces won't be a "serious" threat but, they will be a threat worth keeping an eye on. 

Photo Credits (from top to bottom):, Defense Tech,

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

All Our Eggs In One Basket

    As reported in my previous article "It's That Time Of Year"  I reported that the Navy was requesting (and got) 1.1 billion dollars for research on the SSBN-X-class of submarines.  The SSBN-X is a class of ballistic missile submarine slated to replece the Ohio-class SSBNs now in service with the U.S. Navy, the Navy is currently looking to replace the Ohio-class sometime during the 2020s. 
    However, during the last years of the Cold War with the Soviet Union. the Navy went through an enormous shipbuilding program intended to culminate in a 600 ship Navy in order to compete with the Soviets on the high seas. The high point of the 600-ship Navy plan was 594 ships in 1987, rising to 594 ships from the post-Vietnam low of of 521 ships.
     Because of this massive shipbuilding effort during the 1980s, a large amount of the Navy will age out during the 2020s and there is little anyone can do to stop it from happening. Furthermore, with a large part of the Navy being decommissioned it will be extremely hard for the Navy to replace the Nimitz-class aircraft carriers and the Ohio-class SSBNs at the same time. Since the SSBN-X has an estimated cost of 6-7 billion dollars apiece the SSBN-X alone would eat up a sizable portion of the Navy's shipbuilding budget, not counting the Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carriers slated to begin replacing the Nimitz-class beginning in the 2015 and ending sometime after 2040.
     Most people might ask what is the solution to this problem? Well, for starters we could have all the Socialists/Communists sent off to Nowhere, USA and have them start a big commune and leave the rest of us alone (that's sarcasm). In reality the solution to ALL of America's budget woes is really quite simple, cut the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, Education, Energy, Agriculture, cut about 90% of the Department of the Interior and cut the Department of Homeland Security. If all of this is done the benefits are enormous because we could pay off the debt, have money for defense and best of all have less government. However, the pies de resistance is that all of those things would become the state's responsibility as stated in the 10th amendment to the Constitution which states, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." lav
     Which ever way the government chooses to go, they must choose quickly, because the U.S. Navy is crumbling before our very eyes.    

Monday, April 25, 2011

It's Been 6 Months Since The Missile Launch Off California

     It's been almost six months since the mysterious missile launch off the southern California coast. I have heard ideas that it was something to do with pissed off teachers unions to, that it was a Chinese submarine missile launch showing the U.S., China can reach us. The government says that it was just a jet contrail and nothing out of the ordinary. What started this whole thing was a grainy video taken by a news helicopter showing something flying up. Here is the raw video:

     At 0:11 in the video there is a glowing red dot on the end of whatever was flying up, I have been to several air shows and jet engines from that distance do NOT glow like that. The only flying machine that flies like that is a rocket and, on November 9, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency posted a warning to shipping in the area, that the area the missile originated from that there would be ”intermittent missile firing operations”.
     Hypothetically speaking, if it were a Chinese Type 094  Jin-class SSBN that launched a JL-2 SLBM this would show a stunning collapse of American SOSUS (Sound Surveillance System) systems, early warning systems and most of all, American anti-ballistic missile systems. If it were true that the Chinese launched a missile off the U.S. coast, quite frankly there will and would be hell to pay in the Pentagon and Capital Hill. However, I have doubts that it was the Chinese that did this because the noise that most of their submarines make underwater is somewhat akin to a Mettalica concert on steroids. The only Chinese submarine that could make it to the U.S. coast without being detected is a Kilo-class diesel-electric submarine but, a Kilo submarine's range is only about 400 miles at 3 knots or 6,000 to 7,500 miles with snorkel at 7 knots. Furthermore, if it was a Kilo it would obviously have to use it's snorkel and that is 10 times more noisy than a Chinese SSBN. Also, Kilo's cannot launch any sort of ballistic missile and, I don't think a SA-N-8 Gremlin would make that sort of exhaust (the land version is called the SA-14 Gremlin).
      Now that China for the most part is ruled out, the only other nations that have SSBNs are the United States, United Kingdom, France and Russia. The United Kingdom and France both keep their SSBNs in the Atlantic ocean and Russia only has Typhoon-class and Delta III and IV-class submarines both of which are easily detectable by sonar nets (SOSUS) and have no reason to provoke us like this. That leaves the US of A, if it were the U.S. that would explain the missile launch warning from the feds and, the Navy is currently working on the replacement for the Ohio-class SSBNs called the SSBN-X. The SSBN-X is supposed to carry the successor to the Trident D-5 carried by all U.S. SSBNs at the moment, this missile is called the Trident E-6 which is expected to go into service in 2030. It is a bit early but, it might not be a ballistic missile because the U.S. military is known for highly classified projects that only come out 10-20+ years later like the F-117, SR-71 and CONSTANT PEG.
       Whatever the object was the government seems very nervous about releasing any info about what it was except the story that it was a jet. Our dear leader (thats sarcasm) Barack Obama once said  "the only people who don't want to disclose the truth are people with something to hide." 

Photo Credit: CNN

Saturday, April 23, 2011

It's The Weekend!

Since it's the weekend and I get two days off from writing I give you this cool video I found on YouTube. Enjoy!

I did not make this, I am not that good at CFS 3.

Friday, April 22, 2011

More Bang For Your Truck: The Club K Cruise Missile System

Your eyes do not deceive you folks, thats right a cruise missile system in a shipping container. The Russian defense firm Concern Morinformsystem-Agat is marketing the launcher for as the company says "hitting surface and land targets". Well, folks I trust the Russians about as much as the United Nations and, if a defense firm is selling something that can be smuggled in rather easily by way of our southern border, I don't like it one bit. This system is so revolutionary that officials at the Port of Savannah in Georgia had never heard of it until a local news station asked them about it. Furthermore the company making the Club K says that it can be moved by way of sea and rail so, get in the border with Mexico, put it on a railway and pick it up again at some distant location, the perfect terrorist weapon right? ConcernAgat the company's YouTube channel posted a video showing the Club K in action in a perfect scenario, check it out:


    The idea of putting a Klub series missile inside a shipping container is an interesting concept but, since the Russians will sell anything short of nuclear weapons and delivery systems to anyone with enough money it poses hazards to every country in the world. For instance, say Osama Bin Laden decides to use some of his vast fortune to say, buy 10 Club K units, ships them to Mexico, bribes the Mexican customs into letting him through and, then runs them into the U.S.. From there you have a multitude of problems since thousands upon thousands of shipping containers move through the U.S. daily and, the ones you are looking for look exactly the same as the ones carrying merchandise to the grocery store. Then you have 40 cruise missiles aimed at targets throughout the U.S. then they let fly and, wham! At least 20 high value targets like the White House, the Golden Gate Bridge or the Empire State Building, gone or severely damaged in an instant. 
     What makes this situation worse is that this could happen to any country in the world, all you need are some muslim extremists or disgruntled citizens, a few million dollars, which is turned into a few Club K units and wham! 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Thursday Must Reads

1. Michael Peck over at the Danger Room wrote an interesting article on some of the mistakes Pharaoh made when attacking the Israelites.

2. Pakistan tested a new short range, nuclear capable, ballistic missile on Tuesday, the missile is named the "Nasr" or "Victory".

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

No! It can't be true!

DoD Buzz reports that the Air Force is going to slim the B-1 Lancer force down by 6 aircraft to a total of 60 B-1s in service. 
     The reason the Air Force says it is cutting the B-1 is to save 357 million dollars over the next 5 years. What I personally am wondering is, with the ability to pulverize terrorists that the B-1 has shown, why is the B-1 force being cut? As anyone who has any knowledge of current events has seen the increasing tensions between China and the U.S., why would an excellent long range bomber like the B-1 with a range of almost 7,500 miles be cut at a time when it is needed in both the Pacific and Afghanistan? The Air Force in my opinion is being extremely shortsighted in slimming down the strategic bomber force from it's Cold War high down to just, 85 B-52s, 20 B-2s and 66 B-1Bs. 

Photo Credit: Ellsworth AFB

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Air Force Looking Into Producing A New ICBM

Finally! The Federal Government has seen the light! The Pentagon has begun looking at the replacement for the aging Minuteman III ICBM!
     With all the celebrating over, let me elaborate on the Minuteman III missile. The Minuteman III was developed in the late 1960s as a variant of the original Minuteman I ICBM which was one of the U.S. responses to the supposed "missile gap", where the Soviet Union had a supposed advantage in nuclear armed ICBMs. The Minuteman III's development began in 1964 and the Minuteman III went operational around 1971, with the 741st Strategic Missile Wing at Minot AFB in North Dakota. The Minuteman III was the first ballistic missile to carry MIRVs, usually carrying three W62 nuclear warheads each with a yield of 170kt (KiloTons) or about 170,000 tons of TNT. With the all of the arms limitation treaties being signed in the last 20 years since the downfall of the Soviet Union (START II, SORT, New START, etc.) the United States has unilaterally removed MIRVs from the Minuteman III, as of 2011 the U.S. has only 1 nuclear warhead on it's land based ICBM force.
     Now, there are a few problems with the development of a new ICBM, 1. The anti-nuclear crowd will scream bloody murder that the U.S. is restarting the Cold War. 2. All the skills necessary to produce a ICBM have deteriorated since we have not produced a ICBM since the the LGM-118 Peacemaker in 1970s and 1980s. 3. We have not developed a new nuclear warhead since the W88 for the Peacekeeper in the late 1980s. 4. As I said before in problem 2 all the skills necessary to produce an ICBM have deteriorated thus, the producer would have to start from scratch to build an ICBM which would be quite expense and, the Pentagon recently has been having a rash of projects overshooting their budget, and are not eager to have another boondoggle like the F-35 5. The President recently signed the New START treaty that limits Russia and the U.S. to a total of 1,550 strategic nuclear warheads a piece.
      With the problems laid out allow me to give you the answers. 1. Ignore the anti-nuclear crowd and hope for the best. 2. Well, there is not really a solution for this problem except to just do the job (and hope Congress doesn't cancel the program if the first missile crashes). 3. The answer is relatively simple to this question, have Lawrence Livermore Laboratory in California  go into overdrive to produce a new ICBM warhead and a new nuclear gravity bomb to replace the aging B61. 4. If the program becomes overly expense, in the contract have a clause that forces the contractor to pay for 10 to 50% of the program depending on the size of the overrun. 5. Pull out NOW, New START is meaningless. New START covers only strategic nuclear warheads and the Russians have said they are not to eager to regulate tactical nukes.
Thats not all, the Russians have said that if they feel threatened by troop movements by the U.S. or NATO or even future plans, they will pull out of New START. Finally, any nuclear limitation treaty is a moot point without China signing it due to the fact that China is third place in total amount of nuclear warheads with around 400 nukes and, climbing.
     Whatever path is taken by the American Government we must choose quickly because our nuclear deterrent is aging rapidly and, at some point in the near future it will collapse because there is nothing more we can do to extend the lifetime of our present nuclear force. Thus, Congress and the President must begin a nuclear modernization program within the next 4 years or in the near future face a crisis never before imagined by any American since the 1950s.....a total lack of a nuclear deterrent.

Photo Credit: USAF/Wikipedia

Sunday, April 10, 2011

DF-21D: Is It A Threat?

Recently there has been a lot of talk about China's new DF-21D Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile (ASBM) and, that it is a threat to US naval forces throughout the Pacific Ocean. However the Chinese have had many problems with high-end technology as evidenced by their lack of a modern AWACS aircraft and the fact that they have had a multitude of problems in developing indigenous weapon systems, without copying another countries systems with no licence 
     The missile system that the DF-21D is based off of is the DF-21, (DF standing for DongFeng). The DF-21 is an Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM) capable of ranges between 1700-3000 kilometers depending on the variant. The DF-21's NATO designation is CSS-6 with the DF-21's variants having Mod 1-4. The DF-21 series has been in service since the early 1990s but, only now has turned into a real threat.   
     The method in which the Chinese have turned the DF-21D into a threat is through maneuverable reentry vehicles or MARVs. The difference between conventional multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle or MIRVs and MARVs is that a MARV is capable of inflight maneuvers thus, posing a greater challenge to anti-ballistic missile systems like the Aegis BMD system (Ballistic Missile Defense). One of the reasons ASBMs are not usually used by most countries armed forces is that ASBMs are extremly complicated. Imagine firing a model rocket at a moving bullseye 2-3cm wide and a meter long, 350m away and hitting the bullseye. This is probably not the best analogy but, it shows the challenges involed with this type of weapon system. In fact ASBMs are so complicated that the Soviet Union developed a sub fired ASBM designated the SS-NX-13 but, a couple of years later gave up on the system. 
     This is just an observers opinion but, given time the DF-21D could possibly develop into a threat.