Monday, August 21, 2017

Trump Strategy for Afganistan nobody's business

U.S. President Donald Trump unveiled his strategy on Afghanistan. A pillar is that the U.S. will not reveal dates, troop numbers or plans for America's longest military conflict. With Taliban insurgent forces no nearer to defeat, current U.S. troop numbers are about 8,400. Trump has been skeptical of how the United States is fighting the war in Afghanistan, which was launched by President George W. Bush in October 2001. "We're not winning," he said in July, questioning whether U.S. Army General John Nicholson should be fired. U.S. forces have remained bogged down in Afganistan through the presidencies of Bush, Barack Obama and now Trump. About 2,400 U.S. forces have died in Afghanistan since the invasion.

Friday, August 18, 2017

U.S. military leaders condemn racism following Trump's comments on Charlottesville

America's top-ranking military officers spoke out forcefully against racial bigotry and extremism, a very rare public foray into domestic politics that revealed a growing unease at the Pentagon with President Trump.
The members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff -- the senior uniformed brass of the Navy, Marine Corps, Army and Air Force -- all posted messages on their official Twitter accounts to denounce the far-right extremists behind the violence in Charlottesville, Va.
“The Army doesn't tolerate racism, extremism, or hatred in our ranks,” Gen. Mark Milley, chief of staff of the Army, tweeted. “It's against our Values and everything we've stood for since 1775.”

The 82nd Airborne Division used Twitter to disavow a man photographed giving a Nazi salute while wearing a hat with the division's insignia. "Respectfully, anyone who thinks this man represents our culture and values has never worn the maroon beret... and never will," the 82nd Airborne tweeted.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Laser Weapon System (LaWS)

The AN/SEQ-3 Laser Weapon System or XN-1 LaWS is a directed-energy weapon developed by the United States Navy. The weapon was installed on USS Ponce for field testing in 2014. In December 2014, the United States Navy reported that the LaWS system worked perfectly, and that the commander of the Ponce is authorized to use the system as a defensive weapon.

LaWS uses an infrared beam from a solid-state laser array which can be tuned to high output to destroy the target or low output to warn or cripple the sensors of a target. Among the advantages of this device versus projectile weapons is the low cost per shot.
The LaWS is designed to be used against low-end asymmetric threats. Scalable power levels allow it to be used on low-power to dazzle a person's eye to high power to fry sensors, burn out motors, and detonate explosive materials.

Against a vital point on small UAVs, one can be shot down in as little as two seconds. When facing small boats, the laser would target a craft's motor to disable it. LaWS is accurate enough to target explosives if on board. Against larger aircraft like helicopters, it is able to burn through vital components, which would cause them to crash.
LaWS will act as a short-range, self-defense system against drones and boats, while more powerful lasers in the future should have enough power to destroy anti-ship missiles. LaWS are meant to complement other missile and gun-based defense systems rather than replace them.

While lasers are significantly cheaper and have virtually unlimited magazines, their beams can be disrupted by atmospheric and weather conditions and are restricted to line-of-sight firing to keep the beam on target. Conventional systems will remain in place for larger and longer-range targets that require the use of a kinetic defense.


Monday, August 14, 2017

Soviet Su-35S

This is a story of two jets and two air shows. The Paris Air Show was supposed to put to rest the unpatriotic criticisms of Lockheed's majestic F-35. It didn't. The jet performed mediocre at best. At worst, people were basically calling it a 5th generation toaster.

That was back in June. Fast-forward to the present. The Su-35S gave a performance to remember at MAKS, the annual international air show held outside of Moscow.
MAKS is an international airshow held at Zhukovsky International Airport, the home of the Gromov Flight Research Institute in Zhukovsky, 40 km (25 mi) southeast of Moscow, Russia. 200 aircraft took part in the event’s flight program and 116 others were showcased on the ground.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

'Trump chicken'; makes inflatable Chickens great again

A giant inflatable chicken resembling U.S. President Donald Trump waded into the swamp of U.S. politics, rearing its coiffed head just outside the White House gates. With its swooping gold hairstyle, angry eyebrows and emphatically-gesturing finger-feathers, the nine-metre white chicken balloon sparked many comparisons to the president of the United States.
A Chinese factory started producing balloons with a “Trump chicken” design in January.

The bird was spotted in Washington in April at a protest demanding Trump release his tax returns, but this marks the first time the chicken POTUS has come home to roost at the White House itself.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Trump threatens North Korea with 'fire and fury'

President Trump, facing a growing nuclear threat from North Korea, warned the country on Tuesday against any new provocations and issued his own threat. "North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States” Trump told reporters.

The comments came after a report in the Washington Post citing a U.S. intelligence assessment that North Korea has successfully produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead that can be affixed to missiles, greatly expanding the country’s range and power.
Trump: "North Korea best not make any more threats to the U.S. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen."

Trump’s rhetoric in some ways mirrors his North Korean counterpart’s.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Navy Reveals F-35 Helmet Display Videos And Flight Test Dangers

Video from Flight Test Safety Committee's conference early last May offers insight into the F-35 test program. Lt. Col. D. Tom Fields goes into detail about a couple of challenges the program, a refreshing change from the usual one-sided spin from the F-35 Program Office.

During the presentation, never seen before nighttime video recorded by the aircraft's helmet mounted display (HMD) is shown. A display malfunction nearly caused disaster during one of the nighttime shipboard landing tests. Fields makes it clear: "We got real lucky that night."
An F-35B struggles to refuel behind a KC-135R. Its refueling probe's tip gets snapped off in the tanker's receptacle basket.
The test's goal was to see if the F-35B could use its afterburner to go "higher, heavier, and slower" while refueling. The answer is absolutely nope.
 You can watch the video in its entirety by clicking this link.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Trump Says U.S.‘Losing’ Afghan War

President Donald Trump has become increasingly frustrated with his advisers tasked with crafting a new U.S. strategy in Afghanistan and recently suggested firing the war's top military commander.

Trump repeatedly suggested that Defense Secretary James Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford replace Gen. John Nicholson, the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, because he is not winning the war. Trump has not met Nicholson, and the Pentagon has been considering extending his time in Afghanistan.
Over nearly two hours in the situation room, according to the officials, Trump complained about NATO allies, inquired about the United States getting a piece of Afghan’s mineral wealth and repeatedly said the top U.S. general there should be fired. During the meeting, Trump criticized his military advisers seated around the table in the White House Situation Room.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

HMS Queen Elizabeth - world's second largest supercarrier

The long awaited flagship of The Royal Navy HMS Queen Elizabeth was launched this year. The 65000-ton aircraft carrier is the biggest warship of the Royal Navy. HMS Queen Elizabeth is a state or art warship. The aircraft carrier will have a crew of 3000. In a no holds barred war the aircraft carrier would be extremely vulnerable to air and missile attack. The aircraft carrier has cost the state 3 billion pounds.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

No island as important as Gotland, says US military chief

There is no island as strategically important as Gotland, a top US military chief has told Swedish media as his soldiers prepare to join Sweden's largest exercise in two decades. Sweden is leading the major military exercise 'Aurora 17' in September, with units from all over Sweden, at sea, land and air. More than 19,000 troops are set to take part, including 1,435 soldiers from the US, 270 from Finland, 120 from France and between 40-60 each from Denmark, Norway, Lithuania and Estonia.

It will focus on the Stockholm and Gothenburg regions and Gotland, the Baltic Sea island at the centre of military discussions in Sweden, where fear of an increasingly assertive Russia has grown in recent years.
Russia will hold a joint exercise, Zapad 2017, with Belarus around the same time as Aurora 17, seen by many Nato allies as an attempt to flex its muscles.

Swedish Grippen planes above Visby Harbor
The US has stepped up its presence in eastern Europe with troops and tanks as part of a Nato build-up that has drawn criticism from Moscow.

Friday, July 28, 2017

North Korea fires missile that lands in sea off Japan

North Korea fired a ballistic missile which flew longer than any of its previous missiles and landed in the ocean off Japan, according to officials from Japan, South Korea and the United States. Japanese government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said the missile launched Friday flew for about 45 minutes -- about five minutes longer than the ICBM on July 4 -- and landed west of Japan's island of Hokkaido.
July 27 is a major national holiday in North Korea called Victory in the Fatherland Liberation War Day.
Analysts say the "Hwasong 14" ICBM launched by North Korea on July 4 could be capable of reaching most of Alaska or possibly Hawaii if fired in an attacking trajectory.

It was launched at a very steep angle, a technique called lofting, and reached a height of more than 2,500 kilometres (1,550 miles) before splashing down in the ocean 930 kilometres (580 miles) away.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Unpresidential Command - Trump orders service members to support Republican agenda.

In a serious breach of long established presidential norms, President Donald Trump urged sailors attending the commissioning of the USS Gerald R. Ford on Saturday to wade into the political fray and help lobby Congress.

The breach stands apart because of its directness and its implications. Trump’s verbal command in Norfolk, Virginia, incites the assembled troops to discard centuries of U.S. military ethics and break long-standing military rules. The military tradition of avoiding domestic politics literally predates the country.
Article 88 of the military justice code makes it a crime for an officer to use “contemptuous words” against the president, vice president, Congress, or certain other officials, whether for political purposes or not. Numerous Pentagon rules and regulations aim to keep service members out of politics. DoD Directive 1344.10 bars active and reserve service members from conducting political activity in uniform or in ways that suggest they carry the military’s approval. Other DoD rules limit the way troops can wear their uniforms, use their titles, or express themselves on political issues.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Russia and China Hold First Joint Naval Exercises in Baltic Sea

Russian and Chinese naval warships are holding joint exercises in the Baltic Sea for the first time, underscoring deepening military cooperation between the two powers.

China’s Hefei destroyer, Yuncheng frigate and Lomahu supply vessel are involved in drills with two Russian corvettes that include “artillery fire at surface and air targets”. Helicopters and Su-24 bombers will also be involved in the “anti-aircraft and anti-ship defense measures” coordinated from the Baltiysk base in Russia’s Kaliningrad enclave.
Russia has strengthened defense cooperation with China, particularly after the U.S. and European Union imposed sanctions over the Ukrainian crisis in 2014. Russian and Chinese warships conducted their first combined drills in the Mediterranean Sea in May 2015, followed three months later by maneuvers involving 22 combat ships and 20 aircraft off Russia’s Pacific coast. Similar exercises that included “island seizing” took place in the South China Sea last September.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Soviet S-400 long range surface-to-air missile system

The S-400 is a series of Russian long range surface-to-air missile systems produced by NPO Almaz. The S-400 system was developed to defend against aircraft and cruise missiles for the Soviet Air Defence Forces.
Subsequent variations were developed to intercept ballistic missiles. The S-300 system was first deployed by the Soviet Union in 1979. The S-400 is regarded as one of the most potent anti-aircraft missile systems in the world. It entered limited service in 2004.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Pentagon wasted $28 million on bizarre camouflage for Afghan soldiers

The Pentagon will be called to account for its pricey plan to outfit Afghan soldiers in uniforms with a private-label forest camouflage scheme of dubious value in the desert country. The military squandered $28 million by purchasing uniforms that use a proprietary forest pattern while woodlands cover less than 2% of the country. The Pentagon has spent $93 million since 2007 to buy 1.3 million uniforms for Afghan soldiers. By using a camouflage pattern owned but not currently used by the U.S. military could have saved taxpayers $71 million. The uniform flap has prompted bi-partisan outrage. A report showed Afghan Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak chose the camouflage pattern because “he liked what he saw” during an internet search.