Thursday, July 24, 2014

HMS Illustrious

God Save The Queen!

HMS Illustrious, the second most famous commissioned warship in the Royal Navy, returned to Portsmouth naval base for the last time July 21, marking the end of a 32-year career for the helicopter carrier.

Having handed over duties as the Navy’s helicopter carrier to Ocean, the 22,000-ton Illustrious, affectionately known as Lusty, is scheduled to be officially decommissioned by the end of the year.

The carrier has clocked almost 890,000 miles and seen service in the Falkland Islands, Bosnia, Sierra Leone, Iraq and elsewhere. Her final public role was to play a part in the naming ceremony of the Royal Navy’s new 65,000-ton carrier Queen Elizabeth on July 4.

Unlike the other two Invincible-class carriers, which ended their days in the breaker’s yard, Lusty may have a more dignified future. The Ministry of Defence has invited tenders to turn the warship into a museum.

The ship was launched in 1978, the second of the three light carriers built to deploy BAE Systems Sea Harrier jets and helicopters.

Britain axed its fleet of Harriers in the 2010 strategic defence and security review, controversially leaving the Royal Navy without a fast jet capability — a gap that will only be filled in 2020 when the carrier Queen Elizabeth is scheduled to become operational, deploying F-35 Lightening II jets.
Illustrious underwent a refit to take over the task as the Royal Navy’s helicopter carrier when Ocean underwent a £65 million (US $million) refit.

In Royal Navy fleet fame, Illustrious is second only to HMS Victory, the 104-gun flagship of Lord Nelson during the Battle of Trafalgar, which despite being launched in 1765 is still in commission as the First Sea Lord’s flagship

Pic - “We have set a standard for others to follow as the Illustrious now takes on the responsibility as the nation’s on-call helicopter and commando carrier.”

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Sino Air Power


Zhōngguó Rénmín Jiěfàngjūn Kōngjūn!
Given China’s moves to police its near seas in recent years, it is important to understand the role that air power might play in China’s military playbook. Since it seized the Scarborough Shoal from the Philippines, China has grown increasingly provocative in the South and East China Seas. However, it has generally done so with the use of non-naval maritime assets, including coast guard ships. The PLAAF has played a more limited role in China’s provocative episodes. With the exception of too-close-for-comfort flybys over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands, the PLAAF has generally sat on the sidelines.

10 things Americans need to know about the People’s Liberation Army Air Force.

Money Shot #4:

The PLAAF is a secondary element within the PLA, comprising just 17 percent of China’s total military. The PLA, staying true to its origins as the Chinese Communist Party’s coercive arm, remains largely a ground force. As such, the PLA continues to have a “ground force-dominated culture,” says Kenneth W. Allen, a retired USAF officer and expert on the PLAAF. Another important aspect of why air power doesn’t feature at the top of the PLA’s agenda is due to the bureaucratic path dependencies of Chinese military leadership.

The PLA falls under the purview of the Central Military Commission (CMC) of the Communist Party itself. As such, not only is the PLA the largest military force in the world by the number of active duty personnel, but it is the largest militant arm of a political army. Furthermore, given the PLA’s overwhelming focus on ground forces, the CMC’s leadership tends to be primarily comprised of former army officers.

To be sure, China is actively grooming its air force into a more formidable fighting force. Projects such as the Chengdu J-20 highlight the strategic and budgetary emphasis given to air power in China.

Despite these trends, air power continues to sit on the sidelines of Chinese military strategy with important implications for how China’s regional competitors should think about potentially countering Beijing’s growing military might. Analysts have been right, for the moment, to focus on China’s growing anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) capabilities, which have little to do with air power per se. In the South China Sea, Beijing has strategically chosen to limit its use to naval assets and instead opt for careful “salami slicing.” On a budgetary level, the cost-benefit ratio for China is significantly better with its A2/AD technologies than any aerial technologies (with the exception of remotely piloted aircraft).

One can imagine a major role for the PLAAF should matters escalate around the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands. In any amphibious assault on the islands involving Chinese ground and naval forces, air supremacy would prove crucial. Japan keeps its fighters stationed at Okinawa at the ready for precisely such a scenario. To answer the titular question here, China does care about air power and is likely to care more as it continues to increase its military spending. External factors, such as the material capabilities of Japan and the United States, seem to be an important driver of the PLA’s shift from a ground force-centric military to a more diverse fighting force. As long as there are signs that Great Satan and Japan will remain proactive about air power (including Great Satan's controversial Air-Sea Battle plans), China should care about air power.

Pic - "Amazing combat capability of China’s sixth-generation J-28 fighter jet: An accurate hunter of nuclear missile from solar system!!”

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Shijaiyah!

As Little Satan grinds up HAMAS in a grinding attrition close quarters battle in the Strip's Shijaiyah neighborhood - the olde chiz about Little Satan again scoring a tactical vicory orver a strategic victory certainly comes to mind.

Only it may be the other way around.  

Seems all those Invasion Tunnels from the Strip into Little Satan proper has been a game changer.

What if Little Satan plans on driving HAMAS out of Dodge and out of biz, then sticking around to plant a tolerant egalitarian style democracy?

Regime Changing they calls it!

Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, one of the coalition government’s hard-liners and a former company commander of special forces, said, “There is a world of weapons tunnels penetrating into Israel, creating the possibility of a mega-attack, do not rule out the goal of toppling the Hamas regime”
Pic - "Under Construction"



Monday, July 21, 2014

Valkyrie Tag

 
Valkyrie is an ancient viking superstition. When brave Norsemen fell in battle (often raiding parties) these hotties with their mammoth shields would appear on winged horses and tote off the fallen to heathen heaven - Valhalla.

Despite oathbreaking, defacing images of gods and wickedness in general - all would be forgiven by success in combat - especially if the offender died a heroic saga inspiring death.

Claus Schenk was a real European blue blood aristocrat. Awarded nobility back in the Holy Roman Empire days ( funny though - HRE was a triple no go - it was neither Holy, Roman or an Empire) the family became von Staffenberg.

In WWII time Deutschland, Valkyrie was code for the Nazi party to maintain control of the Reich in the event of a catastrophic disaster that killed or incapacitated the leadership.
By summertime 1944, 3rd Reich was facing the horrible modern era manifestation of von Gneisenau and von Scharnhorst's ultimate nightmare - the multi front war.

Allies had captured Rome and were grinding their way up the bloody Eyetye boot of Italy, Allies were fixing to bust out of the Normandy bocage and unleash Great Satan's panzer General Patton. And the largest defeat in modern history - the destruction of Armee Gruppe Centre saw the annihilation of 20 irreplacable German divisions in a massive Soviet blitz that drove Germany out of Russia and vaulted the Red Army right outside Warsaw.

Despite Allied claims that only unconditional surrender would satiate the Allied and Russian thirst for righteous payback, a clique of Wehrmacht officers plotted a coup d'tat' against 3rd Reich in an effort to spare Germany ultimate defeat and dismemberment using the contingency plan of 'Valkyrie'.

Germany's armed forces had to swear a 'holy oath' - not to the state or nation or a constitution - but to der fuhrer personally. In order for the plot to work - der fuhrer had to be killed. Valkyrie also planned trying the wartime leaders of 3rd Reich for war and humanitarian crimes, working out reparations with the allies and bringing Germany back into the family of nations.

Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg was a panzer officer that had fought in Poland, France, Russia and with the famous 'Afrika Korps'.

Suffering debilitating wounds from combat - losing an eye, a hand and three fingers, Claus and his co conspirators - facing the truth of the regime they so valiantly served - tried in their own way to rectify their sins - singular and collective.

Valkyrie energized the evil leaders of 3rd Reich, anyone connected with the cats of the coup were ruthlessly hunted down, tormented and slain. The ground ran red with German blood. The regime was determined to fight to the last and like Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries" heralded the final lo down ho down like Wagner's viking final, apocalyptic battle - "Gotterdammerung"

In the next 9 months Deutsche military fought until there was literally no country left to defend. The Third Reich - she died kicking and screaming, finally crashing down in an orgy of pulverized, burning cities and a river of blood — civilian and military, German and non-German. Military history knows no year quite like 1944 -45 and if lucky, will never see another.

Pic - "2 field marshals, 19 generals, 26 colonels, two ambassadors, seven diplomats, one minister, three secretaries of state, as well as the head of the Reich Police - all perished in the failed Coup d"etat of 20 July 1944".


Friday, July 18, 2014

China's Biggest Threat

The world's most biggest Collectivist Mommieland faces a real threat.

Great Satan hooking up with Nippon, SoKo, Philippines, Viet Nam and Taiwan?

Whale, maybe - one day LOL.

Yet for now - right now - Red China military is being threatened by the big C...


Nowhere else has corruption become as much a national security priority as in China. General Liu Yuan, political commissar of the PLA’s General Logistics Department, which services the 2.3-million-strong PLA, delivered a fiery speech before his department in 2012 criticizing the unchecked mentality of "malignant individualism” that beset the PLA. Officers openly sold their services at “clearly marked prices,” followed orders only suiting their professional interests, purchased promotions, and blackmailed CCP leaders.

While actual numbers are unattainable, corruption has become so profuse that some experts consider it a conservative estimate to assume that even 10 percent of procurement contracts and administrative spending—accounting for 0.65% of China’s $8.27 trillion GDP—are used as kickbacks or bribes, if not simply stolen!

On the one hand, greater civilian participation and transparency in the military would send a positive signal to the U.S. and Japan about their intentions to democratize, in addition to opening channels for mutual understanding, information sharing, and dialogue.

On the other hand, further indictments without reforming an institution permissive of corruption will undoubtedly cause China’s military to atrophy over time, if not implode from domestic protest.

That’s a scenario that could prove dangerous not only for Beijing, but also the rest of the globe.

Pic - "Probable future course of military-technological development of the People’s Liberation Army  and probable development of Chinese security strategy and military strategy and operational concepts supporting such development over the next 20 years. "

Thursday, July 17, 2014

5 Weapons Persia Should Fear From Little Satan


One thing the highest levels of Persia's Preacher Command may keep in mind RE: open conflict with Little Satan is Little Satan's combatty prowess...

Should hostilities erupt, Iran will have to confront one of the most capable militaries in the world. Here are five Israeli weapons that should worry Iran:

F-35 Stealth Aircraft
Little Satan  has bought 19 F-35s, which are scheduled to begin arriving in 2017. There are actually two what-ifs regarding the expensive and controversial U.S. stealth strike aircraft. The first is whether the F-35 will prove to be an immensely powerful weapon, or an overpriced, unreliable aircraft that will devour huge chunks of the American and Israeli budgets.

Even if the engines don't catch on fire or the aircraft's stealth design can avoid radar detection, the F-35 is not an awesome bomb carrier: to preserve stealth, it has to forego external weapons and carry just two 2,000-pound JDAM guided bombs in its internal bomb bay.

Yet the F-35's capabilities are actually the smaller what-if. The bigger question isn't what the F-35 can do, but rather what Iran thinks it can do. If Great and Little Satan can't be sure how effective the F-35 is, then neither can Iran. In which case, they will have to assume that Israel possesses a cutting-edge stealth aircraft that can penetrate Iranian air defenses undetected and strike nuclear facilities with precision-guided weapons.

Or, weapons even more powerful. There are reports that Israeli F-35s will be configured to carry nuclear weapons.

F-15I Ra'am Strike Aircraft
Unlike the F-35, the F-15I-- the Israeli version of the F-15E Strike Eagle -- is a known and highly capable aircraft. Heavily armed with Python 5 air-to-air and Popeye air-to-ground missiles, as well as electronic countermeasures, Little Satan's 25 F-15Is should be more than a match for Iran's handful of MiG-29s and Mirages, and its elderly fleet of F-14 and F-4s.

Israel has gained experience in long-range strike operations, including raids in Sudan against arms factories and truck convoys carrying weapons for Hezbollah and Hamas. The distance between Tel Aviv and Khartoum is almost 1,200 miles, even further than the thousand-mile distance between Tel Aviv and Tehran.

Of course, bombing Sudan is much easier than bombing Iran, which has a fairly sophisticated air defense system. But Little Satan 's Ra'ams are a powerful weapon that would be in the forefront of any attack on Iran.

Jericho III Missiles
While Iranian missiles have received all the attention, it is worth remembering that Little Satan  also has ballistic missiles of its own. The three-stage Jericho III reportedly can lob a 2.2-ton warhead intermediate-range ballistic missile capable of carrying a 1,000-kg (2,204-lb.) warhead more than 3,000 miles. A solid-fueled missile, which should enable it to be launched quickly if needed, the Jericho III almost certainly can carry one of the nuclear warheads that Israel has never admitted to possessing.

Such missiles, or at least those carrying conventional warheads, probably aren't accurate enough to destroy a pinpoint target like a nuclear weapons research facility. Little Satan  would also be reluctant to launch a missile barrage for fear of international backlash, unless the situation were really critical, such as Iran firing WMDs. Still, in addition to a potent threat from Little Satan  aircraft, Tehran also has to reckon with powerful Israeli missiles.

Dolphin-class U Boats

Little Satan recently received her fifth German-built Dolphin-class diesel submarine. The fourth and fifth subs, plus a sixth under construction, have advanced air-independent propulsion that uses fuel cells to enable them to stay submerged for far longer than earlier diesel subs.

In addition to their formidable capabilities as anti-surface and anti-submarine vessels, these Israeli subs are widely considered to be equipped with nuclear-armed cruise missiles. They may not be as sophisticated as U.S. or British nuclear subs with Trident missiles. But on the other hand, it's not like Iran has much in the way of anti-submarine warfare capability, let alone the capacity to deploy it in the Eastern Mediterranean or the Red Sea, from where Little Satan  subs could operate close to Israeli waters while still remaining within firing range of Iran. Much like U.S. missile subs, the Dolphins give Israel a second-strike capability to retaliate with nuclear weapons, even if a surprise attack on the tiny nation were to destroy Israel's other nuclear arms.

Arrow Missile Interceptors
 Little Satan recently tested its U.S-funded Arrow III missile, designed to destroy incoming ballistic missiles. Given the problems the U.S. has had with successfully intercepting missile, it's not clear how well the Arrow system would intercept Iranian ballistic missiles (though the Iron Dome hasn't done badly against short-range Hamas rockets in the recent fighting). Considering we could be talking about Iranian WMDs, a leaky missile defense shield isn't exactly reassuring.

But this is only part of the equation. Just as in the Cold War, uncertainty is everything in nuclear deterrence. While Iran could undoubtedly overwhelm Little Satan's missile defenses by firing enough rockets, the Arrow system means Tehran can't be sure how many missiles would get through, or which targets would or would not be hit. The effect may be more psychological than physical (no less for providing psychological reassurance to the Little Satan  public), but it is still significant.

Pic - "Iran is a far less modern military power in comparative terms than it was during the time of the shah or during the Iran-Iraq War. Nevertheless, it is slowly improving its conventional forces, and it is now the only regional military power that poses a serious conventional military threat to Persian Gulf stability"

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Long Arm Of ISIS

ISIS!!

Not so far back, 44 LOL'd the would be caliphaters.

Now, the Attorney General warned that the group is now partnering with Yemeni bomb makers to create weapons he called “more frightening than anything I think I’ve seen as attorney general.”

See,

ISIS fighters in Syria, according to new intelligence reports, are working with the terrorists who created the underwear bomb that a Nigerian national failed to detonate over Detroit on Christmas Day in 2009. These reports have prompted the Transportation Security Administration to increase security at foreign airports. Passengers are now required to power up mobile phones and other electronic devices before people can board, a precaution that hints at the possibility of a cell phone or even a hair dryer could be used as an explosive device.

For weeks, ISIS has stood on the outskirts of Baghdad, seemingly content to declare the formation of a caliphate and control the territory stretching from eastern Syria into western Iraq. There are new indications, however, that the group’s ambitions reach far outside Iraq.

In a recent video, ISIS sets its sights on Jordan. In the video, the group calls the country’s moderate pro-Western King Abdullah a “tyrant” and threatens to “slaughter” him.

If ISIS were to move on Jordan, it could prompt Israel to get involved in the fight. Jordan and Israel have a peace treaty and in the past have pledged cooperation in the fight against Islamic extremism.
“There is a very good cooperation between us regarding ISIS’s growing presence in Iraq and Syria, but also on issues relating to other radical forces in the Middle East which have their sights set on Israel and Jordan,” a Jordanian diplomatic source told Yedioth Ahronoth, a newspaper in Tel Aviv.
 
There are also new reports that ISIS has infiltrated the Iraqi military. An article in The New York Times says an internal DOD assessment found that American military advisers could only advise half of Iraq’s military; the other half have either been influenced by Sunni fighters loyal to ISIS or Shiites from Iran.

The assessment does not contain specific recommendations for what the Pentagon can do to turn back ISIS. However, Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has already said that Iraqi forces are incapable of retaking territory held by ISIS. “They would be challenged to go on the offense, mostly logistically challenged,” Dempsey said.

ISIS has also managed to get its hands on low-grade uranium. It captured Mosul University, which has roughly 90 pounds of uranium, according to Iraqi U.N. Ambassador Mohamed Ali Alhakim.

A statement by the International Atomic Energy Agency said that the materials posed no proliferation risk. But concerns about the uranium promoted the State Department to assure the public that the material could not be used in a dirty bomb.

State Department spokesperson Jennifer Psaki said the materials were “used for scientific and medical purposes…an important contextual point on our level of concern.”

Pic - "As a consequence, there are no good options in Iraq or Syria."