Thursday, April 23, 2015

Армата!



Autocratic Commonwealth has teasing cats 'bout her newest panzer - the Armata - fixing to get debut'd at Commonwealth VE Day Parade

Actually, "Armata" is also a Universal Combat Platform for Russia's advanced next generation heavy military tracked vehicle platform. The "Armata" platform is intended to be the basis for a main battle tank, a heavy infantry fighting vehicle, a combat engineering vehicle, an armoured recovery vehicle, a heavy armoured personnel carrier, a tank support combat vehicle and several types of self-propelled artillery under the same codename based on the same chassis. 

She will also serve as the basis for artillery, air defense, and NBC defense systems.

Crafted at the main battle tank craftworks at Uralvagonzavod in Nizhny Tagil, the panzer version has a few known specs:

Armor: classified
Main armament - A new version of 125mm smoothbore cannon with ATGM capability
Secondary armament - 30mm Anti-aircraft gun and a 7.62mm machine gun
Engine Gas-turbine -1500-1800 hp
Transmission 8-speed manual gearbox
Speed - unknown
Weight - 55 tonnes

The electronics and targeting systems will be the available as many of the components have their origin in T-50 5th generation fighter plane. The exact configuration is, of course, still confidential.

She features a crewless turret and a computerized fire-control system is fitted to enable stationary and moving targets to be engaged with a very high first round hit probability.

Commonwealth plans on deploying around 2300 Armatas.

Pic - "Sure. Remember the 'Black Eagle' panzer? 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Naval Engagement

Whale, tons of talk about Persian naval naughtiness sending two Alborz class missile-launching destroyers and the Larak logistics ship to the Gulf of Aden and Great Satan's "Big Stick" -  CVN 71 battle group hanging out to intercept or at least observe Preacher Command's attempt to resupply and reinforce Yemen's Houthilicious rebels.
 
Funnily enough - it's like the anniversary of Iranian Navy Annihilation Day - 18 April 1987 in the Iran Iraq war.
 
On that crazy day, the Sinbad's of Persia actually drew beads and fired on the Great Satan and her navy.

Big mistake. Sparking a naval brawl that raged for 12 hours, Great Satan annihilated over 1.2 billion bucks worth of offshore oil platforms (they were also dual functioning as Revo Guard seaborne missile silos in the Gulf oil tanker war) and pretty much made the term 'Iranian Navy' truly past tense for like a decade.

 Ken Pollack's "Persian Puzzle" reads like a movie
"The Iranian Navy came out to fight. Light attack, F 4 Phantoms, even Iran's
largest warships sortied from Bandar Abbas to take on the American Forces. The
Iranian missile boat Joshan started the battle by firing an antiship missile at
an American cruiser (it missed) and was immediately sunk in a hail of missiles
and gunfire.
Iranian small boats and a pair of F 4's also tried to strike various American ships in the Gulf, and several of the boats were sunk or damaged as were both F-4s. The Iranian frigate Sahand fired on planes from the USS Enterprise, which was providing air support. Enterprise's air wing immediately put two Harpoon missiles and four laser guided bombs into the Sahand, sinking her.   
Finally, in a remarkable act of stupidity, the Iranians also sent out the frigate Sabalan, sister ship to the Sahand, late in the day, and it two fired three missiles at a passing American A-6 Intruder. The Intruder promptly put a 500 pound laser guided bomb neatly down Sabalan's smokestack."
The 18 April 1987 Persian Navy Annihilation Day is in the Great Satan's textbooks at Annapolis - the Naval Academy - as one of the top greatest victories ever won at sea by the Americans.

Somewhere after Midway, Leyte Gulf and the Battle of the Atlantic.

18 April is actually an Iranian state secret, hidden from The Islamic Republic's own people to this very day.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Syrian Death Knell


Suriya al Kubra!! 
The road connecting Homs and Damascus is critical for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's survival, but is likely to come under concurrent attack from the Islamic State AND Jabhat al-Nusra.

Crucially, Homs province connects Damascus province to the coastal mountains, which constitute the Alawite heartland. Maintaining that supply line open is critical for the ability of Assad's Alawite-dominated government to govern from Damascus. Moreover, the presence of a significant Alawite community in Homs is a further factor that would cause the Syrian government to give priority to relieving jihadist pressure around the city. Additionally, the prolonged closure of the Damascus-Homs road would likely destabilise Assad's hold on power for several reasons, even if, as is likely, the jihadists were unable to keep the road closed and Assad had to concentrate forces to keep it open at the expense of other sectors.

First, this would lead the Iranians to question the viability of Assad and his security forces as the best representatives of their interests in the Sunni-Shia war.

Second, it would lead the Alawites to question whether Assad is still the best option to protect their interests. That might well make the Assad's removal in a military coup more likely.

An offensive by Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State, probably working independently and aimed at severing communications between Homs and Damascus, is likely in the coming weeks. The Syrian government is likely to dedicate significant resources to defeating any such offensive. However, given how overstretched the Syrian forces are, this may well force it to pull back critical resources from other areas such as Aleppo. The Syrian government in Aleppo has already been significantly weakened, and a withdrawal of some forces from there to Homs may well pave the way for an insurgent takeover by the city, most likely by Jabhat al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham.

This kind of major defeat in either Aleppo or Homs would be likely to destabilise Assad's hold on power, as his domestic Alawite supporters and his Iranian sponsors might well decide that his removal is necessary to bring different elements of the Sunni population hostile to Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State to the negotiating table. Even Assad's removal would, however, be unlikely to end the war in Syria, as many militant groups would not accept a government which included any of Assad's current ruling elite. Moreover, even in the event of a peace agreement, the large numbers of militias in the country would take years to disarm, and infighting between them would also continue.

Pic - "A “core interest” after all “that children are not having barrel bombs dropped on them, that massive displacements aren’t taking place.”

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Doolittle Raid!

The catastrophe Imperial Nippon visited upon Great Satan in Hawaii on Infamy Day was catastrophic. Early analysis seemed to indicate PACCOM"s ability to make war was like totally derailed. Might be able to conscript and train to fever pitch infantry in  90 days - yet crafting a warfighting naval force takes eons to bling.

Philippines were conquered double quick time as the American Army suffered a frightening defeat capped with the ungodly Bataan Death March.

Some kinda payback had to be delivered and fast.

32 himself told the JCS Great Satan needed a desperate feel good high hooked up with a strike at the HQ of the Greater Far Eastern Co Prosperity Sphere, and Army Air Corps LtColonel Jimmy Doolittle agreed -  
"The Japanese people had been told they were invulnerable ... An attack on the Japanese homeland would cause confusion in the minds of the Japanese people and sow doubt about the reliability of their leaders. There was a second, and equally important, psychological reason for this attack ... Americans badly needed a morale boost"
The crazy assetted idosity of using B25 Mitchell bombers to fly off a CV were thought up by Navy Captain Francis Low, Assistant Chief of Staff for Anti-U Boat Warfare, and 16 craft and cats were sweetly voltiguer"d into service for the secret mission: Bomb Tokyo and select capital cities of the Empire of the Sun 

Bearing names like Bat Out of Hell, Fickle Finger of Fate, Whirling Dervish, Green Hornet, Ruptured Duck, The Avenger, The Hari Kari - er, TNT and Whiskey Pete - the Mitchells were like sexed up beyond repair: 
  • Installation of de-icers and anti-icers
  • Removal of the lower gun turret
  • Steel blast plates mounted on the fuselage around the upper turret
  • Removal of the liaison radio set (a weight impediment)
  • Installation of three additional fuel tanks and support mounts in the bomb bay, crawlway and lower turret area to increase fuel capacity from 646 to 1,141 gallons
  • Fake gun barrels installed in the tail cone
  • Replacement of their Norden bombsight with a makeshift aiming sight, devised by pilot Capt. C. Ross Greening and called the "Mark Twain" the materials for the bombsight cost only 20 cents.
Loaded up on CV-8 Hornet, the Doolittle Raiders and Task Force 18 launched at 8:20 A.M. on April 18th.  Despite the fact that nodobby, including Doolittle, had ever taken off from a carrier before, all 16 popped the B25 Army Bomber/Navy Carrier's cherry.

Eight primary and five secondary targets were struck. In Tokyo, the targets included an oil tank farm, a steel mill, and several power plants. In Yokosuka, at least one bomb from the B-25 piloted by Lt. Edgar E. McElroy struck the nearly completed IJN aircraft carrier Ryūhō, delaying her launch until November. Six schools and an army hospital were also hit. Japanese officials reported that the two aircraft whose crews were captured had struck their targets.

The plan was to bomb military targets in Japan, and to continue westward to land in China—landing a medium bomber on the Hornet was impossible.

Didn't exactly work out that way - See, all the aircraft involved in the bombing were lost and 11 crewmen were either killed or captured—with three of the captured men executed by the Japanese Army in China. One of the B-25s landed in the Soviet Union at Vladivostok, where it was confiscated and its crew interned for more than a year. 

Thirteen entire crews, and all but one crewman of a 14th, returned either to Great Satan or to American forces.

Compared with the future devastating fire bombing napalming B-29 Superfortress attacks against Japan, the Doolittle raid was kinda weak, did little material damage, and all of that readily repaired.

And
The raid also had a strategic impact, though it was not known at the time: It caused the Japanese to recall some fighting IJN units to the Japanese Home Islands for defense. Its main aircraft carrier task force, spearheaded by five large, fast carriers—with its best naval aircraft and aircrews—under the command of Admiral Chuichi Nagumo, had inflicted serious losses on the Royal Navy and merchant shipping during the Indian Ocean Raid, steaming as far west as Ceylon (Sri Lanka) for air raids on British shipping and Royal Air Force airfields there. Following the Doolittle Raid, Nagumo's force was recalled to Japan, removing all pressure from the Royal Navy in the Indian Ocean.
The Imperial Japanese Navy also bore a special responsibility for allowing an American aircraft carrier force to approach the Japanese Home Islands in a manner similar to that of the IJN fleet to Hawaii in 1941, and likewise it escaped undamaged. The fact that rather large twin-engine land-based bombers carried out the attack served to confuse the IJN's high command about the source of the attack. This confusion and the conclusion that Japan itself was vulnerable to air attack strengthened Yamamoto's resolve to capture Midway Island, with the attempt to do so resulting in the decisive IJN loss at the Battle of Midway

Pic -  "It was hoped that the damage done would be both material and psychological. Material damage was to be the destruction of specific targets with ensuing confusion and retardation of production. The psychological results, it was hoped, would be the recalling of combat equipment from other theaters for home defense thus effecting relief in those theaters, the development of a fear complex in Japan, improved relationships with our Allies, and a favorable reaction on the American people."

Sunday, April 19, 2015

WoW!!

The Watchers Council- it's the oldest, longest running cyber comte d'guere ensembe in existence - started online in 1912 by Sirs Jacky Fisher and Winston Churchill themselves - an eclective collective of cats both cruel and benign with their ability to put steel on target (figuratively - natch) on a wide variety of topictry across American, Allied, Frenemy and Enemy concerns, memes, delights and discourse.

Every week these cats hook up each other with hot hits and big phazed cookies to peruse and then vote on their individual fancy catchers

Thus, sans further adieu (or a don't)

Council Winners


Non-Council Winners



See you next week!

Friday, April 17, 2015

4 Reasons China Can Fight a Modern War

Shashoujian!!

According to China, there are four reasons why her military can win a modern war:

1)      Equipment. 
China knows it plays second fiddle to the United States in military technology, but in the Asia-Pacific region, PLA hardware is quickly matching that of Japan, China’s biggest military opposition. “Although some might claim that Japan now has an edge over China, very soon China’s PLA will surpass Japan’s SDF [Self-Defense Forces] in terms of hardware given China’s economic size and greater military spending," the military report says. "So, in 10 years’ time, the PLA will have superb military hardware that is only second to the United States.”

2)      Training.
The report points to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s anticorruption drive and military overhaul, which led to a reshuffle of the PLA’s top brass. The military was plagued by corruption in the past, with training standards not uniform and leadership lacking focus. “President Xi Jinping is determined to eliminate corruption within the PLA. When he is finished, there is good reason to believe that the PLA’s fighting ability will increase significantly."

3)      Military experience is “overvalued.”
 While China’s wartime experience is limited, so is that of its biggest regional rivals. “People have overestimated the value of experience. Yes, it is true that the U.S. military has ample experience, but many other militaries do not, including Japan’s. So China’s lack of war experience might hurt its chances of winning against the U.S., but not necessarily against other rivals.” 

4)      “Morale.”
China says it has no interest in “conquering” new territories, claiming that a war that involves China would be a defensive one. While those who lay claim to various disputed territories and maritime borders would likely disagree with the notion that China is merely defending its sovereignty, Chinese authorities insist military action would be taken only if Chinese sovereignty is under fire.

“This is about defending China’s sovereignty and territories and this is fundamentally different from conquering others’ territories. Thus morale will be high. If history is any indication, the Korean War tells us that the weaker Chinese army could repel and defeat a stronger U.S. army. The fact that China then was fighting for its sovereign integrity is a key factor in explaining the defeat of the United States"

Thursday, April 16, 2015

R.A.F. - R.I.P.?

 

The U.K. Ministry of Defense has released an accounting of all the aircraft in Royal Air Force, Royal Navy and British Army service — and the overall tally is tiny … and getting tinier.

As of March this year, the air forces of the United Kingdom possess no more than 362 combat-ready warplanes and drones plus 249 helicopters — a mere 611 military aircraft.
Britain’s air force, navy and army together have another 93 planes and copters that are in deep maintenance or rework plus 18 that are in storage. None of these 111 aircraft are immediately available for combat.
 
It’s worth noting that the United Kingdom is the world’s fifth-biggest military spender — dropping no less than $50 billion a year on its armed forces. But that $50 billion doesn’t translate into a lot of war-ready hardware.

Drilling into the data, which the blog Think Defence first brought to our attention, the weakness of U.K. air power is even more evident. The 362 ready warplanes include just 59 Tornado and 89 Typhoon jet fighters. Another 28 Tornados and 38 Typhoons are in maintenance.

By comparison, the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps combined possess 2,800 fighters. Russia and Chine each boast around 1,500 combat jets.

And as bad as the situation is now, the trends point to an even smaller U.K. air arsenal in the near future. In 2006, the RAF operated around 220 war-ready fighters, dropping to 160 in 2009 and 148 this year.

But the Tornados will retire in 2019 and the Defense Ministry has announced it will also dispose of the 55 oldest Typhoons around the same time, leaving the RAF with just 105 or so total fighters five years from now, not all of which will be available for combat.

To be fair, the U.K. plans to acquire at least 48 new F-35 stealth fighters — and these could boost the RAF’s frontline combat strength back to around 150 jets by the early 2020s.
 
Again, that’s 150 jets including those in maintenance. Probably slightly more than half will actually be mission-ready at any given time. That amounts to just 75 or 80 fighters to defend the U.K. and the Falklands and fight overseas.
 
But that’s assuming London doesn’t further cut the military budget — hardly a safe assumption. At least one analyst expects the U.K. to slash defense spending by up to 10 percent from 2016, continuing the island nation’s decade of unilateral disarmament.