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  1. BZ to VFA-154, the Black Knights, on their Cruise 2021 video. Everyone else is going to have to up their game. http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?d=yIl2AUoC8zA http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?d=qj6IDK7rITs http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=ixh5f2XItWY:z-gZNVyqt8A:gIN9vFwOqvQ http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=ixh5f2XItWY:z-gZNVyqt8A:-BTjWOF_DHI http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=ixh5f2XItWY:z-gZNVyqt8A:V_sGLiPBpWU http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=ixh5f2XItWY:z-gZNVyqt8A:F7zBnMyn0Lo http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/blogspot/FAFV/~4/ixh5f2XItWYView the full article
  2. So, you think you've had some memorable cruises, eh? What do you think about this record?DATEVESSEL SUNKAPR 26, 1944T29 Torpedo BoatAPR 29, 1944T27 Torpedo BoatJUN 9, 1944ZH1 DestroyerJUN 9, 1944Z32 DestroyerJUN 24, 1944U971 U-BoatJUN 15, 1944UJ1420/UJ1421 TrawlerJUN 6, 1944M486 MinesweeperAUG 6, 1944SG-3CSEPT 6, 1944VEDETTE Patrol BoatI give to you MHCS Haida, a Tribal Class destroyer who sank all those ships within 13-months of her commissioning. As Jerry Proc so simply put;HAIDA distinguished herself as Canada's most active warship by sinking no less than nine German ships in the period from April to September 1944. She was also involved in numerous other actions resulting in German shipping losses such as the Battle of North Cape in December 1943.Here is a nifty little detail; besides a short period in reserve, she served until 1963, including service in the Korean war. Not bad for a ship quickly built in the early years of a world war. If you find yourself in Hamilton, you can pay her a visit. Just look at her! Fullbore my teethy Canadian friend; fullbore. http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?d=yIl2AUoC8zA http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?d=qj6IDK7rITs http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=MGWyFSuAXlk:lOTldXmJSIM:gIN9vFwOqvQ http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=MGWyFSuAXlk:lOTldXmJSIM:-BTjWOF_DHI http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=MGWyFSuAXlk:lOTldXmJSIM:V_sGLiPBpWU http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=MGWyFSuAXlk:lOTldXmJSIM:F7zBnMyn0Lo http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/blogspot/FAFV/~4/MGWyFSuAXlkView the full article
  3. I joke now and then about “Make Auxiliary Cruisers Great Again” – but I am only partially joking. What were Auxiliary Cruisers? On the surface, they were somewhere between pirates and commerce raiders, but they were also a way to get more armed ships with your flag on them in the mind of your enemy's planners, disrupting their Sea Lines of Communication (SLOC) (aka supply chains), and complicating their attempts to secure their seas. Turning merchant ships in to warships is an imperfect act, but until your enemy achieves complete sea control, they have a good to acceptable track record of bringing more capability to the fight from the South Pacific to the Indian Ocean and other places they could make a nuisance of themselves. Also, they are better underway today, than waiting 24-months for a warship to displace water. When we look at the challenge west of Wake, one thing most navalists have sobered up to is that we simply do not have enough VLS cells to cover the needs of area defense, ballistic missile defense, strike, and even ASW. We are not producing enough multi-purpose warships that carry enough VLS cells – or enough VLS cell carrying warships – to both bring the firepower we need or distribute risk to an acceptable level. The USAF has a parallel challenge. Since I was a kid and people had plans to convert 747 in to flying cruise missile carrying aircraft throwing out ALCM like a Pez Dispenser does candy, they’ve been looking at better ways to launch stand off weapons without requiring such high demand/low density/high-cost platforms such as heavy bombers. Sure, they can butch up Strike Eagles … but what about their fleet of cargo aircraft? In partnership with the U.S. Air Force (USAF), Lockheed Martin has deployed Rapid Dragon munition pallets from C-17 and EC‑130 aircraft and released surrogate JASSM-ERs in system-level flights conducted over White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. Rapid Dragon is a fast-paced USAF Strategic Development Planning and Experimentation (SDPE) program that has moved from concept to surrogate missile deployment in just 10 months. The Rapid Dragon team conducted an airdrop from a C-17A Globemaster III and another from an EC-130SJ Commando Solo. In both flights, aircrews deployed a pallet at an operationally relevant altitude. Once stabilized by parachutes, the pallets released surrogate missiles in quick succession, each aerodynamically identical to a JASSM-ER. If for no other reason than good old inter-service rivalry … can we iterate past the SA-6 on a USV to, well, looking at what existing cargo ships can be converted in to …. VLS farms. Work with me here. Yes, I understand people who want unmanned surface vessels to operate like “loyal wingmen” with our surface fleet as VLS farms, but we are a long way from having the machinery, communications, laws, code, etc to make them a reality anytime in the next decade. I'll take them when they come, but they are not coming fast enough. We cannot wait that long. We need a gap filler. We need to experiment like the USAF … but better. Let me be modest here: what kind of merchant ship can we purchase right now that I can fit 256 VLS cells, bolt on a SeaRAM or two, a couple of 30mm, can cruise effectively at 20 kts but can also make 25kts at a minimum sustained maximum speed. Can you think of a better way to give the USNR some warships? Just imagine; six on each coast ready to get underway, fully loaded, in 2-weeks. http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?d=yIl2AUoC8zA http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?d=qj6IDK7rITs http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=rgdak1f_k7g:NELQKjKRJPk:gIN9vFwOqvQ http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=rgdak1f_k7g:NELQKjKRJPk:-BTjWOF_DHI http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=rgdak1f_k7g:NELQKjKRJPk:V_sGLiPBpWU http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=rgdak1f_k7g:NELQKjKRJPk:F7zBnMyn0Lo http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/blogspot/FAFV/~4/rgdak1f_k7gView the full article
  4. Americas Oshkosh Defense won a $10 million contract modification for the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle Family of Vehicles. The JLTV Family of Vehicles (FoV) is the Marine Corps and Army partial replacement for the High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) fleet. Work will take place in Wisconsin. Estimated completion date is November 30, 2022. Raytheon Intelligence & Space has introduced a lightweight, affordable AESA radar in its lightest form factor ever. In addition to being a third of the weight of most modern AESA radars, the new compact radar also costs about half as much as typical fire control radars. Gallium Nitride technology is combined with an innovative packaging of its digital receiver/exciter and processor called CHIRP, and a unique air-cooled design. Middle East & Africa IMCO Group acquired Innocon Ltd., a company that manufactures Micro, Mini and Tactical unmanned aerial systems (UAS) as well as mission systems for manned light airplanes. IMCO Group’s subsidiary acquired Innocon’s assets and activities for $938,000, plus an additional amount equal to 25% of the subsidiary’s net profit during 72 months from January 1, 2022, and up to a total and cumulative ceiling of $547,000. Turkey reportedly handed over first units of Bayraktar TB2 combat drones to Morocco last week. The Royal Moroccan Armed Forces (Far-Maroc) signed an agreement with Turkish drone maker Baykar Savunma for 13 Bayraktar TB2s in April. The contract was worth $70 million. Europe Norwegian mechanical engineering company Ritek has agreed to perform vehicle integration of Ground Master 200 multi-mission compact radars (GM200 MM/C) under an agreement signed with Thales. The Norwegian Defense Material Agency (NDMA) signed an agreement with the Netherlands Defense Material Organisation (DMO) for the five counter-battery radars in May 2021. Ritek will perform the vehicle integration of these radars, Thales said in a statement today. Asia-Pacific General Dynamics Land Systems won a $13.8 million contract modification for Abrams systems and technical support. The first M1 Abrams battle tanks were delivered to the US Army in 1980. The M1 is equipped with a Honeywell AGT 1500 gas turbine engine. The Allison X-1100-3B transmission provides four forward and two reverse gears. Fiscal 2020 and 2021 other procurement, Army funds; fiscal 2021 Foreign Military Sales (Australia) funds; and fiscal 2021 operation and maintenance, Army funds in the amount of $13,743,076 were obligated at the time of the award. Work will take place in Michigan. Estimated completion date is September 30, 2022. Today’s Video Watch: The Ground Master 200 (GM200) – Thales View the full article
  5. Americas Vertex Aerospace won a $96.5 million contract modification, which increases the contract ceiling to extend organizational, intermediate, and depot level maintenance, logistics, and engineering support, to include support of equipment, tools, direct and indirect material for the T-45 aircraft, associated systems, and related support equipment to maintain all flight and test and evaluation operations for the Navy. Work will take place in Texas, Mississippi, Florida and Maryland. Estimated completion will be in December 2021. Northrop Grumman won a $30.9 million deal to procure 25 Link 16 B kits; three Link 16 B kit spares; and two Link 16 flight training device B kits in support of UH-1Y and AH-1Z helicopter modification efforts for the Navy. This contract also provides Link-16 systems engineering, program management, and logistics support. Work will take place in California. Estimated completion will be in September 2023. Middle East & Africa Sudanese authorities said they thwarted a coup attempt on Tuesday by a group of soldiers. The authorities accused plotters loyal to the country’s longtime autocratic ruler Omar al-Bashir of a failed bid to derail the revolution that removed him from power in 2019. The plotters allegedly used tanks to close a bridge connecting Khartoum with Omdurman, just across the River Nile. They also reportedly tried to take control of state radio in Omdurman. Europe The UK Government approved the support through the ‘Military Assistance to the Civil Authority’ process, following a request from the Scotland Office, working with Scottish Government. The Ministry of Defense will provide 114 people to augment ambulance drivers and a further 111 personnel who will operate Mobile Testing Units which the military previously supported in 2020. Asia-Pacific UDN reports that Taiwan is preparing to publicly unveil the Lieh-Sun or Hunt Falcon mobile short-range air defense system during the National Day parade on October 10. The system uses the Tien Chien Two air-to-air missile. Boeing selected Toowoomba in Queensland, Australia to set up the company’s first aircraft assembly facility of its kind outside of North America to produce the Boeing Airpower Teaming System drones (also known as Loyal Wingman). The announcement comes days after Australia abrogated a deal with France to build conventionally-powered submarines opting instead to build nuclear-powered submarines in partnership with the US and the UK. Today’s Video Watch: The Bell UH-1Y Venom Utility helicopter View the full article
  6. If you think there is a good news story around the Navy's portion of the defense budget over the next few years, you haven't been paying attention. Pondering over at USNIBlog. Grab a drink and give it a read. http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?d=yIl2AUoC8zA http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?d=qj6IDK7rITs http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=PQiHzpMMBx4:4cceqdxyaV0:gIN9vFwOqvQ http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=PQiHzpMMBx4:4cceqdxyaV0:-BTjWOF_DHI http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=PQiHzpMMBx4:4cceqdxyaV0:V_sGLiPBpWU http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=PQiHzpMMBx4:4cceqdxyaV0:F7zBnMyn0Lo http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/blogspot/FAFV/~4/PQiHzpMMBx4View the full article
  7. Americas Lockheed Martin won a $49.3 million deal. The contract provides for overhaul of the B-52 Counter Measure Receiver. The B-52H is the US Air Force’s long-range, large-payload multirole bomber. The B-52H Stratofortress is equipped with a range of electronic warfare equipment. The ITT AN/ALQ-172(V)2 electronic countermeasures system features multi-band threat recognition and multiple threat jamming. Work will take place ein New York. Estimated completion date is September 19, 2026. The US Air Force has started flying operational missions with the Collins Aerospace’s MS-177 multi-spectral imaging (MSI) sensor on the RQ-4B Block 30 aircraft. The MS-177 is derived from the Senior Year Electro-optical Reconnaissance System (SYERS)-2C flown on the U-2. Middle East & Africa With the Ongoing discussions on the new Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement (MDCA) between Athens and Washington, Greece has insisted on creating a naval base at Souda on Crete. The new base is to a part of the efforts of Greece to establish a more permanent presence in the Eastern Mediterranean, Kathimerini reported. Europe Babcock won the first export contract for its Arrowhead 140 frigate through a design license agreement with PT PAL Indonesia, a state-owned enterprise that builds and maintains ships for military and commercial use from its facilities in Surabaya, Indonesia. The UK is using a similar design, basing its Type 31 Frigates on the Arrowhead 140 design, being built by Babcock at Rosyth. Germany’s Krauss-Maffei Wegmann partnered with Dutch company Defenture to build new tactical vehicles to replace the German Army’s two decades-old vehicles. Both companies signed a letter of intent. The companies plan to develop a vehicle based on Defenture’s VECTOR (Versatile Expeditionary Commando Tactial Off Road) light all-terrain tactical vehicle. Asia-Pacific The twin surface-to-surface missile launches by North Korea on September 15 were made from a train, the country’s media has revealed. Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), the state news agency of North Korea, confirmed a day later that those missiles came from the country’s test of its new “railway-borne missile system.” The report claimed that the missiles flew 800 km (~500 miles) before striking a target in the sea off North Korea’s east coast. Today’s Video Watch: Detailed tour through a B-52 Stratofortress!! View the full article
  8. Ah, yes, The Terrible 20s. What if you had the leadership and malaise of the Carter Administration mixed in with the budgetary pressures of the Clinton Administration ... with a little bit of Biden Administration special sauce mixed in? We're not even a year in to the Biden Admin still at the start of the 20s...so you know this was coming. Via Joe Gould at DefenseNews; House progressives will have a few chances to hold down the defense budget this week, but it’s going to be an uphill fight. The House is set to vote this week on two Democratic amendments to cut the fiscal 2022 National Defense Authorization Act’s $740 billion top line. One would reduce it by roughly 10 percent, and another would undo a $24 billion a plus-up the House Armed Services Committee passed earlier this month. ... “We face imminent threats from the COVID pandemic, climate change, growing economic inequality, and systemic racial and ethnic inequities [and] also, domestic terrorism,” Lee said. “It is time to shift our spending priorities to meet these priorities. I personally support much larger cuts to the Pentagon budget.” There are a few amendments to be voted on too; - A prohibition on funding for the Air Force’s nascent Ground Based Strategic Deterrent — a next-generation intercontinental ballistic missile and its warhead, the W87-1 — from Rep. John Garamendi, D-Calif. - A prohibition on U.S. military forces in Syria without approval from Congress within one year, from Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y. - A prohibition on U.S. military logistical and intelligence support for Saudi air forces conducting strikes in the Yemen civil war, from Rep. Ro Khanna. (A separate amendment from House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y., would bar U.S. sustainment and maintenance support for those forces, with certain exemptions.) - The top line-lowering amendments are a proposed 10 percent cut (excluding salaries and health care of military personnel), from Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis., and proposed reduction of the defense authorization top line to the level requested by the president, from Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif. The (D) have a razor thin margin in the House and odds are the cuts won't run the board - but the anti-military (D) also know their window is about to close as '22 comes up ... they will do their best. There are some macro patterns that are on their side - some masked by the flood of fiat money to cover the response to COVID - a classic black swan event. Just a reminder from almost a dozen years ago, let's look at what we discussed in 2010 about where we might be today; from my Feb 2010 phrase-coining post, Looking towards the "Terrible 20's"; It was so clear then ... why so many people refused to see it, I have no idea. Navalists will need to fight every battle. Every ant hill is a hill worth dying on. Keep up the fight and don't take the bait. http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?d=yIl2AUoC8zA http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?d=qj6IDK7rITs http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=FL1cQexnYeM:Y4OoafTbtIA:gIN9vFwOqvQ http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=FL1cQexnYeM:Y4OoafTbtIA:-BTjWOF_DHI http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=FL1cQexnYeM:Y4OoafTbtIA:V_sGLiPBpWU http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=FL1cQexnYeM:Y4OoafTbtIA:F7zBnMyn0Lo http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/blogspot/FAFV/~4/FL1cQexnYeMView the full article
  9. Most readers here are aware of the fleets parked off major ports on both coasts; The number of container ships at anchor or drifting in San Pedro Bay off the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach has now blown through all previous records and is rising by the day. There were an all-time-high 65 container ships in the queue in San Pedro Bay on Thursday, according to the Marine Exchange of Southern California. Of those, a record 23 were forced to drift because anchorages were full. Theoretically, the numbers — already surreally high — could go a lot higher than this. While designated anchorages are limited, the space for ships to safely drift offshore is not. “There’s lots of ocean for drifting — there’s no limit,” Capt. Kip Loutit, executive director of the Marine Exchange of Southern California, told American Shipper. “Our usual VTS [Vessel Traffic Service] area is a 25-mile radius from Point Fermin by the entrance to Los Angeles, which gives a 50-mile diameter to drift ships. We could easily expand to a 40-mile radius, because we track them within that radius for air-quality reasons. That would give us an 80-mile diameter to drift ships,” said Loutit. Over at Splash247, they have a few interesting points to consider; “What you see today is not only a black swan event, but in fact an entire bevy of black swans, and one which grows larger by the day, as more and more weak strands in the supply web snap,” Jensen says. The US is indeed the real origin of this fiasco, the Dane agrees. Yet, he has answers to why warehouses are so full. According to Sea-Intelligence research, many industries in the US are actually dangerously low on inventory. Another explanation is the very real shortage of drivers to take goods from those warehouses that are actually full, to the consumers. A game of musical chairs Steve Ferreira, CEO of New York-based Ocean Audit, describes today’s clumped box situation as like a game of musical chairs. “You don’t want to be left standing without a seat, and it’s a self-perpetuating cycle,” Ferreira says, giving a couple of recent examples such as Walmart ordering 149 containers of garbage cans on one single vessel or a French tire manufacturer inking a new charter to Houston. “How are Michelin’s tires going to supply cars you can’t buy due to a chip problem?” Ferreira muses. Andy Lane from CTI Consultancy, a container advisory, cites both archaic US logistics infrastructure as well as the near impossibility for retailers to have prepared for such a see-saw in demand as Covid presented as the two largest factors in today’s snarled container situation.For decades, technology helped generations of MBAs design exquisite global supply chains built on incredibly delicate assumptions. As long as the models worked, it gave you the ability to save micro-cents to hundreds of dollars per unit as opposed to more robust but inefficient domestic supply chains.The sand-cascade failures that we are starting to see in isolation can, if they cannot be controlled, combine in to significant economic dislocation - and with it - any chance for a sustainable recovery. I think this will be the story of the next year. After an orgy of money printing and once in a century pandemic responses - injecting huge inefficiencies in to economies not designed for them - how will this settle out? As I mentioned on Sunday's Midrats - you can't shoot up the horse forever. So far, not so good. Don't quit your day job. H/t Sal. http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?d=yIl2AUoC8zA http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?d=qj6IDK7rITs http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=N3oxuykPVlU:Ux7X-ivqc-g:gIN9vFwOqvQ http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=N3oxuykPVlU:Ux7X-ivqc-g:-BTjWOF_DHI http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=N3oxuykPVlU:Ux7X-ivqc-g:V_sGLiPBpWU http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=N3oxuykPVlU:Ux7X-ivqc-g:F7zBnMyn0Lo http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/blogspot/FAFV/~4/N3oxuykPVlUView the full article
  10. Americas Ball Aerospace won a $9.7 million contract of the B-2 Antenna Electronics Unit. The B-2 is a low-observable, strategic, long-range, heavy bomber capable of penetrating sophisticated and dense air-defense shields. Work will take place in Colorado. Expected completion date September 16, 2026. Lockheed Martin has announced that the LMXT is being built in response to the US Air Force’s KC-Y Program. The new tanker builds on the design of the Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT). Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor and works directly to implement US Air Force-specific requirements within the LMXT. The plane will be equipped with a fully automatic boom and air-to-air refueling system Middle East & Africa Rolls-Royce won a $194 million deal to supply upgraded power packs for Israel’s fleet of military ground transport vehicles to fulfill a foreign military sales requirement. Israel requested to procure 270 NPPLTs in full and light configurations in February 2019 under an approximately $238 million FMS deal. Work will take place in Michigan. Estimated completion date is December 31, 2021. Europe According to the New York Times, a 7.62mm MAG light machine gun mounted on a remote weapon station made by the Belgian firm FN Herstal was used in the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh on November 27, 2020 in Absard near Tehran. BAE Systems has acquired In-Space Missions, a UK company that designs, builds and operates satellites and satellite systems. According to BAE, that this acquisition is part of their strategy to develop breakthrough technologies, “pursuing bolt-on acquisitions where they complement existing capabilities and provide an opportunity to accelerate technology development in key areas, as evidenced with recent acquisitions such as Prismatic, Techmodal and PPM Ltd”. Asia-Pacific The Republic of Korea Air Force Black Eagles performed over Kunsan Air Base, South Korea for the first time on September 9. “As a former Thunderbird, current base commander, and longtime partner to the Airmen of the Republic of Korea Air Force, it has been incredible to watch the Black Eagles perform here at Kunsan,” said US Air Force Col. John Gallemore, 8th Fighter Wing commander. Today’s Video Watch: BAE Systems acquires UK satellite firm In-Space Missions View the full article
  11. Americas J.I. Gascia Construction won a $7.6 million task order under a multiple award construction contract for a design-build KC-46A mission planning center at Travis Air Force Base, California.The work to be performed will provide a facility to support KC-46A mission planning. The contract contains four options, which requires the contractor to repair sewer line, construct the window infill, perform hazardous material remediation, and construct physical security upgrades at the mechanical yard. The KC-46A is a wide-body, multi-mission aircraft capable of transporting fuel, cargo, passengers, and patients. Work will take place in California. Expected completion will be by December 2022. Boeing won a $1.6 billion deal for missile guidance repair. The deal will repair the Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) missile guidance set. In June, Northrop Grumman won a US Air Force Propulsion Subsystem Support Contract with a $2.3 billion ceiling that will provide engineering and maintenance services for Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles, helping to extend the aging Cold War nuclear weapon system’s life for the next 18.5 years. Work under the new contract will take place in Ohio. Estimated completion date is September 27, 2039. Middle East & Africa The US State Department has made a determination approving a possible FMS to the Saudi Arabia of continuation of maintenance support services (MSS) and related equipment for an estimated cost of $500 million. The supplier is unknown at this time. Saudi Arabia has requested to buy the continuation of the MSS contract that supports the Royal Saudi Land Forces Aviation Command’s fleet of AH-64D/E, UH-60L/M, Schweizer 333, and Bell 406CS, as well as the future fleet of CH-47F Chinook. Analysts say the United Arab Emirates could look into the purchase of Rafale fighters from France again as the Gulf State aims to diversify its weapons supply base and reduce its reliance on the United States. On Wednesday, Sheikh Mohammedbin Zayed met French President Emmanuel Macron over lunch at the Fontainebleau Palace, east of Paris. Europe BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce will undertake concept and design work for new Royal Navy nuclear submarines. Two contracts worth $116.7 million each have been awarded to BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce to deliver design and concept work for a future Class of Royal Navy submarine. Asia-Pacific The Indian Air Force is about to spend $31 million to acquire 24 second-hand Mirage 2000 fighters to bolster its fleet and create a spare parts pool. Hindustan Times says eight of those aircraft are ready to fly after servicing and 13 aircraft in the consignment are flyable. The rest can be used to generate spares for the fleet. Today’s Video Watch: What is an intercontinental ballistic missile ( ICBM )? View the full article
  12. Sal and EagleOne are tanned, rested, and ready to dive in a … well … where does one start for the last couple of weeks. Australia pivots strong to China with here plans to move to SSN, France gets grumpy with the Anglosphere as a result but still kills a baddie for us, fleets of container ships are haunting out ports, and we’re all digesting what happened in Afghanistan. That’s just a start. Join us for the full hour LIVE Sunday from 5-6pm Eastern. The chat room will be open and the studio line too. Join us live if you can and roll in with your preferred topic in the chat room or call the switchboard number right here on the showpage. If you use iTunes, you can add Midrats to your podcast list simply by clicking the iTunes button at the main showpage - or you can just click here. http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?d=yIl2AUoC8zA http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?d=qj6IDK7rITs http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=CLJISMSzb6g:GG6ddxCQdls:gIN9vFwOqvQ http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=CLJISMSzb6g:GG6ddxCQdls:-BTjWOF_DHI http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=CLJISMSzb6g:GG6ddxCQdls:V_sGLiPBpWU http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=CLJISMSzb6g:GG6ddxCQdls:F7zBnMyn0Lo http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/blogspot/FAFV/~4/CLJISMSzb6gView the full article
  13. Even though I posted this FbF again 6-months ago I wanted to bring it back just to add something quite special via twitter-friend Simon. From WWI we don't have must contemporary video of the people we read about, but in this case we do. Just 36. Men his age saw the height of Edwardian Empire as young adults leading in to the extinction of their world in WWI, the nightmare of the depression and WWII in their middle-age and then - for those who survived - the poverty and decline of the post-WWII era for Britain. 36 year old Captain Alfred Carpenter, R.N., after being invested with the Victoria Cross by King George V on 31 July 1918. #history pic.twitter.com/3JaPwn8mnG — Simon Harley (@simonharley) September 16, 2021 Zeebrugge. If you have been there or to its inner city Brugges you know what a beautiful and peaceful place it is - as most all of Belgium is today. In 1918 though, Belgium was a nightmarish slaughterhouse where the bodies of millions were blended into the beaten earth - where like Okinawa and Iwo Jima over a quarter century later - the living earth would move with a blanketed mass of maggots. In one of history's subtle hints she will give you early if you wish to listen, Britain found herself on the edge of starvation due to a threat few understood or even knew of at the beginning of the war - the submarine. Something new, unexpected and decisive needed to be done. By 1918, the Great War had entered a decisive phase. While Russia had been knocked out of the war, its place had been taken by the United States, which now provided a fresh pool of manpower and industrial capacity to the Allied cause. The transfer of these resources however was threatened by the continuing war at sea and the U-Boat menace that also threatened Britain's link with the continent. The early advance by the German Army in 1914 had meant that the Belgian ports of Ostend and Zeebrugge had been overrun and with the expansion of the port facilities, the Germans were in a position to threaten the very lifeline that supplied the Allied armies in France. The two ports were connected by a canal network with the city of Brugges that also gave access to the open sea. Brugges in turn, was connected to Germany by the railway network and partially completed U-Boats were shipped from Germany, to be finished at Brugges and then make their way to the open sea by means of the canal system. The canals formed a triangle and inside this, the Germans had built a series of airfields from which they conducted air raids on Britain and fortified the entire length of the coast with light and heavy artillery batteries. The Royal Navy did not attempt to bombard these ports until 12 May 1917 when it bombarded Zeebrugge in order to put the lock system out of action and used a smoke screen to hinder German observation. While the bombard failed in its task, the Germans stepped up defensive measures and as the war progressed, the front line drew ever closer to Ostend, bringing it within range of the Royal Marine heavy howitzer battery in France, forcing the Germans to transfer many of its facilities to Zeebrugge. One of the objectives for the Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele) was the expulsion of the Germans from Flanders and to capture the ports of Zeebrugge and Ostend. The battle however failed to achieve the intended breakthrough and so any attempt to expel the Germans from these ports or to deny them the use of these facilities meant that any future attempt would have to made from the sea. The mounting losses in the war at sea caused the Royal Navy to look at the problem. A suggestion by Admiral Keyes that the ports might be blocked by sinking a ship in the entrance was initially rejected but as the war dragged on, the Royal Navy returned to the idea and it was decided that it might be done with the use of several ships, although the exact position would have to be chosen with care so that it would not be possible to get around the ships or to dredge around them to create additional channels and their bottoms would have to be blown to sink them as quickly as possible and prevent drifting.So, as it is often done in this line of work, the word went out. Volunteer for a mission you have no idea about - odds are you won't come back. You will be trained quickly, sloppily with a pick-up team. You execute. As the ships were approaching the entrance to the port, some protection would be afforded (in the case of Zeebrugge) by the Mole, which extended in an arc across the entrance to the channel. It was over a mile in length and some 100 yards wide, having extensive storage facilities and hangers for seaplanes. A railway connected the Mole to the shore and was used to transfer men, equipment and stores. As the planning for the operation got underway, a special Royal Marine battalion (mainly volunteer) was formed in February 1918 to eliminate the battery that was situated at the end of the Mole and would threaten the block ships as they approached the canal. Lt Col F E Chichester was appointed to command the battalion but was succeeded by Major B N Elliott. The battalion consisted of a headquarters, a machinegun section, a mortar section, three rifle companies and medical support staff. The troops were to be conveyed to Zeebrugge in HMS Vindictive, assisted by the Iris and the Daffodil, two Mersey ferry boats that had been provided for this operation. Once they had reached Zeebrugge, Daffodil was to push Vindictive against the Mole until she could be secured and disembark the troops. The ships were modified for this task. Special ramps were fitted to Vindictive so that the storming parties could reach the Mole, while Iris and Daffodil had been fitted with ladders to that their parties could climb up onto the Mole. Vindictive was strengthened and armoured against the storm of fire she would receive and additional armament fitted so she could support the troops as the moved onto the Mole. By April 1918, the preparations for the raid had been completed, the men trained for their tasks and the shipping collected for the operation. Three block ships were to be sunk in the Zeebrugge canal entrance, HMS Thetis, HMS Intrepid and HMS Iphegenia. The first time the force sailed, 11 April 1918, the weather conditions changed as they neared Zeebrugge, which forced a postponement, but on the eve of St George's Day, 22 April 1918 the force sailed and during the passage, Admiral Keyes signalled "St George for England". Commander Carpenter on the Vindictive replied, "May we give the dragon's tail a damned good twist." By 23.20 on 22 April, the monitors had opened fire on Zeebrugge. Twenty minutes later, the motor launches that had accompanied the force began to make the smoke screen. One minute after midnight, St George's Day, Vindictive arrived alongside the Mole after which Daffodil arrived alongside her to push her against the Mole. By this point the smoke screen had begun to lift and the defensive fire was intense. In the approach to the Mole, many of the ramps fitted to Vindictive were damaged and only two could be used to allow the storming parties to disembark on the Mole. The ladders fitted to Iris were damaged as well and so the troops had to transfer to Vindictive to land. Once on top of the Mole, they had to endure intense German machinegun fire in order to get to the battery and while they failed to knock it out, they prevented it from firing on the blocking ships and so succeeded in their mission, something for which they suffered heavy casualties for. The distraction caused by the motor launches and Royal Marines enabled the block ships to approach the canal entrance without too much difficulty. Thetis ran into problems when one of its propellers got caught in a net, forcing her to collide with the bank. She had to be sunk some distance from the entrance but performed admirable work in helping to direct the remaining two ships into the canal entrance itself. Both Intrepid and Iphigenia were able to be sunk in the correct positions, thus blocking the canal. Two submarines, C1 and C3 were packed with explosives and rammed into the viaduct, demolishing it, thus isolating the Mole from the shore. The crews from the submarines and the block ships were picked up by the motor launches despite heavy fire from the German batteries. By 00.50 on 23 April the recall had sounded and by 01.00 the survivors were all aboard. A quarter of an hour later, Vindictive had cleared the protection of the Mole and was undergoing intensive fire from the Germans but managed to come through it. The raid on Ostend at the same time proved to be a failure but another attempt was tried the next month and Vindictive was used as a block ship in that operation. The Royal Marines had been on the Mole for just an hour and the force had displayed such courage and devotion to duty that it gave great encouragement to the Allied forces at such a dark hour in the war. The 4th Royal Marine Battalion was awarded two Victoria Crosses with another six being awarded for the action at Zeebrugge and three being awarded for the actions at Ostend. At Deal, on 26 April 1918, a ballot was held as to who should receive the awards, with Captain Bamford and Sergeant Finch winning. In order that the gallantry of the battalion would be remembered, it was decided that no other marine battalion should be named the 4th.In a day where entire nations ponder abandoning the battle against an existential threat to their very existence due to a number of casualties suffered at Zeebrugge in a matter of minutes, it can make you wonder if we can even try to understand what these men did and why. We can try. That is what the study of history is. That is why what we have done to the study of history from elementary school through college and as adults is a crime in itself and a shame on our culture. And in the end; Much was made of the raid. Keyes was knighted, and 11 Victoria Crosses were awarded. The Germans, however, made a new channel round the two ships, and within two days their submarines were able to transit Zeebrugge. Destroyers were able to do so by mid-May.Did it make a difference? Of course it did. Did the pundits of the day nit-pic it to death? No, they understood that war from the Strategic to the Tactical is a dark room you step in to. No, it has only been nit-pic'd once the pundits were safely behind the wall of freedom that those who bled built. First posted NOV08. http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?d=yIl2AUoC8zA http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?d=qj6IDK7rITs http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=FThPvMNgtLk:iCU96EGJTx8:gIN9vFwOqvQ http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=FThPvMNgtLk:iCU96EGJTx8:-BTjWOF_DHI http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=FThPvMNgtLk:iCU96EGJTx8:V_sGLiPBpWU http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=FThPvMNgtLk:iCU96EGJTx8:F7zBnMyn0Lo http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/blogspot/FAFV/~4/FThPvMNgtLkView the full article
  14. Americas Three US Air Force B-2 Spirit stealth bombers returned to Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri after a deployment to Keflavik Air Base, Iceland, that included a dozen multinational missions over the past month. The bombers, from the 509th Bomb Wing, left Iceland on Saturday, the Air Force announced. The Marines are moving forward with developing a ship-killing missile that’s central to a long-range restructuring of the military, the Marine Corps said. The Marine Corps Systems Command’s Long Range Fires program has acquired Navy Marine Expeditionary Ship Interdiction System, or NMESIS, an anti-ship missile that meets military requirements and is being tested. Middle East & Africa A Turkish KC-135R aerial refueling tanker has returned home after completing the modifications to its flight deck. The Block 45 upgrade replaces old displays, radio altimeter, computer module, autopilot and flight director with new ones. Around 63 of these parts are of high-maintenance or obsolete. Europe The Royal Navy currently has two aircraft carriers at sea, both flying F-35 jets. This is something that only one other navy in the world is capable of. Separated by 7,000 miles, HMS Prince of Wales in the North Sea and HMS Queen Elizabeth in the Pacific have been launching and recovering the stealth strike fighter on round-the-clock sorties. Asia-Pacific Hours after North Korea tested two surface-to-surface missiles which landed in the East Sea, its arch-enemy Seoul proceeded with a submarine launched ballistic missile test in what appears to be a show of technological superiority. Seoul tested a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) near its Agency for Defence Development (ADD) in South Chungcheong Province. Delivered to the Navy on August 13, the missile was launched from a 3,000-ton-class Dosan Ahn Chang-ho submarine on Wednesday. Raytheon won a $13 million fixed-price incentive, sole-source contract modification under a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) case with the Japan Ministry of Defense. The contract is to evaluate hardware, inspect all material, repair minor discrepancies, and re-assemble and deliver a Standard Missile-3 Block IB Inert Operating Missile. Work will take place in Arizona. Performance period ist from September 15, 2021 through March 31, 2023. Today’s Video Watch: The Unbelievable Power of The B-2 Bomber View the full article
  15. I guess this is submarine week at CDR Salamander, because right after the Wednesday post, the Anglosphere decided to wake everyone up; Joint Leaders Statement on AUKUS SEPTEMBER 15, 2021 STATEMENTS AND RELEASES As leaders of Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, guided by our enduring ideals and shared commitment to the international rules-based order, we resolve to deepen diplomatic, security, and defense cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, including by working with partners, to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century. As part of this effort, we are announcing the creation of an enhanced trilateral security partnership called “AUKUS” — Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Through AUKUS, our governments will strengthen the ability of each to support our security and defense interests, building on our longstanding and ongoing bilateral ties. We will promote deeper information and technology sharing. We will foster deeper integration of security and defense-related science, technology, industrial bases, and supply chains. And in particular, we will significantly deepen cooperation on a range of security and defense capabilities. As the first initiative under AUKUS, recognizing our common tradition as maritime democracies, we commit to a shared ambition to support Australia in acquiring nuclear-powered submarines for the Royal Australian Navy. Today, we embark on a trilateral effort of 18 months to seek an optimal pathway to deliver this capability. We will leverage expertise from the United States and the United Kingdom, building on the two countries’ submarine programs to bring an Australian capability into service at the earliest achievable date. The development of Australia’s nuclear-powered submarines would be a joint endeavor between the three nations, with a focus on interoperability, commonality, and mutual benefit. Australia is committed to adhering to the highest standards for safeguards, transparency, verification, and accountancy measures to ensure the non-proliferation, safety, and security of nuclear material and technology. Australia remains committed to fulfilling all of its obligations as a non-nuclear weapons state, including with the International Atomic Energy Agency. Our three nations are deeply committed to upholding our leadership on global non-proliferation. Recognizing our deep defense ties, built over decades, today we also embark on further trilateral collaboration under AUKUS to enhance our joint capabilities and interoperability. These initial efforts will focus on cyber capabilities, artificial intelligence, quantum technologies, and additional undersea capabilities. The endeavor we launch today will help sustain peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. For more than 70 years, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, have worked together, along with other important allies and partners, to protect our shared values and promote security and prosperity. Today, with the formation of AUKUS, we recommit ourselves to this vision. I remain a fan of conventional submarines and are open to arguments that in our forward deployed empire, we could find a use for them, but just look at Australia’s place in the world; That geographic imperative screams for the range and capability that only a SSN can bring to the table. As for the French, one has to allow that they should be upset that their previous deal went south - they lost a good deal - but the world changed and they did not help themselves in a variety of ways once Australia decided to go SSN. The response from Emmanuel Macron’s government was unequivocal. In the early hours of 16 September, the foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and the army minister Florence Parly issued a blistering communiqué denouncing a “decision contrary to the letter and the spirit of Franco-Australian cooperation”. The statement criticised “the US’s choice … to sideline a European partner and ally”. In a radio interview, Le Drian went further, denouncing “a stab in the back”. He added: “We need explanations.” “The French seem to be in shock,” said Tara Varma, the head of the Paris office of the European Council on Foreign Relations. The AUKUS pact just just a subset of the Five Eyes subset of the larger Anglophere, just leaving Canada and the spoiled traditionally anti-nuke posturing New Zealanders to the side. Sorry France, you are a friend, but when the going gets rough ... blood and history is stronger in the Anglosphere. Once they decided to go nuclear, tying in to the already long standing military relationship with their fellow English speaking nations - and spot welding themselves on US-UK nuclear power relationship dating back to WWII - just makes too much sense. One thing I hope so much for is that we make this as affordable as possible for Australia. I would hope we give it to them at cost. No reason to try to get any of the development cost whichever direction the build goes. Helping build the infrastructure to support nuclear submarines will benefit everyone, and especially Australia - a nation that is a natural to go nuclear power for both green energy and other reasons - something this military effort could help kickstart. How many? Let me do a back of the bar napkin guess. Australia has 7.5% of the US population and 6.5% of our GDP. Let’s mash that up as 7%. The USN has 50 or so SSN depending on how you measure. Let’s add the 4 SSGN and round up to 55. If you round up and normalize for population/GDP that gives your 4 SSN for Australia. Australia spends 2.1% of her GDP on defense, and rising. That $44.6 billion is roughly 6% of the USA’s $725 billion, so that doesn’t lead me to change any numbers there. Let’s call it four boats … but wait. How about this as an underline? Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, U.S. President Joe Biden and U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson jointly announced the formation of a new tripartite alliance known as AUKUS on Thursday (local time), under which the first initiative will to build at least eight nuclear-powered submarines for the Royal Australian Navy. Make that eight. That, more than anything else should get your attention. There are serious things taking place as the West - and specifically the Anglosphere - is turning in to the wind coming from the Middle Kingdom. Read the statement at the top of the post again. Yeah … this is a big deal. Let’s hope we do it right. http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?d=yIl2AUoC8zA http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?d=qj6IDK7rITs http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=PV5sKDmJDGs:ubxbVxPSZu4:gIN9vFwOqvQ http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=PV5sKDmJDGs:ubxbVxPSZu4:-BTjWOF_DHI http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=PV5sKDmJDGs:ubxbVxPSZu4:V_sGLiPBpWU http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/FAFV?i=PV5sKDmJDGs:ubxbVxPSZu4:F7zBnMyn0Lo http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/blogspot/FAFV/~4/PV5sKDmJDGsView the full article
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