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Archive for the ‘news’ Category

News: USAF rules out international A-10 sales

Posted by Picard578 on July 24, 2015

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/usaf-rules-out-international-a-10-sales-414975/

USAF has decided not to sell the A-10 to its allies.

Why this decision? Because selling the A-10 would run contrary to everything USAF was and is saying. USAF has for years, and against all evidence, maintained that the A-10 is unsurvivable and that fast jets can and will do its job – close air support – just as well if not better. Further, selling the A-10 would reduce – however slightly – prospects for F-35 sales. F-35 is primarily a ground attack aircraft, while A-10 does nothing but ground attack, and thus two are competitors. A-10 can also be easily maintained by countries they get sold to, which means no profits for Lockheed Martin and co. from lucrative maintenance contracts.

As it stands, greed and low selfishness will kill the A-10. USAF has no interest in close air support, and it seems that it will finally manage to get rid of the mission alltogether.

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Posted in news | Tagged: , , , , , | 18 Comments »

News: Eurofighter Typhoon to improve agility

Posted by Picard578 on July 16, 2015

635725499888279411-DFN-UK-typhoon

Source: Defense News

Eurofighter Typhoon has been tested in a new configuration that significantly improves agility and weapons carrying capability. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in news | Tagged: , , , , , , | 59 Comments »

Cavour in Dubrovnik

Posted by Picard578 on November 23, 2014

Trivia: on 23/11/14, an amphibious assault ship Cavour visited Dubrovnik. So I went and took a few photos. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in news | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments »

Fighting in Iraq and its lessons

Posted by Picard578 on October 4, 2014

Despite Iraqi Army having the most modern US equipment as well as large numerical advantage, it has performed badly against Islamist fighters of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Levant, also called ISIL). Before going into how and why, a little history is needed.

ISIS has first appeared on scene after the US invasion of Iraqi in 2003. It was taking actions to broaden the scope of Sunni-Shiite civil war in Iraq by targeting Shiites, and it has been trying to take over Shiite territory for far longer. Since US troops withdrew in 2011, ISIS has focused its attack on government targets. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in news | Tagged: , , , , , | 38 Comments »

News: Mali war escalates as French battle Islamist militants

Posted by Picard578 on January 12, 2013

Link to article

 

While I welcome serious military intervention against terrorist groupations (it has happened as a response to request by Mali government, and is thus not illegal like intervention in Afghanistan or Iraq), I have my doubts.

First, much like South Vietnam, Mali’s armed forces do not seem to be sufficiently trained or motivated. Without ground troops – infantry in particular – you can’t win a war.

Second, as noted in article, France – which has intervened due to Mali President’s request – is former colonial overlord of Mali. Unlike United Kingdom during post-World War 2 decolonization period, France generally refused to withdraw from its colonies without fight. As could have been expected, insurgents have quickly chosen to capitalize on that fact for propaganda purposes. This move by insurgents is likely to be at least somewhat successfull, further eroding domestic support for Mali government.

Third, Western countries already have intervened in Afghanistan in 2001 – so far, results are lacking, which does not inspire confidence. Lack of results in Afghanistan is mostly due to international and governmental forces trying to control cities, while leaving countryside – where Taliban get most of their recruits from – without control. This could repeat in Mali.

 

 

Best solution would be for France and NATO to provide exclusively logistical and intelligence support, with possibility of on-request air strikes against insurgent positions with A-10s and helicopters. Ground troops should be provided by other African countries, with whom Mali people can identify, thus not giving insurgents any propaganda materials. In fact, article states that Senegal and Nigeria have positively responded to Mali request for military help.

Posted in news | Tagged: , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Canada may cancel F-35 purchase

Posted by Picard578 on December 8, 2012

Federal Government cancels F-35 purchase

It seems that Canada has had it enough with F-35s cost increases, performance shortfalls and defense decisions that have nothing to do with actual defense.

After Chief of Defence Staff Thomas Lawson was called before the comittee, Canada has cancelled its F-35 purchase. Decision is especially important since Canada is one of members of consortium producing the F-35 strike aircraft. As such, its decision could make other members cancel or reduce their own orders of stealthy strike aircraft, starting a reduction avalance and burying F-35 programme.

Actual Canadian cost estimates for F-35s life cycle are 30 billion USD for 30 years. Evaluation which led to the selection of F-35 in the first place was a “paper evaluation”, made by comparing performance predictions – ones which F-35 is consistently failling to achieve, often by very large margins.

F-35s “ace card”, stealth, is overrated. F-35 itself is only LO against X-band radars; HF and VHF radars, as used by United States, Australia, China and Russia at least, can easily detect it over large distances. Even L-band radars (used on Russian PAK FA stealth killer) can detect it at long range. Non-LO aircraft, making no effort to hide, can rely on jammers for defense, which can be upgraded as threats evolve – stealth F-35, meanwhile, is furever stuck with its current RCS, which is dictated by airframe shaping and stealth coating.

F-35 can be detected at ranges of over hundred kilometers by fighters using QWIP IRST, even while subsonic, while its lack of maneuverability compared to Eurocanards, as well as threat aircraft, renders it unsurvivable against IRST-equipped fighters and SAM systems equipped with aforementioned stealth-detecting radars. Its huge IR signature puts it at risk against both airborne and ground IR detection systems, as well as making evasion of IR missiles far more difficult. Range performance is also nothing extraordinary, as its combat radius is lower than most rivals, including all Eurocanards, and Flanker variants.

It is incapable of generating enough sorties per day for its combat presence to actually matter against stronger opponents (as in, stronger than BiH), and many safety measures have been removed so as to reduce the weight increases. As such, it can be destroyed by a sniper rifle shot, and is very unsurvivable (and completely useless) in CAS role, as well as in any other role not involving destruction of large static targets. Its single engine also puts it at risk during ground attack operations.

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As I have checked it better, it seems that Canada cancelling F-35 purchase is not certain. However, it did come under review, and it seems that Italy may cancel, or at least reduce, their own F-35 order.

Posted in news | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

On AviationIntel F-22 vs Typhoon article

Posted by Picard578 on November 24, 2012

http://aviationintel.com/2012/07/28/in-response-to-reports-of-simulated-f-22-raptor-kills-by-german-eurofighters/

 

While author is indeed correct that training sorties do not necessarily mean that one type of aircraft is superior, multiple sorties can, when analyzed properly and assuming that setup is known, provide some information about respective fighter’s capabilities.

Huge control surfaces and thrust vectoring are useful for high-altitude and low-speed maneuvers, not in types of maneuvers required for close-in combat (transsonic low-altitude maneuvers). In fact, thrust vectoring is dangerous as it bleeds off energy, leaving fighter defenseless if it does not manage to get a kill immediately upon using it Secondly, German Typhoons in the exercise had no helmet-mounted sights, and as such had to point nose at F-22s to get a lock.

Modern radar warners, such as those carried by the Typhoons, are very capable of detecting even newest LPI radars. In any scenario where IRST-less Typhoon and F-22 went against each other with no AWACS support, both sides would be limited to visual detection.

In the end, visual-range combat is more likely than not to be decisive between fully equipped 4,5-th/5-th generation aircraft. As such, while F-22 is a capable dogfighter, it cannot be counted on to have a major impact in a war due to high cost and low sortie rate.

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Al-Quaeda now a US ally in Syria

Posted by Picard578 on November 24, 2012

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/opinion/alqaeda-now-a-us-ally-in-syria-20120910-25oby.html

(article follows)

While we reflect on the 11th anniversary of the al Qaeda attacks on American soil, there is a blinding light that may obscure our view: this sworn enemy now fights hand in hand with the US against the Syrian regime.

The historic State of the Union address by US president George W. Bush on September 20, 2001 is loaded with morals and principles about good and evil.

The president’s ultimatum was clear: either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.

In Syria, there is mounting evidence that Al Qaeda and its allies are actively deploying terror tactics and suicide bombers to overthrow the Assad regime.

Syrian citizens who prefer the secular and stable state to the prospect of an Iraqi-style sectarian state may well be turning this same question around to the US government: are you with us, or with the terrorists?

This week, head of the Salafi jihad and close ally of al Qaeda, Abu Sayyaf, pledged ”deadly attacks” against Syria as ”our fighters are coming to get you” because ”crimes” by the regime ”prompts us to jihad”.

Bush referred to al Qaeda as the enemies of freedom: ”the terrorists’ directive commands them to kill Christians and Jews”. But Sheikh Muhammad al Zughbey proclaimed that ”your jihad against this infidel criminal and his people is a religious duty … Alawites are more infidel than the Jews and Christians”. Because the new jihad targets Alawites rather than Jews and Christians, does this render them better bed fellows?

By his own admission, Bush stated that al Qaeda was ”linked to many other organisations in different countries … They are recruited from their own nations … where they are trained in the tactics of terror … They are sent back to their homes or sent to hide in countries around the world to plot evil and destruction”.

Yet this is precisely how the foreign jihadists in Syria have been described by reporters. They are funded and armed by Saudi Arabia and Qatar. And they collaborate with the Free Syrian Army which is aided and abetted by the US.

Bush condemned the Taliban regime because they were ”sponsoring and sheltering and supplying terrorists. By aiding and abetting murder, the Taliban regime is committing murder”. Eleven years later, the parallels produce an uncomfortable truth.

If only the Syrian uprising was as simple as the Arab Spring narrative where citizens seek democracy and freedom. But those unarmed protests have long since been hijacked by a cocktail of agendas which have little to do with Syrian democracy, and more to do with a proxy war to create a sectarian Sunni state that weakens Shi’te Iran’s main partner in the region.

Bush was correct in claiming that al Qaeda ”want to overthrow existing governments in many Muslim countries such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan” – who were all US-Israel allies at that time.

But his list stopped short of mentioning Syria or Iraq, the real targets of al Qaeda. Why does overthrowing Syria, using the same terror tactics, fail to attract the same degree of outrage?

Bush continues: ”We will starve terrorists of funding, turn them one against another, drive them from place to place, until there is no refuge or no rest. And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism.”

This pledge appears to have fallen on its own sword, given the funding of the jihadists in Syria. The terrorists have bred and spread across borders, which is the opposite of Bush’s prophecy.

The US administration must come clean about its financial aid. It cannot use one hand to sign a blank cheque to the rebels, and the other hand to cover its eyes to their immoral and illegal tactics. It cannot hide behind ”the end justifies the means” as there are too many innocent lives at stake.

Bush rode off on his high horse: ”We are in a fight for our principles, and our first responsibility is to live by them … may God grant us wisdom”.

If the principles and morality are to be taken seriously, then they need to be applied consistently.

The US regime should be actively and publicly distancing itself from the foreign terrorists and Salafist jihadists that are proliferating within sovereign Syria.

It should be condemning al Qaeda for its militant intervention. It should be condemning the Saudi sheikhs who issue fatwas for an Alawite holocaust.

The wisdom that we see is grief over the al Qaeda crime 11 years ago, yet covert collaboration with this sworn enemy today.

Perhaps the US is applying another principle that they may have learned from their pragmatic Arab allies – the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

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US looking to a new generation fighter

Posted by Picard578 on November 10, 2012

http://www.wnd.com/2012/11/u-s-looking-to-new-generation-fighter/

Despite F-22 choking its pilots – issue that may not have been solved even now – and F-35 having more problems than all European armaments programmes put together, US Department of Defense has decided that work should begin on a new stealth aircraft. It is easy to understand why – with F-22 out of production, and F-35 facing massive cuts in orders, US military aviation giants – Lockheed Martin, and Boeing – are desperate to find a new cow to milk. Ever since General Dynamics and Northrop Grumann have stopped producing fighter aircraft, these two firms have had free rein of US aviation industry. That situation has resulted in averagely effective and cripplingly expensive F-22, and utterly ineffective but almost-as-expensive F-35.

That decision comes in face of proposed budgetary cuts, and may indeed be a way for armaments industry to make cuts irrelevant, by inducing cost overruns that will have to be paid by taxpayers. While it certainly is useful for keeping industry going, it is hard to see why next platform has to be LO or VLO, as neither F-22 or F-35 are more advanced or more useful than their European counterparts.

Contrary to the claims in the article, F-35 is anything but high-performance aircraft. It is low-performance fighter/bomber/AWACS mix that does many things, but none well. However, as F-35 has harmed defense industry of US alleged allies – in reality, occupied countries – only high-performance fighters in production in these countries are French Dassault Rafale and multinational Eurofighter Typhoon, latter of whom is suffering cuts due to budgetary reductions as well as US diplomatic pressure aimed at making room for low-performance gold-plated F-35 bomber.

Posted in news | Tagged: , , | 5 Comments »

Number of Croatian soldiers in Afghanistan to be reduced

Posted by Picard578 on October 30, 2012

———————————————————————TRANSLATION——————————————————————-

Number of members of Armed Forces of Republic of Croatia participating in ISAF mission in Afghanistan will be reduced during next year from 350 to 300 in period from January to April, whereas in May – December period there will be 250 members of Croatian Armed Forces in Afghanistan. (…) Other NATO partners, such as United Kingdom and Germany are also reducing number of soldiers in Afghanistan, or at least thinking about it, while war there rages with same intensity as it always did.

(…) On meeting in Bruxelles, US SecDef Leon Panetta has stated that measures are being taken to prevent attacks on soldiers, which are increasingly often undertaken from inside. According to the Chief Secretary of NATO, Anders Fogh Rassmussen, forces of international coalition (…) are planning to stay in Afghanistan until Afghanistanis can take full responsibility for safety and security of their own country.

Link.

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I have to say that I am interested in what the measures Panetta is talking about exactly are. As long as Afghanistan remains devastated country, where people have trouble satisfying basic needs – and NATO is in good deal to blame for that – war will not cease. This looks like NATO’s try to get out of Afghanistan while simultaneously saving face.

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