...... here's some videos and links.
The first one is a link to a picture of the USS Lassen, a USN Arleigh Burke Class Destroyer, firing BQM-74 drones off of its flight deck in 2010. The purpose was to help Marine Corps F/A-18 pilots with their training. It got me thinking, would such a capability be worth the investment for the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force?
Apparently we already have some, but you don't hear much about them and I can't find out a lot either. The BQM-74 has multiple uses in training, able to replicate anything from a high altitude, maneouvering attack aircraft or a low altitude (as low as 10ft) cruise missile. They can be air launched or launched from a fixed ground support, short enough to allow multiple decoys to be launched for the back of a surface vessel such as a destroyer or frigate.
Due to the programmable nature of such decoys, they found a use during the first gulf war as part of the massive SEAD effort in the first few nights. Decoys were sent in ahead of a major SEAD package and used to draw out Iraqi air defence radars by simulating coalition strike aircraft arriving in groups. As the Iraqi's fired up their radars and tried to find targets (being forced to turn up the power to overcome interference from US jamming efforts), USAF and USN SEAD aircraft moved into position and fired a huge number of anti-radiation missiles.
One wonders then (because one has gone into posh mode again) how many units we actually have, how extensive a use we make of them, whether this might be a training tool worth invetsing a bit more in as it seems quite a clever use of a modest amount of cash, and whether this might help our rather limited solo SEAD capability? Answers on a postcard if you know (or just a comment/e-mail. I've always hated postcards. Something cocky about them that just says "f**k you, I'm having a great time in this wonderful place. Enjoy the miserable weather in England. Laters").
Next is a video from Army Recognition of the Syrian army firing a Scud missile. Given the accuracy issues that Scuds have, it's fairly safe to assume that the threat they pose to the Syrian rebels is somewhat limited. I suspect the Syrians are rather more interested in the propoganda value of such a firing, specifically as a warning to the west about intervention in their civil war, with the implied threat that a Scud topped with a chemical warhead could be visiting nearby cities in the region should NATO or the UN choose to intervene.
This comes at a time when US Patriot missile batteries are being moved into Southern Turkey, specifically to counter such a proposed threat. An interesting development I think in the cat and mouse political game that is taking place over the Syrian issue.
Next is just something a little more fun. Video clips from 2009 (multiple angles) of the Space Shuttle Discovery (on STS-119) coming into land. Just thought it was quite interesting and gives you an idea of just how fast the shuttles used to descend when coming into land.
Next, a video of a Royal Marine firing the new Glock 17, which has been confirmed as the military's new side arm of choice.
Next we go airborne with the USAF, as they show Japanese crew members on an air refuelling exercise about using booms to refuel F-15's.
And finally a bit of comedy, this time courtesy of the Daily Mail. Someone posted this link over at Think Defence and I couldn't help but laugh.
Well, I was going to post the link but having just double checked it I see they've corrected the fault. There is a picture of HMS Edinburgh there now, but when first posted the article had a picture of something that looked distinctly less like a Type 42 Destroyer and very much more like a German destroyer. Or in other words, it was a German Destroyer. It was most definitely not HMS Edinburgh, or any form of Type 42 Destroyer.
This comes back off the heels of a sensationalist article in The Sun, which basically mistook what is the fairly routine deployment of assets to the South Atlantic as being some major military build up in order to show the Argentines what for.
The reason I mention both of these is because it represents the depressing state of defence reporting in the media at large, which then leads to misunderstandings by the general public, which then often drop civil servants, senior officers or indeed politicians in the s**t when they don't (this time) deserve it.
It also skews the publics perception of defence to the point that they become either unrealistically demanding (like the guy in the audience on Question Time once, who told Dr. David Starkey that we should use our military to "threaten Russia into seeing our point of view") or unneccesarily morbid and upset about our defence capabilities ("this country isn't like it used to be, not any more". Funny that, how things change over time).
Which annoys me. Mainly because the journalists in question get paid decent sums of money to essentially talk s**t about something which they really seem to understand no better than most of the people who read the paper itself.