Thursday, 24 July 2014

Mistral for the Royal Navy? Other Goodies?

Yesterday I saw a post over at Think Defence that got me thinking again about an old idea which I'd like to revisit today. 

Before I do though, a fresh article on TD today brought to light the plight of a former soldier who had hit hard times and died, with part of the blame being thrown on the benefits system for cutting his jobseekers allowance, an act which appears to have put him in financially hard straights and might be a contributory factor in his death.

With the end of operations in Afghanistan this year, the UK armed forces are shifting to what is hoped will be a wind down phase, where the immediate pressure on resources is slackened, at least until the end of the decade. That of course presumes that no other problems crop up, but presuming they don't, then what will be the great challenge for the armed forces between 2015-2020?

Saturday, 19 July 2014

The Great Internet Calibre debate, part 1,651,198....

If you want to kick off a lively discussion on a military based website then you have several choices. Aircraft carriers are one. Inter-service rivalries are another. Probably the grand daddy of them all though is to talk about gun calibres with respect to service rifles. It can get very heated at times.

The problem with such discussions is that it's very easy to make an unsupported assertion based on "common knowledge", but it takes a long time to systematically refute such arguments in the sort of detail that is required to satisfy even casual observers who have no dog in the fight. It's almost impossible to turn a "believer" against their chosen opinion, even with large quantities of what is practically irrefutable data.

One of the reasons I started this blog was so I could essentially write such responses in one place and then in future just drop a link to save myself much typing. Today I'm going to do just that for the infantry calibre debate, something that if you include underlying research I've been working on now for many years.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Nearly done

I'm currently closing in on the end of my next post. Perhaps another day to finish it? It's been a labour of love.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

The F-35 in the "Dogfight"

So the other day I was watching a video which appears (cant be verified) to be a lecture about the performance of the Indian SU-30MKI at a previous Red Flag exercise in the US. The lecturer makes some interesting points and ends the session by refusing to be drawn into a debate about the F-35, presumably for time considerations.

I'll stick a link to the videos at the end, but suffice it to say that it doesn't seem to bode well for what is probably history's most maligned (and most talked about) defence project. 

Now I've been a sort of fence sitter with regards to the F-35. I think the concept behind it was deeply flawed (due to the VTOL requirement) and the procurement program has been an utter mess. But ultimately I'm not as down as most on what should come out the other end. 

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Further thoughts on the A-10/Close Air Support issue

Every now and again I like to check the traffic sources for the blog to see who's out there and who's linking to the site. I noticed one link from Canada and followed it back to find a Canadian Army forum where people were discussing the issue of the A-10, who should own them and the general nature of Close Air Support (CAS).

Looking at it they seem to be having quite an interesting back and forth, and it occurred to me there were some points in there worth exploring a little further as they tend to crop up commonly in similar discussions elsewhere.

Now I don't want to jump into a forum where I'm unknown (and probably unwanted) to unexpectedly start handing out my opinions on a single topic before disappearing again, and I think the discussion has a wide appeal being that it effects most militaries (the subject of CAS that is), so I'm just going to lay those thoughts down here. If someone on the forum in question wants to link back to this - or to simply copy and paste sections they believe are germane to their discussion - then by all means do so.