Monday, May 30, 2016

How much is enough?

There was a bit of a lively discussion on the Sipsey Street Facebook page on how much ammunition was enough.  At the risk of getting into a philosophical argument, I was reminded of a story about my WWII vet Great Uncle and what he had by his front door in the wilds around Grand Haven, Michigan.

He placed an M1 grand and two bandoleers of ammunition by the door, presumably for snakes of the regular and two legged variety.  When he was asked as to why he had not just one. but two bandoleers to go with the rifle, he quipped that sometimes one is just not enough.

Got ammo?  Better yet, got training to go with that ammo?

For those that gave the ultimate sacrifice

To my Brothers that did not make it back or were gone well before your time, you are remembered.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Just wait until July 4th.

More to file under it is going to be a long hot summer.

Veteran Memorials Vandalized Prior to Memorial Day

"Memorials to veterans in a Los Angeles neighborhood and a town in Kentucky, as well as a Civil War veterans cemetery in Virginia, were damaged as the nation prepares to mark Memorial Day, officials said."

"In Virginia, the Petersburg National Battlefield has apparently has been looted, the National Park Service said. Numerous excavations were found at the Civil War battlefield last week, Jeffrey Olson, and agency spokesman, said in a news release Friday. Petersburg National Battlefield is a 2,700-acre park marks where more than 1,000 Union and Confederate soldiers died fighting during the Siege of Petersburg 151 years ago."

Jesus H. Tapdancing Christ, that is some sick shit.

"In Los Angeles' Venice neighborhood, the wall for missing veterans has been tagged previously, but the latest vandalism covers the bottom half of the memorial for much of its length."

"In Henderson, Kentucky, Jennifer Richmond, a spokesman for the Henderson Police Department, said the community is devastated and working frantically to repair and replace the crosses that were put on display for a Memorial Day ceremony in Central Park."

Yep.  Its going to be a long hot one this summer.

100 Years Since Verdun Celebrated

In a show of support, Angie and Francis make nice and say some generic pro-EU things.  So that's nice. They probably glossed over a few things though.

For the uninitiated here is a quick rundown on the war:

In reality, Verdun was a meat grinder much in the way that the Somme and the Battle(s) of Ypres became.  Much for the same reason too.  The Germans still were riding high on the exploits of Fredrick the Great and thought their military might would be unmatched.  Frederick the Great was instrumental in developing how Germans would look at maneuver warfare, but they were hanging on to 130 year old laurels.  To be sure, the German Empire, (just 45 yeas young at this point),  was still angry over the Wars of Religion and the 30 Years War which had killed 1 out of 3 Germans and left them out of major European politics for a couple of hundred years.  Hubris was coupled with an aged and doddering higher command which was in no particular hurry to change with the times.  Years later, the Germans would have to relearn the lessons of Pyrrhic stubbornness to the point of of annihilation on the Eastern front, (Kursk and Stalingrad come to mind).  Not to be outdone, Americans took their turn at the meat grinder in the Hurtgen Forrest from 1944 to 1945.

I have traveled to Verdun and walked inside Fort Vaux and the memorial at Douaumont.  Both are well worth the trip to see.  Time has washed over much of the fortifications but you can still see parts of the trenchworks around the area.  The memorial, with its thousands upon thousands of crosses is a sight to behold.

It is no mistake that the German word for battle, "Schlacht", also means to butcher.

Sunday Jams - Haters gonna hate

To the guy who keeps complaining about what should or should not be placed on Sipsey Street, perhaps this is more your speed:

Now stop bitching.  No one cares.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Driverless convoys

A convoy of U.S. Army vehicles will cruise along a stretch of Interstate 69 in Michigan as part of an initial testing of driverless military vehicle equipment on public roadways.
A convoy of U.S. Army vehicles will cruise along a stretch of Interstate 69 in Michigan as part of an initial testing of driverless military vehicle equipment on public roadways. Representatives from the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center and the Michigan Department of Transportation held public information sessions on the testing Monday in eastern Michigan. In late June, the vehicles will test a piece of technology that's critical in the development and testing of driverless and connected vehicles, the Times Herald of Port Huron reported. Someone will be behind the wheel of each vehicle, which is equipped with features from the driverless vehicle systems, including adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist, The Flint Journal reported. Six radio transmitters will be set up along Interstate 69 to allow for groups of five vehicles to broadcast speed, distance, and traffic issues as directed over the frequency, said Alex Kade, chief system architect in ground vehicle robotics for the Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center.

The military's new stealth bikes

What runs on electricity and mystery fuel, moves at 80 miles per hour, generates enough power to run communications gear and is quieter than a conversation? Say hello to the military’s stealth motorbike. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, launched the stealth bike competition back in 2014. Today, the two prototypes faced off on the expo floor of the of the Tampa Convention Center, part of the National Defense Industrial Association’s Special Operations Forces Industry Conference. The Silent Hawk by Logos and the Nightmare from LSA Autonomy could be cousins. DARPA has funded both to phase two development under a small business innovative research award, essentially two non-competing grants to develop the technology. Both bikes feature cutting-edge hybrid multi-fuel engines that can burn a variety of combustibles like JP-8, Jet A-1, gasoline, propane, etc.. “If it’s gasoline, tell it it’s gasoline, tell it it’s something else. It will figure it out,” said Alex Dzwill, and engineer with Logos.

State Defense Force ordnance officers take note. What was old can be new again. "Raytheon Wants to Hot-Rod Old 'Patton' Tanks."

Well, now. There's a thought. How many M-48 and M60 are sitting in front of VFW halls and National Guard armories as static displays? How many can be refurbished in case of civil war?
The venerable M60 could get upgrades that make it more competitive with some of today's tanks.
For three decades, the Raytheon M60 (informally called the Patton) was America's primary main battle tank. Though the tank was replaced in the early 1990s by the M1A1 Abrams, thousands are still operational abroad. They're all candidates for an upgrade that Raytheon says can make them competitive on the battlefield, and at one-third of the cost of a modern main battle tank like a Russian-built T-90S, German-built Leopard 2A7, or America's own M1A2 SEP(v)3 Abrams. It's am appealing idea for M60 users like Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Oman.
"You have hardware that's of 1960s-1970s pedigree. The supply chain for some of the original equipment is gone," says Rimas Guzulaitis, senior director for platform sustainment and modernization at Raytheon "But you still have countries operating them who need to modernize, eliminate inefficiencies, add accuracy and lethality. They need to keep the M60 relevant."
The M60A3 Service Life Extension Program (SLEP) would hot-rod the Patton via kits supplied by Raytheon and its partners. The new V-12 diesel engine is rebuilt with stronger internals, increased fuel and airflow capacity, better cooling and more compression, and coupled to a strengthened transmission. The changes bump its output from 750 to 950 horsepower.
The Patton's turret can be converted from hydraulic to electric power. Hydraulics are hard to maintain and the hydraulic lines running through the M60's hull are downright dangerous. The kit replaces them with digitally-controlled electric wiring and actuators, making the turret quieter and lighter while allowing it to rotate faster. In place of the original 105mm M68 rifled gun, the M60 SLEP slots in a 120mm M256 smooth bore cannon.
"It's directly out of the M1A1," Guzulaitis says of the gun. "It's substantially more accurate, definitely more lethal, it's lighter and it allows you to use a wider range of NATO-partner ammunition." The gun's range is "substantially greater than an off-the-shelf M60 cannon," too, thanks to a not only the gun itself but also the new digital fire control and sight systems that come with the SLEP. The new configuration has sighting and fire control linked via Ethernet integrated with a laser day sight and night thermal sight, all connected to the electronic turret drive.
Making the Patton lighter and faster raises the possibility of adding additional armor, though none is offered as part of the SLEP. Nevertheless, Guzulaitis asserts that increased speed, firepower, digital control, and maneuverability are significant self-protection improvements.
"A legacy M60 tank requires you to stop to shoot to achieve a high level of accuracy," he says. "The new system allows you to shoot on the move, which equals increased survivability. If you have to stop to shoot, you're opening yourself up to getting hit."
The fire control portion of the upgrade has been fielded on 80-plus tanks in Jordan for over a decade. Raytheon recently integrated it with the improved drivetrain, turret, and gun in live-fire testing at the Army's Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. The company has yet to ship any SLEP kits, but there are three customers in various stages of Foreign Military Sales approval process right now. That means we'll likely see hot-rodded Pattons in the Middle East soon.

Low tech weapons

Unbreakable® Umbrella

Army catches up with 1946. What was old is new again. More on the Carl Gustav

From Wikipedia:
The Carl Gustaf (Swedish pronunciation: [ˈkʰɑːɭ ˈɡɵ̞stɑːv]; also known as, Gustaf Bazooka and M2CG) is an 84 mm man-portable reusable anti-tank recoilless rifle produced by Saab Bofors Dynamics (formerly Bofors Anti-Armour AB) in Sweden. Although most rounds fired by the Carl Gustav work on the classic recoilless principle, modern rounds sometimes add a post-firing booster that technically make it a rocket launcher.
The first prototype of the Carl Gustaf was produced in 1946 as a lightweight anti-armor weapon, one of many similar designs of that era. While similar weapons have generally disappeared from service, the Carl Gustaf remains in widespread use today. A combination of light weight, low cost and widely varied ammunition types, makes the Carl Gustav extremely flexible and able to be used in a wide variety of roles where single-purpose weapons like the M72 LAW passed out of service as newer tank designs rendered them ineffective.
In its country of origin it is officially named Grg m/48 (Granatgevär - "grenade rifle", model 48). British troops refer to it as the "Charlie G", while Canadian troops often refer to it as the "84" or "Carl G". In U.S. military service it is known as the "M3 Multi-Role Anti-Armor Anti-Personnel Weapon System" (MAAWS) or "Ranger Anti-tank Weapons System" (RAWS), but is often called the Gustaf or "the Goose" or simply the "Carl Johnson" by American servicemembers. In Australia it is irreverently known as "Charlie Gusto" or "Charlie Gutsache" (guts ache, slang for stomach pain).[5]
The United States Army will soon begin distributing a weapon system introduced in 1946. The M3 Carl Gustav rocket launcher will bolster the firepower of rifle platoons, giving them a much-needed edge. Developed by Bofors (now Saab), the Carl Gustav is a lightweight, man-portable recoilless rifle. Recoilless rifles are like a cross between an artillery gun and a bazooka: While they have propellant at the base of the projectile like a rocket, the propellant doesn't burn beyond the barrel, meaning the projectile flies unpowered like a bullet or artillery shell. Unlike artillery, propellant gasses are directed backwards, counteracting the weapon's recoil and making it "recoilless". The weapon is referred to as a "rifle" due to the spiral rifling in the barrel, which stabilizes the projectile.
The story continues:
The U.S. Army fielded a number of recoilless rifles after World War II, in calibers from 57-millimeter to 106-millimeter. The Army saw these rifles as anti-tank weapons meant to counter the T-55 and T-62 tanks of the Soviet Army. The Army retired these weapons when Dragon and TOW anti-tank guided missiles came on the scene
The end of the Cold War and the rise of new threats such as Iraqi guerrillas and the Taliban posed a problem for the U.S. The shaped charge warheads of anti-tank missiles are less effective against buildings, bunkers, and enemy troops in the open. Anti-tank missiles are also very expensive, meaning you could spend up to $50,000 to blow a $500 mud hut to smithereens. Finally, anti-tank missile launchers with their complex guidance systems are heavy and difficult to lug though rough terrain
The M3 Carl Gustav solves all three problems. The weapon is basically a tube with grips and an aiming sight. It can fire High Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT) rounds to take out tanks and armored vehicles, and High Explosive (HE) rounds meant to attack structures and enemy personnel. The shells have a diameter of 84 millimeters—or 3.3 inches—meaning they can pack a real punch. The individual rounds are relatively inexpensive, and the launcher weighs just 14 pounds.
U.S. Special Operations units, who need portable, lightweight firepower, have been toting the M3 Carl Gustav since 1989. Some regular infantry units in Afghanistan have carried the Carl Gustav since at least 2011, but they had to request and show a need for the weapon to get it. Now, Infantry Brigade Combat Teams in the U.S. Army and National Guard will receive these weapons at a rate of 27 per brigade, or one per platoon of 40 soldiers.
Despite the Carl Gustav's age, it's actually more versatile than many high tech weapons, making it useful in tomorrow's conflicts. In the new "hybrid warfare" pioneered by Russian forces in the Crimea, armies could face "little green men" (paramilitary troops) one moment and armored vehicles the next. The M3 will be able to counter both. Not bad for a 70-year-old weapon.

Clinton Foundation? Chinese Mandarins? Anti-gun politicians? They're shocked! Shocked, to find corruption going on here!

Inquiry Highlights Terry McAuliffe’s Ties to Chinese Company