July 27, 2009


Bought a black and silver one when they were new. Still have it, still my best wheeled friend after 30+ years. The frame and forks are the only original pieces left.


Won a baby blue one in a BMX race. Took the brakes off of it and used it for downhill mountain racing. Still have it, still needs brakes.


Odd, but it looks like it might be comfortable, once the rider is used to it.


Odder yet, full production version of the above?


Such an enterprising young man! Should be in mass production.


The true state of the British Army’s equipment these days…



July 22, 2009

End of the line…


One hundred and eighty seven F-22’s. 300 in the pass…

By themselves, there are not enough Raptors to patrol the American skies. Not enough to defeat the entire Chinese air force. Not enough to defeat the entire Russian air force. Not enough to defeat the combined EU air force. That’s barely enough to handle the entire Indian air force. Any combination of the above and the -22’s would simply be overwhelmed by sheer numbers.


Over the hill F-15’s, F-16’s, and older model F/A-18’s falling out of the sky from sheer age and heavy wartime use. “New” model F/A-18’s dribbling off the assembly line in ones and twos, each one grudgingly authorized by penny-pinching bureaucrats (from both parties) who don’t having any problem voting raises for themselves on a yearly basis.

“For many years before 1986, the “worst case” scenario was an all-out conflict between the Warsaw Pact and NATO in Western Europe. Individually inferior though the Eastern Bloc aircraft were at the time, they had a tremendous numerical advantage which might have given them aerial victory over the West. The American approach had been to make every fighter pilot an ace via superior technology, but this had an inherent flaw. In a one versus one encounter, American pilots had a decided advantage, which persisted even in a four versus four encounter. But in a close combat, multi-bogey fight, with each pilot basically dependent on what he could see “out the window”, the numerical superiority of the Warsaw Pact air forces could have been simply overwhelming. Numbers create confusion, and confusion degrades technology very quickly indeed.”
-Mike Spick 2000


FoxNews’s KT McFarland says the Air Force doesn’t want the Raptor…

The Air Force used to disagree.

“The F-22A, a critical component of the Global Strike Task Force, is designed to project air dominance, rapidly and at great distances and defeat threats attempting to deny access to our nation’s Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps. The F-22A cannot be matched by any known or projected fighter aircraft.”

In a June 9 letter to a senator, Gen. John Corley, commander of the Air Force’s Air Combat Command, wrote: “In my opinion, a fleet of 187 F-22s puts execution of our current national military strategy at high risk in the near to mid term.”

“The Air Force had long disagreed (with Gates cap of 187 Raptors), calling for as many as 381 planes as recently as last year, in apparent defiance of Mr. Gates. The Defense Secretary fired the Air Force’s two top leaders last year, largely over the issue.”

KT McFarland also says the F-35 is “which is cheaper, more flexible and represents the next generation of technology. It is a better investment in national security.”

It’s not cheaper, since we’ll have to purchase four times as many F-35 Lightning II’s to equal the missing F-22A Raptor’s and tens times as many to replace the rest of the aging and soon to be permanently grounded current fighter fleet. It’s not more flexible seeing as the -22 carries far more air-to-air missiles and actually has a gun that was not an afterthought, as the -35’s gun is. Additionally the -35’s afterthought internal gun, when it’s actually mounted internally, carries just 180 rounds of ammunition compared to the -22 which has 480 rounds for its gun.

Nor is the -35 a technological leap ahead of the -22. They are complimentry contemporaries, just like the -15 and -16 are.

If we reduce the salaries of every single elected official in this country to the national federally mandated minimum wage, we’ll probably find enough money for at least one more squadron of Raptors.

Most of the second rate air forces in the world could make short work of a fleet of Predators and Reapers, (The Russians did exactly that over Georgia). As cool and highly useful as they are, they cannot survive long in a contested airspace. They’re just not ready for it, yet.

As far as I know, historically, US ground forces in combat have not been attacked by enemy aircraft since Korea. Will any of the people who’ve killed the Raptor apologize to the kin of the next US troops to be killed by an enemy air strike?

“The invention of [machines of war] has long ago been completed and I don’t see anything surpassing the state of the art”
-Sextus Julius Frontinus 1st century A.D


Leopard 2 A5 vs Lada

July 21, 2009

Kosovo, 1999.


Meet the Rosomak

July 20, 2009

Translated from Polish the name means Wolverine. Finnish design by Patria, built in Poland.

Why are we meeting the Rosomak? (Aside from me saying, “Now that’s my kind of SUV.”)

Units from the 12th Polish Mechanized Brigade in Afghanistan are using them. Specifically the M1 and M3 versions. The M1 is the standard vehicle with its turret mounted 30mm chaingun and co-axial 7.62mm, but with additional modifications and upgrades. These mods include additional composite-steel armor, NATO and US compatible communications gear, an incoming fire direction finder, and all around video cameras transmitting to a pair of LCD screens in the crew compartment. Because of the additional weight added by the armor, the Rosomak loses its amphibious capability, but in A-ghan, that’s not really much of an issue. The M-3 version is essentially the same as the M-1 but loses the 30mm turret, replaced by an open topped turret mounting a US M-19 fully automatic 40mm grenade launcher or a Polish 12.7mm.

As near as I can tell, the Polish Rosomaks, together with the two companies of Canadian Leopards, and one platoon of Dutch Leopards mentioned in an earlier post of mine, constituted the bulk of the Coalitions armor, both heavy and light, in A-ghan up until now.



There are rumors of a Rosomak absorbing three direct hits from RPG-7 rounds, returning fire, and then returning to base under its own power and another being hit by an IED with no casualties. There is also an unsourced rumor that the Talib local to the Polish operational area call the Rosomak the “Green Devil” and fear it (as well they should). Much, if not all, of that can be found in the Wiki for the Rosomak. There are rumors that SOCOM (US Special Forces) may be looking at purchasing a few Rosomaks and there are other rumors that the Rosomak may even be considered as a possible contender to replace the cancelled/stalled/whatever USMC EFV.

Regardless (ty K) of how all those rumors pan out some things are clear; The Polish Army is once again kicking ass and taking names alongside of US troops, the Rosomaks are fast, highly mobile, and beyond the ability of your average Talib to deal with in a confrontation. And if the Talib fear confrontation with a handful of Rosomaks that much, just wait until they get a load of The Destroyer Brigade…

The US Army’s 5th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division with over 300 Strykers is arriving in Afghanistan, if they’re not already in theater.

“We’re going to the heart, the birthplace of the Taliban,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Prosser, the senior enlisted Soldier of 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division. “(The Taliban) had better pray 10 times a day instead of five, because we’re bringing a lot of folks with a lot of guns and we’re bringing hell with us.”

Col. Harry D. Tunnell IV, commander of 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division.

This man has come to Afghanistan, he’s brought his people with him, and they’re looking for a confrontation.

It’s a bad time to be a Haqqani…


Britain revokes 5 arms export licenses to Israel

July 13, 2009

Big fancy AP headline eh?

The only source is claimed to be an anonymous Israeli official who claims the licenses in question are for the Saar 4.5 class missile boats.


(not an expert) Looking at all the usual open source information I don’t see where any of the major equipment, sensors, or weapons systems on the Saar 4.5 class are made, owned, or manufactured by any British owned or affiliated companies.

The last sentence of that story is a bit off as well.

“A British Embassy statement said licenses are not granted where there is a risk “arms will be used for external aggression or internal repression.”

I would think that such a risk would be present with any and all arms sales, to anybody. For example, especially in the case of the sales of heavy tanks to Jordan, or the sale of replacement parts for heavy tanks in Iran. I would also think that the Saar 4.5 class has an extremely limited ability to conduct any “internal repression” much beyond the coastline.

After the above, there isn’t much left of this story, which wasn’t much to begin with. Why would AP choose now to run this unconfirmed (by either government) article? Slow news day or desperate to take shoots at Israel any way they can? If true, what exactly do the British hope to gain from such an embargo? Was Great Britain embargoed by the US after it’s invasion of the Suez in 1956? Or during the Falklands war?


WASP – My Tortured Eyes/The Horror

July 12, 2009

Kill me? Kill yourself, so I’ll never see you again.


Crimson Glory

July 9, 2009



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