Friday Linkzookery – 16 Dec 2005

General Dynamics wins $6 million contract from Army
For a remotely-operated version of the upcoming XM307 crew-served weapon.

Mars rovers showing signs of age
Designed for 90 days, they’ve lasted for 22 months.

U.S. Ship Plan To Cost 20% More
Plans for a 313-ship fleet. Lots of good info on building schedules and options. Sticks with 11 carriers, only drop to 48 attack subs instead of rumored lower levels, and the first CG(X) in 2011.

Official Debunks Myths About Military Recruits
MO already noted the fact that the airplay some of this was getting didn’t appear to even be supported by the articles themselves, let alone the GAO report they were based upon.

The Australian: DEFENSE
A huge round-up of links about the Australian armed forces. Major thanks to the reader who sent it in.

Why Australia Went With the F-35
I don’t think the Aussies get enough credit for their steadfastness in the face of world opinion

More Linkzookery below the fold!

Spc. Robert Shane Pugh
As he lay dying, he directed life saving efforts for the man who was injured with him, saving that man’s life.” Another one I meant to point out and forgot.

The Good, the Bad, and the Heavily Armed
Mike the Marine via a reader. Old post but good.

U.S. Air Force Exploring Upgrading Or Replacing HC-130 Tankers
As if the 767 Tanker fiasco isn’t enough, the USAF is also looking to replace the tankers for the Combat Search-and-Rescue units.

WOOKIEPEDIA: The Star Wars Wiki
That’s no moon…That’s a SPACE STATION! (via Johno at The Ministry)

Army Transforms Antitank Unit Mission
Instead of containing anti-tank platoons, the brigades will now be supported by TOW anti-tank companies.

Military Bomb Dog May Get an Early Out
Bomb-sniffer may be adopted by handler who was wounded in Iraq.

Integrated Next-Generation Technologies Key To Better Control Of Borders, Chertoff Says
Nobody even pretends that we control our southern border. Why doesn’t anyone care?

Airborne laser achieves full power in ground test
If anything is going to be a real long-term solution to ICBMs, this is probably it.

Greece and the United States Sign Agreement for Sale of Additional Lockheed Martin Advanced F-16 Block 52+ Aircraft to Greece

Keep the Air in Army
Light tactical transport, arranged and performed by those most motivated to git-er-done.

Top Ten Villainous Moments in Comic Book History
I used to collect comics. I’ve got to say that I more or less am buying this list.

Kearsarge Awarded Combat Action Ribbon
For being missed by a rocket in Jordan last August? Seriously?

VAW 124 first in the Gulf with new props
The first time the new 8-bladed prop on the E-2C Hawkeye has been used in the Persian Gulf. They’re quieter, easier to maintain, and they create less vibration than the standard 4-blade prop. Christmas Crossword
Naval-themed. Interactive or in .doc format. Very cool.

Congo scrambles to organize first poll in 40 years
Okay. I admit it. I don’t know the first damn thing about Congo politics.

Study finds problems with unmanned craft
We are in the infancy of the UAV. Well, they’re toddlers. Anyway, these problems aren’t anything serious.

Hayabusa Asteroid Probe Stuck In Space Until 2010, Possibly Forever

Elbit Systems ORCWS 25-30 Unmanned Turret System Completes Field Trials
A lightweight, remotely-operated turret for light armored vehicles capable of mounting 25mm or 30mm cannon.

Ukraine May Host US Radars
US radars in Sevastopol? Are you freaking kidding me?

Navy’s last 2 battleships may become museums
Hey, were you guys aware of this? What do you think of that idea? (Murdoc: [Ducks for cover])

Thank A Soldier Week begins Monday
Go check it out and leave your two cents. Or more, if you can afford it.

Cat Officer stuff
When 99.99% just ain’t good enough

Debunking the “New Orleans Flooded Because it is Below Sea Level’ Myth
The myth I’ve heard is that it was flooded because George Bush hates black people.

Mexican Outrage
“[Mexican President Vincente] Fox, speaking in Tamaulipas state across the border from Texas, said such extreme security measures would violate immigrants’ rights.” Immigrants’ rights?

Multi-culti Policy and the Sydney Beach Riots
“Democracy, immigration, multiculturalism. Pick any two.”

Design & Preparations Continue for Britain’s New CVF Future Carrier
DID has another great carrier-related post up.

NASA confirms more fixes to shuttle tank
I noted that the problem has been isolated earlier.

Anyone have anything on their blog that MO readers might like? Anyone notice anything else of interest? Trackback this post or leave it in the comments.


  1. Congolese politics are very similar to ours. Only there, if you LOSE you get eaten alive. Here it’s the winners.

  2. Intersting point in one link in regards to the battle ship debate–> Of note for DD(X) ‘One alteration -the elimination of a secondary magazine to store 300 155mm rounds for the ship’s Advanced Gun System -will do just that. The official said this was an acceptable tradeoff. ‘ So that brings the total store down to about 600 shells. The latest cost for DD(X): For the first, $3.1 billion ‘down’ from 3.3 billion and a target of under 2 billion for each later one. Lets not forget that the DD(X) isn’t some long-lived program- its the remains of the more ambitious DD 21 project. My personal guestimation is that the DD(X) is going to have at least one more name change/ requirement shift before being cancelled. Its going to end up costing so much that even turning the BB’s into museums won’t protect it from being axed in favor of other projects.

  3. I still can’t work out why we would chose to replace F-111s with F-35s. F-111 combat radius: approx. 4500km (2500nm) F-35 combat radius: ‘more than 1100km’ (600nm) F-111 bomb load: big. F-35 bomb load: not so big. Even with tanker support that’s a hell of a downgrade. Can we successfully patrol a massive coastline and reach our neighbours with those in the case of a conflict/for deterrence value? Sure, the F-35s are stealthy, but that’s not useful at all if they can’t reach the target(s)… My guess: we’re betting on our neighbours being friendly and not going to attacking us. These aircraft will be for use overseas in conjunction with coalition/NATO/UN forces. I don’t think any of our neighbours are going to attack us any time soon. But is that a good military assumption to make? If it were up to me, I’d keep the F-111s in reserve for deterrence/long range attack, maintain the but don’t fly them too much any more. I think they want to scrap them to save money though.

  4. I’ve noticed that you are a stryker fan so thought you may be interested in the recent article in the Tacoma News Tribune…

  5. However, Nicholas, the F-35’s are brand new, and do not have the huge variety of problems waxing on the F-111. The F-111 is a very, very, very old plane. I asked my dad about it (he used to fly em in the RCAF), and he said that they wouldn’t hold nething in a modern air battle. Truth be told, you can’t just take ‘facts on paper’ and apply them to arguments.

  6. I wouldn’t expect our planes to get into a modern air battle. I would expect them to have an anti-shipping role. We have a long-range, over-the-horizon radar which should be able to spot an incoming invasion fleet and the F-111s should be able to launch harpoons at a standoff distance and sink it. Air combat would not be involved and if threatened the F-111s would probably just have to run away. B-52s are older; does that make them just as useless? If so why are they still being flown?

  7. To be perfectly clear about it, I think we should buy F-35s (F-22s would be good too) but I don’t think that negates the need for a long range bomber. I think it would be clever to upgrade the avionics of the F-111s a bit too. Buying a new long range bomber would be great. Does anyone make them any more? Other than the B-2, which cost $1b each and would be unlikely to be exported?