In local news, it’s your correspondent’s birthday this weekend.
- The Drive: AUSA 2018 roundup
- Red Storm Rising: the Marines practice beach landings in Iceland
- Related: Navy to Military Sealift Command: we don’t have enough to escort you
- Time to get rid of ICBMs? – A surpassingly stupid take, in my opinion. The author argues that having a bunch of ICBMs in the US means that any nuclear exchange is going to involve a bunch of bombs landing on the continental US. What the author fails to recognize is that any exchange which involves striking at the US missile force is probably a pretty all-out nuclear war anyway. Even if I don’t much like big cities, it’s inarguably better that any nuclear foe has to spend a few hundred warheads bombing the snot out of Nowhere, Montana than on, say, having them to hit metro Los Angeles.
- 80% of F-35s return to flight – Apparently, it was a fuel tube of some kind. I think the real story is that 20% of F-35s have a part sufficiently faulty as to ground them.
- France thinking EMALS for its next carrier – The way I see it, there are only two countries on the planet which currently operate real aircraft carriers, the definition of ‘real’ being ‘CATOBAR’. Good on France for staying in the club.
- Relatedly, footage of the first shipboard rolling vertical landing on Britain’s fake carrier – I think it’s an obvious good idea, if you’re not going to use catapults and arresting gear like a proper carrier ought. A few months ago, I did a similar landing in DCS using the Harrier.
- In USNI Proceedings, someone argues that seagoing landing craft are obsolete – I’m not sure how I feel about this one. It seems to gloss over an awful lot of helicopter vulnerability, to say nothing of the difficulty in landing, say, a tank via helicopter.
- India discovers that aircraft carriers are hard
- Early feedback on the F-35C is good – Having flown the DCS Hornet for a little while now, one thing I notice about the F-35C is how much less rugged its landing gear looks. I wonder how the F-35’s relatively straight, non-gigantic-trailing-arm gear will hold up in the long run. Also, I’ve heard rumors about issues with nosewheel strut bouncing on catapult launches and unexpectedly rapid tailhook wear. The article doesn’t address those directly, but hopefully they’re sorted out.
- Some MiG-29K cockpit video from a Russian pilot – In the comments, he says that they’ve phased out the R-27 for BVR air-to-air combat in favor of the R-77 and derivatives, which is interesting news if true.
Hurricane Michael and Tyndall AFB
- The Drive with pictures
- The Drive on why you can’t just fly fighters away
- Air Force Magazine has pictures, too
- China deploys a submarine on anti-piracy patrols in the Indian Ocean – Submarines, of course, are an excellent fit for the anti-piracy role, which requires high visibility as a deterrent, as well as naval guns or autocannon to drive off pirate vessels too small to hit with a missile or torpedo.
- The Diplomat on China’s surface ASW setup… and their ASW aviation
- On the topic of aviation, Japan wants more F-35As to counter China – This goes to one of parvusimperator’s favorite thought experiments: if the F-35 program was in as dire shape as is reported in public sources, why would places like Israel and Japan with an existential dependence on good fighters be so eager to buy them, and to buy more of them? Also, it has a current F-35A price of $140 million, although it isn’t clear exactly what that includes.
- Japan is also buying more E-2Ds – When the war with China comes, I’m sure it’ll be nice to have familiar AEW&C assets handy.
- Watch this newsreel about Caligula’s pleasure barges! – And read the whole Twitter thread, while you’re at it.
- Bloomberg’s Big Hack story: is there anything there? – At present, the answer remains, “Unclear.”
- A DC Democrat asks: does Trump have a strategy? – He seems to settle on this answer: “Whether or not he does, it seems to be working.”
- The Russian Orthodox Church splits with Constantinople – Enormous ecclesiastical news, this. The magnitude is similar to the Reformation, or indeed the Schism of 1054 which created the Orthodox-Catholic divide in the first place. The Russian patriarchate is the biggest Orthodox church, but junior to the Constantinople patriarchate (to simply things a bit). Constantinople granted the Ukrainian Orthodox Church autocephaly, which pulls Ukraine (at least officially) out of the Russian Orthodox orbit. State propaganda organ Russia Today, in the article above, says that this is terrible and that Ukraine is properly Russian Orthodox territory, hence the split.