We’ve been doing this for half a year now (slightly more, given that we took a Christmas break; 26 entries in total).
- Civilian on Rafale fly-along ends up getting the ejection seat experience – “Merde, I cannot take zis guy any longair…”
- Some information on the Navy’s shipyard modernization plans
- Putin’s security detail routinely spoofs GPS – Joke’s on them; INS- and laser-guided munitions still work just fine.
- USAF accelerating B-21 buys – I’ll believe it when I see it. “Let’s build a bunch of B-2s, but cheaper!” seems to be the rallying cry here, and I’m not sure how that’s going to work. Anyway, we’ll get them delivered just in time for Russia to announce some kind of synthetic aperture longwave radar that renders shape-based stealth obsolete.
- Sea Stallion-K deficiencies are fixable, say Marines – parvusimperator observes that almost every deficiency is technically fixable. The two big ones called out in the article are exhaust gas ingestion, which is not great for helicopters, and not having enough airframes to do testing, which doesn’t bode well for future availability.
- A little more on the Sea Stallion-K program – And also on the reductions in readiness the extant Sea Stallions are working through.
- USAF working on a gender-neutral physical assessment – There’s no way to do that which doesn’t either let in wimpy men or exclude fit women, but I suspect 1) they’ll err in the former direction, and 2) nobody will notice, because most Air Force jobs aren’t especially physically demanding.
- Congress should fund another National Security Cutter – As we discussed in the comments a week or two ago, there’s nothing wrong with the idea of a cheap hull you can pack a bunch of technology into later. The Legend class is a good candidate, as is the other modern Coast Guard cutter project, whose name escapes me right now. Medium something or another.
- Virginia procurement plans change – Rather than buying 9 of the next 10 with the extra Tomahawk VLS section, we’re buying 8 of the next 11 that way. It’s funny that we ended up with the same pattern as the 688s: “Ooh, land attack missiles are great; let’s add more.”
- Lake City ammo plant prepares to make 6.8 – parvusimperator observed over coffee that this is most likely just calling up Union Lead Castings Co. and Consolidated Swage Products LLC to make sure they have the right stuff on hand or in stock.
- Having whipped the F-35B into shape, the Marines shift focus to the F-35C – “Commander Smith, Captain Johnson, this is Sergeant Sledge. He’s in charge of the program now.”
- F-16 service life extension program details – Structural repairs to get airframe expected lifespans from the current 8,000 hours to 12,000, along with packing the F-35’s radar in. The Viper flies on.
- Is this the end for Big Kuz? – After his1 drydock sank, Russia doesn’t have much in the way of repair options. They’re openly discussing scrapping him, which is new.
- The Columbias may cost more than expected – Cost inflation? On a boomer project? Perish the thought!
- More on Textron’s cased-telescoped ammunition – It’s basically a sales brochure, but cool to see nevertheless. Is that the 6.8 that the ammo plant is gearing up for? In thirty years, will all the cool kids be building the civilian version of the 6.8 cased-telescoped rifle?
- The USMC’s aviation plans – The SHORAD section is nifty. They’ve got a Leonardo/MOOG Stinger/gun system on a JLTV, and they’re buying Iron Dome. Evidently the Marines get all the best toys. Except the cased-telescoped squad machine gun, that is.
- Dutch F-16 hits itself with cannon fire during training exercise – Oops. The article notes this kind of thing has happened before.
- One of Japan’s F-35As has crashed
- Teach the controversy: don’t retire Truman, mothball her! – The author references Ian Toll’s excellent Six Frigates in support of reviving the ‘laid up in ordinary’ status, to include building a new laid-up-in-ordinary drydock for Truman. Easier said than done, I say, especially since (as a nuclear-powered vessel) Truman‘s skeleton crew requirements are probably larger than, say, Constellation‘s were.
- VP Pence to NASA: “Moon landing by 2024!” – I suppose the theory on the aggressive timeline is that we’ve already done it once, so why can’t we do it again but faster?
- Hayabusa 2 science schedule – Last week, the Hayabusa 2 asteroid-sample-return mission shot a shaped charge into the asteroid it’s visiting to make a new crater. Science!
- Midmorning edit: there’s a Falcon Heavy launch tonight, with the corresponding triple-landing attempt – Launch window is from 1830 to 2030 and the weather is good; I have a Lent thing at church for almost exactly that window, so no spoilers.
Science and Technology
- TSMC begins 5nm fabrication – ‘Risk production’, they say, which I assume means you-the-customer assume some of the risk.
- 737 Max preliminary crash report from the Ethiopian aviation authority
- More than you wanted to know about 737 stabilizer trim and control forces
- Does Google forget old websites? – No, but you could be forgiven for thinking so. They just have a very strong recency bias in search results, except in cases where you’re literally the only substantial Internet source. (Thanks, 50mm Supershot article.)
- Arizona Cardinals: revolutionizing the draft? – Taking a page from baseball’s book, the Cardinals seem to be of the opinion that players on rookie contracts are better than expensive players at the same position, which seems sensible. They’re stockpiling draft picks and aiming to take some players in high-impact positions even if they don’t need them, on the theory that they’re either trade bait or the next man up when the current guy hits free agency.
- Baseball records: Chris Davis sets the new mark for most consecutive at-bats without a hit – He’s up to 49 right now. His last hit was September 14, 2018; he’s only walked four times this year. And they say the record book is closed!
- Grammatically, Russians refer to ships by the gender of their name. Kuznetsov is a he, Moskva is a she. The myth that Russians use male pronouns for all ships stems from the fact that most Russian naval vessels have male names. ↩