WWRW falls on a Thursday again, because I was working from home yesterday, and that always throws off my groove.
This is the 32nd one of these. Yay, powers of two!
- Turkey says it’ll manufacture the S-500 locally – I must be behind on my air defense reading, because I can’t even tell you what an S-500 is. (Carlo Kopp can, though.) Also, Russia promises to sell Turkey Su-57s if the F-35 deal falls through. Growing up with teen-series fighters as I did, the two preceding paragraphs scan like something out of Next Sunday A.D. sci-fi.
- Pentagon threatens to withhold half of the $728 million LockMart requested for F-35 spare parts – Not out of spite, but rather because the Pentagon wants technical data so they can buy spares from other, more reliable suppliers.
- Upgrading the Chinook is the correct answer to the heavy-lift helicopter program – Approved.
- Speaking of, Boeing is going to flight-test the Chinook with the engines from the CH-53K – (Thanks to Kilo Sierra for the link.) Remember, in terms of lifting power, helos are pretty much universally power-bound, so add more oomph and you can add more collective before the engine governors stop you.
- Humvee vs. JLTV – Fun fact: I got in trouble at the Pittsburgh Auto Show for taking a picture of the JLTV dashboard.
- Still using Russian or Chinese weapons? The US will pay you to ditch them and buy American
- Young people are unqualified for everything – Including military careers. Apparently, a mere 29% of American youngsters hit the requirements, which amount to 1) don’t be obese 2) don’t have a criminal record and 3) finish high school. I find those numbers a little hard to believe, which is usually a good indication that they’re misleading or wrong somehow, but I’m already a day late with this and don’t have time to chase it down1.
- Some call sign controversy brewing at VFA-106 in Virginia – A number of black aviators were given insulting call signs with some racial overtones, maybe? On the one hand, cool call signs are an invention of the film industry. They’re all insulting if you know the story behind them. On the other hand, the fact that the white pilots in VFA-106 talked about their black compatriots in a WhatsApp group called ‘Pure Bloods’ does rather speak to motive, doesn’t it?
- Airships for the military – Oh hey, the same article someone writes literally every five years, and nothing ever comes of it. I really like airships. Over at Many Words Main, I frequently write what amounts to airship fan fiction. I still don’t think they’re very much good for most modern uses. We have airplanes and helicopters now. The only thing a rigid airship buys you is fuel economy.
- Terrain-following radar for MC-130J special ops transports – Terrain-following radars are cool. There isn’t one in DCS yet to play with, though, so I can’t tell you just how cool.
- A report to Congress on airborne EW programs – Parvusimperator’s link. I haven’t read it, but I surmise that it’s mostly going to be, “We have airborne EW programs. No, Senator, that’s classified.”
- Remembering the attack on the USS Stark – Be sure to click through to the JAG investigation at the bottom of the article.
- FN’s going to unveil its MK 48 6.5mm machine gun at SOFIC 2019 – Which is currently ongoing. Perhaps some news for next week?
- Shipbuilders study adding more punch to LCS – Hmm. I wonder why? It was so well-equipped! An interesting, non-sarcastic point is that phase 2 might involve a Mk-41 8-pack, or newly-developed single Mk-41 cells spread around the ship (i.e., wherever they can cram one in).
- Laser weapons and rail guns and gun-launched guided projectiles, oh my – Another Congressional report, so don’t expect too much.
- Two presentations, one on the 2018 national defense strategy and the other a report from NSWC Corona on munitions – I think I’ve probably said it before, but a good way to win bar bets is to ask people where in the US the Navy’s largest facility is located. It’s NSWC Crane, in south central Indiana, notably far from oceans, or indeed large bodies of water at all.
- Rule the Waves 2 is out – Rule the Waves, the 1900-1925 naval arms race/tactical battle simulator, is a Soapbox favorite. Does the sequel, which expands the scope to 1955 and adds aircraft carriers, stack up? The short answer is yes, and I’m very much enjoying trying some oddball ideas in my Japan game2. The long answer is you’ll have to wait until I get through a game or two and can write a full review.
- How Pixar lost its way – TLDR: bought by Disney.
- We have a Patreon, if you want to fund more advanced journalisming. ↩
- Hmm, it’s 1925 and I have a good fleet-size carrier design. Rather than build huge dreadnoughts, I’ll just build a bunch of carriers and some 30,000-ton 30-knot 6-gun battlecruisers packed with AA to go with them. Is it working? Well, not exactly. At any rate, RtW2 is very, very likely to be this year’s Winter Wargaming AAR/Let’s Play. ↩