Where do the months go?
Merry Christmas from your Soapbox hosts.
- Chinese hypersonic glide vehicle itself fired a missile over the Pacific – Financial Times story; use the Paywall Eliminator Firefox plugin.
- Sick burn from CDR Salamander – In response to “SOCOM commander says Taliban aren’t counterterrorism partners in Afghanistan.
- Ukraine’s defense intelligence chief thinks Russia is planning an invasion by January – Time’s running out on that one, but ‘the Christmas Day attack’ has a good ring to it. Good thing the tough-on-Russia adults are running things— No, I can’t keep a straight face.
- Italy thinks the next-gen European combat aircraft programs are going to merge – Two in a row that make me laugh! It would be smart, but I don’t think Europe would actually do it.
- Sal: look at our intellectual priorities, and look at our problems – It’s not a good look.
- Photos of Russian tanks with improvised anti-top-attack armor – It’s quite the look, let me tell you. Perhaps inspired by the recent Azerbaijan-Armenia spat?
- Mahan’s Yardstick – It’s 3500nm circles centered on Guam and Pearl.
- Israel buys the Gucci option, the CH-53K – Parvusimperator didn’t expect them to buy the expensive one.
- Tracking Russian force buildups near Ukraine – Open-source satellite imagery and analysis is wild.
- France Gets One Back: UAE to buy Rafale F4 – That’s the Gripen-E of Rafales.
- Brazil’s nuclear-powered sub project making progress – Luchtburg scrambles to respond.
- Finland picks the F-35 – And here’s why.
- Saudi Arabia running out of Patriot missiles in its conflict with the Houthis – A problem I expect to be a major factor in any future shooting war. I’ve posted about the lack of VLS reloading tools in the Pacific already; this is that problem but with consumables instead of equipment.
- Biden Administration officials have suggested that the U.S. will press Ukraine to formally cede a measure of autonomy within its eastern Donbas region – Uh-huh.
- General Atomics’ rough-field drone struts its stuff – It is not, as the name might suggest, a nuclear-powered drone.
- India tests air-launched BrahMos missile – “Gee, I wonder what ships those are targeted at,” parvusimperator says. I add, “India’s an awfully big, awfully unsinkable aircraft carrier on China’s SLoC to Africa.”
- MQ-25 naval unmanned tanker hits the deck – Trials begin aboard George H.W. Bush.
- Stratolaunch, owners of the world’s largest aircraft, to design and build hypersonic defense test articles – I’m glad we’re doing something with the largest aircraft in the world.
- Australia ditching its locally-built NH90s to be replaced by Black Hawks and variants – This follows Australia’s relatively recent ditching of its Eucoptre Tigres for Apaches.
- Dilapidated, sinking Marine AAVs still look less rusty than US Navy warships – Also, the AAV is getting retired. Sadly. I love the capacity.
- We wrote about a laser installed on USS Portland a while ago – Now it’s in testing!
- How US military planners are supposed to view the world – Given the choice between this and, “Those are people attacking us or our allies; we should fight them,” I think I prefer the latter.
- The taxonomy of narco-subs – H.I. Sutton does not consider the fact that we haven’t caught any of the true submersibles, or the related snorkel ships, evidence of absence. His take is that we know they can build such things, and the fact that we don’t catch any suggests they are building such things.
- Rapid Dragon hits a target
- Gun camera footage from British aircraft attacking German ships in Nordgulenfjord – Click it. You won’t be disappointed.
- Tales of the Long Beach from Master Chief Douglas Healey, whose careers are intertwined – Long read, but good read.
- Looking back on Ukraine’s history with the Blackjack – Post-USSR collapse, they briefly had the largest fleet in the world. Eventually, the airframes were scrapped for money reasons, or sold back to Russia for money reasons.
Coronavirus and Related Economic Disruptions
- More evidence in support of the lab leak theory
- The California container ship backup isn’t any shorter, it’s just further offshore and thus not counted as part of the California backup anymore
- James Webb Space Telescope Saga: “Oops, we dropped it”
- JWST is part of a hopefully-obsolete model, though – We’re probably a decade or so away from an utter collapse in launch costs. When you can schlep 100 tons into orbit for cheap, why would you bother with one-off special-purpose probes? Or, to quote the article, “For substantially less than current annual SLS development cost, a planetary science-focused Starship launch program could send a fully loaded Starship to every planet at least once per year, except for Mars whose launch windows are less frequent, but which benefits from Starship baseline design and will probably enjoy its own dedicated program.”
- A composite GIF loop of tracking camera footage from a recent Falcon 9 launch – Worth a click.
Christmas Gift Ideas
- The best toaster you’ll ever own – My mom has one.
- Budweiser ad campaign Real Men of Genius, volumes 1-3
- A zero-click iMessage exploit that uses JBIG2 text compession in Apple’s PDF render to build an entire functioning computer in software – It’s pretty wild.
- Writing a simple 16-bit VM in less than 125 lines of C
- Powerful Necromancer Revives Long-Dead Forum Thread – “People need to understand that even their really old opinions suck.”
- How accurate is Ocean’s Eleven’s take on casino security? – Not very.
- Bunch of JFK assassination documents released, if you like to speculate about that kind of thing