Friday Linkzookery – 25 May 2012

The 226th installment of the world-famous Friday Linkzookery.

Industry view: Why the Navy needs a ‘Patrol Frigate’
Argues that the National Security Cutters could be turned into a new class of Navy ships. Murdoc thinks we’d be better off with updated FFG-7s with VLS (similar to Australia’s upgraded Adelaides). Instead we’re getting the LCS. Lucky us.

Navy Strains To Handle Both China And Iran At Once
Quick, retire more carriers and buy more LCS pleasure boats.

One LCS Class for the Gulf, one LCS Class for the Pacific
Trimaran LCS-2 for the Pacific and monohull LCS-1 for the Persian Gulf?

Archangel: CIA’s Supersonic A-12 Reconnaissance Aircraft
Lots of info about the precursor to the SR-71 (and the YF-12).

Maersk vessel fights off pirates in Gulf of Oman
Private armed security guards win again.

Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Australia for 12 EA-18G Modification Kits [PDF]
To convert existing aircraft into Growler electronic warfare planes. Good move as the Aussies picked up some extra Super Hornets due to F-35 delays.

California-Compliant Colts
Two new ARs for our oppressed countrymen.

CSAF presents rescue pilots multiple medals in ceremony
Two men each received 2 Distinguished Flying Cross medals with valor for HH-60G operations in 2009.

Iran to Unveil Home-Made Cobra Chopper
Claims that it “enjoys some capabilities which make it preferable to Apache.”

Navy places order for new class of patrol boats
85-foot-long Mark VI will replace Mark IV, Sea Ark, and Littoral Combat Ships.

6th grader’s USMC shirt too much for school
“My father made a joke that the woman who told him to turn the shirt inside-out must have been in the Navy.” Ooh-rah!

The Yak Can’t Take It
Yak-130 is not tough enough for conversion into Yak-131 light attack plane. The Rooskies will refurbish some Su-25s instead.

More Linkzookery below!

Seat from 1963 B-52 crash found in Maine
Structural problem caused accident which killed six of the crew.

Experts puzzled by mysterious UAVs on Chinese frigate
People keep saying that the Chinese are nothing to worry about. Murdoc worries that they’re wrong.

How do Zimmerman prosecutors prove case when key witnesses now have reasonable doubts?
Three of four suddenly changing their story to make Zimmerman look bad. Sounds perfectly believable.

Nobody is challenging Obama in the primaries–and doing surprisingly well
Hope for change.

AF picks 1st woman to command fighter wing
4th Fighter Wing to be led by Col. Jeannie Leavitt.

F-35 alternate engine debate, round 2? Lawmakers suspect jet engine end run
Adaptive Engine Technology Development program seen as some as an attempt to get a new alternate engine for Lightning.

Tallest structure ever demolished: federal nuke officials claim world record
A 1,527-foot tower, once used for studies associated with nuclear weapons testing, was demolished this week at the Nevada National Security Site (previously known as the Nevada Test Site).

Half of Detroit’s Streetlights May Go Out as City Shrinks
Murdoc is positive that this will help with the crime issues the city faces. What a pit.

Delayed final voyage of Iowa set for Saturday
BB 61 headed for a museum makeover. Finally.


  1. Re. LCs, both LockMart and, what is it, Northrop Grumman? The two LCS companies both have brochures up on their sites for frigatized versions of their LCS designs, to include CIWS, VLS, Harpoon launchers, towed array, SPY1 radar, and triple torpedo tubes amidships.

    I still think they are dinky, not very robust ships, but those systems would go a long way to making the ship tactically useful. The National Security cutter option sounds good, but it would probably take another ten years to switch directions to a navalized version of that, and another ten billion in design and R&D. LCS is a fait accompli at this point, how do we make it useful?

  2. With regard to the FFG-7 modernization vs. altering USCG cutter to a frigate, I think you have to look at where your money is going ot be better spent. The RAN is in the process of spending, at least, a billion dollards to upgrade the Adelaides. Thas about $166 million per. On the other hand, the National Security Cutter has already been in development and construction for years and would appear to offer some significant upgrades that you can’t get with the FFG-7’s. While not an expert, I did a little looking around and it looks like the main trade-off, assuming that the upgrade the author of the editorial includes a weapons suite suitable for the missions that we need frigates to perform (AA/ASW), is speed. If the USN were to just take these cutters essentially as is then they add nothing to USN’s capabilities and just serve as a resource drain.

    While I think the FFG-7 has proven to be a workhorse through its life, it needs an evolutionary successor and not an upgrade.

    1. Bill: I wasn’t real clear in my post. I definitely do NOT want to upgrade the FFG-7s. I want a new 21st century follow-on class of ships with FFG-7 sensibilities on an updated design. Maybe that’s a navalized NSC, though that’s not the impression I get.

  3. Re: USAF picks first woman to command fighter wing. This story is best described by the motto of the Wild Weasels, YGBSM!

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