Friday Linkzookery – 04 May 2007

Murdoc is traveling today, but thanks to the miracle of scheduled posting you get some Linkzookery anyway. Ain’t the internet great?

Warriors at the limit
Phil Carter and Austin Bay spar over troop levels. One thing they agree on: we need more.

New Air Force Bomber Takes Shape
Sticking to the “subsonic and manned” plan for now, at least.

Russian Stryker
BTR-90 finally hitting the streets.

JTRS on the Skids
The Joint Tactical Radio System program remains a bit of a mess.

U.S. Looks at “Localizing” Convoys in Iraq
Using locals to truck US supplies around might be a good idea. I think we’re reaching the point where we could maybe even trust many of the drivers.

9/11 was bad, but…
Apparently 3,000 dead isn’t so bad. (Unless you count soldiers. Then it’s grounds for impeachment…) Reminds me of the Peanuts are more dangerous than Terrorists idiocy.

I want real money
Buckethead on coins.

Stay-at-home mom’s work worth $138,095
Every time I see something putting a dollar value on stay-at-home moms, I’m afraid that someone is going to try to tax it…

Insurgents ‘right to take on US’
UK Gen Sir Michael Rose has written a book drawing similarities between the tactics of insurgents and George Washington’s men in America’s War of Independence. He also says “The catastrophes that were predicted after Vietnam never happened.”


  1. The Air Farce! What the hell is a new subsonic, stealth bomber going to bring to the table that the B-2 doesn’t already have or couldn’t be modified to have? Nothing, that’s what. What a bunch of dolts. They could have gone for a mass produceable subsonic aluminum bomber with reduced signature that could be a combination bomber/refueler. NOOOOO that would make too much sense since bombs and fuel have about the same cargo density, but it might shake up the delicate institutional balance of power within their massive bureaucracy. They could have gone with a stainless steel, supersonic, Mach 3 bomber that had shape stealth only, no coatings, speed is life, maybe trailing edge treatments, and IR signature stealth; an airplane that would put the fear of God in people, but they’re too lacking in imagination to even consider such a plane. Either option would be cheaper. Either would be better. Instead they’re going to recreate the B-2 because the contractors that control them just love those development dollars. Do they never get tired of being thier contractors bitches?

  2. The catastrophes that were predicted after Vietnam never happened.’ What a jackass. They don’t read history in the SAS? I’m not sure what catastrophes were predicted, but the utter disaster that Cambodia became, the slaughter of South Vietnamese civilians, and the plight of the boat people trying to escape the communist killers all qualify as catastrophes in my mind. The continuing totalitarian government in Vietnam isn’t so great either.

  3. The catastrophes that were predicted after Vietnam never happened.’ No, some different catastrophes happened instead. But what’s a few million dead civilians and a couple of backwards countries among friends?

  4. Once you toss the supersonic out the window – the whole justification for the new bomber goes out with it. The rational for this new bomber was to be able to cross the pacific in a short period of time with a heavy bomb load. Current bombers can do it, but it takes 20+ hours. The talk of survivability and the ability to penetrate defenses is BS. High altitude, directed EM bursts and high stealth missiles can do all that and we can (and do)outfit the current fleet to do that. Northrope offered to restart the B-2 lines at 1/2 billion a piece. Order another 60 or so and your done. So what is left – The only justification I can see is like Defens says a multi-role craft. A blended wing modular high capacity plane. Toss in the modules to configure the plane for the desired mission.

  5. ‘The catastrophes that were predicted after Vietnam never happened.’ What a stupid statement. Example: The $89 Nikes I bought were labeled MADE IN VIETNAM. And they fell apart after only 4-months. Now if that’s not a catastrophe I don’t know what is!

  6. Since they killed anyone with a brain in Vietnam and Cambodia after the war, it’s a wonder they can build a shoe that stays together for that long. I forgot about the multi-roll airplane we talked about, James. A cargo/bomber/taker/ASW/AEW and possibly even arsenal ship type of airplane. Did I mention I worked on a concept like that for the Navy? It was supposed to replace the S-3, C-2, and E-2, and possibly drop bombs. The guy who headed that program for us is a jerk. Lied his ass off in the charts we presented to the Navy. Had his little turbofan powered airplane out-cruising and out-loitering the C-2, which wasn’t even close to true. Ususally there isn’t any down side to lying to the customer, but every now and then you get caught. This led to the airplane program being cancelled and the program manager got promoted to VP.

  7. Its pretty rare for the vendor to get caught in a lie. That takes some real talent. Normally the vendor buries the lie under reams of paper, trusting that people who can catch the lie are to far removed from the people who can actually do something about the lie. I remember in the early 89’s the no such agency, teamed up with the air force to build metro-tango. The vendor claimed they could build an over the horizon backscatter detector capable of providing targeting data on the location of Russian mobile radar sets in near real time. Technically they did not lie and indeed the C-141 filled with data ‘proved’ that no lie was committed. Its was just our bad luck that the mean 2.5% azimuth racking error ment that any sweeps we did generally resulted in us picking up a hundred or so sets each with CEP measured in kilometers. Sure we could target the sets, we just needed nukes to insure a kill.