Friday Linkzookery – 06 Aug 2010

What the World Isn’t Being Told about the Israeli-Lebanese Border Incident
Even the normally cautious UNIFIL, which the previous day had restricted itself to calling for calm and announcing its intention to investigate, eventually — and exceptionally — sided with Israel’s claim that the tree was on their side of the border. Even the Lebanese admit they carried out an ambush.

No further delay for U.S. Air Force tanker
I’ll believe it when the first 50 tankers are fully operational.

Stag Arms SBR Uppers
Civilian-legal shorties.

Army’s “Pain Ray” Afghanistan Deployment Scrapped
The Active Denial System just isn’t getting it done. Via a reader who added: “I guess they’ll just have keep using lead…

Sustaining the M1 Abrams: US Army Puts a TIGER in its Tanks
DID looks at the plan to keep the AGT 1500 engines purring.

See Tanks in Action!
National Museum of Americans in Wartime free Open House on August 21 and 22.

Coked Up Stimulus Monkeys
Sharron Angle campaign ad featuring some of Harry Reid’s best uses of stimulus money.

Feds admit storing checkpoint body scan images
Glenn Reynolds: Whenever the government collects information, it lies about what it will do with it. This is a near-universal law.

Petraeus reloads rules of engagement
Basically clarifying the previous rules.

China Becoming Another Shale Gas Hot Spot
China has been one of the brightest spots in world LNG supply market and the country has been very assertive securing natural gas supply from central Asia countries.

Chinese missile could shift Pacific power balance
The Dong Feng 21D — a purported carrier killer.

Mossberg Tactical 22
Murdoc’s not a fan of the fixed A2-style carry handle.

787 Dreamliner Flight Test
Lots of details about Boeing’s testing of the new airliner.

Converteam develops catapult launch system for UK carriers
In case the STOVL F-35B doesn’t work out.

Japan considers exporting SM-3 missiles
This confuses me. Why can they decide to do this?

Obama restores rank of disgraced Vietnam general
More than 30 years after his death, an Air Force general has been exonerated of charges that he violated presidential restrictions on aerial bombing during the Vietnam War and that he ordered the falsification of records to conceal the missions.

GM donates $41,000 to lawmakers’ pet projects
When General Motors went through bankruptcy last year, it suspended its political donations. Now that it’s owned by the U.S. government, it’s donating to lawmakers’ pet projects again.

Gold, Silver, and Jewels
Gold and silver-plated jewel-encrusted guns allegedly owned by drug cartel boss are seized in Mexico

ThermaCELL Giveaway
Murdoc loves these insect repellent devices.

240th Carnival of Homeschooling
The Summer Get-Together Edition


  1. From your link on the M1 tank, I found this video embedded in the article. It is pretty interesting watching the depot guys strip down an M1 tank and clean and repair every piece of it to get it back into shape. They say it is a $1 million overhaul. This video is apparently 2 of 7, so if you look on the side menu, you can view the others. Good stuff.

    1. That means that for every 4 M1A2s we junk, we can use the combined savings and scrap sales profits of $4.5 Million to buy a factory-fresh Leopard 2A6 — which will *never* require a TIGER-equivalent “upgrade”.

  2. Concerning the AGT1500 Gas Turbine engine used in the M1 Abrams, here’s a few fun facts that the TIGER Program spokesman left out;

    * The AGT1500 engine ALL ALONE consumed 25% of the US Army’s entire Anuual Preventative Maintenence Budget (the rest of the M1 combined consumes another 25%!).
    * The TIGER Program promises to double the time between depot repairs for the M1, but fails to address how upgrading the engine will improve the endurance of it’s T158 Tracks (that have to be replaced every 2 weeks in operational conditions — twice as often as the Leopard 2’s tracks).
    * The TIGER Program also failed to mention that the M1A2’s engine is only a drop in the bucket compared to it’s other combined maintenance woes, which give it an MMBMF (Mean Miles Between Mission Failures) of only 152 — compare to over 6000 for the M60 Patton it “replaced” (in the mid-1980s, when they were already old!).
    * Of the 6000 M1s listed as being in the US Army inventory, only 3000 are actually operable and in use.
    * In 2003, only 72 spare AGT1500 engines still existed, which were instantly exhausted on the 3000 said M1s.
    * Though 8800 M1s were built, only some 12000 AGT1500s were built — meaning, though 8800 M1s were built, only 3200 spare engines were made for them.
    * At the same speed in which the Leopard 2 can reach it’s maximum range of 310 miles (about 25mph), the AGT1500 consumed 800% more fuel.
    * The same amount of fuel used to drive an M1 250 miles at 25mph is enough for a Leopard 2 to drive the same distance, and then idle for more than 48 hours around the clock.
    * The M1, BTW, can’t idle for 48 hours AT ALL — it consumes 15 gallons of fuel an hour at idle, and with 505 gallons can only idle for 8 hours. This, despite ALL tanks spending 80% of their service life while running at idle.
    * When off or idling, the M1’s engine rapidly bleeds oil, because it’s seals were designed for high operating pressures associated with RPMs used to produce high speeds.
    * The M1 burns and bleeds an average of 20 liters of Turboshaft Oil per day.
    * A Division (350 tanks) of M1s burns an average of 600000 gallons of fuel per day, more than twice as much as ALL of Patton’s Army in World War 2 (which STILL fan out of fuel).
    * The cost of transporting 600000 gallons of fuel into the field is $30 Million — doing so every day for a year costs an abominable $10.95 BILLION!
    * In Operation Desert Storm, the US Army VII Corps’ 5000 vehicles (including 1200 M1s) required 8.4 MILLION gallons of fuel to move a mere 170 miles.
    * The AGT1500 takes an average of 60 seconds to start, and can requires up to 90 seconds; a Diesel engine requires less than 5 seconds to start.
    * Being the only ground vehicle in the entire US inventory with a gas turbine engine, the M1 requires an entirely different pool of facilities, expertise, personnel, and tools to maintain than all of it’s other ground vehicles.
    * That the M1’s Gas Turbine starts more easily than Piston engines at low temperatures is irrelevant, given the fact that all the trucks that bring fuel to them, and the motors that pump that fuel, are all Piston-powered.
    * The M1’s 505-gallon fuel capacity is almost twice as great as the norm for it’s generation.
    * Just starting the M1’s AGT1500 Gas Turbine engine consumes 10 gallons of fuel — shutting off the AGT1500 without causing damage to it requires another 3 gallons of fuel to be burned.
    * The AGT1500 costs $200000 — more than TEN TIMES the price of an equal-power Piston engine.
    * A single LV100 engine — a Gas Turbine proposed as the AGT1500’s replacement — would have cost more than $800000.
    * At the beginning of the ground war in Operation Desert Storm, A Co, 2-70 Armor, 2nd Bde, 1st AD had 14 operational M1s. Within 24 hours, 5 tanks were lost to breakdowns, 4 of them to Turbine failure — just after a rain, when there was no blowing sand.
    * Despite the vulnerability of the AGT1500 to sand, the CO of 2nd Bde, 1st AD ordered that all tanks leave thier engines running for long periods after halting, due to problems encountered with engine start-up.
    * When the 2nd Bde, 1st AD re-deployed to Saudi Arabia at the end of Operation Desert Storm in a 3-day move, they lost 60 tanks to mechanical failure. Given that an M1 Tank Battalion contains 58 tanks, and that the 2nd Bde contained 3 Battalions, they lost 30% of their tanks.
    * According to Paul Connors, in “The Train Wreck Is Here, Now”, only 10% of the M1s in one US Army tank division were combat-ready in 2007.
    * Since the example set by the M1 Abrams and it’s AGT1500 engine, both introduced into service in 1980, no new-model gas turbine-powered AFVs have EVER entered service — as of 2010, no gas turbine vehicles are in production or development AT ALL, and none are projected at anytime in the foreseeable future by any organization.

  3. All SBR uppers are “civilian legal”.

    You still have to register your lower on the NFA with $200 and a Form 1.

    If you mail oreder one of these uppers, and mate it to a lower without registering the lower, you are still committing a felony.

    1. You’re correct. The “civilian legal SBR” uppers have short barrels and fixed flash hiders, which keeps the length okay for non-SBR guns.

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