Posts

Showing posts from October, 2014

The USN and the rough road ahead.

Image
Thanks for the link Canuck Fighter!

http://www.cnas.org/sites/default/files/publications-pdf/CNAS_CarrierAirWing_white.pdf


For those who missed it, commenter Canuck Fighter posted a like to this excellent white paper regarding the United States Navy and the decision it will have to make regarding its carrier air wing.

For those of you not willing to delve into the report, here is the general gist of the USN's options.


Option 1:  Damn the torpedoes...  Full speed (slowly) ahead
The F-35 is already late, and may not see wide use from American super carriers until at least 2025, possibly even later. By then, the USN's current legacy Hornet fleet will be worn out and obsolete.  Without the JSF waiting in the wings, fighter capability will be severely reduced as the USN's current Super Hornet fleet will be tasked with pulling double-duty.

This does have the option of being the "easiest" route to follow, as well as reducing spending in the short term.  Unfortunately, m…

Mythbuster: "Future" Tech

Image
Captain Buster Junior cleared his throat and spoke loudly and clearly into his helmet microphone.

"Computer...  Initiate air combat protocol.  Arm all missiles, activate all electronic warfare modules, and charge up the directed energy weapon."

His order was confirmed by the CF/A-55E's onboard artificial intelligence.  "Affirmative.  Sensors confirm two hostile bogeys coming in from the east.  Radar jamming initiated.  Missiles armed.  Fusion cells charged to ninety-eight percent."

"Great."  Captain Buster Junior answered.  "Transmit the usual multi-language message stating that they have violated Canadian airspace and..."

"CAPTAIN!  Missile launch detected!"

The pilot reflexively banked his aircraft into a defensive maneuver and barked back at his aircraft.  "CRAP!  Okay, target that missile with the DEW turret and prepare to fire CUDA missiles!"  

"Acknowledged.  Directed Energy Weapon locked on.  Do you wish to fire?&qu…

Stand on guard...

Image
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” -Fred (aka "Mister") Rogers 

Emotions have been swirling over the last few days.  It is okay to be angry.  It is okay to be upset.  It is okay to want to find someone to blame, ostracize, or even punch.  Canada has been hit all too close to home, and the naturally tendency is a desire to strike back.  
It is not for me to decide whether or not the actions over the last week were the machinations of a few degenerate deviants or a coordinated effort of some malevolent group.  In the end, it may not even matter.
What does matter is how Canada reacts.  Do we come out of this swinging blindly, or do we come out of this with a renewed focus on doing what is right?  My money is on the latter.  We have never shied away from standing our ground or defending our morals.  
Some have said that this is a "defining moment&quo…

Mythbuster: "Super" Hornet

Image
Captain Buster climbed into the familiar cockpit, and let his muscle memory do the rest.  Flick a switch here, push a button there, check that dial over there...  It was all such a routine now that he did it without thinking.  

"Captain Buster!"

Zoned out, the CF-18 pilot ignored the voice in his headset and continued his preflight checklist.  He was just about ready to start up the engines when the rude voice in his headset woke him from his zen-like trance.

"CAPTAIN BUSTER!"

"WHAT?  Can't you see I'm busy here?"
"Captain Buster, you may want to double check your surroundings.  That's not your aircraft you climbed into."
"Everything looks alright from here...  Look, I've already completed the preflight checklist.  Why can't I just fly this CF-18 instead of my usual one?"
"Normally, that wouldn't be an issue, but we are not authorized to fly that aircraft!"
"Since when?"
"Since you climbed aboard…

Blast from the past...

Image
From the Flightglobal archive:

This news clipping from 1979 says a lot about why the F/A-18 was selected over the F-16.  Quite simply, the Hornet came with more attractive offsets and the AIM-7 BVR missile.  Very much a "big deal" back then.

Back in those days the F-16 was still very much a short-range, fair-weather day fighter.  It would not become the multirole fighter we know of today until the F-16CD variants were introduced in the mid-eighties.  The F-16s production numbers would not become stratospheric until the Reagan administration relaxed sales restrictions on military hardware, increasing demand for the Viper internationally.


Mythbuster: Foreign Fighters

Image
Captain Buster stifled a yawn as he stared bleary eyed at the lifeless powerpoint presentation.  He wished he was back piloting his beloved CF-18, not stuck in this dreary meeting.  He cursed his Commanding Officer for "volunteering" him to be part of the committee to pick the CF-18's replacement.  It may be good for his career, but it was hell on his nerves.
"As you can see, we have several choices available to us."  Captain Buster had already forgotten the committee chairperson's name, so decided to honor the chairperson with the call-sign "Drone" for the way the chairperson would drone on-and-on...  And on...
"We have the Lockheed F-35, of course.  I'm sure many of you have heard the controversy surrounding it.  The Americans seem hell-bent on using it to replace just about every fighter they have, however, so you can see why they want us to get it too.
*Click*
"Then we have the Super Hornet.  It's a lot like the CF-18, only bigge…