Link dump October 2016

I added a hardware-centric blog to my blog list (on the left,), and here are some of the reasons:


A containerised multiple rocket launcher module is an intriguing idea, and I wrote about something similar a few times. It's clearly practical for guided missiles, but at the same time rather questionable for unguided or minimally course-correcting rockets. The traverse for any simple such design would be very, very minimal - maybe 15°. Enough for deliberate bombardments, not enough for quick reaction fires. MLRS type munitions couldn't be used without much effort, for they are front-loaded. 
A full traverse containerised MRL module may very well be possible (with folding walls) but this would likely be rather elaborate and the expenses for such systems can be quite astonishing (see MLRS modernisation costs from years ago; hundreds of thousands of Euro per launcher). 

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(c) LimpidArmor

Such a see-through 'virtual reality' helmet mounted sight for tankers is overdue. This was already tried with the F-35 fighter, and much of aviation technology finds its way to tanks sooner or later. All-round cameras were already installed in Merkava IV years ago. It was obvious from the start that mounting multiple monitors was a quite unergonomic interim solution.
(Meanwhile, the German industry and procurement agency finally moved away from cathode ray tube monitors in the newest IFV Puma. *sigh*)

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There's finally a towed/tethered sensor system for modern warships to extend the line of sight / horizon beyond what can be done with masts. Keyword DARPA TALONS:


Of course, this has been done before - as many 'innovations' - which made me expect such a thing for a long, long time. I probably didn't publish anything about this expectation because naval affairs aren't quite in my focus most of the time. I did expect it to take the shape of an autogyro anyway, for the first incarnation was an autogyro. Guess who did it. ;-)

The challenges for any such concept are quite obvious; you need enough payload (not much of a problem, as evidenced by Fa 330 Bachstelze which operated at 15 kts and lifted a man), you better supply electricity by copper cables from the ship and you need to stabilize whatever sensor you use (except maybe passive radar). I suppose this was technically feasible since the 1990's at the latest. The radar lifted this way cannot be nearly as powerful as the mast- or even superstructure-mounted ones, of course. Such radars can detect ships at long ranges, though - and I think they can also detect wave pattern disruptions caused by periscopes much easier than a much lower mast-mounted radar could.
150 m high electro-optical or imaging infrared sensors would also be VERY helpful with identification of boats and ships without a helicopter sorties.

One couldn't fully rely on such a system, though. It won't work in severe weather.

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You want to criticize the Puma IFV or the procurement agency publicly?

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I wrote a lot about Iskander, LORA and other such "under 500 km" missiles. The Americans are actually giving this approach a try and seem intent on replacing the ATACMS missiles (which don't necessarily age well in storage) with something in the 300-499 km range. This time it's likely cluster munitions ban compliant and may thus be interesting for the German army as well. After all, we have hardly any suitable munitions for our MARS/MLRS (afaik no more than 1,000 GUMLRS missiles were ever purchased by Germany).

I doubt that this will influence air warfare doctrine (of the U.S.A.F.) much, though.



  1. >The Americans are actually giving this approach a >try and seem intent on replacing the ATACMS >missiles (which don't necessarily age well in >storage) with something in the 300-499 km range

    They also want to use this missiles against see-targetts, the army will assist the navy with this weapon system then (Littoral Warfare)

    1. I read that about the ATACMS upgrade, but not about the new missile.
      From an army point of view any missile that can hit a moving tank can hit a moving ship as well, maybe we'll see if the Navy does agree.

  2. The Israelis have also developed a "transparent armour" system called Iron Vision:


    Appears to have augmented reality built in as well.