[Blog] Blog message and link drop June 2018

I change the way I publish Defence and Freedom posts. 
  • The first Saturday of the month will have a link drop & humour & commentary blog post.
  • The other Saturdays will have ordinary single topic blog posts.
  • Additional days will have blog posts only as commentary on recent events.
This will amount to about 60 blog posts per year. I suppose it's better to go to a steady, low intensity blog output than to shut down entirely as did so many blogs that I followed in the past ten years.

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Blogger (the hosting service) no longer supports OpenID. Past comments made with an OpenID account may have disappeared without my involvement.

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I'll be at Eurosatory this year (early in the week) and intend to write a summary on the 16th.

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The United states Marketing Corps stays true to its name.

The "300%" figure is utter bollocks a.k.a. an obvious lie, but the video still mentions some interesting details.
One interesting detail is that the USMC sticks to its traditional attempt of doing platoon-level jobs with unusually large sections. The MAAWS (likely not just M3, but also M4 Carl Gustav) at section level is ill-advised, for the section cannot carry much munition for it. Every single shot with it weighs more than 3 kg. One such weapon should be at the platoon level as portable 'infantry gun', but it's mostly dead weight at the section level.
Another interesting thing is that the USMC appears to follow the proposed emphasis on accuracy (near misses) for suppressive fires, rather than sticking with the common approach of doing suppressive fires to machinegun bursts mostly. I suppose which works best depends on how good you know where the opponents are. It's feasible to suppress opponents at building windows with single shots, but you rather need long bursts to suppress opponents at a long line of bushes.
And then there's the interesting addition of an assistant to the section leader who deals with many new electronics. I wrote about that in 2009.

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You better be able to shoot that far if you use THAT big rockets!
Previous record shots were around 400 km, including the American SM-6 missile.

This kind of long range missiles are not really an issue for fighters or strike fighters, but they push back AEW&C aircraft, tanker aircraft, air/ground radar aircraft, electronic intelligence aircraft and transport aircraft. They might need to avoid an area of about 500 km around some suspected S-500 element site, which largely devalues them. AEW&C in particular would rather not be able to look at the sky above most of our mechanised forces. Fighters would need to cooperate with (possibly jammed) datalinks to create a situational picture by adding their radars' fields of view and ranges. Such a network can easily break down, not just due to jamming, but also due to few fighters on station AND moving 'forward'. Flanks could be left unguarded, and 'lines' of such cooperating fighters in the sky could be defeated from the blind flanks.
Air war against a S-500 user (or user of other unusually long range anti-AEW missiles) would look VERY much unlike the air wars against Iraq.

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I. Cannot. Resist.

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Have a look at this:

It shows the demonstration rigging that camouflage advertisers are using (matching the background to the product), but it also shows the difference between micropattern and macropattern. 
Multisorb has - in the context of a VBL armoured car - micropatterns only while the comparison VBL has a three colour paint scheme that's nothing but a break-up macropattern.
The paint scheme is meant to break up the silhouette on a less homogenous background at long distances (much more than 500 m), while Multisorb's micropatterns look suitable for much shorter distances.
At very long distances the paint will be a better camouflage on light backgrounds and the darker Multisorb a better camouflage on dark backgrounds (brightness difference to background, not colours, matter at long distances).
Such textile covers are pretty good as IR camouflage and can also reduce the distance at which battlefield surveillance and airborne GMTI radars can detect the vehicle, while their optical camouflage effect is debatable. 

The annoying thing about that presentation of Multisorb is that they could easily have designed the product to have both micropatterns and macropattern.

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For those who understand German:





  1. Interesting. Looks like the guys who said that the introduction of the HK416/M27 IAR as a supplement/replacement to the light machine gun was actually about replacing the old M4s might have been right :D

    1. If they were actually serious about replacing the SAW with a light automatic rifle they should have gone back to the Stoner 63 family and just gave everyone a KAC LAMG. Or procured casket magazines. The fact that they did not and are sticking with 30 round magazine fed rifles, points more to the M27 indeed being a Trojan horse to replace their carbines with Heckler and Koch 416s.

    2. From what I have heard, casket magazines generally suck reliabilitywise, particularly in adverse conditions. Drums on the other hand are more reliable, but awkward to carry.

  2. I'm not sold on 12 automatic rifles replacing the firepower of 3 light machine guns, and I don't think that the quadcopter and tablet are going to result in better common situation awareness and corresponding accuracy. If the squad is going to add weight, I'm surprised they settled on an anti-tank weapon, for the very reason you mention. If they're going to add that kind of weight, I think a medium machine gun is a better return on investment. Back in the 70's/'80's, several armies had FN MAGs at the section level. That's a lot of weight, but is more sustainable than M3s. I haven't done the math, but I'm pretty sure that 1220 rounds of 7.62mm 4B1T (5 boxes) spread across the squad is lighter than 5 x 84mm rounds. Even if it's not, 5 belts of 220 rounds can be broken into 10 belts of 110, but 5 x 84mm rounds remain 5 x 84mm rounds.

    But what really puzzles me is pushing a tablet and drone down to squad level. I can just picture a platoon commander losing it while trying to destroy a couple of trenches, while a couple of squads are held up trying to recover quadcopters, and with tablets busy rebooting or simply frying in the mud. That equals highly irritated Gunnys, irate Company Commanders, etc etc.

    But hey - it's not like the USMC slaps pictures of skulls on everything!

    1. The Carl Gustav is not just an anti-tank weapon, in Afghanistan the US army mostly used HE airburst and HEDP rounds. It will also replace the SMAW as an anti-structure weapon in the USMC.
      With 3 UB grenade launchers per squad the focus seems to be on HE firepower over bullets.

    2. Sure - but is bunker busting a squad-level responsibility? Put a Carl G at the platoon level, and if you really think you need more capability, then take some of the position savings from shrinking squads from 13 to 12 (plus savings from shrinking Battalion TOW and Mortar platoons), and put an extra few Carl G teams in a Company-level weapons squad. Those can then be assigned forward as required.

  3. 1) Camo like Multisorb is one of those things which seem underappriciated in peacetime but would be in high demand in wartime.

    The conductive mesh ought to be allow the addition of some natural camo by loops. A higher strenght mesh might be needed.
    Troops should be easily able to integrate environmental elements.

    2) To me the Marines seems to go a bit "colonial", making a squad for arid and semi-arid regions with lightly armed opponents.

    It is somewhat ironic that the wooded training area with limited line of sight in which it was filmed seems more suited for the older squads.

    The tech support guy seems like a smart idea on the other hand, as there is more and more available which can end up destracting the leader from his core tasks.


  4. Giving every squad member an automatic weapon results in a 300 percent increase in firepower - just like they had until they adopted the M16A2 c 1986...