Link drop January 2019

2018 was really fine for me personally, but rather mediocre nationally and internationally. No big problems were solved or reduced by much. Let's hope 2019 will be better!

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Amazing natural camo

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Of course, the usual reply by the right wing is that the others do it as well, which is (a) largely incorrect and (b) no excuse anyway.

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(about Costa Rica)

I wonder how they want to achieve 11 kts with such a relatively small sail area.
some more similar projects mentioned in a forum

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A very nice summary on the issue whether the Spitfire could have been turned into a long-range escort fighter. The short answer is yes, though the Mustang with its lower drag (better cooler design, better wing profile, no rearview mirror and fully retractable undercarriage that Spitfire V and IX didn't have) was capable of even greater range. Even slightly modified Spitfire IX should have been useful for escort missions to the Ruhr area, though.

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This is a photo I found in the intertubes.

CKEM missile, a favourite concept of mine. It's mostly high energy density solid rocket fuel, some stabilising fins, some minute charges that push the nose in different directions for steering, a 'long rod' penetrator similar to the ones used in APFSDS (though rather smooth surface and no fins) and somewhere in there is a tiny computer.
CKEM is so interesting because its kinetic energy penetration principle is similar to what tank guns' APFSDS uses, and thus dissimilar to the shaped charge warheads normally used by portable or light vehicle-mounted munitions. A countermeasure against shaped charges would likely fail against this one. This redundancy makes it harder to devalue a nation's anti-tank munitions arsenal.
Moreover, it requires no fuse that could be defeated. It can be operated in a fully predicted point of impact mode. This means any defeat of sensors after the launch could become irrelevant. It can receive midcourse updates apparently, but those are not really necessary unless you aim at really long distances.

Now the downsides
  • it's fairly specialised in defeating heavy and medium armour
  • it's still pretty heavy ("less than 45.4 kg")
  • it's a rocket that accelerates after launch, so it doesn't have full penetration capability on the first few hundred metres (effective minimum range frontal against MBT maybe 600 m?)
I suppose we should mount CKEM armoured recce vehicles and possibly (for ripple fire capability in ambush) on tanks as well. Tanks could then use smaller, less troublesome main guns if not even much more rapidly firing and much higher elevating main guns.
Meanwhile, infantry and non-combat forces would keep using portable shaped charge-based anti-tank munitions ranging from a lightweight 50 mm predicted line of sight single shot bazooka to ERYX-like munitions (huge calibre, I did not fully appraise that for a long time) and portable platoon-level infantry guns (M4 Carl Gustaf). 'Rear' area troops may make do with cheap(er) Panzerfaust 3-ish munitions.

Why do I write this? You won't find much redundancy and thus not much robustness in the actually used inventories. Javelin and similar missiles may even be defeated by denying them a lock-on in the first place using multispectral smoke. Backup AT munitions such as M136 are simply no satisfactory anti-MBT munitions. The German EuroSpike (MELLS) / Panzerfaust-3T duo (afaik with remnants of Milan missiles somewhere in use) is no better.

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[Blog] I finally removed the Statcounter thing, for the December stats made no sense whatsoever. Again.

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AK Vorrat wieder in Aktion. 



  1. Dunno if I can post links here,


    Funny thinking from an 'independant think tank' on the future of UK defence policy. We could be going back in to the Suez inside 18 months. Don't exactly know what we would be sending, but I dont think that would stop these moonbats.

  2. Re the Kinetic and predicted line of sight AT weapons, I'm very much in favour of that (we already have N-LAW in service), however I don't think the situation re countermeasures and Javelin/MELLS is as bad as all that. Firstly, any multispectral smoke is going to affect the targeting system of any non MMW missile. You have to ask yourself how frequently such smoke will be deployed in a timely fashion and in sufficient quantity. If you are talking about rapid screening smoke on the vehicle itself, then the missile should be clever enough to fly toward the original or predicted position of the target if lock is broken. This would be for a fraction of a second before impact even at the relatively slow speed of such ATGW. How many enemy vehicles are going to be fitted with rapid screening smoke or other effective countermeasures? Russian modernisation plans seem a lot less ambitious in quantity and quality than when first mooted.

    1. It's expensive to use preventive multispectral smoke, but very much possibly in key actions. Even CKEM wouldn't help then unless a mmW fire control is used.

      Quick reaction smoke deploys in two seconds, and an emergency braking of one second suffices to avoid a missile that would hit 0.5 sec after that braking manoeuvre. So we're talking about a 3.5-second drill.
      There's some lag to initiate it, but we know about all-round vision cameras for situational awareness of tank crews and we know how useful missile approach warning sensors have become to combat aircraft. We also know that hard kill APS have reaction times measured in milliseconds.

      Javelin needs 4.6 seconds to 1 km and 14.5 seconds to 2 km.

      Javelin approx. needs those 3.5 seconds to about 750 m. It's thus unclear whether it would be defeated by a quick reaction soft kill APS at the most common ranges for NE European terrain. It would be defeated in time by DIRCM (which could be integrated with the CITV) at shorter distances.

      There's another issue beyond the initial salvo: Any follow-on shots would have extremely poor odds because the opposing tanks would make use of smoke preventively.
      You may defeat the vanguard with Javelin/Spike et al, and then you'd be overrun or bypassed by the main force.

      And that's before we assume high maximum elevation hard kill APS for the vanguard.

    2. For the question of smoke: some years ago i read a study, that the forces of israel run very fast out of smoke-ammunition in the libanon war, although they had high quantities of that kind of ammunition. This leds me to two conclusions: 1 your ideas about using smoke are right and very efficient and what is done in a real war 2 you need very large ammounts of smoke ammunition - especially for the artillery. Modern western tm armies in (western) europe has therefore not enough of this kind of ammunition.

      The overall lack of ammunition of any kind is IMO in general one of the main problems of our armies. The question which system (for example which atgm / missile etc) is perhaps not so important in comparison to the question of how many of this i realy have available. Actually the bundeswehr for example would run out of ammunition within days (!) in the case of a war. This problem of the lack of ammunition is ignored even in the military by a suprisingly high number of soldiers. Even they do not realize how small the real ammount is.

      And no weapon system (tank, aircraft, grenade launcher, mortar etc etc) is of any use if you cannot fire with it because everything has been shot.

      Actually we would not even defeat the vanguard (with spike), because we have no spike at all and if euro-spike then will be there in some years (!) every available missile will be shot in very short time. So the question is not wether CKEM is better than Javelin or Spike. Actually we do not even have Spike and then we will have them, the quantity will be not sufficient.

      Instead of thinking about next generation weapons we should instead buy large ammounts of real existing ammunition which we can buy at the spot and this in sufficient quantitiy.

      The question of the quantitiy is IMO to much ignored in the military overall.

    3. I remember an article from the late 80's or so, maybe infantry journal (U.S.Army). It pointed out the need for HE, SMK and (not sure) ILLUM, but also what tiny fractions these munitions constitute in the 155 mm shell arsenal. The munitions stocks were dominated by DPICM.
      I suppose that the availability of SMK is indeed unsatisfactor (often times it should be much better than using HE or even DPICM for suppressive fires). It's almost a certainty that the multispectral smoke shells (introduced ony in the 2000's IIRC) are outright exotic munitions so far. IR ILLUM (not visible with naked eye, but most helpful for night vision goggles and technically equivalent small arms sights) is another extremely rare and quite new munition.


  3. Yes, quantity is a big worry. The UK was always regarded as keeping more days' supply of munitions than some other European NATO members during the Cold War and last week our Defence Secretary announced that we would be building up our stocks again.

    Your post also raises the wider question of how many casualties one would have to inflict on an enemy formation to render it non-effective and how effective at inflicting casualties you would have to be perceived to be by a potential enemy to deter them. There are obviously quite a few factors around how many AFVs Russia, for example, could deploy against us over a given period, but there is definitely the potential for Running out of anti armour munitions in a protracted conflict given Russia's ability to regenerate by refurbishing its immense stocks of stored AFVs.

    1. Historical experiences indicate that formations yield or even break after 20...30 % casualties.
      This has been brought up in critiques of how exercises are being run (even in the laser duel training centres). The exercises follow the Iwo Jima model; the already defeated force keeps fighting till it has suffered 80...90% casualties, which misinforms officers about what it takes to win an engagement. They don't think about taking and handling POWs or about pursuit nearly as much as they should.
      One should also keep in mind that HEAT-based AT munitionswere historically expended mostly or almost exclusively on targets other than AFVs (such as buildings).

      CKEM would be poorly suited for this and would thus be held back for AT work. This is good for AFV users, while infantry AT munitions probably SHOULD be AT/AP munitions (at least the commonly carried ones - hence my 50 mm HEDP PLOS concept).