Google+

Weapon Wednesday – Replacing Navy’s Ouija Board

DSIMS replaces an analog system called the
DSIMS replaces an analog system called the “Ouija board” that’s been in use since the Second World War (Credit: ONR)

Modern aircraft carriers may seem like the bleeding edge of technology, but they still rely on some remarkably low-tech tools to get the job done. read more

Weapon Wednesday – BAE’s Advance Hawk

The Advanced Hawk is an updated version of the Hawk T2 shown here
The Advanced Hawk is an updated version of the Hawk T2 shown here (Credit: BAE Systems)

Since it was introduced in 1976, well over a thousand of BAE Systems’ Hawk trainer jets have entered service in 18 countries around the world. Now the latest variant, the Advanced Hawk, has taken to the air for the first time in the skies over Warton, Lancashire, UK in demonstrator form. Boasting a new wing design and a revamped cockpit, the Anglo-Indian two-seater is intended to train pilots to handle fifth-generation combat aircraft. read more

Raising a Revolutionary Warship

More than two decades after it was discovered at the bottom of Lake Champlain, a Revolutionary War gunboat may see the light of day under a museum plan to raise and preserve the vessel.

The Spitfire, a 54-foot boat that’s part of a fleet built by Benedict Arnold before he turned traitor, sank a day after the 1776 Battle of Valcour Island, helping delay a British advance down the lake.

The Spitfire’s sinking made it possible for the 1777 American victory at the Battle of Saratoga – a key moment in the American Revolution.

Scroll down for video 

This image from a remote camera provided by the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum shows a cannon, believed to be from the Revolutionary War gunboat "Spitfire", on the bottom of Vermont's Lake Champlain. The Vermont museum wants to raise the Revolutionary War gunboat where it has rested since shortly after the 1776 Battle of Valcour Island, preserve it and then display it in a yet-to-be built New York museum. (Ernie Haas/Lake Champlain Maritime Museum via AP)

read more

Weapon Wednesday – Replacing the M4A1 Carbine

The M4A1 carbine is currently issued to U.S. Army combat troops worldwide. A descendant of the original M16 rifle, the M4A1 has a 14.5″ barrel, is chambered for the 5.56-millimeter round, and weighs approximately nine pounds when fully equipped with optics, lasers, foregrips, and other attachments. There are concerns in Congress, however, that the M4A1 could not penetrate modern Russian body armor, which is what prompted Milley’s comment.

read more

Weapon Wednesday – Cadet Develops New Body Armor

Air Force Academy Cadet 1st Class Hayley Weir created a goo-like substance that can stop bullets
Air Force Academy Cadet 1st Class Hayley Weir created a goo-like substance that can stop bullets (Credit: US Air Force)

A US Air Force Academy cadet demonstrated that school lessons aren’t just about retreading old ground, by turning a classroom exercise into a new ballistic armor made out of goo. In 2014, Cadet 1st Class Hayley Weir’s assignment to combine epoxy, Kevlar and carbon fiber into an anti-ballistic substance inspired her to develop the task into a new type of flexible bullet stopper. read more

Weapon Wednesday – New Guided Dumb Bomb

The
The “fly away” cost of a General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper is currently in the vicinity of $17 million, compared to an estimated price of roughly 10 percent of that figure for the Chinese CASC CH-4 (China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation’s Clever Hawk 4) combat UAV (Credit:General Atomics)

The announcement that testing of GBU-38 JDAM [Joint Direct Attack Munition] guided-bombs delivered using the American hunter-killer MQ-9 Reaper UAV got underway this month didn’t make a lot of general news coverage, but it is a reminder that drone warfare is getting much cheaper and far more precise. At US$20,000 each, the GBU-38 costs just a fraction of the $110,000 AGM-114 Hellfire missile which the MQ-9 currently delivers, with the additional strength that it can be used in inclement weather.

read more

The Right to Bear the Constitution – or at Least Review It

by: the Common Constitutionalist

Scroll Down for Audio Version

Many Americans suffer from a common phobia. No, it’s not the very reasonable fear of Democrats running the country. That’s not a phobia, for its not irrational. No, they suffer from an irrational fear of guns. Guns are not inherently scary. They are just a tool – like a screwdriver or a leaf-blower. You’ve heard the saying, the right tool for the right job. You wouldn’t use a gun to blow the leaves around your yard and thus you wouldn’t use a leaf blower to defend yourself. You could try, but I’ll bet it won’t go well.

Yet over the years more and more citizens have been purposely conditioned to think guns are scary. Thus the “Gun Free Zone” was established. These days there are more and more “gun free zones” than ever.

Yet economist John Lott found that, “Since at least 1950, all but two public mass shootings in America have taken place where general citizens are banned from carrying guns. In Europe, there have been no exceptions. Every mass public shooting — and there have been plenty of mass shootings in Europe — has occurred in a gun-free zone.”

Bet you won’t hear that fun fact from the anti-gun lobby.

We hear that restaurants like Starbucks, Chipotle and Panera Bread and chain stores like Target have become gun free zones. Yes, Target allows men and little girls in the same dressing area, but won’t allow guns. Ask a mother or father which is scarier – a law abiding person with a gun, or a creepy old man watching their daughter undress.

Although it’s a stupid policy, I agree with them. They are private businesses and have the freedom to invoke such a policy. read more

Podcast – Thoughts of Memorial Day

Memorial Day is tomorrow. So rather than my usual political monologue, I thought I would rather share with you some facts and remembrances of past Memorial Day and Decoration Day events.

Happy Memorial Day!

Think of the fallen – Pray for those in harms way – Thank veterans and Active Duty personnel.

read more

Weapon Wednesday – New Nano-Drone

Fight time is around 15 minutes, with a top speed of 22 mph and a range ...
Fight time is around 15 minutes, with a top speed of 22 mph and a range of 1 kilometer (Credit: AeroVironment)  

AeroVironment’s new Snipe Nano Quadrotor is a man-packable drone with the potential to be carried by every foot soldier, vastly increasing situational awareness and individual capability. The Snipe will also be available commercially later this year for police, first responders and all those who need to be able to see what’s happening in places they cannot safely go.

Announced at AUVSI in Dallas today, the Snipe Nano Quad UAS weighs just 140 grams (5 oz) and fits into a small hard case light enough to be carried – though AeroVironment has not yet disclosed the weight of the entire UAS including the ruggedized touch screen controller. read more

Can We Admit Afghanistan is Unwinnable

by: the Common Constitutionalist

No Audio Version

The supposed war in Afghanistan, or whatever we are calling it these days, is unwinnable. We have a better chance of converting Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer to Constitutional conservatism than prevailing in Afghanistan.

I believe this is the 16th year of this – whatever it is. I have friends in various branches of the military and frankly I don’t want to see another sent over there to die or be dismembered. How many more years will it take before someone in charge comes to their senses and admits to this folly?

It’s looking like several to an eternity, for president Trump, the man who in 2013 tweeted, “Let’s get out – our troops are being killed – we waste billions there,” is now considering adding up to 5,000 troops to the force of almost 8,500 already in Afghanistan.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the President’s goal is “reducing the threat, especially when it comes to ISIS and the Taliban.” That’s a lofty and perilously vague goal.

Now, I get why President George W. Bush went into Afghanistan. In October 2001, the stated goal was to stamp out Afghanistan’s Islamic fundamentalist Taliban regime, which had aided and abetted al-Qaida and its leader, Osama bin Laden.

There was certainly good and actionable intelligence that bin Laden was there – so strikes went on for about a year and a half. It was then, in March of 2003, that Bush announced an escalation with the start of the war in Iraq. read more