Drones Are The Only Game In Town For Combating Al Qaeda

According to CIA Director Leon Panetta drones are,

the only game in town in terms of confronting or trying to disrupt the al Qaeda leadership,” Panetta told the Pacific Council on International Policy in Los Angeles.

Pakistan has complained repeatedly about what it says are airstrikes on its territory by U.S.-operated drones. The U.S. military in neighboring Afghanistan does not comment on the attacks, which typically target Islamic militants in the border region, but the United States is the only country operating in the region known to have the capability to launch missiles from remote-controlled aircraft.

yojoe (in UAV mode) out

Update On New Air Force One: To Be Made In America

imgres It was previously reported that the new Air Force One may not be built in the United States. Now, according to Aviation Week, Airbus is not planning to compete for the contract.

That leaves only Boeing as the only competitor for the president’s new aircraft.

yojoe (in Made in America mode) out

More on the president’s aircraft:

New Air Force One May Be Made In Europe Not America

Upgrades To President’s Helicopter To Cost Additional One Billion Dollars

Army Not Happy With The Size And Weight Of MRAP

The Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle have been life-savers on the battlefield.  But, they are just to big and bulky.

The 10-ton vehicle must be transportable on a C-130 cargo plane. It should have a minimum range of 300 miles, and a turning diameter of 49 feet, And the crew has to be able to get out quickly, in case of a rollover. (“Of the 38 MRAP accidents between Nov. 7 and June 8, only four did not involve a roll-over,” Army Times noted.)

Maybe the Army will be interested in the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, that was placed on hold last year.

yojoe out

Navy Abandons Zumwalt-Class Destroyer

The Zumwalt-Class Destroyer (DDG 1000) was to be a class of next-generation, multi-mission surface combatants tailored for land attack and littoral dominance, with capabilities designed to defeat current and projected threats as well as improve battle force defense.

The destroyer was designed to be,

adaptable, affordable, survivable, flexible and responsive.

Evidently, the goal of affordability was not attained.

Growing costs and vulnerability to anti-ship missiles sank the Navy’s once-heralded “stealth destroyer,” a highly advanced warship designed to slip close to the shore unnoticed and pummel targets with big guns boasting pinpoint accuracy.

Faced with cost estimates upward of $5 billion per ship, the Navy had no choice but to let its prized Zumwalt destroyer program end after the first two ships are built, analysts said Wednesday.

The official rationale provided by the Navy for discontinuing the DDG 1000 is the cost.

The scuttlebutt, however, suggests that sailors were troubled by a Z-gram that indicated that they may be forced to wear sideburns if assigned to one of the destroyers.  In all likelihood this is rumor is completely unfounded.

yojoe (in no-sideburns mode) out

Joint Strike Fighter: Air Force Wants Boeing To Stop Talking Smack

Ok, that is not a direct quote.  Major General Charles R. Davis, USAF, the Program Executive Officer for the F-35 Lightning II Program Office, is far to articulate, educated, and gentlemanly to utter such a comment.  But, reality is not that far off.

According to Flightglobal, LtGen Davis is not pleased with, what he characterizes as “lies and half-truths,” being spread by Boeing about the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).

“That’s just pissing us off,” Davis says. “If Boeing has to say something negative about JSF to sell their aircraft, that tells me there is something wrong with their aircraft.”

Davis specifically faults Boeing executives for predicting further cost overruns and delays for the F-35 programme. By comparison, Davis says, he has heard BAE Systems make no such predictions in their efforts to sell the Eurofighter Typhoon.

However, it was pointed out to Davis that Boeing had delivered hundreds of F/A-18E/Fs on time and on budget, while the JSF programme has reported a 50% cost increase and an at least 18-month delay during the first seven years of development.

Davis acknowledges the F-35’s record, but refuses to back down in his criticism of Boeing.

Continue reading

Video: Firefight Between Coalition Forces And Anti-Afghan Forces

Video of firefight captured by UAV. Continue reading

Marine Corps Joint Strike Fighter F-35B Makes First Flight

The Marine Corps version of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) – aka the Lightning II – the F-35B , is the version of the JSF intended for vertical takeoff and landings.  According to Aviation Week,

Lockheed Martin has flown the first short-take-off-and- vertical-landing (STOVL) F-35B, in conventional-take-off (CTOL) mode, clearing the way for funding to be released for production of the first six U.S. Marine Corps aircraft.

The 44-minute flight of aircraft BF-1, the first production-representive F-35, from Lockheed’s Fort Worth, Texas, plant also marked the start of a five-year, 5,000-plus test program involving three variants of the Joint Strike Fighter: the CTOL F-35A, STOVL F-35B and aircraft carrier-capable F-35C.

yojoe (in STOVL mode) out