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Kenneth P. Katz

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    Longmeadow, MA, United States of America
  • Interests
    Miltary history and technology, flying, wargaming

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  1. The three horrible, terrible, inherently bad ideas in aerospace vehicle design: Nuclear air-breathing propulsion for aircraft Single stage-to-orbit launch vehicle Flying cars aka roadable airplanes These ideas seem to be irresistable and yet they never work or work well.
  2. My new book, which may be of interest to Tanknet people: The Supersonic BONE is a comprehensive history of the B-1 bomber from its origins in the 1950 until its impending retirement. The lavishly illustrated with hundreds of high-quality images. Approximately 45 interviews and numerous primary documents make this book a goldmine of information not available elsewhere. There is 30% discount on my book for friends. The code for the discount is KATZ30 and applies to orders before April 30 at the American distributor's website. The book should be available in the United States in late April. https://www.casematepublishers.com/the-supersonic-bone.html For those of you whom it would be more advantageous to order from the publisher in the UK, the discount code is AUTH30 for a 30% discount to any Pen & Sword titles featured on its website, including my book. The book currently is available in the UK. https://penandswordbooks.com/the-supersonic-bone.html
  3. It's not an easy airplane to land.
  4. I flew on Witchcraft. This accident both saddens and angers me.
  5. Possibly the Israelis could use unconventional techniques aka special operations. If the Israelis wanted to use airpower, their new pals in the region who share an antipathy towards the Iranian regime mean that they could base forces close to Iran. Also their new pals might want to participate in cooperation with Iran. Israel joined by Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and UAE would have formidable capabilities.
  6. I am skeptical that these nuclear warheads, which have not been tested in decades or in the case of the new ones will never be tested, will actually work.
  7. https://www.csis.org/analysis/strategic-implications-strikes-saudi-arabia
  8. What is the Merkava 4 Barak?
  9. Fascinating Speaking of that, does anyone know exactly how many Arab tanks (Tiran + unmodified T-54/55 and T-62) did Israel have after the 1973 war? Because based on what I've been able to find so far, it seems that during the 1973 war, most of the Arab tank losses (70-80%) were due to the abandonment of fully intact, repairable tanks. The Israelis ended up with enough captured tanks to fully replace all of their losses with a bunch left over for their reserves. They gave out captured T-62s like candy to West Germany, France and the U.S, and all of them were in pristine condition. The following text was translated from Hebrew by a friend of mine who goes under the alias Camera. It provides the exact numbers of captured T-62s and some idea of the enormous number of T-54/55s. It is taken from the following document, unfortunately not available in English. It's the second of volume of the History of the Ordnance Corps, written by the military historian Amira Shahar and offered for free download on the site of the Foundation of the Veterans of the Ordnance Corps. The Hebrew name of the volume is ‘The Ordnance Corps as a force multiplier – the history of the Ordnance Corps in the years 1967-1985’:http://himush.co.il/himush.co.il/ori...s1967- "Mid-December 1973, a plan has been prepared at the HQ of the Ordnance Corps for the absorption of the looted Tiran type tanks. The plan consisted in the absorption of the tanks in two phases: Phase 1 – a shallow absorption, performed at level B maintenance. Phase 2 – a deep absorption, carried out at maintenance levels C and D, including the rehabilitation of the tanks and the conversion of their gun to a 'Muscle' (105 mm). At Phase 1, the sole source for spare parts and components for current maintenance was the controlled dismantling of the damaged booty tanks. The Corps’ HQ were concerned that the rehabilitation of the war booty in the workshops of the Corps’ might come on the expense of the work to return IDF’s regular weapons to battle eligibility and their current maintenance. And that the investment on the captured tanks would increase following the process of their deeper integration. There was also the problem of spare parts and the lack of major assemblies such as engines and gearboxes that should be supplied by the Logistical Branch. The Head of the Ordnance Corps was concerned that the Logistical Branch may be unable to provide the necessary quantities of spare parts for the maintenance of such large fleet of tanks. At Phase 2 and on the long run, the Head of the Corps believed the maintenance needs could also be satisfied by local development and production and by alternative western components. At the first stage, 161 Tiran tanks were absorbed at the Armored Corps Workshop 650 and 169 Tirans at the Logistical Center 7100. There, the auxiliary systems of the guns were replaced with suitable optical equipment and the tanks were patterned for the IDF. At the Logistical Center 7100, the opening of an assembly line for the conversion of the gun to 105 mm was even advanced. (…) In November 1973, it was already decided to establish a Tiran tanks Department at the General Staff in order to build up a future Tiran tanks division in the IDF (Division 440) with the types: T-62, T-55, T-54. In 1974, it was decided to establish Division 880 as an additional Tiran division in IDF’s array, but finally only Division 440 was established with Tirans. The IDF also decided to adopt the T-62 tanks with their 115 mm gun, 79 out of the 132 captured T-62s were serviceable and needed only a minimal sampling. The name of this tank was determined as ‘Tiran 6’, and the HQ of the Corps suggested to create a battalion of 36 T-62s that would be incorporated to Tiran Division 880 designed for Central Command. Finally, Brigade 320 was built up as an independent Tiran 6 brigade. As the war booty of 115 mm ammunition was in small quantity (only 3700 shells), it was proposed to convert the guns to 105 mm. In January 1974, Tirans Brigade 889 was established in the frame of Division 440. The brigade was equipped with Tiran tanks, two battalions with 100 mm guns and one battalion of 115 mm. As noted above, they were designed to be converted with 105 mm guns at the second phase of their absorption. OB 762 was established to provide maintenance services to the brigade. With the progression of the absorption of the Tirans they became a significant component, about 25%, of IDF’s order of battle tanks. After the Six-Days War, the IDF absorbed about 150-war booty Tiran tanks. Since the tank was suitable to the operational needs of the army, especially after the conversion of its gun to 105 mm, the problem of its spare parts was critical. At the end of Yom Kippur War, it was decided to absorb around 400 additional Tiran tanks and to dismantle some 100 tanks for spare parts. So, by the end of 1974, approximately 500-600 Tirans were intended for IDF's array and, in 1976, hundreds more should have been absorbed as well." cheers Marsh
  10. Me too. I was in Israeli about 20 years ago and saw a horribly burned middle aged man, and my guess is that he was a tanker injured in the 1973 war.
  11. Hanging things on airplanes is more difficult than you seem to think.
  12. Yes I don't see what that would buy you - if its a different missile using a different motor, you'd still have different CoG and such. It would still be completely different certifications, captive carries, etc. I suspect the project does use a current missile as its basis to save time and design work, but I think it is something much more modern and solid fueled that hasn't previously been air launched.
  13. I was at Dyess AFB last April. That made me feel old! The B-1B aircraft (in production when I was on active duty) are older than the captains and lieutenants flying them.The young airmen are the same age as my children.SAC is gone; it's now called AFGSC.The BDUs are gone.The ranks chevrons for E-7 through E-9 are different.Every active duty person on the base is younger than me.
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