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  1. It is the hulk of CGN-9 USS Long Beach. There is a better view of it here: http://www.murdoconline.net/archives/category/military-defense/sea/page/10 And here http://warbirdinformationexchange.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=42422 Clearly not a BB.
  2. I bought this book last year (on sale thankfully) and thumbed through it quickly when it arrived. I had no trouble finding gross and obvious errors even on a quick flip-through and I am by no means an expert on the Cent. I was rather disappointed but decided to hang onto it. I have not read it through yet.
  3. In 1986 to meet a British Staff Requirement for a follow-on system to Ikara McDonnell-Douglas in cooperation with Marconi submitted TARPON, a Harpoon missile adapted to carry a Stingray torpedo in competition with the Australian government and BAe who submitted Super Ikara. With the end of the Cold War the submarine threat has changed substantially and long-range stand-off weapons like these have fallen out of favor. Long-range deep-water detections are just not the norm in littoral waters.
  4. Well, in terms of size this your troop strength of 24,000 with 4 combat brigades ranks this below Belgium in terms of manpower but much greater in terms of # of combat units and equipment - and Belgium doesn't even operate tanks anymore! With an Army numbering around 24,000 they operate a pair of mechanized brigades of 3 regimenets (battalions) equipped with wheeled LAV's, a Recce element an an artillery battalion as well as a Para-Commando Regiment of 3 battalions. The Royal Netherlands Army comes a little closer to what you are looking for but with a lot more manpower: 27,000 men with a combat element of 2 armored brigades of 1 tank and 2 mechanized infantry battalions and artillery, plus an airmobile brigade of 3 battalions and support elements. The active inventory consists I believe of some 82 Leopard 2 tanks with a war reserve of 28 more, 192 CV-90's delivered or on order and a thousand or more of the old YPR-765's (M113 AIFV). Of the 64 PZH-2000's delivered most are in storage with only 24 active (12 per brigade!). I should note the Netherlands no longer use the obsolete Gepard system but rather Stinger missiles on Fennek 4x4 vehicles and they have bought a NASAMS battery. All of the old Cold War era artillery brigades and independent battalions are gone. They sold their MLRS systems to Finland as well IIRC. As for TOE's, there are plenty of links out there but these things change all the time and one needs to develop a doctrine before one can design an army. Tanks in the west are usually organized in platoons of 4 but it could be 3 or even 5. 3 platoons usually make up a company with 1 or 2 tanks in CHQ but Canada I believe uses a 4 platoon organization. A battalion/regiment could have 3 or 4 companies plus 1-2 HQ tanks. 4 companies/squadrons was the American and British standard during the Cold War but 3 is more common today. The Dutch use 3 companies of 13 IIRC. Armored/Mechanized infantry is often organized in much the same way. A platoon of 3 rifle squads plus a platoon HQ, which may or may not have its own vehicle making for 3 or 4 vehicles in the platoon. 3 platoons per company, 3 companies and a support/heavy weapons company make a battalion. One or 2 mechanized/armored infantry battalions and a tank battalion usually make an armored brigade these days although sometimes the ratio is reversed. One thing I have to suggest though is to NOT USE THE MERKAVA as an IFV! That is not really what it is designed for. The Merkava can carry troops IN AN EMERGENCy, not as a matter of course. The infantry have no way to see out of the vehicle and thus have zero situational awareness. Ingress/egress sucks the big one and there isn't a lot of room in there for kit, never mind that you have to take half of the tanks ammunition out to carry a squad of men! Then there is the problem of the tank and the infantry do fundamentally different jobs and should be seperated. Just my humble opinion. An artillery battalion is typically composed of batteries of 6 guns with 2, 3 or 4 batteries per battalion/regiment. The British for a while were using 8-gun battalions for AS-90 and for a brief period had 4 batteries per regiment making for a whopping 32-gun organization but this lasted only a couple of years. They may still be using the 8-gun battery but with only 3 per regiment. Gepard, back when it was in use by the Belgian and Dutch armies was organized into battalions of 27 in 3 batteries of 9 vehicles which would cover an entire 3-brigade armored/mechanized division. The German's who had larger divisions deployed them in battalions of 36 vehicles (3x12). A much more modern solution might be something like ASRAD-R, up to 2 of which can be datalinked together and in turn tied into a larger air defense network, say several Giraffe AMB's for forward defense and the national air defense radar network.
  5. SLAMRAAM is effectively the replacement for the long-discarded I-HAWK and the Stinger Avenger vehicle. There really wasn't much to develop and the command post is essentially the Norwegian system repacked on a HUMVEE and the associated launcher didn't take much either. The radar is the same as NASAMS. Big programs like this just seem to move at iceberg pace sometimes. SLAMRAAM is being promoted now with the ability to use AIM-9X as well but so far as I know there is no U.S. interest in this but perhaps it has export potential.
  6. Fair enough. What does a CBG do exactly? It projects power, yes? So what kind of armament and how much of it would a BBG have to possess to project the same amount of power over the same volume of battlespace? Are you starting to see the problem yet? The Soviet Kirov's are about as close as anyone has come to what you propose but they are a bad (and horribly misunderstood) example. The reason those ships were built was not to substitute for carriers or because the Soviets thought some modern battleships would be badass. They are seaborne command and control platforms whose size was dictated by the need to have the same kinds of centralized command and control facilities they had on land at sea, where they could be more effective and closer to the action. For projecting power they don't give you much for the price.
  7. If they got that information from Slade then they didn't understand what he was talking about. Stuart knows full well that SM-2 and ESSM employ semi-active radar homing for the terminal phase of the engagement. Since SPY-1 CAN NOT PROVIDE continuous wave illumination of the target the missiles seeker requires that is what all those big round AN/SPG-62 dishes are for on the ship. The much more recent Dutch APAR unlike SPY-1 can provide terminal phase target illumination.
  8. I found this image that I think Sparky would appreciate. I can't think of a finer improvement to the M113. http://www.inetres.com/gp/military/cv/inf/M113/M113_vietnam4.jpg And this http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e178/fikays/5ton113-2.jpg
  9. To get it out of the way hopefully once and for all I do not think you are Sparky. I've had discussions with the man and trust me folks, this ain't him. You do however seem to cling to some of the same notions and yes I am afraid to say, are prone to the same bad habit of mixinging and match your facts to suit your argument as previously outlined. Getting back to it, let's argue what I think seems to be you main point that the ACV-S is superior to the M2 Bradley. To do that I think we all have to agree that since the ACV-S is not the M113 we need to seperate these from the discussion. Having done that, better how? What set of operational requirements from what operator are you trying to meet? I ask this because that is really all that matters, not some generic stats one looks up in Jane's A&A. One has to know the question before proposing an answer. You don't start with answer first and work backwards. Lacking a specific operator with a specific set of operational requirements all you can do is argue details that may be important to you, but no someone else.
  10. The FNSS ACV is NOT a M113. It uses some M113 components but is just an updated version of the FMC Armored Infantry Fighting Vehicle used by the Dutch and Belgian's 30 years ago (and since very gladly disposed of by both). Nobody ever claimed the FNSS ACV was not amphibious. The "laminate armor" you speak of serves double-duty as flotation aids so it is no big shocker. For the sake of accuracy though one should point out that this applique armor/flotation aid only brings the armor protection to something equal to early versions of the M2/M3 Bradley. We are way past that minimal level of protection now. Want to protect the vehicle against modern threats? Then it ain't gonna be able to swim. Besides, no one cares if an ACV without a turret (and I'm pretty sure that is a standard wheelbase, not a stretched model in the video) can swim in a test pond. Tactically there is almost no use for such a feature. The M113 has been banned from swimming since around 1975 in the U.S. Army. When the A3 was introduced FMC went to the bother of designing a set of strap-on pontoons to make it float reliably with a load. Again, because an unloaded (the model in your video doesn't even have a trim vane BTW) vehicle can bob around in a test tank MEANS NOTHING!
  11. That is a very western point of view on the tank, born out of 50 years of Cold War planning where the tank effectively became a tank destroyer instead of the mobile, protected, offensive platform it was during WWI or the Blitzkrieg assaults of WWII. There was a time where a tank was there to provide mobility and exploit breakthrough's in the enemy lines. Certainly tanks are being used to provide mobile, heavy firepower in Iraq and A-stan today, where there is no tank opposition at all.
  12. I find it curious that most of the replies think MBT's are only necessary to counter somebody else's MBT's. Is the MBT just a fancy tank destroyer or does it have other tactical uses? I tend to think of the MBT as a means of providing well protected, mobile firepower. Tank killing is useful, but secondary.
  13. So the American-spec Phantoms could take-off and land with external loads (both being an RN requirment as they didn't want to dumb unused ordnance in the ocean) and could be struck below on Ark's lifts?
  14. When the Reagan administration was making noise about reactivating some of the Essex class carriers in the 80's the planned air group was to consist of refurbished A-4 Skyhawk's. This makes me think the F/A-18 wouldn't have worked. The F-4K Phantom worked on the small British carriers due to major modifications to increase attitude on launch (longer oleo), slower approach speed (new ailerons and flaps, increased bleed air for BLC from the Spey), more take-off power (Spey) and smaller dimensions to fit British carrier lifts (folding radar dome) as well as other improvements such as stronger landing gear and arrester hook. It seems unlikely a U.S. spec Phantom could have operated from a British carrier.
  15. I don't suppose there is any way to tell which of the gun units had Super Fledermaus and which had Skyguard FCS.
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