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FlyingCanOpener

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About FlyingCanOpener

  • Birthday 10/22/1981

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    Where North of I-10 is Yankee Country
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    Geomatics // Naval History // Teaching

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  1. Well, if it's to keep them safe from the inevitable Azeri drone hordes, it's sensible enough to me!
  2. Commercial drones like the ubiquitous DJI Mavics are limited in that they're loud, not weatherproofed, tied to a cell phone/tablet connection for control/data transmission, and like you said, the lack of zoom (Save the Mavic 2 Zoom and the small camera on the Mavic 3). Also, if you want an integrated controller with the live feed instead of a phone, get ready to double the cost for what's essentially an Android tablet glued to a standard controller. Smaller military drones have more robust transmission protocols (compared to a civilian drone), are hardened against the elements, and are much quieter than civilian drones--all vital if you want to get information back to your soldiers and them not get killed in the process because the OPFOR can detect you. FLIR's Black Hornet costs $80,000, but uses a far better video sensor than you can have on a civilian drone on a far smaller platform:
  3. Which leads to this interesting article by RUSI about the air campaign. I'm wary of the fact that it's solely based on what we've seen and feels like it includes our typical Western assumptions about Russian competence, but there's also not a lot of amateur footage of airstrikes or Russian planes in flight leaking out online or pro-Russian types shilling for them online to pose as a reasonable counterweight to some of the guy's thoughts either. https://rusi.org/explore-our-research/publications/rusi-defence-systems/russian-air-force-actually-incapable-complex-air-operations More than a week into the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Russian Air Force has yet to commence large-scale operations. Inactivity in the first few days could be ascribed to various factors, but the continued absence of major air operations now raises serious capability questions. ... Russia has every incentive to establish air superiority, and on paper should be more than capable of doing so if it commits to combat operations in large, mixed formations to suppress and hunt down Ukrainian fighters and SAM systems. Instead, the VKS continues to only operate in very small numbers and at low level to minimise the threat from the Ukrainian SAMs. Down low, their situational awareness and combat effectiveness is limited, and they are well within range of the MANPADS such as Igla and Stinger which Ukrainian forces already possess. The numbers of MANPADS are also increasing, as numerous Western countries send supplies to beleaguered Ukrainian forces. To avoid additional losses to MANPADS, sorties continue to be primarily flown at night, which further limits the effectiveness of their mostly unguided air-to-ground weapons. This explanation may yet prove to be false; the VKS may suddenly start mounting large-scale complex air operations comparable to those routinely conducted by NATO states and other modern air forces such as Israel. If does not, however, it will have profound implications for its potential combat power against Ukrainian forces in the coming weeks, and its value as a conventional deterrence tool against Western countries.
  4. Manufacturer of the advanced bombsights that have been put on upgraded Fencers and Flankers. IIRC it's just a super-advanced computerized sight that takes more data into account before giving the pilot the optimal targeting solution.
  5. Considering their relatively lower budget, not wasting valuable PGM's on goat barns is a bit more wise of a strategy than the US which just drops a JDAM on just about anything because they've managed to make them so cheap and the overall priority of pretending like we put the protection of civilian lives as our highest priority. But it is a little curious that we're not seeing Russian MoD release bombing footage like we're used to in the West to amplify the message that they're only out to denazify Ukraine and are using incredible restraint to protect innocent civilians' lives. They may be showing it on Russian TV, but you'd expect some of it to leak out onto Twitter and the more pro-Russian OSINT websites that were showing them in Syria.
  6. I wonder how many GLONASS-guided bombs they have in their inventory, since in Syria they went from dropping those to unguided bombs pretty quickly leading a lot of analysts to surmise that their stocks might be pretty limited. From looking around though, I don't know if they have a similar kit to the JDAM where you can attach guidance fins and to a normal iron bomb for quick conversion.
  7. Yes, but let's be honest, in many to most Soviet wargames the scenario was set where the brave Soviets repulsed the bloodthirsty Capitalist Imperialist Warmongers from the soil of their Fraternal Socialist Brothers, and were launching a counteroffensive from the launching points that just happened to be where their prepared locations were located for an attack across the Inner German Border. So looking at Soviet exercises having a no-first strike policy was window dressing. I think in reality both sides would be chomping at the bit to start popping them off before the other side knocked out their stockpiles.
  8. If you're Russia, you have no one planning on invading you and you're in the process of liquidating what you see as your biggest active security threat on your border. You can take the losses because you think you're going to have plenty of time to recoup them, even at the massively reduced rate as compared to before.
  9. The downside of just shoveling weapons their way is that without a proper method of getting them to units that will use them, they just end up in the OPFOR's engineering labs in bulk quantities. But short of putting EU/NATO units into combat, you're not going to get them used properly in numbers in the compressed timeline that we're seeing here.
  10. The reports I saw imply that the pilot flew multiple missions and bagged them over the course of the day or the plane with the same Bort number was responsible for the kills. There's so much nonsense regarding reports that finding any confirmations is pretty difficult to find at best. Finding anything level-headed about air combat thus far has been almost impossible
  11. Seems like the Russians are trying to probe how much the Ukrainians are willing to fall back on/surrender to them before fully committing while at the same time trying to pull a Shock and Awe-ski through an air assault on Kyiv. Only 24 hours in but every minute Ukraine stands is one less minute Putin has until it becomes a quagmire or he ends up sitting on a throne of rubble and most of his domestic collateral spent after achieving his stated goals.
  12. And to think that all Trump had to do even as late as August was some window dressing for COVID/BLM and he would have squeaked by Biden--the weakest Democratic candidate since at least Dukakis--and into the White House. And here we are. It's the biggest political own goal in US history--and I'm even including the run up to the Civil War by the Southern Democrats. Unless the GOP does some Stalin-esque purges and develop a real, Trump delivered the government on a platter to the Democrats for at least 4-6 years. No matter how inept Biden and Co. will be, they can just run footage from today on a loop and collect their votes for free. And on the topic of storming the Capitol, if you feel the urge to make any qualification or whataboutery about what happened, you're part of the problem.
  13. Boy, I spent this afternoon at school taking charge of an evacuation because of a suspected gas leak, because I'm the only one who remembers to look at the Crisis Plan, and was like "What else could go wrong today?" Welp...
  14. That's what leaving me bemused about FARA: 15 years ago the Comanche was cancelled because UAV's were going to supplant the role. Now we're here looking for an upgraded Comanche because UAV's haven't been able to supplant the role.
  15. OK, stupid question time: How different would this be compared to the Comanche had it gone into service? At this point we'd be on the RAH-66C model I suppose, but a stealthy recon helicopter with a bit of a bite is what the Comanche was supposed to be. I do understand the cost overruns and general mismanagement, but that's not stopping the F-35!
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