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 Post subject: Re: Military Thread
PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 12:26 pm 
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https://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htmur ... 70624.aspx

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Murphy's Law: Do Not Underestimate Ukrainians

June 24, 2017: Because the United States refused to supply the Ukrainian military with digital, jam resistant UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) in 2015 Ukrainian civilians organized an effort to raise money and design and build one locally. This PD-1 (People’s Drone 1) was ready for service in mid-2016. This was all done by Ukrainian engineers, programmers and model aircraft enthusiasts who obtained OTS (off-the-shelf) components from suppliers in locally and in Australia, China and the Czech Republic. The PD-1 was tested and accepted by the Ukrainian military and entered service in August 2016. American and NATO advisers had witnessed the testing and were not surprised that PD-1 was equal to many American and Israeli UAVs of the same size and performance and were impressed that it was built at a cost of less than $25,000 each. It proved to be as secure from Russian hackers and jamming as Western models. Ukraine is now offering the PD-1 for export.

The PD-1 is a 33 kg (73 pound) aircraft with an 8 kg (17 pound) payload. It is 2.54 meters (8.2 feet) long with a wingspan of 3.19 meters (10.2 feet). It lands and takes off on a tricycle landing gear and can also be catapulted into the air and recovered via a parachute. The gasoline engine drives a pusher propeller for speeds of 70-140 kilometers an hour at altitudes as high as 3,000 meters (nearly 10,000 feet, out of range of most anti-aircraft guns and portable missiles). Endurance is six hours.

PD-1 can take off and land under software control and can fly missions autonomously (which are hack and jam proof) and available sensors can either store video onboard or stream HD (1080p) video back to the controller who can view it in real time. This video signal is encrypted as is the control signal. It has worked under combat conditions against the best the Russians have to use against them.

The fact that a bunch of civilian engineers quickly organized an effort to deliver a world-class UAV at a low price got a lot of commanders concerned about what is also going on in Syria, Iraq and the autonomous Kurdish provinces in northern Iraq. Islamic terror groups as well as more secular groups like the Kurds have adapted existing commercial UAVs, especially the quad-copter designs, to military purposes. These UAVs cost about a thousand dollars each, compared to $35,000 each for the Raven the American military has been using since 2003. The problem is not the performance of Raven, it has been excellent, but the cost and peacetime attitudes towards training expenses. Lower ranking commanders point out that when their troops (most of them with combat experience using Raven) are not training for combat they suddenly find themselves being ordered to use their Ravens less because while they are “cheap” in a wartime situation (where they save American lives) in peace time money is more of an issue and risking the loss of Ravens is considered unacceptable. At least it is unacceptable to the people who control the budget. But if the troops had cheaper UAVs they could, literally, get away with losing more of them in peacetime training. The Ukrainian team that developed the PD-1 is then began working on a cheaper, more “expendable” design called the PC-1, which is basically a quad-copter design durable for military use. The PC-1 will also have an optional weapons package and be similar to the Switchblade design American troops have been using but unlike Switchblade the PC-1 will be more agile and reusable. By early 2017 the PC-2 was available as a 3.5 kg (7.7 pound) quad copter with an endurance of 30 minutes, ceiling of 2,000 meters (6,400 feet). PC-1 can operate up to five kilometers from the controller, normally operates at low altitudes (50-400 meters) and carries a stabilized day/night vidcam and is easily upgraded. Current flight software allows for autonomous operation.

This all began in 2003 when Raven the first small (expendable) military UAV entered service. Raven fundamentally changed the way troops fought and made the users safer and more lethal and did the opposite for the other side. Raven was developed by the U.S. Army, it has since been adopted by the Marine Corps and a growing number of foreign countries. The RQ-11 Raven was very popular with users from the beginning. Initially Raven was usually used by an infantry company commanders. This meant that each infantry battalion could have as many as nine such UAVs available (three per company). This was a significant reconnaissance force for infantry units that, at that time were dependent on separate army aviation battalions, or the air force, for air reconnaissance. After Raven front line infantry commanders had their own air force and the result was revolutionary. Soon convoys were supplied with Ravens to monitor routes for ambushes or bombs. Base protection troops also obtained Ravens to improve base security. Special operations troops were among the first users and often equipped small recon patrols with them.

Raven had flaws that were quickly fixed. But in some cases the older models (like the ones that did get an encrypted data link) were kept around for training. That was reasonable. But the U.S. was unreasonable when they initially sent Ukrainians older Ravens (without the encrypted datalink upgrade) because of fears that the Russians would learn how to hack Raven. The Russians didn’t much trouble hacking the older UAVs but went ahead and sent older model Ravens to the Ukraine. Initially the Ukrainian troops were grateful to receive 72 older RQ-11 Raven UAVs. Everyone in eastern Ukraine (Donbas) knew of Raven by reputation and soldiers fighting the Russian backed rebels there were eager to get this form of air support. But the Russians also knew of Raven and were happy to discover that the Americans had sent some of older analog Ravens that were easy to hack and jam. That’s what the Russians proceeded to do and the Ukrainian troops soon found the Ravens to be useless. Rather than wait for the Americans to do the right thing the Ukrainians went ahead and did it themselves

The more jam/hacker resistant digital Ravens have been around since 2010. It was in 2008 that the U.S. Army decided to equip Raven with a new communications system that transmitted video using a digital, rather than an analog, signal. This will enable higher resolution pictures to be transmitted, as well as allowing more Ravens (as many as 16) to operate in the same area rather than the current limit of four for analog Ravens. There was another, less publicized, reason for going digital. Some Islamic terrorists had figured out how to hack the analog signal and look at what a local Raven could see. Then the Islamic terrorists figured out how to jam the analog signal, forcing the Raven to either crash or switch to the automatic “return home” mode (built in for situations when the control link is lost). American electronic warfare experts in Iraq quickly concluded that this could lead to hackers not only jamming a Raven control signal but also taking control of one. These hacks were eventually tracked to Iranian military advisors working with Shia militia in Iran. This led to the decision to upgrade future Raven’s to digital. At that point the U.S. Army had only bought a few thousand Raven’s and it took a while to design, build, test and install the digital control system.

Since 2003 over 20,000 Ravens have been built. The individual Raven costs about $35,000 while a Raven system (four Ravens, two controllers and spare parts) goes for about $175,000. The current RQ-11B weighs 1.9 kg (4.2 pounds) and the battery gives it endurance of 60-90 minutes. Top speed is 95 kilometers an hour but normal cruising speed is less than half that. Max range (from the controller) is ten kilometers and normal operating altitude is 150 meters (500 feet). The Raven is very easy to launch. One can simply throw them or one can use a hand-held bungee cord. The battery-powered UAVs are also very quiet. This makes them practically invulnerable at night. They can fly as high as 300 meters. The operator uses a controller very similar to those used with video games, making it easy to train new operators. The small size helps. Raven is 915mm (36 inches) long and has a wingspan of 1.4 meters (43.5 fee). All this makes Raven a very difficult target to hit with small arms fire, at any range.

The Raven gradually attracted competitors and now troops or civilians can have their own air force. These small UAVs found a lot of civilian uses (agriculture, security. construction, search and rescue and so on).


Good on the Ukrainians...

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 Post subject: Re: Military Thread
PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 12:43 pm 
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The Royal Navy's new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth has left its home port for the first time for sea trials...

Quote:
HMS Queen Elizabeth - one of two new carriers being built at Rosyth dockyard in Fife at a cost of more than £6bn - is to begin sea trials.

It is the largest warship ever built for the Royal Navy. The flight deck alone is the size of three football pitches.

Once in service the ship can operate with a crew of 1,000 and 40 aircraft.

The 65,000 tonne warship is the Royal Navy's first aircraft carrier since HMS Ark Royal was scrapped in 2010.

Eleven tugs manoeuvered it out of the dock at Rosyth.

The ship just about squeezed through the narrow entrance into the estuary.

It will now have to wait for low tide to go under the Forth bridges.

The ship will have to lower a mast to make it through with just a few metres to spare.

The numbers behind HMS Queen Elizabeth

The project to build HMS Queen Elizabeth and sister ship HMS Prince of Wales cost more than £6bn

The aircraft carrier weighs 65,000 tonnes and has a top speed of 25 knots

Its flight deck is 280m long and 70m wide - enough space for three football pitches

The ship is the second in the Royal Navy to be named Queen Elizabeth

It will have a crew of about 700, increasing to 1,600 when a full complement of F-35B jets and Crowsnest helicopters are embarked

There are 364,000m of pipes inside the ship

Both HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales will keep 45 days worth of food in its stores

The entire ship's company of 700 can be served a meal within 90 minutes - or 45 minutes when at action station

Leaving the Rosyth dock will be among the most difficult manoeuvres in the sea trials with just 50cm between the bottom of the ship and the seabed in the port

Commanding officer Captain Jerry Kydd said the ship was important for Britain's reputation as a naval power.

"I think there are very few capabilities, by any country, that are as symbolic as a carrier strike capability," he added.

"Submarines you can't see, but these are very visible symbols of power and power projection."

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said: "This is a historic moment for the UK as our new aircraft carrier takes to sea for the very first time.

"This floating fortress is by far the most powerful ship ever built in Britain that will enable us to tackle multiple and changing threats across the globe.

"HMS Queen Elizabeth is an enduring example of British imagination, ingenuity, invention that will help keep us safe for decades to come. She is built by the best, crewed by the best and will deliver for Britain.

"For the next 50 years she will deploy around the world, demonstrating British power and our commitment to confronting the emerging challenges from a dangerous world. The whole country can be proud of this national achievement. "

The start of sea trials follows warnings that technical issues and personnel shortages could delay the deployment of the aircraft carrier.

The National Audit Office said in March the project was entering a "critical phase", with many risks to manage.

The Ministry of Defence acknowledged "challenges" but said it was committed to being fully operational by 2026.
'Russian military interest'

The technical issues mean the forthcoming sea trials are three months behind schedule.

The NAO predicted it would not be operational by 2020, as had been promised by the MoD.

The BBC's defence correspondent Jonathan Beale said that if all went according to plan with the latest developments, HMS Queen Elizabeth would be sailing toward open waters on Monday evening.

He said the Royal Navy expected Russia's military to take an interest while the warship was being tested in the North Sea.

It will be several years before HMS Queen Elizabeth is fully operational with jets on board.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-e ... e-40402153


Attachment:
HMS-Queen-Elizabeth-Masthead.jpg
HMS-Queen-Elizabeth-Masthead.jpg [ 368.08 KiB | Viewed 1323 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Military Thread
PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 1:52 pm 
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Let's hope that she (aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth) does better than those dodgy subs that you sold to the Canadians. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Military Thread
PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 8:01 am 
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chijohnaok wrote:
Let's hope that she (aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth) does better than those dodgy subs that you sold to the Canadians. ;)

Apparently its running on Windows XP...

Quote:
Fears have been raised that Britain’s largest ever warship could be vulnerable to cyber attacks after it emerged it appears to be running the outdated Microsoft Windows XP.

As HMS Queen Elizabeth left its dockyard for the first time to begin sea trials, it was revealed the £3.5billion aircraft carrier is apparently using the same software that left the NHS exposed.

Screens inside a control room on the ship, which is the largest vessel ever built for the Royal Navy, reportedly displayed Microsoft Windows XP - copyright 1985 to 2001.

But Michael Fallon, the Defence Secretary, insisted the ship's systems were safe because security around the computer software on the aircraft carrier is "properly protected".

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "It's not the system itself, of course, that's vulnerable, it's the security that surrounds it.

"I want to reassure you about Queen Elizabeth, the security around its computer system is properly protected and we don't have any vulnerability on that particular score."

The operating system was that which left the NHS and other organisations around the world vulnerable to a major WannaCry ransomware attack last month. It affected 300,000 computers in 150 countries.

Windows XP is no longer supported by Microsoft, meaning it does not receive updates to protect users from new types of cyber hacks.

A computer expert warned that Windows XP could leave HMS Queen Elizabeth vulnerable to cyber attack.

"If XP is for operational use, it is extremely risky," Alan Woodward, professor of computing at the University of Surrey told The Times.

"Why would you put an obsolete system in a new vessel that has a lifetime of decades?"

A defence source told the newspaper that some of the on-boar hardware and software "would have been good in 2004" when the carrier was designed, "but now seems rather antiquated".

However, he added that HMS Queen Elizabeth is due to be given a computer refit within a decade.

And senior officers said they will have cyber specialists on board to defend the carrier from such attacks.

Cdr Mark Deller, commander air on the Queen Elizabeth, told The Guardian: "The ship is well designed and there has been a very, very stringent procurement train that has ensured we are less susceptible to cyber than most."

He added: "We are a very sanitised procurement train. I would say, compared to the NHS buying computers off the shelf, we are probably better than that. If you think more Nasa and less NHS you are probably in the right place."

Sir Michael Fallon insisted the security around the computer software on the aircraft carrier is "properly protected".

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "It's not the system itself, of course, that's vulnerable, it's the security that surrounds it.

"I want to reassure you about Queen Elizabeth, the security around its computer system is properly protected and we don't have any vulnerability on that particular score."

It came after the 65,000 ton HMS Queen Elizabeth slipped out of Rosyth dockyard and into open water on Monday through an exit with only 14in clearance on either side and 20in of water under the keel.

The aircraft carrier then edged along the Forth under three bridges, including the landmark rail bridge, with a little over six feet to spare.

The trials mark the latest milestone in the nearly decade-long building of the Royal Navy’s two carriers, at a cost of more than £6bn.

The Navy is also preparing for the warship’s first appearance to attract a concerted Russian spying effort, with submarines, ships and planes try to get a good look at the UK’s new flagship.

Cdr Fiona Percival, head of logistics on the ship said: “[The Russians] will come and look, but they look at everything.”

It came as the Defence Secretary taunted the Kremlin over fears it will attempt to spy on HMS Queen Elizabeth during its sea trials, saying Russia will envy Britain’s new flagship.

Sir Michael Fallon contrasted the carrier with what he called the “dilapidated” Russian carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, which sailed through the Channel late last year.

Cdr Mark Deller, commander air, said the ship would be accompanied by a frigate or destroyer.

He said: “We will go where it’s best to go and not where it’s best for a Soviet nuclear to go, so the reality is we can probably look after ourselves as long as our escort is in the right place at the right time. You don’t have to hang around and endure it, you can move away and go somewhere else.”

Sailors and engineers have worked round the clock getting the vessel ready. A total of 1,000 sailors and contractors will be onboard for the first six weeks of testing.

Crew have spent hours each day carrying out safety drills for fires, flooding and personnel overboard. More than 650 doors and hatches have been checked to ensure they are watertight and fire safe.

Ian Booth, managing director of the defence industry alliance behind the ships, said: “The incident with the fire in London really brings it home to you, you don’t take chances with any incident on the ship, whether it be flooding or fire.”

The first steel was cut on the carrier eight years ago but it will not be sent on operations until 2021. Early deployments are expected to see US Marines F-35B jets embarked alongside British planes, to make up for early shortages of UK jets.

The Royal Navy has not had an aircraft carrier since the defence cuts of 2010. The arrival of the new carrier comes as the Navy is facing a budget black hole of around £500m each year and the demands of manning the new ships have been accused of causing shortages elsewhere.

Critics of the carriers have also claimed they are expensive white elephants that are too vulnerable to new high speed missiles.

Capt Jerry Kyd, commanding officer, said: “There is nothing on the globe that is invulnerable, whether that’s a city, a car, an individual, or a ship. We are not shy in the military to understanding the risks and how we mitigate that in the theatre of war.

“If you look at all the premier nations around the world, why is it that every nation in the top tier is investing billions of dollars in aircraft carriers? Is it just us, or has everyone got it wrong? The reason being is that they provide the government, very simply, with an incredibly flexible tool. It’s not just about war-fighting. This is about deterrence, coercion, signalling, proving a huge sea base for disaster relief, humanitarian assistance, defence engagement.”

He said 2021 “will be the first time we will deploy this ship in anger”.

After trials begin this summer, the ship will move to its new home in Portsmouth this autumn. Trials for planes and helicopters will take place next summer.

The flight deck is more than four acres in size and the ship can carry up to 36 F-35B stealth jump jets.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/06 ... e-raising/


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 Post subject: Re: Military Thread
PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:46 am 
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Wow...bitchen design points if you ask me but I wonder about 1 less tower and more planes. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Military Thread
PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 9:47 am 
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The Russians aren't impressed with our new toy...

Quote:
Russia has dismissed the Royal Navy's new aircraft carrier as "just a convenient, large maritime target".

Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Maj Gen Igor Konashenkov was hitting back at the UK for criticism of Russia's ageing carrier Admiral Kuznetsov.

HMS Queen Elizabeth set sail on Monday from Rosyth dockyard in Scotland.

Later UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon called the Admiral Kuznetsov "old, dilapidated". The ship sailed through the English Channel last year.

The 26-year-old Kuznetsov rarely goes anywhere without a naval tug, in case it breaks down.

Last October it was part of a Russian flotilla that sailed to Syrian coastal waters via the North Sea, English Channel and Mediterranean.

The thick, black smoke belching from the giant Soviet-era ship attracted some mockery on social media.

Planes flew bombing raids over Syria from the Admiral Kuznetsov - making it in Mr Fallon's words "a ship of shame". It is the only carrier in the Russian navy.

Russian airpower has given Syrian President Bashar al-Assad considerable muscle in his offensive against rebel groups, some of which are backed by the West.

Maj Gen Konashenkov said Mr Fallon's "exalted statements" about HMS Queen Elizabeth "demonstrate a clear lack of knowledge of naval science".

"Unlike the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier, fitted with air-defence, anti-submarine and, most importantly, Granit anti-ship missile systems, the British aircraft carrier is just a convenient, large maritime target," he said.

At a cost of £3bn (€3.4bn; $3.8 billion) HMS Queen Elizabeth is the most powerful ship ever built for the Royal Navy. Its sister ship, HMS Prince of Wales, is also being built at Rosyth.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Mr Fallon said "when you saw that old, dilapidated Kuznetsov sailing through the Channel, a few months ago, I think the Russians will look at this ship [HMS Queen Elizabeth] with a little bit of envy."

"We will take every precaution to make sure that they don't get too close, but I think they will be admiring her," he added.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-40442058

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 Post subject: Re: Military Thread
PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:03 am 
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"Unlike the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier, fitted with air-defence, anti-submarine and, most importantly, Granit anti-ship missile systems, the British aircraft carrier is just a convenient, large maritime target," he said.


Like I said, the only way to tell what really IS a white elephant is to have a war of sufficient intensity and scope to TEST the hypothesis!

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 Post subject: Re: Military Thread
PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:04 am 
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What is the plan for the air group? Last I heard there was no plan. But perhaps a new memo came out and I didn't get a copy! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Military Thread
PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:12 am 
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Ok, as far as weapons, I see
Quote:
The ships' only announced self-defence weapons are currently the Phalanx CIWS for airborne threats, with miniguns and 30 mm cannon to counter seaborne threats.


Though hard to imagine that makes them more "powerful" than the Rodney/Nelson BBs of WWII.

As to the air group, I haven't found any "firm" plan ... but I see this on wiki ...

Quote:
With the retirement of the Harrier GR7/9 in 2010, there remained no carrier-capable fixed-wing aircraft available to the Royal Navy or Royal Air Force. Their expected replacement is the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II.
As originally intended, the ships will carry the STOVL version, the F-35B. The aircraft will be flown by pilots from the Fleet Air Arm and the Royal Air Force. The aircraft are expected to begin trials flying from Queen Elizabeth in 2018 with a carrier air wing fully operational by 2020.


The numbers I'm seeing vary, from a low of 12 x F-35B to a maximum of 70 x F-35B. I guess the details still need to be worked out. My guess would be somewhere in the middle, like 40 aircraft total, with 2-3 squadrons of 12 x F35B each and the rest of the slots taken up by helicopters. Time will tell!

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 Post subject: Re: Military Thread
PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:15 am 
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jwilkerson wrote:
Ok, as far as weapons, I see
Quote:
The ships' only announced self-defence weapons are currently the Phalanx CIWS for airborne threats, with miniguns and 30 mm cannon to counter seaborne threats.


Though hard to imagine that makes them more "powerful" than the Rodney/Nelson BBs of WWII.

As to the air group, I haven't found any "firm" plan ... but I see this on wiki ...

Quote:
With the retirement of the Harrier GR7/9 in 2010, there remained no carrier-capable fixed-wing aircraft available to the Royal Navy or Royal Air Force. Their expected replacement is the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II.
As originally intended, the ships will carry the STOVL version, the F-35B. The aircraft will be flown by pilots from the Fleet Air Arm and the Royal Air Force. The aircraft are expected to begin trials flying from Queen Elizabeth in 2018 with a carrier air wing fully operational by 2020.


The numbers I'm seeing vary, from a low of 12 x F-35B to a maximum of 70 x F-35B. I guess the details still need to be worked out. My guess would be somewhere in the middle, like 40 aircraft total, with 2-3 squadrons of 12 x F35B each and the rest of the slots taken up by helicopters. Time will tell!


So it seems the Russian criticism IS in fact truthful at this point! :P It IS nothing but a big dumb maritime target at this point! :mrgreen:

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