Archive for the ‘Defense’ Category
Those who study such things point out that Islam is not the problem; the radical element, the extremists, who make up only about 20% of the Muslims of the world, actually support terrorism. ONLY, 20% of the 1.6 Billion Muslims comes out to 320 million people who believe you must either convert to Islam or be killed. The fight to end extremism and terrorism in the Islamic world is not being conducted by our moderate friends in Islamic nations. In fact the overwhelming financial support as well as toleration of extremist training camps and radical mosques comes from our “friends” in the Muslim world.
So this 20% represents all the radicals and terrorists. Yet the Pew research polls show that in much of the Islamic world overwhelming majorities (87% Egypt, 82% Jordan, 79% Afghanistan, 77% Pakistan, 66% Palestinians) believe that one who leaves Islam should be executed, and that beating, disfiguring, and removing limbs by religious leaders is appropriate punishment for those who break either religious rules or civil law, and these are not numbered among the terrorists but are main-stream Muslims. Extremism and terrorism only exist because the majority in the Islamic world allows it to exist, they do nothing to prevent or punish this so-called “high-jacking of Islam” by extremists.
Think about how we would accept this if it were 20% of Southern Baptists who believed that those who leave their church for another religion, or because they no longer believe at all, should be executed and actually carried out the execution. How would you feel if Baptist ministers were determining when a person should be beaten or stoned for sinning, or when their hand would be chopped off for stealing? Would you argue that the government should be tolerant of their religious rights?
We are told there is a strong moderate movement in Islam. Then where is it and what is it doing about the problem? The problem is that even these moderates know that they are apostates from Islam, because they are standing against the fundamental teachings of Mohammed upon which all Islam stands. The very concepts of God-given rights to liberty, choice of religion, right to express your opinion, and virtually all our constitutional rights are a violation of Islam and are offensive to those who believe the Koran. There cannot be a faithful moderate Muslim, because to be so is to go against the very teachings of the Prophet, so is punishable by death.
We will know when there is a moderate Islam, when Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, or Buddhists can freely teach their religion in Islamic countries and Muslims can freely choose to accept those teachings without any punishment. As it now exists, and as it has from the beginning, Islam is an extreme system of tyranny. Or government should impose the same standard of religious tolerance for Islam that is granted in Islamic countries. That would mean there would currently be no Islam practiced here except for non-citizens, and then under the watchful eye of the FBI.
It will someday come to this if individual liberty is to survive in the world. Liberty cannot coexist with “accept my religion, or be a tribute-paying vassal, or I will kill you.” This is not an extremist view it is doctrine from the base teachings of Islam.
There I was, just flying along, enjoying the flight at 20,000 ft, minding my own business when What is Happening This ‘incident’ caused the USAF to ground its fleet of F-15′s. Just when it looks like it’s going to be just another ‘average day at the office’..! What caused the mid-air break up? The main “longeron” (stringer) behind the cockpit failed due to corrosion. Talk about being in the right place at the right time …or the wrong place at the wrong time (the pilot)…
And what’s so cool is I actually Like to do this!
What is Happening This ‘incident’ caused the USAF to ground its fleet of F-15′s. Just when it looks like it’s going to be just another ‘average day at the office’..! What caused the mid-air break up? The main “longeron” (stringer) behind the cockpit failed due to corrosion. Talk about being in the right place at the right time …or the wrong place at the wrong time (the pilot)…
This ‘incident’ caused the USAF to ground its fleet of F-15′s.
Just when it looks like it’s going to be just another ‘average day at the office’..!
What caused the mid-air break up?
The main “longeron” (stringer) behind the cockpit failed due to corrosion.
Talk about being in the right place at the right time …or the wrong place at the wrong time (the pilot)…
A newly designed Chinese stealth drone is ready for its first flight test after completing its taxi test last December at an unknown airfield in the southeastern province of Jiangxi, reports Duowei News, an outlet operated by overseas Chinese.
Designed jointly by the Hongdu Aviation Industry Group and Shenyang Aviation Corporation, the Lijian (“sharp sword”) is China’s first stealth drone and the third in the world after the X-47 designed by Northrop Grumman of the United States and France’s Dassault nEUROn. The Lijian program was launched in 2009 and the drone’s ground test was conducted on Dec. 13 last year.
China Aviation News reports that the Lijian is now ready for flight testing. The drone is set to be used by the PLA Air Force and Navy Air Force for combat missions, and also for tracking and reconnaissance purposes.
The prototype means China is ahead of several nations in the development of stealth drones, including Britain. Russia, India, Sweden, Italy, Iran and Israel, which also have their own stealth unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) programs.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Built to dominate the enemy in combat, the Army’s hulking Abrams tank is proving equally hard to beat in a budget battle.
Lawmakers from both parties have devoted nearly half a billion dollars in taxpayer money over the past two years to build improved versions of the 70-ton Abrams.
But senior Army officials have said repeatedly, “No thanks.”
It’s the inverse of the federal budget world these days, in which automatic spending cuts are leaving sought-after pet programs struggling or unpaid altogether. Republicans and Democrats for years have fought so bitterly that lawmaking in Washington ground to a near-halt.
Yet in the case of the Abrams tank, there’s a bipartisan push to spend an extra $436 million on a weapon the experts explicitly say is not needed.
“If we had our choice, we would use that money in a different way,” Gen. Ray Odierno, the Army’s chief of staff, told The Associated Press this past week.
Why are the tank dollars still flowing? Politics.
Keeping the Abrams production line rolling protects businesses and good paying jobs in congressional districts where the tank’s many suppliers are located.
If there’s a home of the Abrams, it’s politically important Ohio. The nation’s only tank plant is in Lima. So it’s no coincidence that the champions for more tanks are Rep. Jim Jordan and Sen. Rob Portman, two of Capitol’s Hill most prominent deficit hawks, as well as Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown. They said their support is rooted in protecting national security, not in pork-barrel politics.
“The one area where we are supposed to spend taxpayer money is in defense of the country,” said Jordan, whose district in the northwest part of the state includes the tank plant.
The Abrams dilemma underscores the challenge that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel faces as he seeks to purge programs that the military considers unnecessary or too expensive in order to ensure there’s enough money for essential operations, training and equipment.
Hagel, a former Republican senator from Nebraska, faces a daunting task in persuading members of Congress to eliminate or scale back projects favored by constituents.
Federal budgets are always peppered with money for pet projects. What sets the Abrams example apart is the certainty of the Army’s position.
Sean Kennedy, director of research for the nonpartisan Citizens Against Government Waste, said Congress should listen when one of the military services says no to more equipment.
“When an institution as risk averse as the Defense Department says they have enough tanks, we can probably believe them,” Kennedy said.
Congressional backers of the Abrams upgrades view the vast network of companies, many of them small businesses, that manufacture the tanks’ materials and parts as a critical asset that has to be preserved. The money, they say, is a modest investment that will keep important tooling and manufacturing skills from being lost if the Abrams line were to be shut down.
The Lima plant is a study in how federal dollars affect local communities, which in turn hold tight to the federal dollars. The facility is owned by the federal government but operated by the land systems division of General Dynamics, a major defense contractor that spent close to $11 million last year on lobbying, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.
The plant is Lima’s fifth-largest employer with close to 700 employees, down from about 1,100 just a few years ago, according to Mayor David Berger. But the facility is still crucial to the local economy. “All of those jobs and their spending activity in the community and the company’s spending probably have about a $100 million impact annually,” Berger said.
Jordan, a House conservative leader who has pushed for deep reductions in federal spending, supported the automatic cuts known as the sequester that require $42 billion to be shaved from the Pentagon’s budget by the end of September. The military also has to absorb a $487 billion reduction in defense spending over the next 10 years, as required by the Budget Control Act passed in 2011.
Still, said Jordan, it would be a big mistake to stop producing tanks.
“Look, (the plant) is in the 4th Congressional District and my job is to represent the 4th Congressional District, so I understand that,” he said. “But the fact remains, if it was not in the best interests of the national defense for the United States of America, then you would not see me supporting it like we do.”
The tanks that Congress is requiring the Army to buy aren’t brand new. Earlier models are being outfitted with a sophisticated suite of electronics that gives the vehicles better microprocessors, color flat panel displays, a more capable communications system, and other improvements. The upgraded tanks cost about $7.5 million each, according to the Army.
Out of a fleet of nearly 2,400 tanks, roughly two-thirds are the improved versions, which the Army refers to with a moniker that befits their heft: the M1A2SEPv2, and service officials said they have plenty of them. “The Army is on record saying we do not require any additional M1A2s,” Davis Welch, deputy director of the Army budget office, said this month.
The tank fleet, on average, is less than 3 years old. The Abrams is named after Gen. Creighton Abrams, one of the top tank commanders during World War II and a former Army chief of staff.
The Army’s plan was to stop buying tanks until 2017, when production of a newly designed Abrams would begin. Orders for Abrams tanks from U.S. allies help fill the gap created by the loss of tanks for the Army, according to service officials, but congressional proponents of the program feared there would not be enough international business to keep the Abrams line going.
This pause in tank production for the U.S. would allow the Army to spend its money on research and development work for the new and improved model, said Ashley Givens, a spokeswoman for the Army’s Ground Combat Systems office.
The first editions of the Abrams tank were fielded in the early 1980s. Over the decades, the Abrams supply chain has become embedded in communities across the country.
General Dynamics estimated in 2011 that there were more than 560 subcontractors throughout the country involved in the Abrams program and that they employed as many as 18,000 people. More than 40 of the companies are in Pennsylvania, according to Sen. Robert Casey, D-Pa., also a staunch backer of continued tank production.
A letter signed by 173 Democratic and Republican members of the House last year and sent to then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta demonstrated the depth of bipartisan support for the Abrams program on Capitol Hill. They chided the Obama administration for neglecting the industrial base and proposing to terminate tank production in the United States for the first time since World War II.
Portman, who served as President George W. Bush’s budget director before being elected to the Senate, said allowing the line to wither and close would create a financial mess.
“People can’t sit around for three years on unemployment insurance and wait for the government to come back,” Portman said. “That supply chain is going to be much more costly and much more inefficient to create if you mothball the plant.”
Pete Keating, a General Dynamics spokesman, said the money from Congress is allowing for a stable base of production for the Army, which receives about four tanks a month. With the line open, Lima also can fill international orders, bringing more work to Lima and preserving American jobs, he said.
Current foreign customers are Saudi Arabia, which is getting about five tanks a month, and Egypt, which is getting four. Each country pays all of their own costs. That’s a “success story during a period of economic pain,” Keating said.
Still, far fewer tanks are coming out of the Lima plant than in years past. The drop-off has affected companies such as Verhoff Machine and Welding in Continental, Ohio, which makes seats and other parts for the Abrams. Ed Verhoff, the company’s president, said his sales have dropped from $20 million to $7 million over the past two years. He’s also had to lay off about 25 skilled employees and he expects to be issuing more pink slips in the future.
“When we start to lose this base of people, what are we going to do? Buy our tanks from China?” Verhoff said.
Steven Grundman, a defense expert at the Atlantic Council in Washington, said the difficulty of reviving defense industrial capabilities tends to be overstated.
“From the fairly insular world in which the defense industry operates, these capabilities seem to be unique and in many cases extraordinarily high art,” said Grundman, a former deputy undersecretary of defense for industrial affairs and installations during the Clinton administration. “But in the greater scope of the economy, they tend not to be.”
The US Navy’s New Pirate Catcher -Here are some recent photos of the LCS-2 (to be named the USS Independence).
Also turns tightly too. Allegedly this turn was also done at 43 knots…and from the look of the small bow wave, she’s still in the turn.
Note the absence of any sign of her ‘heeling over’ even at that speed.
Note that there is very little spreading wake. In fact, it does not look like a wake at all,
just foamy water from the water jets. Somehow, at 43 knots, you’d think there’d be more of a wake.
She’s aerodynamically designed and kind of strange looking. Is this beginning of a new design in ships?
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These should be able to clean up the pirates off the coasts of Africa.
This is the U.S.S. Independence (LCS-2)
It is a Triple Hulled, Weapon-Laden Monster. Here she is under construction…
There have been rumors about the U.S. Navy’s speedy new triple-hulled ships, but now they’re for real.
The U.S.S. Independence was built by General Dynamics. It’s called a ‘littoral combat ship’
(LCS), and the tri-maran can move its weapons around faster than any other ship in the Navy.
(Ironic that with all that high tech, the ship reminds me of the Merrimac ironclad from Civil War days).
‘Littoral’ means close-to-shore, and that’s where these very ships will operate. They’re tailor-made for launching helicopters and lightly-armored vehicles, sweeping mines and firing all manner of torpedoes, missiles and machine guns. These ships are also relatively inexpensive. This one is a
bargain at $208 million, and the Navy plans to build 55 of them.