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PostPosted: 24 Oct 2012 20:25 
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Mihir wrote:
The Ledo jump


What is the Ledo jump?


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PostPosted: 24 Oct 2012 20:37 
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See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNxwqz7AV6U#t=28m01s


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PostPosted: 24 Oct 2012 20:52 
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Never mind, I looked it up.

All I can say is that in December 1969, I went through a similar obstacle course (they called it the "confidence course") in boot camp at Parris Island. The first time I tried it, I couldn't make it and took the long drop into the water. A month later, I made it all the way through the course(I was much stronger at the time and not wore out). We called the rope slide at the end, the "slide for life". I'm sure that course had been there for 15-20 years. The whole obstacle course was about three miles long. I recall seeing a slide for life across a river that was in a US Army Ranger training video that was done in the 1950's. A lot of the commando training tactics used by the Rangers were acquired from the British commandos during WWII when they trained in Britain for D-Day. That included rope climbing, slide for life, etc.

When I went through boot camp we used a lot of Chicom training concepts and quite frankly some of the those training concepts predated the Chicoms. For instance the Marines "Gung Ho" (together with spirit) may have originated back during the days of the Boxer Rebellion when the Marines were sent there to the international embassy compound. We also were issued a "little red book" of basic Marine Corps information that we were required to know. Whenever we were wainting in line for something we were expected to stand at attention and read our little red book. I think that concept came from Chairman Mao and the Korean war days. The Marines are if nothing else, adaptable.


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PostPosted: 24 Oct 2012 21:37 
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Very modest expectations: Performance of Moscow missile defense


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PostPosted: 27 Oct 2012 06:18 
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The U.S. military’s leadership problem.


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PostPosted: 27 Oct 2012 13:51 
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IAI System Capabilities

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFRRb08bMZM


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PostPosted: 28 Oct 2012 22:55 
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Boeing Announces Successful Test of Electronics Destroying Champ Missile

http://www.dailytech.com/Boeing+Announc ... e29024.htm

Amazing capability. Suggest everyone watch the video.


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PostPosted: 29 Oct 2012 00:05 
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^^ Impressive.

More detailed info here : http://www.wnd.com/2012/10/it-works-com ... ike-blast/


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PostPosted: 29 Oct 2012 10:20 
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Uh, what if you put said equipment inside of a Faraday wrapper or cage? Just sayin....


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PostPosted: 30 Oct 2012 06:26 
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if faraday cages would help then one could container wrap missiles, the container itself should be designed to work as a faraday cage

Almost all tactical missiles along with their launch tubes are less than 12m length and can be fit inside such containers similar to the Club-K system.

OT, currently Indian Railways has the problem of not being able to double stack containers on well wagons since they can't ensure sufficient gap between the top container and the overhead electric cable to not have electrical interference. A container that doubles as a faraday cage is really useful in this context.


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PostPosted: 03 Nov 2012 07:42 
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Deployment of new solid-propellant ICBM expected in 2015


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PostPosted: 09 Nov 2012 10:48 
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Turkey has a cruise missile called 'SOM' which is a subsonic missile with 185 KM range and tested at 300 KM. Future target is to achieve 2500 KM. :eek:

Comparing Indian Missile Program with Turkey's shows that at this stage, with Nirbhay(similar one), we have had to import the turbofan from NPO Saturn. How come a nation like Turkey is able to develop a similar engine with negligible records and industrial scale as compared to India? :evil:


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PostPosted: 09 Nov 2012 11:06 
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AbhiJ,
Per wiki, SOM uses a Microturbo TRI40 engine which is of French origin. We do not know exactly how many of subsystems in SOM are developed by Turkey itself.


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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2012 08:25 
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A Photo account of one of Russian Early Warning Center in East

http://users.livejournal.com/___lin___/209181.html

Interesting pictures the one of radar that covers many areas of China and Central Eastern India

http://i067.radikal.ru/1205/16/e75f108fe163.jpg

A view of EW satellite looking at earth against cold background

http://s019.radikal.ru/i602/1205/ce/83497142dd82.jpg


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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2012 09:09 
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pretty fascinating. on the map, chhamb in jammu and a place in south MH seems marked for unknown reason.
hope to see similar muscular facilities coming up soon in India also.


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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2012 09:20 
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The radar coverage over india is such that it would be able to track any launches from inner wheeler island and completely covering bay of bengal


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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2012 09:22 
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"keep both your friends and enemies closely watched" is a motto they seem to follow :)


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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2012 10:04 
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Singha wrote:
"keep both your friends and enemies closely watched" is a motto they seem to follow :)


The reality is 360 * radar and satellite coverage is needed because a US SSBN can easily park itself in bay of bengal and fire SLBM up North or for that matter launches from South China Sea , North Pacific etc

During peace time you can also use to track friendly targets ofcourse :)


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PostPosted: 16 Nov 2012 13:26 
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A Single, Severed Cable Cut Contact Between Russia and Its Satellites
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Yesterday, at approximately 7:22 p.m., local time, the Moscow's Mission Control experienced something you never want to happen when the mission you're controlling is playing out outside the planet: silence. Complete, utter silence. Roscosmos, Russia's space agency, had lost contact with its satellites -- all of them. Which meant, as well, that it had lost contact with the International Space Station, :eek: and with the cosmonauts who call it home.

"Our specialists lack the ability to control the civilian satellites or send commands to the Russian segment of the ISS," a Roscosmos worker told RIA Novosti, Russia's state-owned news agency, at the time of the malfunction. That worker estimated that the glitch would take at least 48 hours to fix.


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PostPosted: 18 Nov 2012 10:20 
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In the radar coverage photo , the white lines over china and one over burma seem to be flying objects being tracked in real time. Pretty impressive.
The places marked this side seem to be Bombay and Islamabad, guessing on number of alphabets.


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PostPosted: 18 Nov 2012 11:08 
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Alaksa raptors are grey on youtube. Makes sense for a a2a beast.
F15e being night hunters are dark grey


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PostPosted: 18 Nov 2012 14:32 
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New US Military Space Radar in Australia.
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PERTH, Australia: The United States military will station a powerful radar and a space telescope in Australia as part of its strategic shift towards Asia, the two countries announced on Wednesday.

US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta described the deal as a "major leap forward in bilateral space cooperation and an important new frontier in the United States' rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region".

The transfer of the C-band radar "will add considerably to surveillance of space debris in our part of the world", Australian Defence Minister Stephen Smith told a news conference.

The plan, unveiled at annual strategic talks between the two nations, calls for the first deployment of a US Air Force C-band radar in the Southern Hemisphere, allowing the Americans to better track space debris well as Chinese space launches, senior US defence officials said.

"It will give us visibility into things that are leaving the atmosphere, entering the atmosphere, really all throughout Asia," a US defence official told reporters on condition of anonymity.

At the meeting of foreign and defence ministers in the western Australian city of Perth, the two governments also launched discussions on granting the Americans future access to air bases in northern Australia as well as naval ports, including one in nearby Stirling, Smith said


This should increase the Pentagon's ability to detect missile launches, ASAT weapons, spy satellites across Asia much more accurately. I'm sure Indian missile tests/space launches would also be under surveillance.


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PostPosted: 19 Nov 2012 02:48 
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Iron Dome: Missile defense system a game changer, Israelis say

Interesting, though I was expecting a better result from ID:

Quote:
(CNN) -- Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system is figuring prominently in the unfolding aerial conflict with Hamas' military wing in Gaza.

Iron Dome is being credited with protecting Tel Aviv and other Israeli cities by blocking some of the rockets fired from Gaza.

Over the past three days, 737 rockets from Gaza were fired upon Israel: 492 landed, but 245 were intercepted by the system, Israel Defense Forces said Saturday.

What is it?

The name Iron Dome evokes an image of a protective bubble over a city. In practice, Iron Dome is a defense against short-range rockets and mortar shells: the system targets incoming rockets and fires an interceptor missile to destroy them midair.

Each battery has a firing-control radar to identify targets and a portable missile launcher. The system is easily transportable, with just a few hours needed to relocate and set up.

The missile is highly maneuverable. It is three meters, or almost 10 feet, long; has a diameter of about six inches; and weighs 90 kilograms, or 198 pounds, according to the security analysis group IHS Jane's.

The warhead is believed to carry 11 kilograms, or 24 pounds, of high explosives, IHS Jane's said. Its range is from 4 kilometers to 70 kilometers -- or 2.5 miles to 43 miles.

What are the origins of Iron Dome?

Israel began developing the ground-based system in 2007.

After a series of test flights in 2008 and 2009, the first deployment of a battery occurred in southern Israel in 2011, according to IHS Jane's and the IDF. The Israel Air Force reported an interception success rate of 70% in 2011, IHS Jane's said.

Israel credits "breakthrough technology" and the system's radar. Iron Dome confronts multiple threats simultaneously, in all weather conditions, the Israeli military said.

"The radar detects a rocket launch and passes information regarding its path to the control center, which calculates the predicted point of impact," the IDF said. "If this location justifies an interception, a missile is fired to intercept the rocket. The payload of the interceptor missile explodes near the rocket, in a place that is not expected to cause injuries."

Each Iron Dome battery costs $50 million, IHS Jane's said. A missile costs at least $62,000, Israeli officials said.

Is the United States involved in Iron Dome?

Yes.

The initial development was solely by Israel's defense technology company Rafael, but the system has since been heavily sponsored by the United States.

In May 2010, the U.S. House approved a plan to allocate $205 million for Iron Dome. In July, President Barack Obama announced $70 million in U.S. funding.

"This is a program that has been critical in terms of providing security and safety for Israeli families," Obama said of the system. "It is a program that has been tested and has prevented missile strikes inside of Israel."

How important is Iron Dome?

Israel has deployed five Iron Dome batteries, but in March, a defense ministry official told CNN that Israel would need up to 13 batteries to cover all its borders. Israel plans to deploy a total of nine batteries by 2013, Israeli media reported.

The system is considered a game changer, Israeli officials said earlier this year.

"Eliminating the ability to hit strategic targets may lead Hamas to rethink the efficiency of acquiring the rockets it has used in the past," former Israeli ambassador to the United States Dore Gold said in March.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that same month: "The Iron Dome system has proven itself very well and we will, of course, see to its expansion in the months and years ahead."

Other countries have expressed interest buying the system, including the United States, South Korea and several NATO countries in Europe with military forces in Afghanistan, the Jerusalem Post reported in March.


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PostPosted: 19 Nov 2012 20:10 
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Russia Developing 200-km Range Rocket System

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MOSCOW, November 19 (RIA Novosti) - Russia is developing new long-range multiple-launch rocket systems (MLRS) with improved guidance that could allow them to strike targets up to 120 miles (200 km) away, the Defense Ministry's artillery spokesman said on Monday.

"We have the military-technical potential to create a new generation of MLRS with a range of 200 km," Lt. Col. Nikolai Donyushkin said.

Russia's artillery currently deploys the 122-mm Grad, 220-mm Uragan, and 300-mm Smerch rocket systems and the improved Tornado-S, Tornado-G, and Uragan 1-M are currently undergoing state acceptance trials. The army is in the process of receiving up to 30 Tornado-G systems this year, replacing the BM-21 Grad.

The improved Tornado-S is being upgraded with the special GLONASS satellite navigation system used in the Smerch missile system, Donyushkin said. The Tornado-S will have guided rocket rounds enabling it to fire out to 72 miles (120 km).
"The Tornado-S will have a longer range and increased effectiveness thanks to greater accuracy and the use of new warhead payloads and a reduced launch readiness time of just three minutes," he said.


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PostPosted: 19 Nov 2012 21:40 
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NRao wrote:
Iron Dome: Missile defense system a game changer, Israelis say

Interesting, though I was expecting a better result from ID:

Quote:
(CNN) -- Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system is figuring prominently in the unfolding aerial conflict with Hamas' military wing in Gaza.

Iron Dome is being credited with protecting Tel Aviv and other Israeli cities by blocking some of the rockets fired from Gaza.

Over the past three days, 737 rockets from Gaza were fired upon Israel: 492 landed, but 245 were intercepted by the system, Israel Defense Forces said Saturday.

...

What are the origins of Iron?
...
Each Iron Dome battery costs $50 million, IHS Jane's said. A missile costs at least $62,000, Israeli officials said.
...

How important is Iron Dome?
...
Israel has deployed five Iron Dome batteries, but in March, a defense ministry official told CNN that Israel would need up to 13 batteries to cover all its borders. Israel plans to deploy a total of nine batteries by 2013, Israeli media reported.
...

"Eliminating the ability to hit strategic targets may lead Hamas to rethink the efficiency of acquiring the rockets it has used in the past," former Israeli ambassador to the United States Dore Gold said in March.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that same month: "The Iron Dome system has proven itself very well and we will, of course, see to its expansion in the months and years ahead."

...


Currently Israel only has 5 batteries operational, and these only provide protection bubble to the few areas deployed. Rest are unprotected as these are "point-blank" air defense system. It also does not fire at rockets not projected to land in population areas. In due time, most of the population and strategic areas will have protection.

What is troubling though is the cost per missile ($62,000) of Iron Dome. Typically, 2 missiles are fired per cheap rockets (<$8,000) fired by Hamas. This means Israelis are spending $120,000 per Hamas's/Hezbollah's $8,000 rocket. Doing some simple math, Israelis have spent around $15 million so far on the Iron Dome's missiles.


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PostPosted: 19 Nov 2012 21:42 
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NRao Sir: dont look at absolute numbers, which suggests only a 1/3 kill rate for Iron Dome. Not every incoming rocket was targeted by Iron Dome. Interceptors were launched only at those rockets whose trajectory would make them hit built up areas. The true success rate claimed by IDF (the # of missile-pairs fired to the # of intercepts) is something like 88%. If true, that's pretty commendable


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PostPosted: 19 Nov 2012 21:45 
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srai: while it is true that the interceptor-cost to Hamas-rocket-cost is something like $62000:$500, another way to look at it is the cost of lives and property saved. Its similar to the cost paid by India in fighting Jihadis.

To overcome the cheap Hamas rocket price asymmetry, there is no choice but to hit the source. Just like with India & Pukistan


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PostPosted: 20 Nov 2012 00:27 
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The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor
Author: Jake Tapper


http://www.amazon.com/The-Outpost-Untold-Story-American/dp/0316185396

I can't recommend this book highly enough. It was released last week and I came across it randomly while searching for some ebooks online.

This is the most gripping account of the US-led war in Afghanistan I have ever read. Outlaw Platoon is nothing! What most war-books usually do is tell the intimate story of a particular unit/soldier or look at the conflict from the perspective of a sand table. But this one offers a unique viewpoint from the besieged Combat Outpost Keating in the remote heart of Nuristan. The description of counter-insurgency warfare in the mountains in this book has already kept me awake for the last 36 hours. And I'm barely through 1/3rd of the book! The documentary effort tells the story of how the outpost came into being, the politics behind it and the price paid in blood to set it up and maintain it by various units. This is the US war in Afghanistan in a nutshell and why it has failed.

I have to admit I downloaded a copy off TPB. I am not one for piracy but I just had to read this book after reading the description. I will make up for my misdemeanor soon by buying a copy off the shelf when it hits India and it will have pride of place in my library.

I have always been proud of how after the initial bloody years we came to grips with Kashmir and then set the template for the CI op there and maintaining a robust dominating presence on the LOC. Nuristan and the LOC are no different in terms of the terrain, the local populace and the motivation of the insurgents. And look at how differently the the two armies have handled it. Our soldiers have done an awe inspiring job while enjoying none of the soldier comforts that the US army enjoys (tech, logistics, equipment, air support etc). What is most humbling is how our boys fought in Kargil when they were literally thrown onto burning coals, while you will see in the book the US 10th Mountain Division elements get caught out of breath and step in even minor patrols. Nuristan and Gurez/Kupwara/Kargil are not that different.

I will not spoil the fun in reading this book. It is a must read if you are into conflict study.


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PostPosted: 20 Nov 2012 06:46 
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anand_sankar wrote:
The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor
Author: Jake Tapper


http://www.amazon.com/The-Outpost-Untold-Story-American/dp/0316185396
...

I have always been proud of how after the initial bloody years we came to grips with Kashmir and then set the template for the CI op there and maintaining a robust dominating presence on the LOC. Nuristan and the LOC are no different in terms of the terrain, the local populace and the motivation of the insurgents. And look at how differently the the two armies have handled it. Our soldiers have done an awe inspiring job while enjoying none of the soldier comforts that the US army enjoys (tech, logistics, equipment, air support etc). What is most humbling is how our boys fought in Kargil when they were literally thrown onto burning coals, while you will see in the book the US 10th Mountain Division elements get caught out of breath and step in even minor patrols. Nuristan and Gurez/Kupwara/Kargil are not that different.

...


The major difference is that Kashmir is part of India. There is a different level of commitment when it is your own backyard versus something distant. When it is part of your own, you get patriotic level of support from both the soldiers fighting and the general population (maybe not at the conflict area but rest of the country) as a whole. At an individual level, soldiers also have a better understanding of the cultures of the people that are more similar than different. From the government perspective, there is an extra motivation to endlessly pour in resources and lives until a favourable outcome occurs. As an example, India has been conducting CI operations in Kashmir for almost 30 years with many more thousands of soldiers in an area significantly smaller than Afghanistan whereas US (and allies) only 10 years in Afghanistan with significantly less troops but at more monetory cost. The US and its allies are already ready to pullout in 2014 after spending unsustainable amount of over trillion dollars. India has no such pullout dates from Kashmir while spending far less (dollar amount) in the process.


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PostPosted: 20 Nov 2012 08:18 
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srai wrote:
anand_sankar wrote:
The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor
Author: Jake Tapper


http://www.amazon.com/The-Outpost-Untold-Story-American/dp/0316185396
...

I have always been proud of how after the initial bloody years we came to grips with Kashmir and then set the template for the CI op there and maintaining a robust dominating presence on the LOC. Nuristan and the LOC are no different in terms of the terrain, the local populace and the motivation of the insurgents. And look at how differently the the two armies have handled it. Our soldiers have done an awe inspiring job while enjoying none of the soldier comforts that the US army enjoys (tech, logistics, equipment, air support etc). What is most humbling is how our boys fought in Kargil when they were literally thrown onto burning coals, while you will see in the book the US 10th Mountain Division elements get caught out of breath and step in even minor patrols. Nuristan and Gurez/Kupwara/Kargil are not that different.

...


The major difference is that Kashmir is part of India. There is a different level of commitment when it is your own backyard versus something distant. When it is part of your own, you get patriotic level of support from both the soldiers fighting and the general population (maybe not at the conflict area but rest of the country) as a whole. At an individual level, soldiers also have a better understanding of the cultures of the people that are more similar than different. From the government perspective, there is an extra motivation to endlessly pour in resources and lives until a favourable outcome occurs. As an example, India has been conducting CI operations in Kashmir for almost 30 years with many more thousands of soldiers in an area significantly smaller than Afghanistan whereas US (and allies) only 10 years in Afghanistan with significantly less troops but at more monetory cost. The US and its allies are already ready to pullout in 2014 after spending unsustainable amount of over trillion dollars. India has no such pullout dates from Kashmir while spending far less (dollar amount) in the process.


That is correct. Plus there are different cultural values at work. In the US it is popular to dramatize conflict with soldier suffering at the hands of incompetent leaders both political and military. This was especially popular when we had the draft and we've only been on an all volunteer militay for a few decades. The craziness and confusion of war is emphasised when there is no clear connection to the survival of the homeland.

Finally pobody is nerfect. We have losses in battles. We don't win everyone of them. We have good troops, not perfect troops. Perfect is the enemy of good. If you are expecting perfect you sure won't find it in the US military.


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PostPosted: 20 Nov 2012 11:45 
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NRao wrote:
Iron Dome: Missile defense system a game changer, Israelis say

Interesting, though I was expecting a better result from ID:

Quote:
(CNN) -- Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system is figuring prominently in the unfolding aerial conflict with Hamas' military wing in Gaza.

Iron Dome is being credited with protecting Tel Aviv and other Israeli cities by blocking some of the rockets fired from Gaza.

Over the past three days, 737 rockets from Gaza were fired upon Israel: 492 landed, but 245 were intercepted by the system, Israel Defense Forces said Saturday.

...

What are the origins of Iron?
...
Each Iron Dome battery costs $50 million, IHS Jane's said. A missile costs at least $62,000, Israeli officials said.
...

How important is Iron Dome?
...
Israel has deployed five Iron Dome batteries, but in March, a defense ministry official told CNN that Israel would need up to 13 batteries to cover all its borders. Israel plans to deploy a total of nine batteries by 2013, Israeli media reported.
...

"Eliminating the ability to hit strategic targets may lead Hamas to rethink the efficiency of acquiring the rockets it has used in the past," former Israeli ambassador to the United States Dore Gold said in March.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that same month: "The Iron Dome system has proven itself very well and we will, of course, see to its expansion in the months and years ahead."

...


Currently Israel only has 5 batteries operational, and these only provide protection bubble to the few areas deployed. Rest are unprotected as these are "point-blank" air defense system. It also does not fire at rockets not projected to land in population areas. In due time, most of the population and strategic areas will have protection.

What is troubling though is the cost per missile ($62,000) of Iron Dome. Typically, 2 missiles are fired per cheap rockets (<$8,000) fired by Hamas. This means Israelis are spending $120,000 per Hamas's/Hezbollah's $8,000 rocket. Doing some simple math, Israelis have spent around $15 million so far on the Iron Dome's missiles.[/quote]

It might make sense if the potential cost of damage/loss of material/lives are taken into account.besides israelis have factored in only those rockets that can cause damage.


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PostPosted: 22 Nov 2012 03:34 
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Tweak My Ride

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Quote:
According to a 2011 Department of Defense report, the US armed forces consumed nearly five billion gallons of fuel of all types in military operations in 2010. Those gallons cost $13.2 billion, a 255 percent increase over the fuel bill in 1997. Winglets, such as shown on a C-130J in this artist concept, is one major way to improve fuel efficiency.


Quote:
Cable TV is filled with programs highlighting specialty firms with colorful personalities who take ordinary cars, motorcycles, and other vehicles and turn them into overpriced show pieces that aren’t really practical. The emphasis is on bling, not on better.

But in the real world, a few straightforward exterior tweaks will make larger military aircraft, like C-130 and C-5 transports and P-3 maritime patrol aircraft, markedly better.

According to a 2011 Department of Defense report, the US armed forces consumed nearly five billion gallons of fuel of all types in military operations in 2010. Those gallons cost $13.2 billion, a 255 percent increase over the fuel bill in 1997. “Saving even one percent of those five billion gallons is a huge amount of fuel and a big reduction in cost,” said Chuck Hybart, who headed the fuel efficiency studies program for the Lockheed Martin Skunk Works, the company’s advanced technology development organization.

Air Mobility Command, which runs the US Air Force’s global network of cargo transports and aerial tankers, is the single largest consumer of fuel in the Department of Defense. Recognizing the need for ways to reduce its fuel usage, AMC opened its Fuel Efficiency Office in 2010. Lockheed Martin began its own internal studies eighteen months earlier. “In the fall of 2008, when gas was $4 a gallon, we started looking at ways of making large aircraft more fuel efficient. We figured the Air Force would be interested in saving some money,” noted Hybart

“We started by looking through the big end of the funnel. Anything that was remotely possible was considered,” continued Hybart, who works out of the Skunk Works operation at the company’s Marietta, Georgia, facility. “We then narrowed the field for more serious study to those options that appeared to offer the best return on investment.”

Using mostly company research and development dollars, the Skunk Works researchers found that what will be the most practical answer—an elusive intersection of cost, difficulty to engineer and implement, improvement in aircraft efficiency, and length of time for payback on investment—ended up being slightly different for the C-130, the C-5, and the P-3.

Microvanes
With aircraft, drag is a bad thing. Lift and thrust have to overcome gravity and drag for an aircraft to fly. The easiest, least expensive way to improve C-130 fuel efficiency seems to be counterintuitive: installing eighteen small, lightweight, strake-like devices on each side of the aircraft’s aft fuselage near the cargo ramp door and horizontal tail. Called microvanes, these roughly ten-inch-long vanes, which are only lightly loaded aerodynamically, create minimal localized drag. However, working as a group, the microvanes slow the natural, much larger drag-creating vortex that forms as airflow goes over and under the wing and swirls around the aft end of the aircraft.

Research into mounting large, fixed strakes mounted under the horizontal tail of the Hercules at the upper part of the cargo ramp door took place in the late 1970s and early 1980s. While these strakes did reduce drag significantly, they interfered with airdrops and cargo loading, and also had an adverse effect on aircraft structure, all of which made them operationally unacceptable.

Developed by a team led by Dr. Brian Smith, the microvane design was patented in August 2011. “Microvanes, which are relatively inexpensive to produce, are bonded to the aircraft,” noted Hybart. “The net result is a fifteen-count reduction in drag at long range cruise speeds, which equates to about a twenty-five gallon per hour saving.”

Testing was carried out in August 2011 using a new Canadian CC-130J Super Hercules just off the Marietta production line. The aircraft, instrumented to gather data, was flown on three test flights that showed computational fluid dynamics, or CFD, predictions and reality matched. CFD involves using a computer to calculate boundary conditions where airflow meets a solid surface. Realizing that the blade vanes could possibly impede paratroop or airdrop parachute lines, a second type of microvane was also developed and tested. This microvane, called a bump vane, is a rounded, snag-free version.

“The bump vanes are placed lower on the fuselage near the cargo ramp and paratroop door and the blade vanes are higher up the tail,” noted Hybart. “We predict there will be no impact on airdrops, but we will need to test them.” Working with the Air Force Research Laboratory, airdrop testing using both types of vanes is likely to occur by late 2012. Several different thermoplastic materials that can be injection molded are being considered for production microvanes.

“This technology applies across the C-130 board,” noted Hybart. “Both legacy and C-130J operators can benefit because the shape of the back end of the aircraft hasn’t changed. Microvanes can be installed on the production line or as an easy retrofit. These vanes were easy to model, are relatively inexpensive, and offer a good payback. We haven’t seen a downside.”

Lift Distribution Control System
To prevent overstressing the C-130’s wings during a mission, fuel is carried in the outer wings. This fuel, called wing-relieving fuel, keeps the outer wings from flexing up too far, particularly when carrying heavy payload weights. This fuel, while necessary, is essentially dead weight and can’t be used during the mission.

Using what’s called a lift distribution control system, or LDCS, both ailerons are deflected up—as opposed to one deflected up and one deflected down while the aircraft banks—which shifts the aerodynamic loading inboard toward the center wing and fuselage.

Computer modeling predicts that shifting the loads inboard reduces wing bending loads by ten percent on a long-fuselage C-130J with its more powerful and more efficient engines and by twenty-one percent on a legacy C-130H. Shifting the aerodynamic loads also increases the range of the C-130, as the fuel in the outer wings can be used for the mission. Using an LDCS increases range on a C-130J carrying 42,000 pounds of payload by 140 percent and by more than 300 percent for the C-130H.

A real-world example helps illustrate how effective an LDCS would be for a C-130J. A squadron commander is tasked to transport 42,000 pounds of cargo 1,500 miles. His current options are to take all 42,000 pounds on one aircraft or split the load and use two C-130Js. The first option requires two legs to get to the destination. The crew will have to take off, climb, cruise, and land with required fuel reserves at the 750-mile mark. After refueling, the crew will have to repeat the same flight profile to the destination. The second option, assuming the payload isn’t a vehicle and can be divided, allows the cargo to be transported nonstop, but it requires twice the aircraft and crew. With an LDCS, one C-130J crew could move the entire 42,000 pound payload in one flight, nonstop, with required fuel reserves on landing.

“Uprigging the ailerons forces the aircraft to fly at a slightly higher angle of attack,” observed Hybart. “Flying slightly nose-high has the effect of reducing drag in the back of the aircraft, which we didn’t expect. So, while having both ailerons up does create a very small amount of drag over the wings, the net effect is reduced drag on the aircraft.”

The now mostly retired L-1011 airliner and the C-5 both have an automatic LDCS. The aircraft’s computer determines aileron position to relieve wing loading. What is being looked at for the C-130 would be a manual system controlled from the flight deck that could be used at the crew’s discretion, depending on mission and payload.

Winglets
Winglets are one promising option that turned up on the C-130, C-5, and P-3. Winglets are the upturned wingtip devices that improve the efficiency of fixed-wing aircraft by reducing drag through partial recovery of the vortex energy created by the airstream as it goes over the wingtip. These devices also increase the effective aspect ratio—that is, wing length-to-chord—without materially increasing wingspan.

That winglets work can be seen in the fact that commercial airlines—a notoriously penny-pinching bunch—have been buying new aircraft designed with winglets for the past decade. The Deltas and Americans of the world have also recently started retrofitting winglets to many of their older aircraft.

A combination of CFD studies and actual wind tunnel testing was conducted for both the C-130 and P-3. CFD was also used on the C-5. However, a large, high speed wind tunnel is required to determine winglet effectiveness accurately for that very large transport.

More than 400 variations of C-130 winglets were evaluated through CFD, and the most promising models were then tested extensively in the wind tunnel. The design was then optimized to minimize induced wing loading and to maximize aerodynamic benefits. The data collected during the wind tunnel testing verified the CFD predictions.

The optimal C-130 winglet design stands about five feet tall and adds about five feet to the 132-foot wingspan of a Herk. Predicted results show either about a four percent increase in range for a C-130J on a long-range cruise mission with a 17,250 pound payload or about a twenty-one gallon per hour reduction in fuel consumption on a typical 2,500 nautical mile mission with a 20,000 pound payload.

A set of trial winglets, made of composite material and aluminum, will be ready for flight test in late 2012. The Process Development Center, a Lockheed Martin rapid prototyping center at its Fort Worth, Texas, facility, built the prototypes.

“The microvanes, the lift distribution control system, and the winglets all provide benefits in different parts of the flight regime, but they offer significant net savings. Combined, they could result in saving fifty gallons of fuel per hour,” noted Hybart. “In terms of seeing these improvements on a C-130, I think the microvanes could be near-term. LDCS and winglets are probably a little farther out.”

P-3 And C-5 Improvements
Many of the same winglet designs tested on the C-130 were also evaluated for installation in the P-3 as the wing designs of the two aircraft are similar. The optimal design for the Orion winglet stands about three feet tall and adds about four feet to the aircraft’s wingspan. Preliminary CFD results indicate measurable drag reduction and a two to three percent increase in cruise performance and a roughly four to six percent increase in time on station or reduced fuel usage on a standard mission.

“The P-3 has some unique issues,” noted Hybart. “Many P-3s have a number of antennae and electronic support measure equipment in the wingtips. All of that gear would have to be fitted in a winglet. The winglet itself would also have to be made of material that the sensor apertures could see through.”

Two other improvements being looked at for the P-3 are the incorporation of a new propeller and an updated engine. The proposed propeller is the very aerodynamically efficient, eight-bladed, composite NP2000 prop now being fitted to the US Navy’s E-2C/D Hawkeye airborne early warning and control aircraft.

The Rolls-Royce T56 Series 3.5 is an upgrade to existing engines, not a new engine. The Series 3.5 offers increased turbine life and better engine performance for hot day and high altitude operations. Most importantly, the upgrade has demonstrated up to nine percent savings in specific fuel consumption. The Series 3.5 engine enhancements are incorporated as part of a traditional engine overhaul and does not require any aircraft or engine control system interface modifications.

CFD results indicate that winglets would offer about a three percent increase in specific range for a C-5M Super Galaxy. Every one percent of fuel efficiency in a C-5M equates to about 1,750 gallons of fuel saved during a nonstop, unrefueled mission from Dover AFB, Delaware, to Incirlik AB, Turkey.

Winglets are estimated to be the single best way to improve C-5 fuel efficiency. However, winglets are the most expensive option. Engineering and building ten-foot-tall winglets without increasing aircraft wingspan—so the C-5 will still fit in many hangars—would be challenging. “With such a small fleet, the Air Force initially didn’t have a serious interest in winglets for the C-5. The perception was the payback would take too long,” observed Hybart.

However, the Air Force Research Laboratory will now sponsor wind tunnel testing of the C-5 winglets in the sixteen-foot transonic wind tunnel at Arnold Engineering Development Center at Arnold AFB, Tennessee. The Air Force is providing the test facility and Lockheed Martin is funding the update to the wind tunnel model. Testing is expected to begin later this year.

A combination of improvements in nine other areas on the C-5 offers nearly as much fuel savings as installing winglets. Some of the ideas are simple, such as not flying with the un-aerodynamic ground jack pads installed—something Air Force crews routinely do—or putting simple fairings around the pads to reduce drag.

The upper end of the cost spectrum would involve redesigning areas of the C-5 airframe prone to slow pressurization leaks. The engines have to work harder to compensate—increasing fuel usage—to keep the aircraft fully pressurized. Other areas of investigation include using the automatic LDCS to reduce drag—similar to what is proposed for the C-130, designing and installing new aerodynamic navigation lights; and designing and installing fairings that don’t interfere with the operation of the drag-inducing Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures system turrets and flare boxes.

“Payback on any of these fuel efficiency improvements is a complicated equation,” concluded Hybart. “It takes time to modify the aircraft, and, while being modified, it’s out of service. Fleet size is a big factor. How many flight hours an operator puts on those aircraft; what part of the flight regime those aircraft are flown in; and how much fuel costs all need to be taken into account. Higher-cost improvements obviously take longer to pay back. But the cost of buying a new aircraft is small compared to operations and support costs over that aircraft’s lifetime. Some tweaks to the aircraft will save a few percent in fuel use. Over time, that will have a big impact on life cycle costs.”

Jeff Rhodes is the associate editor of Code One.


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PostPosted: 24 Nov 2012 09:13 
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KH-101/102 on Tu-95MS , its got some interesting shapes even viewed from bottom.

http://img-fotki.yandex.ru/get/6416/154 ... 056df_orig


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PostPosted: 24 Nov 2012 23:30 
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US pivots, China bristles


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PostPosted: 25 Nov 2012 00:41 
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Location: krishna's thandai, Assi ghaat, banaras
^^

Iron Dome should be similar to the Indian BMD/ TMD/ Akash? Trishul gamut.

Israeli Green Pine radar is present in our systems.


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PostPosted: 27 Nov 2012 06:44 
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Nov 25, 2012 :: Israel successfully tests David's Sling's interceptor

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Defense system aims at intercepting long-range missiles, will work in conjunction with Iron Dome, Arrow, Arrow 3; test brings Israel step closer to having active defense shield against Hezbollah's arsenal of projectiles.
David's Sling defense system Photo: Defense Ministry

Israel and the US in recent days successfully tested the David’s Sling defense system, designed to stop medium-range rockets and cruise missiles, bringing the country a step closer to having an active defense shield against Hezbollah’s arsenal of projectiles.

In the test, a David’s Sling battery stationed in southern Israel fired a two-stage interceptor missile and stopped an incoming missile.

The David’s Sling is a missile defense system currently under development by Rafael in Israel and Raytheon in the US and is designed to fill the gap between Iron Dome’s short-range protection and the Arrow 2 long-range ballistic missile defense program. It is also capable of acting as a back-up to the Arrow 2, by intercepting incoming threats that manage to slip through the Arrow’s defenses.

The system would defend against Iranian missiles such as the M600, the Zelzal, Fajr and Fateh 110 deployed heavily in Hezbollah hands in Lebanon as well as other missiles with a range between 70 and 300 kilometers. It is slated to become operational in 2014.

It is being jointly developed by the Defense Ministry, the US Missile Defense Agency, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and the American defense contractor, Raytheon.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak congratulated those involved in the test, adding that David’s Sling would form a significant part of Israel’s multi-layered missile defense program.

“The major success of Iron Dome batteries in Operation Pillar of Defense clarifies beyond all doubt the huge importance of missile defense programs. The State of Israel is a world leader in this field, thanks to its Israeli defense industries and their people,” Barak added.

A source in Israel’s defense industries said David’s Sling was originally scheduled for live trials in 2013, and that this was brought forward “given the general sense of urgency.”

The missile threat to Israel varies, but the IDF estimates there are about 200,000 rockets and missiles pointed in its direction from Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas.

Israel is currently concerned with the possibility of an attack from Syria. One scenario under consideration is that Syrian President Bashar Assad will try to divert attention away from his brutal onslaught against his own people by sparking a confrontation with Israel. In such an event, the firing of Scud missiles at Israel is considered possible.

David’s Sling uses the Stunner interceptor, fitted into a launcher that can hold 16 missiles. It works together with an advanced phased-array radar made by Israel Aerospace Industries. The system can also be formatted to defend Israel’s skies against enemy aircraft.

David’s Sling will operate within Israel’s multi-tiered missile defense system, protecting the country from medium-range threats. The Iron Dome system aims to intercept short-range missiles and rockets, while the country’s Arrow and eventually Arrow 3 seek to intercept long-range missiles and ICBMs.

Yaakov Katz and Reuters contributed to this report.



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PostPosted: 28 Nov 2012 07:34 
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Nov 26, 2012 :: Israel's Iron Dome Defense Battled to Get Off Ground

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TEL AVIV—Israel's Iron Dome rocket-defense system spent the past two weeks successfully blasting Hamas rockets out of the sky—many in dramatic nighttime explosions—helping to end the recent hostilities between Israel and Hamas in just seven days.

The battle to build Iron Dome, however, lasted years and provided fireworks of its own.

Before Wednesday's cease-fire, Iron Dome knocked down 421 rockets launched from Gaza and bound for Israeli cities, an 84% success rate, according to the Israeli military. The system limited Israeli casualties to six during the seven days of bombardment. As a result, there was markedly less political pressure on Israel's decision makers to invade Gaza.

"If it was not for Iron Dome, for sure you would have seen a more aggressive action in Gaza by air and ground," said an Israel general and member of Israel's joint chiefs of staff.

For Israel's primary foes Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas, their weapon of choice—rockets and missiles—could soon prove nearly obsolete. That could alter the strategic calculation for Israel and its enemies alike. Despite initial Pentagon misgivings, President Barack Obama has given $275 million to the project since 2010 with the aim of reducing the rocket threat and eventually bolstering chances of a peace deal by making Israel feel more secure to agree to territorial concessions.

For years, Pentagon experts dismissed Iron Dome as doomed to fail and urged Israel to instead try a cheaper U.S. approach. Iron Dome faced similar skepticism at home. But an Israeli mathematician-general, along with a labor-organizer-turned-defense-minister, pushed the project through, overcoming the opposition of some of Israel's most powerful military voices.

In 2004, then-Brig. Gen. Daniel Gold was named director of the Ministry of Defense's Research and Development department, responsible for overseeing the development of new weapons systems. Mr. Gold, who also has a Ph.D. in mathematics, took up the rocket challenge with a zealot's gusto, according to people involved in the project.

That August, he put out a call to defense companies for proposed antirocket systems. Few took notice within the defense establishment.

Israel's Hezbollah foes in Lebanon first turned to short-range rockets in the mid-1990s. The first Hamas-fired Palestinian rocket hit Israel in early 2001. The crude projectiles rarely hit their intended targets, yet over the years they rained down by the thousands—some 4,000 by 2008.

Almost no one in Israel's military brass believed rocket defense could work. Palestinian rockets from Gaza fly erratically and can hit Israeli communities within seconds. Most are just a few feet long and a few inches wide.

Gen. Gold and his team, deep in the bowels of the Defense Ministry in central Tel Aviv, reviewed the options. They considered lasers and giant shotguns. In March 2005, they agreed on a patched-together concept for the system that would become Iron Dome, drawing on technologies from three Israeli defense companies.

He called up Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd., an Israeli weapons maker, and asked the company to head the project. A 2008 audit by the Israeli state comptroller, an independent government-oversight office, criticized this step, saying he bypassed required approvals from the military's general staff, the defense minister and the Israeli government.

That report didn't lead to formal charges of wrongdoing. But it fueled years of heated political criticism of the project and its backers—showing how close the highly controversial Iron Dome idea came to never happening at all.

Gen. Gold said in an interview that the auditor's report misrepresented some facts, declining to be more specific. He disputes any allegation that he broke rules, saying he simply sidestepped red tape.

"I just canceled all the unnecessary bureaucracy," Gen. Gold said. "I left only the most crucial bureaucracy needed for success."

At the time, according to Gen. Gold as well as to the auditor's report, he told Rafael's chairman of the problem that no one in the government had agreed to pay for the project. Rafael's chairman, Ilan Biran, confirms that account.

In an interview, Gen. Gold said he told Mr. Biran he could use $5 million to $6 million from his research budget to get the project started if Rafael would agree to match. Mr. Biran said in an interview that he agreed to take the risk after his engineers assured him they could pull off the feat.

It was no ordinary feat. The project's specs demanded a system that could continuously scan all of Gaza, detect a rocket the instant it was fired, no matter how big or small, pinpoint its likely strike location, and finally, if it was going to hit a city, blast it out of the sky with a missile. The system needed to do all that within about 15 seconds.

Gen. Gold also said the interceptor missiles would need to cost about one-tenth of what your average air-to-air missile costs, or else Israel's rocket-flinging foes would be able to bankrupt Israel. And instead of taking 10 years or more to develop, typical for new weapons systems, Iron Dome needed to deploy in half that.

In the summer of 2006, war broke out with Hezbollah in Lebanon. Over the 33 days, Hezbollah fired more than 4,200 rockets into northern Israel, killing 44 Israelis. Suddenly, stopping rockets was a government priority.

So in August 2006, Gen. Gold and his team briefed the man who was then Israel's minister of defense, Amir Peretz, on Iron Dome. Mr. Peretz had spent most of his career as a labor organizer. As a civilian with little military experience, he had been an unlikely choice as defense minister. He hails from Sderot, a southern Israeli town that borders Gaza and has borne the brunt of Palestinian rocket fire.

During his brief stint as Defense Minister from 2006 to 2007, Mr. Peretz was well known for a photograph during the Lebanon War of him reviewing the battlefield through binoculars with lens caps on. When he resigned as defense minister in 2007 over his handling of that war, his political career seemed doomed.

In the weeks following the Lebanon War, then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was briefed on Iron Dome for the first time. Nearly all the military advisers in the room slammed the project, Mr. Peretz recalled. Mr. Olmert refused to divert government funds for Iron Dome, according to Mr. Peretz.

Mr. Olmert didn't return calls seeking comment. In an interview with the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahranot, Mr. Olmert praised Mr. Peretz's persistence in pushing Iron Dome.

Instead of scaling back the program, Gen. Gold upped the ante. In November 2006, he "directed Rafael to begin full-scale development of the Iron Dome project when Rafael had no order to do so," according to the Israeli comptroller's audit report. "The directive was not under his authority," the report concluded.

"I cannot say that the report is wrong," said Yossi Drucker, who headed the team at Rafael overseeing the system's development. "But if you want to achieve something in a very short time…you have sometimes to bypass the bureaucracy."

The gamble paid off. In early 2007, Mr. Peretz threw his full ministerial weight behind the project, committing another $10 million in Ministry of Defense funds to keep Iron Dome alive. The government's auditors later found he violated regulations by committing the funds without military or government approval for the project.

But if the government hoped to have enough Iron Dome batteries to provide meaningful protection against rockets, it would need more money than that. Israel's Defense Ministry approached the U.S. administration of President George W. Bush with a request for hundreds of millions of dollars for the system. The reception at the Pentagon was frosty, according to current and former U.S. defense officials.

Mary Beth Long, the assistant secretary of defense who oversaw the Iron Dome review process, sent a team of U.S. military engineers to Israel to meet with the developers. After the trip, in a meeting in her office, the team voiced skepticism about the technology, citing poor performance in initial testing, Ms. Long said in an interview.

Rafael's Mr. Drucker recalls an even harsher U.S. response. He said the U.S. team told them: "This is something that cannot be done."

Some U.S. military officials argued that Israel should instead consider using a version of the U.S.'s Vulcan Phalanx system, which the Army was deploying in Iraq to try to shoot down incoming rockets, current and former defense officials say. Gen. Gold's team had already considered and dismissed the Phalanx system.

By the end of 2007, Mr. Olmert and Mr. Peretz's successor as defense minister, Ehud Barak, had both come around to backing Iron Dome. That December, the government gave the project its first big cash infusion of roughly $200 million.

As it became clear that Israel was going to be spending hundreds of millions of dollars on rocket defense, the industry scrambled. Rafael's rivals lobbied for their proposals to be reconsidered.

Israel's government auditors began investigating the project and issued a report singling out Gen. Gold for launching a billion-dollar project without the necessary approvals. "Brig. Gen. Gold decided on the development of Iron Dome, determined the timetables and ordered predevelopment and full development before the relevant authorities had approved the project," the report said.

But Iron Dome was making lightning progress. An all-star team of engineers assembled from across Israeli defense companies worked around the clock. Pensioners were called out of retirement. The contest to design the warhead for the interceptor missile pitted a 25-year-old woman, fresh out of university, against a 30-year veteran of Rafael.

And in 2009, during the first field test, an Iron Dome prototype successfully intercepted an incoming rocket.

Iron Dome got a significant boost soon after President Obama came to office in 2009. Mr. Obama visited Sderot as a presidential candidate and told his aides to find a way to help boost Israel's defenses from the makeshift rockets, his aides said, although defense officials at the time still doubted Iron Dome was the way.

As president, Mr. Obama tapped Colin Kahl to run the Pentagon office overseeing U.S. military policy in the Middle East. Mr. Kahl found the Iron Dome request on his desk, decided to take another look and had what he later described as a light-bulb moment. "Ding, ding, ding. It just made sense," Mr. Kahl said.

In 2009, the peace process topped Mr. Obama's foreign-policy agenda. But the administration's call for a freeze in Jewish settlement growth badly strained ties with Israel's right-wing prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. Top Obama administration advisers saw supporting Iron Dome as a chance to shore up U.S.-Israel security relations and balance some of the political strains.

At the direction of a White House working group headed by then-National Security Council senior director Dan Shapiro (who today is the U.S. ambassador to Israel), the Pentagon sent a team of missile-defense experts to Israel in September 2009 to re-evaluate Iron Dome. The decision raised eyebrows in some Pentagon circles. Iron Dome was still seen as a rival to the Phalanx system, and previous assessment teams had deemed Iron Dome inferior.

In its final report, presented to the White House in October, the team declared Iron Dome a success, and in many respects, superior to Phalanx. Tests showed it was hitting 80% of the targets, up from the low teens in the earlier U.S. assessment. "They came in and basically said, 'This looks much more promising…than our system,' " said Dennis Ross, who at the time was one of Mr. Obama's top Middle East advisers.

That summer, Mr. Kahl's office drafted a policy paper recommending that the administration support the Israeli request for roughly $200 million in Iron Dome funding.

Mr. Ross said the threat posed by Iran was also part of the calculation to invest in Iron Dome. By showing how seriously the U.S. took Israel's security needs, the administration hoped Israel would "provide us the time and space to see if there was a diplomatic way out of the Iranian issue," Mr. Ross said.

The system went operational in March 2011. It shot down its first Palestinian rocket on April 7. Within three days it had shot down eight more rockets. But it wasn't until the recent Gaza flare-up that the system made its mark on the public consciousness.

Mr. Peretz went to a bar mitzvah earlier this week. When the onetime political pariah walked into the reception hall, 200 people rose to give him a spontaneous standing ovation, according to aides in his office. On the fourth day of the war, Gen. Gold, now retired, sat at a cafe in central Tel Aviv. Two women stopped and asked to have their photographs taken with him.

Write to Charles Levinson at Charles.Levinson@wsj.com and Adam Entous at Adam.Entous@wsj.com



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PostPosted: 18 Dec 2012 21:01 
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Dec 17 53rd Anniversary , Strategic Rocket Forces RF

http://youtu.be/EfDEJaZyMw8


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PostPosted: 19 Dec 2012 02:39 
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DARPA looks to create wireless Skynet with fiber-like, 100Gb bandwidth
Would allow for high speed links between aircraft over hundreds of kilometers

http://arstechnica.com/information-tech ... bandwidth/

Quote:
Of course, you can't run a fiber backbone through the air or summon one up at will on the battlefield. That's why the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has launched a program to create technology that can act as a backbone for an airborne network with the same sort of bandwidth as fiber optic backbones—100 gigabits per second. If successful, the program could mean not just faster data connections on the battlefield, but better broadband for people in remote areas and cheaper expansion of cellular networks.The effort, called the 100 Gigabit-per-second RF Backbone (or 100G in DARPA shorthand), seeks to do more than just overcome the physics that limit current radio-based data connections using the Defense Department's Common Data Link (CDL) standard protocol. The initiative is searching for a solution that will be able to be deployed both to the battlefield and aboard aircraft—and work at distances of over 200 kilometers.

The goal set by DARPA isn't just pulled out of the air, so to speak. The amount of data collected by sensors on aircraft, such as synthetic aperture radars, are so vast that only a small amount of it can be pushed back to commanders on the ground—which is why the military has command and control aircraft like the E-3 Sentry Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS), filled with crewmembers who can interpret the data close to the sensor. But AWACS are expensive. And with more and more drones carrying sophisticated radar systems to track targets on the ground—along with optical and infrared sensors—the DOD needs a way to beam all the data back at higher fidelity, either to an AWACS, another aircraft, or to a command center on the ground a hundred miles away.
The most likely route to creating this sort of Skynet is to use the same sort of technology used to collect much of the data in the first place—synthetic aperture antenna technology. There have been a number of efforts to turn the Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radars of fighter aircraft into dual-purpose systems capable of both acting as a radar and as a data link. Raytheon, L-3 Communications and other companies working on previous DARPA-funded projects have demonstrated the creation of airborne mobile ad-hoc networks by connecting a data modem to an AESA radar. This turns some of its transmission array into a multiplexed transmitter and establishing network connections of over 4.5 gigabits per second.DARPA sees the next leap in data throughput coming from improvements in extreme high frequency (EHF) radio technology. Using wavelengths measured in millimeters, EHF frequencies—such as the 60 gigahertz frequency used at the top end of the WiGig standard—are typically only effective for communications at short range and within line of sight. But DARPA believes that by using techniques in the modulation of signals, including quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM), the millimeter wave band can be used over much greater distances, through cloud cover, and to achieve even higher throughput. In a statement on the program, DARPA program manager Dick Ridgeway said the project "plans to demonstrate how high-order modulation and spatial multiplexing can be synergistically combined to achieve 100 Gigabits per second."


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PostPosted: 24 Dec 2012 17:50 
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Rocket motor mystery continues to halt AMRAAM deliveries

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Raytheon Missile Systems has not delivered an AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) in nearly two years because of an unexplained flaw in the missile's solid rocket motor.

The motors, supplied by ATK, have suffered mass failures when subjected to routine cold temperature tests. The issue has surprised and baffled ATK and Raytheon because the formulation and materials used to produce the rocket propellant fill have not changed – and have been in production, without incident, for more than 30 years. However, by late 2009 reliability problems had emerged with the ATK motors and now Raytheon says it has a stock of around 800 missiles that cannot be delivered. The US Depertment of Defense (DoD) has suspended payments to Raytheon until the rocket issues are solved and Raytheon admits that a final, reliable solution has yet to be found.


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