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(Independent)   New Navy destroyer has LASERS, stealth with optional rail gun, AC, GPS and XM radio   (independent.co.uk) divider line 119
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8610 clicks; posted to Main » on 14 Apr 2014 at 12:29 AM (36 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-04-14 01:34:07 AM  
ArmednHammeredemail me sir.
 
2014-04-14 01:35:40 AM  

Wyldfire: ArmednHammered: Wyldfire: ArmednHammered: ambercricket: Do we get a refund of the $3 billion when it gets sunk by a $250 missle in the first 5 minutes of a war?

Name me the $250 missile that can sink a modern combat ship.
No hurry, i"ll wait....I spend more than that on Bourbon in a month!

You are officially my new favorite person on fark.

First time I've heard that, thank you!
/for the record, currently drunk on vodak ;-)

And I lol'd on the refresh, we bought each other TF!

I've switched to Tanquerry Rangpur, but I've been drinking Breckenridge Bourbon, Corsair Triple Smoke, and MacAllen 12 tonight. Good times.

I found a local Bourbon called Breaker that is awesome. The distiller knows his stuff as there is virtually no hangover from unwanted alcohols (methyl and proponal).
Enjoy the month of TF!
 
2014-04-14 01:43:13 AM  

Infernalist: I'm all for keeping up with military tech so we don't fall behind, but we're DECADES ahead of the closest competitor behind us and the top 15 spenders are stacked with about 13 allies.

Maybe we need to consider thinking about planning a committee to discuss the possibility of drafting an order to maybe ponder the possibility of looking into perhaps CUTTING UNNEEDED EXPENSES.  MAYBE.

Unless our new laser-armed Destroyer can shoot and kill the abstract concepts and concrete realities of widespread Poverty and Homelessness.  Then by all means, let's build a farking dozen of them.


As an engineer who often works in defense let me say that no, the US not that far ahead.

I'm all for cutting unneeded expenses. Having a DoD customer that can come up with realistic requirements and then STICK WITH THEM would be a great start. I know engineers who have been working for 10+ years who have never, ever gotten to the hardware stage of their programs due to politics, economy and the absolutely stupid way that defense programs are managed.

Back to my point: There's basically no emphasis on innovation outside of R&D programs, which are a small part of contractors' budgets. Contracts people and managers want to do only what is required-- no more. And it often happens that that a program does less than what is required for a working system because of missing requirements. Do the engineers care? Yes. We do. It's a kick in the balls every time years of hard work gets heaped in the trash-bin. And from a practical perspective you miss on on experience too: How do you learn how to build a system without ever building a system? (A real problem that I've seen frequently.)

How many times have I had to FIGHT for time and budget just to conduct *necessary* testing that was never in the budget or schedule, or to work a critical task that was never scheduled? Often enough that I won't work defense programs at large companies any more. If I have to fight to do my job well, that's a pretty good sign that the company's attitude towards innovation and technology sucks. And if the DoD customer continues to give that company money, that's a pretty good indication that the DoD acquisition process also sucks.

There are thousands and thousands of people who do their defense jobs well-- I'd say *most* people. But the current DoD acquisition process blows. And the lawyers, managers and beancounters at all the primes are *experts* at playing by the government's rules-- to the companies' advantage. It's one reason I roll my eyes when I hear about defense contractors wasting money. They're not stupid. The government doesn't want to make the required processes more efficient. So why would the prime contractors do it spontaneously? Why would they do more work than is necessary to keep the government happy?

Same strategy many people use at their employers every day.

Really the solution is to have a larger number of smaller, more agile programs. But the DoD can't handle that because they'd have to deforest N America to redo the paperwork. And companies won't do it spontaneously (with exceptions, like IRAD) because there's only one customer: the DoD. And who knows if they'll actually buy it.
 
2014-04-14 01:43:59 AM  

Wyldfire: ArmednHammeredemail me sir.


you have ultrafark mail.
 
2014-04-14 01:47:38 AM  
...the warship sports advanced technology and a stealthy shape designed to minimise its visibility on enemy radar and reduce the size of its crew.

"Captain, there's a fishing vessel out here that's piloted by mice."
 
2014-04-14 01:52:26 AM  
ArmednHammered wait you play eve online? :o
 
2014-04-14 01:54:53 AM  

TuteTibiImperes: 433: My cousin works with the navy testing metal tolerances.  The last project he worked on was a railgun, which he described as a powderless projectile.  He also said it could penetrate 3" of steel.  Serious weapon - don't know if it's made it to the armory or anything yet.

Maybe this destroyer has it.

Here's a cool video of them testing it.  It will undergo sea trials on the upcoming USNS Millinocket.


WOAH F*CK!

You know, of course, that this is why we keep on having wars. Because they keep making these insanely cool weapons and the war geeks who build and use them keep wanting to field-test them against a hostile army just to see what they'll do in real-life.
 
2014-04-14 02:00:46 AM  
Among the 15,000-tonne destroyer's cutting-edge features are a composite deckhouse with hidden radar and sensors and an angular shape that officials say will allow it to be confused for a small fishing boat on radars.

I've got an idea.

We'll make it a Q-Ship but just on radar.

That's bloody brilliant.

They'll never see us coming.
 
2014-04-14 02:00:52 AM  

Gyrfalcon: TuteTibiImperes: 433: My cousin works with the navy testing metal tolerances.  The last project he worked on was a railgun, which he described as a powderless projectile.  He also said it could penetrate 3" of steel.  Serious weapon - don't know if it's made it to the armory or anything yet.

Maybe this destroyer has it.

Here's a cool video of them testing it.  It will undergo sea trials on the upcoming USNS Millinocket.

WOAH F*CK!

You know, of course, that this is why we keep on having wars. Because they keep making these insanely cool weapons and the war geeks who build and use them keep wanting to field-test them against a hostile army just to see what they'll do in real-life.


They finally figured out that they couldn't do that with nukes so they had to come up with something a little less "permanent" for everyone, so to speak, to play with. Our tax dollars at work. Drones and the TSA are a good example of farking with us but not quite killing us.
 
2014-04-14 02:13:02 AM  

Glendale: Well, if you're going to have a navy, I would hope that is a core competency.


I think they teach it in basic
 
2014-04-14 02:20:01 AM  

gopher321: Your Tax Dollars At Work!


/pew pew pew


zum zum zum!
 
2014-04-14 02:21:10 AM  

ArmednHammered: Gyrfalcon: TuteTibiImperes: 433: My cousin works with the navy testing metal tolerances.  The last project he worked on was a railgun, which he described as a powderless projectile.  He also said it could penetrate 3" of steel.  Serious weapon - don't know if it's made it to the armory or anything yet.

Maybe this destroyer has it.

Here's a cool video of them testing it.  It will undergo sea trials on the upcoming USNS Millinocket.

WOAH F*CK!

You know, of course, that this is why we keep on having wars. Because they keep making these insanely cool weapons and the war geeks who build and use them keep wanting to field-test them against a hostile army just to see what they'll do in real-life.

They finally figured out that they couldn't do that with nukes so they had to come up with something a little less "permanent" for everyone, so to speak, to play with. Our tax dollars at work. Drones and the TSA are a good example of farking with us but not quite killing us.


No "finally" about it. They've been doing that for decades: See the Harrier, Stealth, MOAB, and Apache programs, just off the top of my head. "This is so neat! What else can we do?" meanwhile, the two best weapons for asymmetrical war were and still are the AK-47 (designed in, obviously, 1947) and the RPG-7 grenade launcher, which can take down everything from a human being to a fully armed Nighthawk helicopter. Those two weapons brought both the USSR and America to their knees in Afghanistan, cool weapons and awesome firepower notwithstanding.
 
2014-04-14 02:28:49 AM  

Gyrfalcon: ArmednHammered: Gyrfalcon: TuteTibiImperes: 433: My cousin works with the navy testing metal tolerances.  The last project he worked on was a railgun, which he described as a powderless projectile.  He also said it could penetrate 3" of steel.  Serious weapon - don't know if it's made it to the armory or anything yet.

Maybe this destroyer has it.

Here's a cool video of them testing it.  It will undergo sea trials on the upcoming USNS Millinocket.

WOAH F*CK!

You know, of course, that this is why we keep on having wars. Because they keep making these insanely cool weapons and the war geeks who build and use them keep wanting to field-test them against a hostile army just to see what they'll do in real-life.

They finally figured out that they couldn't do that with nukes so they had to come up with something a little less "permanent" for everyone, so to speak, to play with. Our tax dollars at work. Drones and the TSA are a good example of farking with us but not quite killing us.

No "finally" about it. They've been doing that for decades: See the Harrier, Stealth, MOAB, and Apache programs, just off the top of my head. "This is so neat! What else can we do?" meanwhile, the two best weapons for asymmetrical war were and still are the AK-47 (designed in, obviously, 1947) and the RPG-7 grenade launcher, which can take down everything from a human being to a fully armed Nighthawk helicopter. Those two weapons brought both the USSR and America to their knees in Afghanistan, cool weapons and awesome firepower notwithstanding.


All true, I was just saying that they can't 'use' the nukes like all the other toys they've come up with. Wouldn't want endanger their stockpiles of booze or their vacation homes on Martha's Vineyard.
I'd put the M-14 up against the AK any day though.
 
2014-04-14 02:37:33 AM  

Infernalist: I'm all for keeping up with military tech so we don't fall behind, but we're DECADES ahead of the closest competitor behind us and the top 15 spenders are stacked with about 13 allies.

Maybe we need to consider thinking about planning a committee to discuss the possibility of drafting an order to maybe ponder the possibility of looking into perhaps CUTTING UNNEEDED EXPENSES.  MAYBE.

Unless our new laser-armed Destroyer can shoot and kill the abstract concepts and concrete realities of widespread Poverty and Homelessness.  Then by all means, let's build a farking dozen of them.


So purely to pay devil's advocate...

* Having *a* military that you can use to advocate your national interests is useful.  We can argue about absolute utility, but, for example, not fighting the Cold War was not an option.  The ~5% we spend in GDP is at least in some part recaptured via technology trickle-down to the civilian economy (internet, GPS, etc, etc), ability to advance our interests around the world, and general global stability.

oracletalk.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com

* For fairly fundamental reasons, US military forces will always be outnumbered.  They may have local superiority at some point in time, but the ability of any one force deployed across several thousand miles of ocean by a country numbering but 300 million souls into a world numbering several biilions to have numerical superiority is unlikely and certainly likely to prove economically impractical (Also, there's fairly hard logistical limits).  And for various political reasons both geo and normal, the USA *must* be deployed to every theater of the world in the name of her interests.  (So saying "Cut military expenses" is easy, saying "Let the Middle East go to hell OR Stop opposing Russia OR Stop opposing China" is both politically impossible and likely long-term counterproductive when it comes to cutting costs.[1]).

* The intersection of the previous points therefore decrees that, for example, the deployment of a US carrier or 2 must *therefore* be considered roughly equivalent to a large section of China's air-force.  We use *carriers* in the way that Europe used million-man ARMIES because our carriers are just that awesome.

* And the only way to achieve this military superiority while being greatly outnumbered is via the combination of having a *hilarious* technology superiority[2] and lots and lots of alliances.  And even with the alliances, "We'll give you a 40-year boost technically" is DAMN useful when it comes to making them in the first place.

* And meanwhile, it's ENTIRELY possible to convince another country to try to compete with you on a technological front, and this was explicit US policy for a while:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategy_of_Technology.  Because either they compete with you OR (assuming that the average tech provides a return on investment) eventually you hit a Tanks vs. Spears case.

* There's also the interesting side issue where Americans are *very* politically sensitive about casualties.  Note that the odds of dying as a soldier in Iraq were notably lower than the odds of dying in the ghetto, and were roughly an ORDER of MAGNITUDE lower than Vietnam, and we were still having a political shiatfest.  So if you only deploy 70 planes, when the whole thing goes to shiat (and it's war.  It DOES), you only have to explain why you lost 70 planes.  And meanwhile, because your planes are *better* than their planes, you were less likely to lose 70 planes in the first place.

So we've established that the hilarious technological superiority is *useful*.  (Oh, and meanwhile, you get a LOT of trained engineers who go off and do interesting things in the civilian economy.  STEM excellence correlates to national wealth at .94).

* It's easier to copy than to make new things.  Mind you, making new things has benefits in and of its own, but "Oh hey, let's steal all the parts of that crashed stealth helicopter and copy it" is way easier.

Well, we'd better be researching a TON.  Or we get to start losing a lot of wars.

Personally, I like America having a superior military up to a point and think America's military superiority rests on 3 pillars (note: not military.  If anyone wants to call me out for an idiot on these points and explain *why*, go nuts.  Legitimately curious):

1) Tech.  See above.
2) Culture.  Getting a carrier to run properly is *hard*.  Getting into a place where you can literally create 100:1 casualty rates is *hard*.  Doing combined arms well is *hard*.  I get the impression that this is largely due to lots of little tricks passed down through the generations, and I have a moderate worry that in the event that something requires a massive expansion, that those tricks will be lost
3) And meanwhile, you can't expand quickly.  i don't know how much of this is budgetary or how much you could parallelize this, but a Ford-class carrier takes EIGHT years to build. WW2 took six.  So the force you put into battle IS the force you fight the war with.  How long did it take to get a better HUMVEE?  And even then, If you did solve this problem, how many casualties would you take and how *much* stuff would you lose because of #2 before you got your act together?

So my fundamental objections to cutting the military too far are those 3.  And the current friskiness of China, Russia, Iran, and their various proxies of course.  That's not to say that you can't cut, that's not to say that military procurement isn't completely broken, etc, etc, etc, but there's a limit.

Oh, and it's worth pointing out that America's military budgets are at a stupid low.  Remember how AWESOME the 50's were economically?  Yeah, that was 12-15% of GDP.  Throw in another 1-2% for the highways ($400 cost, $2 Trillion GDP in 1950), and that's the ballgame.  What income redistribution and what welfare state are you talking about?  Well, either that or the 1950's weren't *that* awesome.

[1]: This is the reason why I tend to use 5% as a long-term military budget.  Yes, Clinton got us down to 3.4% (by completely ignoring Al-Qaeda), but only because Reagan beat the Soviets on 8%(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategy_of_Technology), and whatever you may think of the 2 Gulf Wars, after 9/11 (and the previous decade of Al-Qaeda), we were *doing* at least one of them,, and that was 6%-ish.  We're dealing with Russia, we're dealing with China, and we're dealing with the Middle East.  So yeah, at least 5%.

[2]: And technological superiority is not always technological.   http://www.killology.com/book_oncombat_summary.htm. Lot of little cultural tricks that need to be maintained.
 
2014-04-14 02:47:03 AM  
I don't know if I'd want to be on a Zumwalt in a high sea. There's a good reason why tumblehome hulls went out of fashion in like 1910. With no stabilizers, it's going to be a wild ride.
 
2014-04-14 02:47:58 AM  
Crew of that thing is going to be hating life. Since full crew is going to be half a standard crew, that probably means (at best) three section duty in home port and port & starboard underway and in other ports. Lets see...

MAA & DMAA force
Galley crew
24/7 Quarterdeck watch (PooW, CoW, MooW)
24/7 Message Center
Inport fire team / R&A team
Engineering watch (depending on hot/cold iron)
add in the sick, lame, lazy, TAD, and on leave

"I'll take 'assign me to a ship with a full farking crew' for 36 months, Alex"

/and none of the above takes into account everyone's 'normal' jobs
//piers and parking lots don't watch themselves either
 
2014-04-14 03:00:55 AM  
How is this a destroyer?  It's longer and heavier than a guided missile cruiser.  Hell, it's 3/4 the length of one of the old Iowa class WWII battleships, from back when we still made battleships, or a current fleet carrier.

Calling these things destroyers is like calling an Abrams tank an armored fighting vehicle.
 
2014-04-14 03:16:48 AM  

meyerkev: Infernalist: I'm all for keeping up with military tech so we don't fall behind, but we're DECADES ahead of the closest competitor behind us and the top 15 spenders are stacked with about 13 allies.

Maybe we need to consider thinking about planning a committee to discuss the possibility of drafting an order to maybe ponder the possibility of looking into perhaps CUTTING UNNEEDED EXPENSES.  MAYBE.

Unless our new laser-armed Destroyer can shoot and kill the abstract concepts and concrete realities of widespread Poverty and Homelessness.  Then by all means, let's build a farking dozen of them.

So purely to pay devil's advocate...

* Having *a* military that you can use to advocate your national interests is useful.  We can argue about absolute utility, but, for example, not fighting the Cold War was not an option.  The ~5% we spend in GDP is at least in some part recaptured via technology trickle-down to the civilian economy (internet, GPS, etc, etc), ability to advance our interests around the world, and general global stability.

[oracletalk.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com image 555x299]

* For fairly fundamental reasons, US military forces will always be outnumbered.  They may have local superiority at some point in time, but the ability of any one force deployed across several thousand miles of ocean by a country numbering but 300 million souls into a world numbering several biilions to have numerical superiority is unlikely and certainly likely to prove economically impractical (Also, there's fairly hard logistical limits).  And for various political reasons both geo and normal, the USA *must* be deployed to every theater of the world in the name of her interests.  (So saying "Cut military expenses" is easy, saying "Let the Middle East go to hell OR Stop opposing Russia OR Stop opposing China" is both politically impossible and likely long-term counterproductive when it comes to cutting costs.[1]).

* The intersection of the previous points therefore decrees that, for ...


This can't be the first venue you've presented this argument.  It certainly shouldn't be the last.
 
2014-04-14 03:17:44 AM  

DigitalCoffee: Crew of that thing is going to be hating life. Since full crew is going to be half a standard crew, that probably means (at best) three section duty in home port and port & starboard underway and in other ports. Lets see...

MAA & DMAA force
Galley crew
24/7 Quarterdeck watch (PooW, CoW, MooW)
24/7 Message Center
Inport fire team / R&A team
Engineering watch (depending on hot/cold iron)
add in the sick, lame, lazy, TAD, and on leave

"I'll take 'assign me to a ship with a full farking crew' for 36 months, Alex"

/and none of the above takes into account everyone's 'normal' jobs
//piers and parking lots don't watch themselves either


We'll always have contractors to pick up the slack!
 
2014-04-14 03:32:11 AM  
Don't worry folks - we can pay for these with another tax cut for the 1%!
 
2014-04-14 03:47:29 AM  
meyerkev: (...) Yes, Clinton got us down to 3.4% (by completely ignoring Al-Qaeda), but (...)

AHAHAHA!

Yeah, it was totally Clinton, who didn't take the threat seriously in 2001. Totally.
 
2014-04-14 04:04:26 AM  

Public Savant: meyerkev: (...) Yes, Clinton got us down to 3.4% (by completely ignoring Al-Qaeda), but (...)

AHAHAHA!

Yeah, it was totally Clinton, who didn't take the threat seriously in 2001. Totally.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_al-Qaeda_attacks

They were being *a* threat throughout the 90's.  Not saying they were worth going after at that point, OR that Bush's response was effective (Politically necessary Yes, Effective not really), but it's not like they showed up out of the blue on 9/11.

And much more importantly, Clinton inherited an easy decade between the collapse of the Soviet Union and Al-qaeda becoming a threat that *must* be gone after for political reasons (and the resulting complete destabilization of the Middle East), the Russian recovery, and China going completely insane that coincided with a major economic boom.  Sure, we were doing things, but "Cost of fighting Cold War" >> "Cost of entering Kosovo".

My subpoint, to which the parentheses were a poor addition, is that I don't think that that low level of military engagement is sustainable over the long run Something's always going to come up.  Like Al-Qaeda.  Or China, Russia, and Iran.  Or in a historical reductio ad absurdum, WW1-> Isolationism -> WW2 vs. WW2 -> Cold War/70-year occupation of Germany and Japan and active resistance to the Soviets and their allies -> NOT fighting WW3.  Expensive, but cheaper than WW3.
 
2014-04-14 04:13:55 AM  

shtychkn: Infernalist: I'm all for keeping up with military tech so we don't fall behind, but we're DECADES ahead of the closest competitor behind us and the top 15 spenders are stacked with about 13 allies.

Maybe we need to consider thinking about planning a committee to discuss the possibility of drafting an order to maybe ponder the possibility of looking into perhaps CUTTING UNNEEDED EXPENSES.  MAYBE.

Unless our new laser-armed Destroyer can shoot and kill the abstract concepts and concrete realities of widespread Poverty and Homelessness.  Then by all means, let's build a farking dozen of them.

My only problem with new advancement is that wet find it by selling of our old tech.

We should never sell our tech to anyone. I want to be generations ahead of anyone else.


Why? Not only do we sell them new old stock but also fat contracts for spare parts. That means it will be easier to bring mothballed weapons system back online because we maintain the supply chain on parts. Also if we cut someone off from those parts it becomes fairly difficult for them to maintain.
 
2014-04-14 04:20:40 AM  

Public Savant: meyerkev: (...) Yes, Clinton got us down to 3.4% (by completely ignoring Al-Qaeda), but (...)

AHAHAHA!

Yeah, it was totally Clinton, who didn't take the threat seriously in 2001. Totally.


Looking back, it's easy to see that we should have taken al-Qaeda "more seriously" in the 1990's, and taken al-Bashar up on his terrorist-leader-for-sale-CHEEP offer when the Sudanese warlord was selling off his assets; but that's in hindsight. Yes, al-Qaeda was A threat; they weren't THE threat that they would become; and there were other, larger and better funded terrorist groups (the Tamil Tigers, the Islamic Jihad, and the IRA, just off the top of my head) that still needed careful monitoring.

And we DID crush one cell of al-Qaeda in Yemen after the Cole attack, which everyone tends to forget, because Clinton sent in not the Marines but the FBI, who went after them with the Yemeni secret police and killed or imprisoned nearly all of them. It was all on the QT of course, and well under anyone's radar, but they did. It was Clinton's restrained response to the Cole attack that likely got us 9/11, because bin Laden was hoping that would be seen as the act of war Bush no doubt would have taken it as, and then we'd have been at war in Yemen instead of Afghanistan; and Saudi Arabia would have been in a much tougher spot.

But all that is 20/20 monday morning quarterbacking. There was no reason to go after al-Qaeda in the 90's, because they weren't a threat until September 11, 2001.
 
2014-04-14 04:30:10 AM  

ambercricket: Do we get a refund of the $3 billion when it gets sunk by a $250 missle in the first 5 minutes of a war?


Yeah, that 'half the number of crewmen needed' is all well and good until something bad happens, and suddenly you need warm bodies to fight the fires, stop the leaks and tend to the wounded in addition to running the ship.
 
2014-04-14 04:32:06 AM  

Gyrfalcon: Public Savant: meyerkev: (...) Yes, Clinton got us down to 3.4% (by completely ignoring Al-Qaeda), but (...)

AHAHAHA!

Yeah, it was totally Clinton, who didn't take the threat seriously in 2001. Totally.

Looking back, it's easy to see that we should have taken al-Qaeda "more seriously" in the 1990's, and taken al-Bashar up on his terrorist-leader-for-sale-CHEEP offer when the Sudanese warlord was selling off his assets; but that's in hindsight. Yes, al-Qaeda was A threat; they weren't THE threat that they would become; and there were other, larger and better funded terrorist groups (the Tamil Tigers, the Islamic Jihad, and the IRA, just off the top of my head) that still needed careful monitoring.

And we DID crush one cell of al-Qaeda in Yemen after the Cole attack, which everyone tends to forget, because Clinton sent in not the Marines but the FBI, who went after them with the Yemeni secret police and killed or imprisoned nearly all of them. It was all on the QT of course, and well under anyone's radar, but they did. It was Clinton's restrained response to the Cole attack that likely got us 9/11, because bin Laden was hoping that would be seen as the act of war Bush no doubt would have taken it as, and then we'd have been at war in Yemen instead of Afghanistan; and Saudi Arabia would have been in a much tougher spot.

But all that is 20/20 monday morning quarterbacking. There was no reason to go after al-Qaeda in the 90's, because they weren't a threat until September 11, 2001.


I was not at my most-paying-attention-est in the 90s, but Clinton's version of it (as of a couple years ago) was that he wanted to go in harder after the Cole attack, but that the Republican Congress would not approve whatever it was he wanted to do.
 
2014-04-14 04:57:02 AM  
Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.  LASER is actually correct capitalization, and an acronym is only correct for such shortenings that have been used as words, like scuba.
 
2014-04-14 06:07:25 AM  
Wonder if they have canister shot for close up, beat the crap out somebody fight.
 
2014-04-14 06:19:05 AM  
Thanks, Obama.
 
2014-04-14 06:42:35 AM  
You know, meyerkev, keeping America its Invincible Greatness primarily benefits the 1%.  They are real concerned about keeping our current systems in place exactly as they are.

The rest of us are fine with a little more risk and a few more schools.
 
2014-04-14 07:12:33 AM  

meyerkev: Oh, and it's worth pointing out that America's military budgets are at a stupid low.  Remember how AWESOME the 50's were economically?  Yeah, that was 12-15% of GDP.  Throw in another 1-2% for the highways ($400 cost, $2 Trillion GDP in 1950), and that's the ballgame.  What income redistribution and what welfare state are you talking about?  Well, either that or the 1950's weren't *that* awesome.


The economic boom of the 50s had a lot to do with most of the production capability in Europe having been destroyed in WWII, and the rest of the world not having invested enough to step in and fill the void.  We had the industrial capacity due to the huge buildup to produce armaments during the war, and when the war ended we were ready to transition that to produce the goods the rest of the world needed.

To be in the same position again we'd need another war that wipes out the industrial sectors in the rest of the developed world.
 
2014-04-14 07:14:49 AM  

Don't Troll Me Bro!: NightSteel: Fuggin Bizzy: TuteTibiImperes: Here's a cool video of them testing it.

So...if this is a "powderless" weapon, where does all that billowing fire come from when the railgun is discharged? I realize there's a shiat-ton of energy being put into the projectile, but how does that turn into fire?

I'm pretty sure that's just friction.  Mach 7 would generate an incredible amount of heat.  In fact, it makes me wonder how many FPS they need to shoot in order to get video of the projectile.

It's not so much the fps that impresses me.  It's the ability of the camera to react and track something with not only that kind of speed, but that amount of acceleration and jerk.


how could the fps (frames per second) not impress you yet the very effect that they have on the video be impressive?  That'd be like if I said evolution isn't impressive but the way species differentiate, well, that's impressive.
 
2014-04-14 07:51:14 AM  
$1 per laser fire? Whatever happened to $100,000 single fire handheld rockets?

/disappoint
 
2014-04-14 08:02:00 AM  

Satan's Dumptruck Driver: How many times have I had to FIGHT for time and budget just to conduct *necessary* testing that was never in the budget or schedule, or to work a critical task that was never scheduled? Often enough that I won't work defense programs at large companies any more.


That's some project management gold there, Lou.

And it happens everywhere, not just at Brobdingnagian defense companies.
 
2014-04-14 08:18:20 AM  

syrynxx: Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.  LASER is actually correct capitalization, and an acronym is only correct for such shortenings that have been used as words, like scuba.


resources2.news.com.au
 
2014-04-14 08:56:21 AM  
Pretty sure the article has it wrong that this is the "first" electric-driven ship.    Subs are electric.  But some surface ships use electric motors driven by turbine generators. That's what the Zumwalt does. It has gas turbines driving generators to not power the props but other systems.
 
2014-04-14 09:02:12 AM  

China White Tea: An-Unnecessarily-Long-Name: 433: My cousin works with the navy testing metal tolerances.  The last project he worked on was a railgun, which he described as a powderless projectile.  He also said it could penetrate 3" of steel.  Serious weapon - don't know if it's made it to the armory or anything yet.

Maybe this destroyer has it.

3" of steel. Are you sure it's not 3'?

Yeah, I would hope that was supposed to be 3 feet.  3 inches of steel isn't really that wild.


Actually, it is if you consider the energy used to expel the solid projectile  the size of a 12oz soda can at velocities higher than conventional weapons.  The rail gun will be able to target the magazine of an enemy vessel from miles away and detonate that ordinance in order to destroy the vessel.
 
2014-04-14 09:08:26 AM  

shtychkn: Infernalist: I'm all for keeping up with military tech so we don't fall behind, but we're DECADES ahead of the closest competitor behind us and the top 15 spenders are stacked with about 13 allies.

Maybe we need to consider thinking about planning a committee to discuss the possibility of drafting an order to maybe ponder the possibility of looking into perhaps CUTTING UNNEEDED EXPENSES.  MAYBE.

Unless our new laser-armed Destroyer can shoot and kill the abstract concepts and concrete realities of widespread Poverty and Homelessness.  Then by all means, let's build a farking dozen of them.

My only problem with new advancement is that wet find it by selling of our old tech.

We should never sell our tech to anyone. I want to be generations ahead of anyone else.


I agree, that's part if the problem with the whole "decades ahead" and "spend more than the next X combined" arguments. Yes it took us decades and billions to research and build, but they catch up much more quickly due to information dissemination. Bleeding edge is expensive and time consuming.

\see cell phone networks for a nice little case study.
 
2014-04-14 09:10:11 AM  

Gary-L: China White Tea: An-Unnecessarily-Long-Name: 433: My cousin works with the navy testing metal tolerances.  The last project he worked on was a railgun, which he described as a powderless projectile.  He also said it could penetrate 3" of steel.  Serious weapon - don't know if it's made it to the armory or anything yet.

Maybe this destroyer has it.

3" of steel. Are you sure it's not 3'?

Yeah, I would hope that was supposed to be 3 feet.  3 inches of steel isn't really that wild.

Actually, it is if you consider the energy used to expel the solid projectile  the size of a 12oz soda can at velocities higher than conventional weapons.  The rail gun will be able to target the magazine of an enemy vessel from miles away and detonate that ordinance in order to destroy the vessel.


How long to fire each round in case it's wavy and the target is moving?
 
2014-04-14 09:26:08 AM  

DerpHerder: shtychkn: Infernalist: I'm all for keeping up with military tech so we don't fall behind, but we're DECADES ahead of the closest competitor behind us and the top 15 spenders are stacked with about 13 allies.

Maybe we need to consider thinking about planning a committee to discuss the possibility of drafting an order to maybe ponder the possibility of looking into perhaps CUTTING UNNEEDED EXPENSES.  MAYBE.

Unless our new laser-armed Destroyer can shoot and kill the abstract concepts and concrete realities of widespread Poverty and Homelessness.  Then by all means, let's build a farking dozen of them.

My only problem with new advancement is that wet find it by selling of our old tech.

We should never sell our tech to anyone. I want to be generations ahead of anyone else.

Why? Not only do we sell them new old stock but also fat contracts for spare parts. That means it will be easier to bring mothballed weapons system back online because we maintain the supply chain on parts. Also if we cut someone off from those parts it becomes fairly difficult for them to maintain.


Because it eats into our advantage.
 
2014-04-14 09:30:37 AM  

gopher321: Rail guns fire a projectile at six or seven times the speed of sound - enough velocity to cause severe damage...


[i58.tinypic.com image 200x200]


Or 10 even...
 
2014-04-14 09:30:37 AM  

meyerkev: Infernalist: I'm all for keeping up with military tech so we don't fall behind, but we're DECADES ahead of the closest competitor behind us and the top 15 spenders are stacked with about 13 allies.

Maybe we need to consider thinking about planning a committee to discuss the possibility of drafting an order to maybe ponder the possibility of looking into perhaps CUTTING UNNEEDED EXPENSES.  MAYBE.

Unless our new laser-armed Destroyer can shoot and kill the abstract concepts and concrete realities of widespread Poverty and Homelessness.  Then by all means, let's build a farking dozen of them.

So purely to pay devil's advocate...

* Having *a* military that you can use to advocate your national interests is useful.  We can argue about absolute utility, but, for example, not fighting the Cold War was not an option.  The ~5% we spend in GDP is at least in some part recaptured via technology trickle-down to the civilian economy (internet, GPS, etc, etc), ability to advance our interests around the world, and general global stability.

[oracletalk.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com image 555x299]

* For fairly fundamental reasons, US military forces will always be outnumbered.  They may have local superiority at some point in time, but the ability of any one force deployed across several thousand miles of ocean by a country numbering but 300 million souls into a world numbering several biilions to have numerical superiority is unlikely and certainly likely to prove economically impractical (Also, there's fairly hard logistical limits).  And for various political reasons both geo and normal, the USA *must* be deployed to every theater of the world in the name of her interests.  (So saying "Cut military expenses" is easy, saying "Let the Middle East go to hell OR Stop opposing Russia OR Stop opposing China" is both politically impossible and likely long-term counterproductive when it comes to cutting costs.[1]).

* The intersection of the previous points therefore decrees that, for ...


Yes thats all well and good. But I think we can do without another new toy for a bit to help get our finances in order.
 
2014-04-14 09:34:53 AM  
So no one will be fishing if a naval war breaks out, the enemy will shoot at anything small that pops up on radar.  Also its not invisible, I bet a satelite can see it.
 
2014-04-14 09:37:20 AM  

Infernalist: I'm all for keeping up with military tech so we don't fall behind, but we're DECADES ahead of the closest competitor behind us and the top 15 spenders are stacked with about 13 allies.


Are we really though?  This is mostly propaganda that you have been fed, combined with a bit of self affirmation.  We certainly spend more than anybody else, but pretty much any time we come up with a cool new toy, other nations feel compelled to match or counter them in a hurry... and they do so.
 
2014-04-14 09:37:26 AM  

TuteTibiImperes: Fuggin Bizzy: TuteTibiImperes: Here's a cool video of them testing it.

So...if this is a "powderless" weapon, where does all that billowing fire come from when the railgun is discharged? I realize there's a shiat-ton of energy being put into the projectile, but how does that turn into fire?

It fire the projectile at up to Mach 7.  The fire is the air in the barrel being turned into plasma and burning from the extreme heat, pressure, and energy involved in moving the projectile down the rails and out of the barrel.


Mach 10... might even go higher


Mach 10 rail-gun test from 2 years ago, throwing a brick shaped projectile to prove that bricks can fly.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8Uv1-CCY80
 
2014-04-14 09:46:42 AM  

Deacon Blue: Glendale: Well, if you're going to have a navy, I would hope that is a core competency.

I think they teach it in basic


10 IF SHIP > WATER THEN GOTO 50
20 ABANDON SHIP
30 END
50 FIRE RAILGUN
 
2014-04-14 09:53:12 AM  

jeanwearinfool: Don't Troll Me Bro!: NightSteel: Fuggin Bizzy: TuteTibiImperes: Here's a cool video of them testing it.

So...if this is a "powderless" weapon, where does all that billowing fire come from when the railgun is discharged? I realize there's a shiat-ton of energy being put into the projectile, but how does that turn into fire?

I'm pretty sure that's just friction.  Mach 7 would generate an incredible amount of heat.  In fact, it makes me wonder how many FPS they need to shoot in order to get video of the projectile.

It's not so much the fps that impresses me.  It's the ability of the camera to react and track something with not only that kind of speed, but that amount of acceleration and jerk.

how could the fps (frames per second) not impress you yet the very effect that they have on the video be impressive?  That'd be like if I said evolution isn't impressive but the way species differentiate, well, that's impressive.


We've had million+ fps cameras for a while now.  We had some tricks during the atomic bomb tests to coordinate cameras to get million fps videos.  I've just never seen video of them tracking something.  It's always been with the camera sitting still and an object moving through it's view.  So, for me anyway, the 'wow' factor was the tracking, not the fps.
 
2014-04-14 10:19:48 AM  

parahaps: Gyrfalcon: Public Savant: meyerkev: (...) Yes, Clinton got us down to 3.4% (by completely ignoring Al-Qaeda), but (...)

AHAHAHA!

Yeah, it was totally Clinton, who didn't take the threat seriously in 2001. Totally.

Looking back, it's easy to see that we should have taken al-Qaeda "more seriously" in the 1990's, and taken al-Bashar up on his terrorist-leader-for-sale-CHEEP offer when the Sudanese warlord was selling off his assets; but that's in hindsight. Yes, al-Qaeda was A threat; they weren't THE threat that they would become; and there were other, larger and better funded terrorist groups (the Tamil Tigers, the Islamic Jihad, and the IRA, just off the top of my head) that still needed careful monitoring.

And we DID crush one cell of al-Qaeda in Yemen after the Cole attack, which everyone tends to forget, because Clinton sent in not the Marines but the FBI, who went after them with the Yemeni secret police and killed or imprisoned nearly all of them. It was all on the QT of course, and well under anyone's radar, but they did. It was Clinton's restrained response to the Cole attack that likely got us 9/11, because bin Laden was hoping that would be seen as the act of war Bush no doubt would have taken it as, and then we'd have been at war in Yemen instead of Afghanistan; and Saudi Arabia would have been in a much tougher spot.

But all that is 20/20 monday morning quarterbacking. There was no reason to go after al-Qaeda in the 90's, because they weren't a threat until September 11, 2001.

I was not at my most-paying-attention-est in the 90s, but Clinton's version of it (as of a couple years ago) was that he wanted to go in harder after the Cole attack, but that the Republican Congress would not approve whatever it was he wanted to do.


"Wag the dog situation."  Am I the only one that remembers when the GOP made that meme a description of every single facet of Clinton's foreign policy?

Or how about Dubya's quote: "When I take action, I'm not going to fire a $2 million missile at a $10 empty tent and hit a camel in the butt. It's going to be decisive."

Of course, i don't have ROOM for the host of reasons Meyerkev's comments on economic policy are wrong.  The concepts are so fundamentally flawed it's like explaining how the Sun does not go into the ocean every night.
 
2014-04-14 10:22:15 AM  

Satan's Dumptruck Driver: Infernalist: I'm all for keeping up with military tech so we don't fall behind, but we're DECADES ahead of the closest competitor behind us and the top 15 spenders are stacked with about 13 allies.

Maybe we need to consider thinking about planning a committee to discuss the possibility of drafting an order to maybe ponder the possibility of looking into perhaps CUTTING UNNEEDED EXPENSES.  MAYBE.

Unless our new laser-armed Destroyer can shoot and kill the abstract concepts and concrete realities of widespread Poverty and Homelessness.  Then by all means, let's build a farking dozen of them.

As an engineer who often works in defense let me say that no, the US not that far ahead.

I'm all for cutting unneeded expenses. Having a DoD customer that can come up with realistic requirements and then STICK WITH THEM would be a great start. I know engineers who have been working for 10+ years who have never, ever gotten to the hardware stage of their programs due to politics, economy and the absolutely stupid way that defense programs are managed.

Back to my point: There's basically no emphasis on innovation outside of R&D programs, which are a small part of contractors' budgets. Contracts people and managers want to do only what is required-- no more. And it often happens that that a program does less than what is required for a working system because of missing requirements. Do the engineers care? Yes. We do. It's a kick in the balls every time years of hard work gets heaped in the trash-bin. And from a practical perspective you miss on on experience too: How do you learn how to build a system without ever building a system? (A real problem that I've seen frequently.)

How many times have I had to FIGHT for time and budget just to conduct *necessary* testing that was never in the budget or schedule, or to work a critical task that was never scheduled? Often enough that I won't work defense programs at large companies any more. If I have to fight to do my job well, that's ...


This.
 
2014-04-14 10:24:05 AM  
XM radio? Are taxpayers paying for the Vivid Radio channel?

/and they should be
//for our men and women serving our country.
 
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