U.S. Navy and marines poised for Disaster in the 21st Century

Click on the now retired Royal Navy Sea Harrier to continue for Falklands War Lessons the U.S. Navy/Mc ignore!




Maybe if we had some affordable-to-fly-24/7/365 prop planes [www.reocities.com/usnavyindanger/seaplanefighters.htm] we'd have some air cover over our surface ships?


TEHRAN, June 1 (UPI) -- An Iranian unmanned aerial vehicle purportedly buzzed a U.S. carrier in the Persian Gulf for 25 minutes before safely returning to its base.

Azerbaijan's Trend news agency reported on May 31 that according to an unidentified senior Iranian official, "our pilotless reconnaissance plane flew over the USS Ronald Reagan in the Persian Gulf unnoticed to the Americans for 25 minutes," according to Iran's Fars news agency.

While the official declined to give an exact date and time for the flight, he added that U.S. military radars tracked the UAV after 25 minutes, but although four fighters and two helicopters were sent to intercept it the UAV crossed the border back into Iran and landed before interception.

The official boasted, "This points to holes in the U.S. military reconnaissance systems deployed in the Persian Gulf."

The United States and its coalition partners currently have about 45 vessels in the Gulf and Red Sea region, including the USS Ronald Reagan, the Navy's newest aircraft carrier, and five escorts.


Iran Uses UAV To Watch U.S. Aircraft Carrier On Gulf Patrol

An image grab taken from Iran's Al-Alam television station 11 November 2006 shows what the TV claims is a US aircraft carrier cruising in Gulf waters.

Photo courtesy of AL-ALAM TV and AFP.
by Staff Writers Tehran (AFP) Nov 11, 2006

Iran's Arabic language television station on Saturday broadcast footage it claimed showed a U.S. aircraft carrier cruising in Gulf waters it said was taken by an unmanned Iranian drone. The brief minute-long film, which was shown on Al-Alam television's evening news bulletin, showed wobbly aerial footage of an aircraft carrier stacked with war planes as it sailed.

The television's anchor said the film, the property of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard, showed a vessel from "the U.S. fleet in the Persian Gulf".

"A source in the Revolutionary Guard said the drone carried out its mission without U.S. fighter pilots reaching it," the television said.

It said there were 10 such films taken by the drone which showed "more precise information and details about military equipment, foreign forces, and their activities in the Persian Gulf."

The station did not name the vessel nor did it say when the footage was shot.

The broadcast comes near the end of Iran's latest 10-day war games, "Great Prophet II", which military chiefs have said were aimed at showing off Iran's defensive prowess and testing new military hardware.

The war games coincided with U.S.-led naval manoeuvres in the Gulf off Iran aimed at halting arms-trafficking, the first time such an exercise has been held in the area.

Source: Agence France-Presse

Related Links

UAV Technology at SpaceWar.com



Lessons Not Learned: The U.S. Navy's Status Quo Culture (Hardcover)

by Roger Thompson (Author)


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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Despite its reputation as the most impressive naval force in the world, the U.S. Navy is in trouble, according to the author of this book, and systemic weaknesses could be its undoing. Here, military sociologist Roger Thompson provides a compelling, often scathing, assessment of the U.S. Navy and its learning disabilities and then presents a convincing argument for reform. Thompson points to the U.S. Navy's up-or-out promotion system, massive personnel turnover, inexperienced crews, and drug and alcohol abuse as problems that make it difficult for the Navy to build cohesive, well-trained fighting units. In a review of the Navy s recent history, he finds that its ships, submarines, and aircraft are often outperformed in competitions and exercises with other navies and its failures are either denied altogether or perfunctorily excused. Diesel submarines so quiet that they are rarely detected until it s too late to prevent an attack routinely surpass expensive U.S. nuclear subs and put U.S. aircraft carriers in danger. American naval pilots, whose weapons are often improperly tested, are frequently bested by military pilots from other countries. Because the U.S. Navy doesn't have enough surface ships to protect its capital ships, American carrier strike groups now use Canadian ships as escorts. Shortcomings like these, Thompson argues, undermine the Navy's potential and should be cause for national concern.

In presenting a side of the U.S. Navy that is rarely discussed, this book spells out lessons the Navy must learn if it is going to succeed in an era of asymmetrical warfare of David-versus-Goliath conflicts. In his conclusion, the author puts forth a twelve-step program that calls on the U.S. Navy to rethink its naval strategy, to lose some weight, and to focus on the fundamentals.

About the Author

Roger Thompson is an internationally recognized authority on combat motivation, military sociology, and military bureaucratic politics whose work has drawn praise worldwide, including an Admiral's Medallion from the chief of staff of the Italian navy. His book Brown Shoes, Black Shoes and Felt Slippers: Parochialism and the Evolution of the Post-War U.S. Navy was called "essential reading" by Adm. Elmo R. Zumwalt Jr. and is now considered a classic. Many of his essays have been published in leading journals and his papers presented at international conferences. Currently Thompson lectures at Kyung Hee University in South Korea.


Product Details

Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: U.S. Naval Institute Press (April 6, 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1591148650
ISBN-13: 978-1591148654
Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 0.9 inches
Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)


"Thompson has written the most important military reform book in almost a decade and certainly the most important book for the post-20th century U.S. Navy, ever. The USN is on a collision course with disaster and to try to save it, Thompson ambushes the reader immediately with a flurry of covered-up facts and incidents not unlike the missiles, bombs, torpedoes and sea mines that are going to overwhelm the Navy in real life as it goes down overcome by events (OBE). This book is a slap-in-the-face to make the USN wake up before its indeed too late since there is no internal constructive criticism taking place now.

The main shortcoming of the book is that it had to be arrayed as a non-linear series of ambushes in all directions and could not be layed out logically in a cause-effect manner because the snobs in the USN would not go along for such a ride by refusing to accept the truth that they are screwed up at the very first step. Thompson's book establishes that the USN is OBE and screwed up by a myriad of inter-connected facts that cannot be disputed. What needs to happen next is a SEQUEL: 'Lessons that Must Be Learned' that starts from A as to why the USN is FUBAR and how to fix it with B, C, D etc."

A former Sailor writes:

"We can only hope that it doesn't take the loss of multiple carriers (and thousands of men) to make the Navy wake up and start dealing with reality. The civilians in charge are as bad as the admirals. Most of them are drawn from the corporate world and have ties to the MICC-TT complex. They're not about to bite the hand that feeds them. We need civilian leaders with guts, vision, and determination, who are ruthless enough to 'chop off some heads' and replace the gatekeepers of the status quo with men who have fresh ideas and the willingness to adapt and overcome the challenges facing the 21st-century USN. Currently our Navy has a 19th-century mindset in its culture and traditions. We must replace the British RN-style 'officers are royalty, enlisted Sailors are peasants' mentality if we want to attract and retain the high-quality enlisted personnel we need to man our Fleet. This antiquated policy breeds visceral hatred and resentment within enlisted Sailors. The internet is full of vitriolic web sites authored by ex-Navy enlisted men, a phenomenom I don't see with regards to the other branches of the military. This problem flows downward from Annapolis and the Pentagon (shit rolls downhill), and needs to be addressed at all levels, not just officers but NCOs as well. Elimination of intraservice rivalries is another top priority. We also need to restore a sense of team unity and a warrior mentality, aka 'fighting spirit.' These qualities are sorely lacking in today's Navy, and it shows. Navy personnel development is focused on technical proficiency, with little if any regard for ability and readiness to fight. If we enter a war in which the USN will actually be called upon to fight (other than launching aircraft sorties and fielding 'mud Sailors' like Special Warfare, EOD, and Seabees), I fear the results will be disastrous and the loss of life will be devastating. It could also cost us victory in battle. It's vital that we address these issues before the Navy suffers a major combat catastrophe."


Brown Shoes, Black Shoes and Felt Slippers: Parochialism and the Evolution of the Post-War U.S. Navy, 1995 Strategic Research Report 5-95 to the U.S. Naval War College

Endorsement of the book by former U.S. Navy Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Elmo Zumwalt for everyone in the Navyto read this book!



Are U.S. Navy surface ships sitting ducks to enemies with modern weapons? Headline News Military Home Real Estate Home Reed Home

By John T. Reed

In this article, I am acting like the child who pointed out that the emperor had no clothes

I am a West Point graduate. No doubt Navy people will scoff at the notion that I can comment intelligently about the Navy.

I am undeterred by scoffing or résumé-based arguments which are intellectually dishonest.

Falkland Islands war

On May 4, 1982, a French Mirage jet owned and operated by the Argentinian Air Force fired a French Exocet missile at the H.M.S. Sheffield, a British Navy destroyer. The missile did so much damage that the British decided to scuttle (sink) rather than repair the ship.

The Argentinians also sunk the British ships Ardent, Antelope, Atlantic Conveyor, and Coventry and badly damaged Argonaut and Brilliant. In addition, 13 Argentinian bombs hit British ships and did not explode because of defective detonators.

1967 Israel-Egypt Six-Day War

On 10/21/67, two Egyptian patrol boats—like large U.S. WW II PT boats—sank the Israeli destroyer Eliat, which was a 26-year-old former British destroyer. The Soviet-made patrol boats were P-6s with a crew of 25 each and a speed of 43 knots. They fired four SS-N-2 Styx missiles. Three hit and the Israeli destroyer broke in half and sank within two hours. The two Egyptian boats were not harmed.

Computer naval war games against the Soviets

I have read media stories that said whenever the U.S. Navy did computer war games against the Soviet Union, all significant U.S. Navy surface ships were destroyed by the Soviets within about 20 minutes of the start of the computerized war. How? Nukes.

Although the Navy ships and their carrier-based planes perform spectacularly well against third-rate enemies like Afghanistan and Iraq, I wonder how they would do against Argentina or any other enemy equipped with modern weapons.

In short, I wonder if U.S. Navy surface vessels are obsolete.

Think about it.

They are large, slow-moving, metal objects that float on the surface of the ocean—in the Twenty-First Century!

Ocean liners were the main way to get across the oceans for civilian passengers until the second half of the Twentieth Century. Since then, most people have used planes because they are much faster and cheaper. Except the U.S. military. Civilians essentially got rid of their “navy” around 1950. Only the hidebound military would still have a Navy in the Twenty-First Century.

Nowadays, civilians only ride passenger ships for pleasure cruises. An argument can be made that the Navy does the same. Only maybe the old line, “you can tell the men from the boys by the size of their toys” is a more accurate way to put it.

Navy brass want to grow up to captain a ship. A big ship. The bigger the better.

Before WWII, they wanted to be captains of battleships. After WW II, British historian B.H. Liddell Hart said, “A battleship had long been to an admiral what a cathedral is to a bishop.” Now Navy officers want to captain aircraft carriers. Very exciting. Very romantic. Great fun. But obsolete.

WWII in the Pacific last time they were not obsolete

The last time we used them to fight worthy opponents was in the Pacific during World War II. At that time, warring navies had to send out slow-moving patrol planes to search for the enemy’s ships. The motion picture Midway does an excellent job of showing both the Japanese and the Americans doing this.

Low-visibility weather would often hide ships back then.

Easily detected

Those days are long gone. Surface ships are not only easily seen by the human eye absent fog or clouds, they are also easily detected, pinpointed, and tracked by such technologies as radar, sonar, infrared detectors, motion detectors, noise detectors, magnetic field detectors, and so forth.

Nowadays, you can probably create an Exocet-type, anti-ship missile from stuff you could buy at Radio Shack. Surface ships can no longer hide from the enemy like they did in World War II.


Satellites and spy planes obviate the need for World War II-type patrol planes and dirigibles.

Too slow

Anti-ship missiles can travel at speeds up to, what, 20,000 miles an hour in the case of an ICBM aimed at a carrier task force. Carriers move at 30 knots which is 34.6 miles per hour.

Too thin-skinned

Can you armor the ships so anti-ship missiles do not damage them? Nope. They have to stay relatively light so they can float and go 34.6 miles per hour.

Cannot defend themselves

Can you arm them with anti-missile defenses? They are trying. They have electronic Gatling guns that automatically shoot down the incoming missiles. But no doubt those Gatling guns have a certain capacity as to number of targets they can hit at a time and range and ammunition limitations. They also, like any mechanical device, would malfunction at times. Generally, one would expect that if the enemy fired enough missiles at a Gatling-gun-equipped ship, one or more would eventually get through. How many? Let’s say the capacity of an aircraft carrier and its entourage body-guard ships to stop simultaneous Exocet-type anti-ship missiles is X. The enemy then need only simultaneously fire X + 1 such missiles to damage or sink the carrier.

In the alternative, the enemy could fire one Exocet-type missile at a time at the carrier. Unless they are programmed otherwise, having only one such target, all the relevant guns would fire at it, thereby exhausting the carrier task force’s anti- missile ammunition more quickly, in which case fewer than X +1 Exocet-type missiles might be enough to put the carrier out of action.

As Japan’s top WW II Admiral Yamamoto said, “There is no such thing as an unsinkable ship. The fiercest serpent may be overcome by a swarm of ants.”

U.S. warships also have electronic warfare jamming devices that screw up the guidance systems of some types of incoming missiles. These, of course, are ineffective against nuclear-tipped missiles that need little guidance.

Furthermore, if the enemy uses 20,000-miles-per-hour nuclear missiles, there is no known anti-missile defense. They move too fast for the electronic Gatling guns and do not need to ever get within the Gatling guns’ range to destroy the ships. Our enemy certainly would use nukes if they had enough of them and were in an all-out war against us.

Cannot hide, run, or defend themselves

In summary, Navy surface ships cannot hide from a modern enemy. They cannot run from a modern enemy. And they cannot defend themselves against a modern enemy.

Accordingly, they are only useful for action against backward enemies like Afghanistan and Iraq or drug smugglers.

Militant stepchild

The Navy has long been a sort of stepchild in the American military. And it has been a very militant stepchild throwing such ferocious tantrums that it was able to get its own air force—Navy carrier-based planes—and its own army—the U.S. marine corps. Not only does the Navy have its own army and air force, the Navy’s army—the marine corps—has its own air force, too. (Astronaut and later Senator John Glenn was a marine pilot.) Unbelievable.

It should be noted that the Army does not have its own air force or navy. (The Army needs its own helicopters and small fixed-wing planes because they work very closely with ground units in combat.) Nor does the Air Force have its own army or navy. The missions of the Navy pilots could just as easily be carried out by Air Force pilots trained to use carriers as their base. The Army could perform, and does perform, the functions of the marine corps.


The marine corps was originally a bunch of soldiers stationed on ships to board enemy sailing ships and/or to repel boarders from the enemy sailing ships. Those tactics went the way of the wooden sailing ships 150 years ago.

The marine corps then claimed it was needed for amphibious operations. But the biggest amphibious operation ever—D-Day—was all Army—no marines. The marines did famously engage in amphibious operations in the Pacific in World War II, but they screwed up Tarawa pretty good and when they mastered the amphibious landing, there was no indication they were much better at it than the Army was in Europe. Also, it is an extremely limited role. The earth has a lot of water and a lot of land but relatively few beaches.

The marines continue to exist because they scream bloody murder whenever anyone points out that they do not have a separate mission from the Army. I would let them continue to exist and wear their distinctive uniforms in recognition of their history and espirit de Corps, but I would make them a subsidiary of the Army, not the Navy, and their mission would be like that of the Tenth Mountain Division: a specialized Army unit.

"What business are we in?"

At Harvard Business School, the most-commonly-asked question as we analyzed actual business cases from the perspective of the executives of the company was, “What business are we really in?” For example, manufacturers of printers and copiers are really in the toner business.

The most famous article ever printed in the Harvard Business Review was called, “Marketing Myopia.” It said too many companies defined what they do incorrectly, usually overly narrowly. The classic example in the article was that the railroad companies generally failed because they did not realize they were in the transportation business, not the railroad business. When interstate highways and trucks ascended, the railroads regarded those technologies as the enemy. Had they thought of themselves as being in the transportation business, they would have embraced motor vehicles and highways and integrated them into their existing railroad capabilities.

Similarly, it may be that the Navy’s problem is that they think they are in the business of operating ships. When I was a junior at West Point, I spent a long exchange weekend at the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis. During the weekend, a midshipmen expressed contempt for many of the officers there explaining, “They think this is a ship,” while waving his hand at the Bancroft Hall dormitory in which we were sitting. He went on to explain that many officers stationed at Annapolis refer to all floors as “decks,” all doors as “hatches,” all walls as “bulkheads,” and so forth. Sure enough, when I was a senior at West Point, our company tactical officer (disciplinarian) was Navy Lieutenant and Annapolis graduate who was there as an exchange officer. He told cadets visiting him in his office to, “Close the hatch.” He once gave one of my company mates demerits for, “Shoes adrift.” (shoes not lined up under the bed straight enough)

The Army and Air Force have hatches, decks, and bulkheads, too, on tanks and aircraft, but I have never heard of a career tanker or pilot calling a door a “hatch.

The Navy has a great history and tradition and they should make use of it. Many nautical phrases, like “batten down the hatches,” have become part of everyday language and appropriately so. But they are carrying it too far and engaging in affectation when they purport to be such old salts that they can’t stop themselves from calling a door a “hatch.” I point this out only to support my allegation that Navy officers see themselves overly narrowly as ship operators.

In Evan Thomas’s book Sea of Thunder, he says, “Ambitious naval officers avoided staff jobs if at all possible: the route to advancement and fulfillment was command at sea...” It’s hard to command at sea without ships—including very big ships—no matter how obsolete they are. Here’s one more quote from that book about WWII Admiral Bull Halsey. “Halsey was railing against inhumanity, but also against modernity, against a world in which there would be no place for a sea dog like Bill Halsey.

They really are in the business of securing international waterways to prevent enemies from using them to attack us and enabling our military to use international waterways to attack overseas enemies. That being the case, the Navy should either make much more use of aircraft or cede the role to the air force. The role of ships in the world has been greatly reduced, especially in modern war. In other words, it may be that the Navy actually needs its own air force. What the Navy may not need is its own navy.

At the outset of World War II, many erroneously thought that the battleship was the main naval warfare instrument. They quickly learned what the Japanese had already figured out. The aircraft carrier was the main weapon. Sixty years later, the U.S. Navy still thinks the aircraft carrier is the main naval weapon. Nonsense. In modern warfare, the ship is a sort of floating Maginot line.

Weakest link

A chain is as strong as its weakest link. Our new aircraft carriers are mighty in some ways—nuclear propulsion, jet aircraft, computers, nuclear weapons. But the technological chain they comprise has some extremely weak links which would, in a fight with a modern enemy, likely be fatal.

For example, the technology of the hull design is so old that it predates recorded human history—namely, the coffin shape to three sides and the bottom with a V-shaped prow on the front end. Cavemen carved that shape out of trees.

Making it out of steel instead of wood is late Nineteenth Century technology. The first metal-clad ships were the Monitor and the Merrimack in the Civil War.

In terms of propulsion, the recently-built aircraft carrier U.S.S. Ronald Reagan is a steam ship. True, they heat the water with nuclear power rather than wood or coal, but the propellers are turned by steam. Before nuclear steam boilers, diesel engines were the most technologically-advanced ship propulsion. Steam boats are also Nineteenth Century technology.

One Navy guy told me they now use steam turbines instead of steam pistons so I’m wrong about Nineteenth Century technology. Irrelevant. The issue is whether heating water until it turns to steam requires nuclear reactors. It does not. Bunker or diesel oil will do just fine and you can combine bunker-oil-fired boilers with turbines. Most, if not all, land-based electric power plants nowadays use oil, gas, or coal to heat water into steam then send the steam through turbines to turn it into electricity.

Compare today’s Navy ships with those made of wood and powered by sail in the Nineteenth Century In terms of speed, the U.S.S. Lightning was the fastest clipper sailing ship and had a maximum speed of 18 knots under full sail. That is more than half the 30 knot speed of the nuclear powered U.S.S. Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier. Some progress. (A guy who claimed to be knowledgeable about such things said the top speed of the Reagan is actually secret but figures it probably cannot be more than 44 knots. Whatever. There are no modern missiles—conventional- or nuclear-tipped—that can be outrun by a 44-knot ship.)

In contrast, the weapons used to sink ships have increased in speed from about 18 knots (about 21 mph) before gunpowder was invented to the 4 kilometers per second or 8,942 miles per hour that an ICBM warhead reentering the Earth’s atmosphere travels.

If the nuclear engines do not produce much speed, what is the point? They can go a long time without refueling. Actually, not as long as a sail boat, but the wind is not always blowing the right speed or direction while the fission reactor is always hot.

I am not sure there is a lot of difference between putting lipstick on a pig and putting a nuclear reactor on the world’s biggest barge.

Gotta stop for gas every day anyway

Carriers may be nuclear powered, but their planes are not. That means the carrier has to stop for gas every day. So what’s the advantage of not needing to get diesel or bunker oil for the carrier’s own propulsion at the same time? I’ll bet that over the long run, using diesel or bunker oil as the fuel for the carrier’s own propulsion would cost less than using nuclear reactors.

Nuclear power does make sense for submarines because they do not have to gas up their weapons every day.

Navy tantrums

Given their tantrum history, you can imagine how the Navy brass reacts to it being pointed out that their surface ships are obsolete in the modern world against modern enemies. Too bad! The national security is at issue here.

This debate has been going on since General Billy Mitchell. He committed the heresy of pointing out that a plane could sink a ship with a bomb or aerial torpedo. The Navy swore it was not true. Mitchell was court martialed. Later, he was honored by having the B-25 bomber named after him, got the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor, was on a USPS stamp in 1999, and received other honors—all posthumous. The mess hall at the U.S. Air Force Academy is named after Mitchell. But I’ll bet nothing is named after him at the U.S. Naval Academy. I’ll further bet that there are things at the Naval Academy that are named after the Navy brass who persuaded the Army brass to court-martial Mitchell for saying a plane could sink a ship.

Congress and the President and the other services need to stand up, at long last, to their crybaby sibling and allocate the nation’s resources intelligently among the three major services. The fact is that the surface Navy is obsolete in modern warfare. Its budget and role should be drastically reduced accordingly. It is a sort of blue-water coast guard and a provider of floating island air bases (carriers) for actions against militarily-backward countries. I suspect the nation would be stronger, less vulnerable to attack, and have more money for more appropriate weapons if we spent the surface-ship money on longer-range aircraft and missiles and on obtaining rights to overseas island and continental air bases. Land-based aircraft, in addition to not being in danger of having their landing strip sunk, can carry heavier weapons and more of them.

On page 48 of Sea of Thunder, Evan Thomas’s excellent book about the "last great naval battle,” the 1942 Battle of Leyte Gulf, he mentions that bringing one’s carrier within range of shore-based bombers violated naval doctrine.

Back then, the areas of the world’s oceans in which Navy ships dared not go were limited to a strip several hundred miles wide along the world’s coasts—namely the range of land-based military aircraft big enough to carry effective anti-ship weapons. In the late 1940s and early 1950s as the range of land-based piloted aircraft and unmanned missiles grew, the areas of the world’s oceans where navy ships could safely operate shrunk until it disappeared entirely in the 1950s. Nowadays, all ships everywhere in the world are within range of land-based piloted aircraft or sea-, air-, and land-launched missiles. Because of satellites, the locations of all the ships in the world are also known at all times.

And, nowadays, all carriers everywhere on earth are within range of shore-based bombers because some aircraft have almost unlimited range now. And you no longer need manned bombers. Unmanned missiles would probably be a better weapon to use to sink carriers and some of them truly do have unlimited range on planet earth.

"Update your facts"

On 10/7/07, I got a phone message saying that I’d better update my facts because I don’t know what I’m talking about in this article. Tellingly, the caller failed to mention a single specific error in this article.

Fleet week

But as it happened, Fleet Week occurred in San Francisco this past weekend. I live in the San Francisco area. I was planning to take a couple of ship tours at Fleet week and I did on 10-9-07. I visited the USS Vandergrift, a guided missile frigate that no longer has any missiles and the USS Shoup, a guided missile destroyer.

First, I want to thank the crews for letting us civilians visit their ship, especially those crew members who conducted the tours. My wife and I were especially impressed with Chief Kevin on the Shoup.

Did the visits and briefings by the crew members change my mind about U.S. Navy surface ships being sitting ducks? Au contraire! I was shocked to learn that I had understated the case. The ships are more sitting ducks than I realized.

Those are the only weapons they have?!

Let’s start with the Vandergrift. I have no idea why this ship exists. Supposedly, it protects carriers. I don’t know how. It cannot even protect itself. It has a 3-inch deck gun, six torpedo tubes (which are irrelevant to incoming missiles or planes), and an MK 15 Gatling gun. (They also have about four .50 cal machine guns that are mainly for preventing another U.S.S. Cole incident, that is, shooting at small boats when in port.)

You know what other weapons platform had a 76-mm cannon? A World War II Sherman tank. That tank weighed 30 tons, as did what it was shooting at roughly speaking. The Vandergrift weighs 4,100 tons, as do its opponents, if it is lucky. Do you know how long it would take to sink a 4,100-ton ship with a 3-inch gun? Me neither. I doubt it has ever been attempted. I doubt it is even possible. Molotov cocktails would probably be more effective.

They have one Gatling gun. It shoots 4,500 rounds per minute, which sounds impressive. But you cannot shoot any rapid-fire weapon that I am aware of at its maximum rate for very long for at least two reasons:

• You run out of ammo and at least have to stop to insert more ammunition into the high-speed feed mechanism.

• Unless they have some extraordinary cooling mechanism, the metal parts of the weapon will overheat and swell thereby causing the weapon to jam.


I asked and was told that they could not replenish the gun’s ammo while it is firing. They have to stop firing to do that. I do not know how long it takes, but it sounds like several minutes. What gun is protecting the ship during that time?


The Gatling gun is complex and subject to extreme stress while operating. Common sense would tell us that such a device would malfunction frequently. So you need multiple gatling guns both so that some are still operating when the other runs out of ammo and so that others are still operating when one malfunctions. Plus you need one Gatling gun for each incoming missile or plane.

It shoots 4,500 rounds a minute. The rounds are 20-mm, titanium rounds. They have a range of about 2,000 yards—damn close when the target is traveling mach 1 or mach 2.

How much space do 4,500 rounds take up? So much that they can only put 1,550 rounds in one drum that feeds the gun. That drum is about the size of a 55-gallon drum.

So although it can fire 4,500 rounds per minute, it does not have that much ammo attached to the gun. In other words, it can only fire for about one-third of a minute or 20 seconds.

So the more accurate way to put it would be that it can fire 1,550 rounds for twenty seconds and then do it again after you install a new 55-gallon drum size magazine of belted ammo which has to be threaded through a long serpentine guide before the gun is ready to fire. I do not know how long it takes to reload after emptying a 1,550 round magazine drum, but I would guess it’s a couple of minutes at least.

As far as I can tell, the ship is defenseless during that time with regard to close-in targets. I doubt the 3-inch gun is effective at close range because it shoots at too slow a rate per minute (the crewman said 80 rounds per minute but seemed skeptical when he said it) and traverses and elevates too slow.

Can’t shoot forward

But here’s the topper. The Vandergift’s two guns are both on the back of the ship. The commander’s bridge is in the traditional place on the front and facing front. But the ship has to point its rear end at the enemy, like a skunk, to shoot at the enemy. Very simply, it cannot shoot forward because the guns are blocked by the superstructure of the ship. Any enemy plane or missile that managed to attack the ship head on would have nothing to worry about other than the .50 cal. machine guns on the front sides of the weather deck. Those may have, I repeat, may have, been effective anti-aircraft weapons against propeller-driven planes in World War II.

A Vandergrift officer said they have “friends” (other U.S. ships) in the vicinity to help defend them. OK. Now tell me who’s protecting the friends. I expect those friends would say the Vandergrift is. And why does it make more sense to have two ships each with one Gatling gun than one ship with two Gatling guns? Are the guns coordinated electronically between ships? I doubt it. Are guns on the same ship coordinated so they do not shoot at the same target at the same time? I would hope and expect so.


At the end of World War II, U.S. navy ships were covered with anti-aircraft weapons to shoot down kaimkazes. They put one everywhere they could. Now, the U.S. Navy puts one Gatling gun one an entire ship. Why, someone on the tour asked. “Funding” was the answer we got. The Shoup has two Gatling guns, but it just got the second one. Why the delay on the five-year old ship? “Funding.”

This is an $800 million ship. I could not find the cost of the MK15 on the Internet. I wonder why. Anyway, I’ll guess it costs $1 million. So we are risking an $800 million ship and its crew to save the $1 million or whatever that each additional Gatling gun would cost!?


The crews of both ships said they could fire chaff (aluminum foil, or metallic glass or plastic fibers) into the air to confuse the guiding systems of incoming missiles. OK. But two points. That only confuses radar-guided missiles and it confuses all radar guided weapons in the vicinity, including your own. The MK 15 Gatling gun is radar guided. So it will not be hitting any enemy targets while chaff is in the air. And what’s to stop the enemy from using missiles that drop chaff as they approach. Chaff is World War II technology. Our enemies might figure it out.

If there is chaff either from its own ship or from the enemy missile or plane, the MK 15 will put 1,550 rounds of ammo into 1,550 pieces of chaff.


What if the incoming missile or plane is heat-seeking rather than radar guided? The Shoup said they have a infrared decoy they shoot off that orbits the ship to distract heat-seeking enemy weapons. Of course, such a decoy would also screw up our heat-seeking weapons. One type of 3-inch cannon shell is detonated by target heat. Also, many other U.S. weapons, like the Sidewinder air-to-air missile, are heat-seeking. Those weapons cannot be used when an infrared decoy is in the air.

Visual guidance

There is no human way to confuse a visually-guided weapon like a kamikaze or a missile with a video camera that is guided by a guy who can see the target in the video and controls the missile. The public saw some examples of that in Desert Storm where the picture on the TV screen was crosshairs on a building that would rapidly get closer until the picture abruptly ended as the missile struck the target. About the only countermeasure would be smoke if it was not a windy day or intense light that temporarily blinded the enemy. But as with the above countermeasures, they have about the same effect on both the enemy and our guys. We can’t see through smoke or light flashes either.

The Shoup, like the Vandergrift, only has one cannon, but at least it’s a five-inch one. It also has two MK15 gatling guns, one on the front and one on the back of the ship. The Vandergrift has huge radar antennas and a bunch of little tubes that fire chaff that would confuse all radar including their own.

Sure wish someone would explain to me why or surface ships are not sitting ducks. I fear for the men I met today and for the nation they are supposedly protecting. Their training, courage, dedication, and professionalism are all irrelevant if they are the target of a missile they cannot stop. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.


One of the Vandergrift’s missions is to send boarding parties to suspect ships and boats. When the U.S. Navy did that once in the Persian Gulf in recent years, the suspicious boat which was approaching U.S. Navy warships, turned out to be a suicide bomb and all the U.S. sailors on the boarding party were killed. I suggest we knock off that tactic in suicide bomber territory and just draw a line in the water. Cross it, and we vaporize you. No boarding or even getting close enough to get hit. The civilians will figure out soon enough to stay away from U.S. warships like they did in World War II.

Maybe the majority of U.S. service people killed in the last six years died because we were pussyfooting around trying to avoid civilian casualties and the enemy was using that against us by disguising vicious enemy fighters as innocent civilians.


The Shoup has 80 missile silos that can hold one to for missiles each. Some of those are GPS guided. They are also multi-purpose depending upon the type of missile they put in each. They have available ship-to-ship, anti-submarine, anti-air, and ship-to-land (cruise missiles). The public saw the latter used in wars against Iraq. The typical video showed the missile blasting off straight up then seeming to falter before taking off at jetliner speed for the target.

Generally, those missile silos are impressive, but a couple of things. I asked if they had more missiles on board than were in the 80 silos. Yes. Another guy asked if they could reload the silos themselves. No. They need to meet up with a ship that has a crane. I would expect they have to do that in port also. Doesn’t seem like they could use a crane on one ship to drop a missile into a silo on another while the two ships are bucking up and down and rolling end-to-end and side-to-side. Well, then what’s the point of having extra missiles on board? To make it easier for the enemy to hit the ship’s magazine and blow it up? The missiles are all bunched together with 16 on the front deck and 64 on the back deck. Seems like one enemy round hitting the deck in the right spot could disable all the silos at that end of the ship.

Again, except for visual and GPS-guided missiles, it would appear that the Shoup would screw up its own missiles if it were taking chaff or infrared countermeasures against enemy missiles while firing its own. And GPS missiles can probably be fouled up by radio jamming or, in the case of advanced nations, shooting down the satellites.

When you think about it, World War II weapons were arguably more reliable if less accurate. The number of things that can go wrong with high tech is far greater and we have gone 62 years without a naval opponent who would test our Navy. I expect 62 years without a test means we’re cruisin’ for a bruisin’. In all wars, including World War II and our next naval war, the two sides constantly modify their tactics and weapons. In the early years of World War II, our torpedoes did not work because they had been inadequately and dishonestly tested before the war. In Desert Storm, the same thing happened with our Patriot anti-missile missiles. In its early years, the M-16 assault rifle kept jamming because they Army refused to follow the recommendations of the inventor of the rifle regarding chrome plating the firing chamber and inside of the barrel.

Have we really adequately tested the MK 15 Gatling gun in enough realistic circumstances to have shaken out all the problems like overheating and reloading? I doubt it. High-tech weapons cost so much that the military cannot afford to fire them very often.

In World War II, the Germans would wait until the Americans had used up a clip of ammo to attack. They could count the number of shots and hear the pling of the [ED: M1 Garand] clip being ejected when they were fighting from close range. Seems like an advanced navy could do something similar with the Shoup.

So I am able to report to the guy who said I’d better update my facts: mission accomplished.

The Navy needs to update its testing to make sure all possible problems are taken into account and the tactics, training, ships, and/or weapons modified appropriately. I think the Navy needs to sell the Vandergrift to the Coast Guard. It is too impotent to be a Navy ship.

John T. Reed

CHICOM submarine mugs the USS KittyHawk off coast of Okinawa: U.S. Navy not taking submarine threat seriously has retired ASW aircraft

Short-range ASW helicopters are NOT enough to deter submarine attack. We retired the carrier-based long-range S-3 Viking fixed-wing planes leaving our 11 x large aircraft carriers and ALL OTHER SURFACE SHIPS fatally vulnerable to submarine attack. Our land-based P-3C Orion long-range fixed-wing aircraft are worn out and numbers dwindling.

IF we are going to survive on the surface of the water, we need a LOT OF ASW AIRCRAFT this means ASW seaplanes on every surface ship, MORE long-range ASW planes, and A LOT OF CARGO SHIPS CONVERTED INTO ESCORT CARRIERS.

In WW2, FDR had to ORDER the navy to use cargo ship escort carriers to win WW2 against the German U-Boats and Japanese subs. Our admirals are in love with a few large status-symbol aircraft carriers and have neglected the aircraft operating from them to boot instead of the less glamorous things needed to prevail against not just submarines, but anti-ship missiles and air attacks as well.


China sub stalked U.S. fleet

By Bill Gertz
November 13, 2006

A Chinese submarine stalked a U.S. aircraft carrier battle group in the Pacific last month and surfaced within firing range of its torpedoes and missiles before being detected, The Washington Times has learned.

The surprise encounter highlights China's continuing efforts to prepare for a future conflict with the U.S., despite Pentagon efforts to try to boost relations with Beijing's communist-ruled military.

The submarine encounter with the USS Kitty Hawk and its accompanying warships also is an embarrassment to the commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific, Adm. William J. Fallon, who is engaged in an ambitious military exchange program with China aimed at improving relations between the two nations' militaries.

Disclosure of the incident comes as Adm. Gary Roughead, commander of the U.S. Navy's Pacific Fleet, is making his first visit to China. The four-star admiral was scheduled to meet senior Chinese military leaders during the weeklong visit, which began over the weekend.

According to the defense officials, the Chinese Song-class diesel-powered attack submarine shadowed the Kitty Hawk undetected and surfaced within five miles of the carrier Oct. 26.

The surfaced submarine was spotted by a "routine" surveillance flight by one of the carrier group's planes. The Kitty Hawk battle group includes an attack submarine and anti-submarine helicopters that are charged with protecting the warships from submarine attack.

According to the officials, the submarine is equipped with Russian-made wake-homing torpedoes and anti-ship cruise missiles. The Kitty Hawk and several other warships were deployed in ocean waters near Okinawa at the time, as part of a "routine" fall deployment program. The officials said Chinese submarines rarely have operated in deep water far from Chinese shores or shadowed U.S. vessels.

A Pacific Command spokesman declined to comment on the incident, saying details were classified. Pentagon spokesmen also declined to comment.

The incident is a setback for the aggressive U.S.-China military exchange program being promoted by Adm. Fallon, who has made several visits to China in recent months in an attempt to develop closer ties. [EDITOR: you mean their torpedoes slamming into our warship hulls?]

However, critics of the program in the Pentagon say China has not reciprocated and continues to deny U.S. military visitors access to key facilities, including a Beijing command center.

In contrast, Chinese military visitors have been invited to military exercises and sensitive U.S. facilities. Additionally, military intelligence officials said Adm. Fallon has restricted U.S. intelligence-gathering activities against China, fearing that disclosure of the activities would upset relations with Beijing.

The restrictions are hindering efforts to know more about China's military buildup, the officials said. "This is a harbinger of a stronger Chinese reaction to America's military presence in East Asia," said Richard Fisher, a Chinese military specialist with the International Assessment and Strategy Center, who called the submarine incident alarming.

"Given the long range of new Chinese sub-launched anti-ship missiles and those purchased from Russia, this incident is very serious," he said. "It will likely happen again, only because Chinese submarine captains of 40 to 50 new modern submarines entering their navy will want to test their mettle against the 7th Fleet."

Pentagon intelligence officials say China's military buildup in recent years has produced large numbers of submarines and surface ships, seeking to control larger portions of international waters in Asia, a move U.S. officials fear could restrict the flow of oil from the Middle East to Asia in the future.

Between 2002 and last year, China built 14 new submarines, including new Song-class vessels and several other types, both diesel- and nuclear-powered.

Since 1996, when the United States dispatched two aircraft carrier battle groups to waters near Taiwan in a show of force, Beijing also has bought and built weapons designed specifically to attack U.S. aircraft carriers and other warships. "The Chinese have made it clear that they understand the importance of the submarine in any kind of offensive or defensive strategy to deal with a military conflict," an intelligence official said recently.

In late 2004, China dispatched a Han-class submarine to waters near Guam, Taiwan and Japan. Japan's military went on emergency alert after the submarine surfaced in Japanese waters.

Beijing apologized for the incursion. The Pentagon's latest annual report on Chinese military power stated that China is investing heavily in weapons designed "to interdict, at long ranges, aircraft carrier and expeditionary strike groups that might deploy to the western Pacific."

It could not be learned whether the U.S. government lodged a protest with China's government over the incident or otherwise raised the matter in official channels.


An All-Submarine Navy

Mike Burleson
June 19, 2007

Last week, the third in a new class of "underwater battleships", the USS Michigan, joined the fleet after a $1 billion face lift. The 4 converted subs of the Ohio class, former Trident missile ships, are the undersea equivalent of the reborn Iowa class from the 1980’s. Armed with over 150 Tomahawk cruise missiles, plus the ability to carry Special Forces and unmanned vehicles, they give the Navy an incredible ability to strike decisively from the sea.

I am of the opinion that in full-scale shooting war at sea, the U.S. surface navy will be devastated in the first day, by the combination of cruise missiles and stealthy submarines. The survivors would all be forced into port, unable to participate in the counterattack, which would likely be initiated by our own deadly nuclear attack submarines.

What this means is, our current force of colossal and pricey warships including aircraft carriers, cruisers, destroyers, and amphibious ships are obsolete in today’s precision, push-button warfare. They are also tremendously expensive to build and operate, with only the richest of earth’s superpowers able to afford them in ever declining numbers. If this wasn’t reason enough for maritime nations to reevaluate their shipbuilding priorities, there are few if any jobs the surface fleet can do which the submarine cannot. I’ll elaborate:

Command of the Sea

Submariners say there are only 2 types of ships: submarines and targets. There are valid reasons for this. Since World War 2 anti-submarine defenses have failed to match the attack boat’s advancements in speed, stealth, and weaponry. For instance, since 1945 the average speed of destroyers has remained at 30 knots, with only nuclear vessels able to maintain this rate for any period. In contrast, the velocity of nuclear attack submarines, beginning with the launch of USS Nautilus in 1954, has tripled and quadrupled from around 10 knots submerged to 30-40 knots.

Also, an anti-submarine vessel must get within a few miles of an enemy sub to fire its rockets or torpedoes. Its only long-range defense, the helicopter, is slow and must linger in a vulnerable hover while its sonar buoys seek out their prey. Some Russian-built boats come equipped with anti-aircraft missiles which make this standard ASW tactic suicidal.

In contrast, a modern submarine can launch its missiles from 75 miles away and farther. Should it choose to close the distance, as occurred when a Chinese Song class stalked the USS Kitty Hawk last year, to fire its ship killing torpedoes, it can do so at speeds as fast as and sometimes surpassing surface warships. Whether attacking with cruise missiles or wake-homing torpedoes the attack boat remains submerged; the preeminent stealth vessel.

The sub has likely held this dominate position on the high seas, since the dawn of the first nuke ships beginning in the 1950’s. The only lacking factor has been a full-scale naval war to prove it. The single example is the sinking of the Argentine cruiser Belgrano 25 years ago by the British submarine HMS Conqueror in the Falklands Conflict. Afterward, the Argentine Navy fled to port and remained there!

Commerce Raiding/Protection:

This traditional role of the submarine is one which it excelled in the last century. The difference today is, neither America nor Britain has the capability to mass produce the thousands of anti-submarine escorts which just barely defeated Germany’s U-boats in 2 world wars, even if it would matter. In the next war at sea, the submarine would bring all commerce to a halt, making a mockery of the globalized free market system. The only counter to this menace is perhaps a combination of aircraft and submarine escorts, with the latter acting as the destroyer, shepherding its convoy through the “shark” ridden waters.

Amphibious Assault

Admittedly, this is not a role in which the submarine excels at, with its sparse crew and cargo capacity. Where they do stand out is the ability to land small raiding parties, like the elite Navy SEALs, and underwater demolition teams in preparation for a full-scale assault.

Still, with the submarine maintaining command of the seas, it would allow a surface amphibious task force free reign against an enemy beachhead. Rather than requiring expensive standing amphibs, reserve vessels could be maintained on both our coasts, with a cadre crew ready for any emergency. Some could also be rapidly converted with landing strips for heloes or whatever air assets are needed. Some small and inexpensive littoral ships fitted with cannon could provide escort close to shore.

For standard peacekeeping operations, some large subs could be built or converted for troop carrying, as in the above mentioned Michigan. The ex-ballistic missile warship and her three sisters can load up to 66 SEALs, or more, I imagine, in a pinch, plus their equipment.


If America were to suddenly lose her preeminent surface fleet of carrier groups in such a future conflict, she would still have an excellent and capable submarine force to carry the fight to the enemy. The Navy says it must build 2 boats per year to maintain 50 in commission. Perhaps a doubling or tripling of this number would be necessary to replace the surface ships in the manner I propose. A fleet of 100-150 nuke submarines would be far cheaper to maintain, but also doubtless give the USN an unmatched mastery at sea for the rest of the century.

Even our Nuclear Submarines are Too Noisy and Crews Inept!

Video still from the acclaimed 1954 documentary "Victory at Sea" shows german U-Boat crewman safety roped to his conning tower in the North Atlantic during WW2.

Recently, some USN submariners were swept off the conning tower and drowned. Even the WW2 German Navy knew that men must be tied in with safety lines.

Now there is the revelations from noted journalist Ed Offley that the USS Scorpion was sank by the Soviets in 1968--in an act of war that was ignored.



Thursday, May 21, 1998

Navy says sinking of the Scorpion was an accident; revelations suggest a darker scenario


The nuclear submarine USS Scorpion got the top secret message shortly before midnight: Change course and head for the Canary Islands, where a mysterious collection of Soviet ships had caught the Navy's eye.

Thirty-three minutes later, the Scorpion surfaced at the U.S. submarine base at Rota, Spain, to transfer two crewmen ashore via a Navy tug. The men had emergency leave orders, one for a family matter, the other for medical reasons. It was May 17, 1968, and it was the last time anyone saw the Scorpion. The submarine sank five days later.

More than five months later, the Scorpion's wreckage was found on the ocean floor, two miles deep in the Atlantic. All 99 men aboard had died. Spokesman Cmdr. Frank Thorp on Tuesday repeated the Navy's position the Scorpion sank because of a malfunction while returning to its home port of Norfolk, Va. "While the precise cause of the loss remains undetermined, there is no information to support the theory that the submarine's loss resulted from hostile action of any involvement by a Soviet ship or submarine." Thorp said.

But in fact, the Scorpion was at the center of a web of espionage, high-tech surveillance and a possible Cold War military clash that resulted in alleged agreement by both the United States and the former Soviet Union to cover up the full accounting of what happened.

A review of hundreds of documents and interviews with dozens of current and former military personnel presents a scenario dramatically different from the official Navy version:

-- The Scorpion was not on a routine crossing of the Atlantic, but had been diverted to a top-secret mission to spy on a group of Soviet ships, including a nuclear submarine.

-- Although the Navy's official explanation was of a mechanical malfunction, that countermanded an earlier conclusion by a panel of senior Navy officials that the Scorpion was sunk by a torpedo. The panel concluded it was one of the Scorpion's own torpedoes, gone awry. Experts still disagree about whether it could have been a Soviet torpedo.

-- The Scorpion believed it was operating in secret, but John Walker, the Navy's most notorious spy, had given the Soviets the codes they needed to track the U.S. submarine in the hours before it sank. The Soviets had the ability to monitor all electronic transmissions to the Scorpion, including the encrypted orders sending it on its spy mission.

-- Several Russian admirals say senior Navy officials in both the United States and the Soviet Union agreed to never disclose details of the Scorpion incident and the loss of a Soviet missile sub in the Pacific two months earlier in 1968. To do so, they say, could have seriously damaged U.S.-Soviet relations.

A senior admiral in the Pentagon at the time of the Scorpion sinking said in a recent interview that U.S. intelligence agencies feared the submarine was headed into possible danger, based on intercepted Soviet naval communications in the Atlantic.

"There was some communications analysis ... that the Scorpion had been detected by the group she had been shadowing and conceivably they had trailed her," retired Vice Adm. Philip Beshany said. "There were some speculations that not only did they track her but attacked her."

Beshany at the time was a rear admiral in charge of the Navy's submarine warfare programs and had access to the most critical intelligence data. However, Beshany said to his recollection the intelligence of Soviet hostility was never confirmed.

There is evidence that indirectly supports Beshany's assertion that the U.S. intelligence community learned of a possible confrontation between the Scorpion and the Soviet warships it had been sent to spy on.

The Navy mounted a secret search for the submarine within 24 hours of its sinking, several retired admirals told the Post-Intelligencer. The search was so highly classified that the rest of the Navy, and even a Navy Court of Inquiry that investigated the sinking later in 1968, were never told about it. Friends and relatives of the Scorpion crew were told nothing; they still assumed the sub was on its way home.

The deepest secret, however, was on the Soviet side.

No one in the U.S. Navy -- including the top admirals who sent the Scorpion on its spy mission -- knew at the time how deeply the Soviets had penetrated U.S. Navy submarine codes, thanks to Navy Warrant Officer Walker, the man behind the worst espionage scandal in Navy history, one that may have resulted in the sinking of the Scorpion.

The mission

Commissioned in 1959, the Scorpion was designed primarily for anti-submarine warfare against the Soviet nuclear sub fleet. It also carried special teams of Russian-speaking linguists to eavesdrop on transmissions by the Soviet Navy and other military units.

Its final mission began on May 17, 1968.

Led by Cmdr. Francis Slattery, the Scorpion had just completed a three-month deployment to the Mediterranean Sea with the U.S. 6th Fleet and was on its way home to Norfolk, Va., when an encrypted order clattered out of a teletypewriter in the sub's small radio room.

Vice Adm. Arnold Schade, commander of the Atlantic Submarine Force in Norfolk, had a new mission for the Scorpion. The sub was ordered to head at high speed toward the Canary Islands, 1,500 miles away off the east coast of Africa, to spy on a group of Soviet ships lurking in the eastern Atlantic southwest of the island chain. The Soviet ships there included a an Echo-II class nuclear submarine designed to attack aircraft carriers but also armed with anti-submarine torpedoes.

For the next five days, the Scorpion sprinted toward its target.

What happened when the Scorpion arrived there remains a Cold War secret. The Navy has never given an official explanation of its keen interest in the Soviet ship activity, and the Court of Inquiry that probed the loss of the Scorpion in the summer and fall of 1968 said nothing about the sub's spy mission against the Soviet ships.

The court described the Soviet presence as an undefined "hydro-acoustic" research operation involving two research vessels and a submarine rescue ship among others, implying the Soviets were merely engaging in research on oceanographic studies of sound effects in the ocean rather than a military mission.

But Beshany, the director of submarine warfare at the time, said in a recent interview that Pentagon officials had been concerned the Soviets were developing a way to support warships and submarines at sea without requiring access to foreign seaports for supplies.

"This was absolutely something totally different (from normal Soviet procedures)," Beshany said. Until that time, the Soviet Navy had rarely conducted prolonged operations at sea far from home ports, he noted. Beshany's Pentagon assistant at the time of the sinking, Capt. W.N. "Buck" Dietzen, backed that up in a recent interview.

"We recognized the high desirability of getting ... over there and taking a look at them (the Soviets)," said Dietzen, who retired as a rear admiral. "I was salivating in the (Pentagon) corridors to find out what they were doing." The Navy has yet to declassify details of the Scorpion surveillance mission. The Navy said in 1968 that Schade sent a message to the Scorpion on May 20 assigning the sub a course and speed for its homeward trip once the surveillance mission ended.

Just after 3 a.m. on May 22 -- the day the Scorpion sank -- Cmdr. Slattery finished transmitting a message to Schade that the Scorpion would arrive in Norfolk on May 27 at 1 p.m., Navy officials said in 1968. Later in 1968, after revealing only that the sub had been on a "mission of higher classification" before it sank, Navy officials said Slattery had reported his mission ended and was heading home.

The texts of both messages are still classified top secret.

But was the Scorpion's mission actually over?

One Navy officer at a key location in 1968 has contradicted the account the Navy gave that year that the submarine was nowhere near the Soviets at the time it was lost.

Lt. John Rogers, a Navy communications officer working at the Atlantic Submarine Force headquarters message center in Norfolk in 1968, was the duty officer the night Slattery's last message arrived.

Rogers said in a 1986 interview with author Pete Earley that Slattery had actually announced he was about to begin the surveillance of the Soviets, rather than reporting the mission's completion. Rogers died in 1995, but his widow, Bernice Rogers, confirmed in a recent interview that her husband had told her the Scorpion had disappeared while actually carrying out the surveillance mission against the Soviets.

"My husband was at the (submarine force) message center as communications officer the night that message came in," Bernice Rogers said. "He would have known what was going on. We had talked about it since then."

What is known is that fifteen hours after sending its final message, the Scorpion exploded at 6:44 p.m. and sank in more than 2 miles of water about 400 miles southwest of the Azores.

What brought the Scorpion down?

For nearly three decades, the Navy said it could not identify the "certain cause" of the loss of the Scorpion and refused to release the conclusions of the Court of Inquiry, citing security concerns and Cold War tensions. The seven-man court of high-ranking naval officers held hearings during the summer and late fall of 1968, and in January 1969 completed its report, which was kept classified for 24 years.

In late 1993, the Navy declassified most of the court's conclusions. Headed by retired Vice Adm. Bernard Austin, the Scorpion court concluded the best evidence pointed to an errant Scorpion torpedo that circled around and exploded against the hull of the sub. The court's conclusion stemmed in part from records showing the Scorpion had had a similar experience in 1967 with an unarmed training torpedo that suddenly started up and had to be jettisoned.

The court reviewed photographs of the wreckage, the sound recordings of the sinking, and the detailed paper trail of records, including documents mailed back to Norfolk from the submarine at sea.

In its final 1,354-page report, the Court of Inquiry rejected two alternative theories for the loss: the contention by Schade and his staff that an unspecified mechanical problem had set off a chain of events leading to massive flooding inside the submarine, and a scenario that an explosion inside the submarine touched off the sinking.

The court also concluded that it was "improbable" the Scorpion sank as the result of "enemy action."

In 1970, a different Navy panel completed another classified report that disavowed the Court of Inquiry's conclusion. Instead of an accidental torpedo strike, the new group suggested a mechanical failure caused an irreparable leak that flooded the submarine.

That report said the bulk of the evidence suggested an internal explosion in the sub's massive electrical battery caused the sub to flood and sink. However, two senior Navy officials involved in the initial Scorpion probe in the summer of 1968 told the Post-Intelligencer that the Court of Inquiry conclusion of an accidental torpedo strike remains the most realistic scenario because of the key acoustic recordings of the sinking.

Underwater recordings retrieved from three locations in the Atlantic -- the Canary Islands and two sites near Newfoundland -- captured a single sharp noise followed by 91 seconds of silence, then a rapid series of sounds corresponding to the overall collapse of the submarine's various compartments and tanks. John Craven, then a senior civilian Navy scientist and expert on underwater technology who led the team that found the Scorpion wreckage, said the acoustic evidence all but proves a torpedo explosion -- rather than a hull collapse from flooding -- killed the Scorpion and the 99 men inside.

"Once the hull implodes the other compartments are going to follow right along" in collapsing, Craven said. "There's no way you can have the hull implode and then have 91 seconds of silence while the rest of the hull decides to try and hang itself together."

Retired Adm. Bernard Clarey, who in 1968 was the Navy's senior submariner, also dismissed the battery explosion theory. Such a mishap could not have generated the blast and acoustic energy captured on the hydrophone recordings, he said in an interview. Both Craven and Clarey said in interviews the evidence supports the theory that one of the Scorpion's own torpedoes exploded inside the sub. While several retired submariners over the years have speculated the Scorpion was ambushed and sunk by a Soviet submarine, no conclusive proof of a deliberate attack has appeared. The Navy concluded in 1968 probe there was "no evidence of any Soviet preparations for hostilities or a crisis situation as would be expected in the event of a premeditated attack on Scorpion." The Court of Inquiry report was silent on whether an inadvertent clash may have resulted in the sinking.

Thorp, the Navy spokesman, said the Court had found the Scorpion was 200 miles away from the Soviet ships at the time it sank.

The loss of the Scorpion 30 years ago remains a mystery to family members and friends of the crew. But may not have been a mystery to a handful of senior U.S. and Soviet Navy leaders in the late 1960s. The Post-Intelligencer has learned that the United States and Soviet Union secretly agreed decades ago to bury the facts about the Scorpion loss and a separate Soviet submarine tragedy that also occurred in 1968.

Two months before the Scorpion sank, a Soviet missile sub known as the K-129 sank thousands of miles away, in the Pacific Ocean, also under mysterious conditions. There have been assertions by Russian submarine veterans over the years that the K-129 sank after colliding with a U.S. attack sub that been trailing it. But U.S. military officials insist the Golf-class submarine went down with its 98-man crew after an internal explosion, based on analysis of the sounds of the sinking captured on Navy hydrophones.

Retired Capt. Peter Hutchhausen was the U.S. Naval attache in Moscow in the late 1980s, two decades after both incidents. Breaking his silence for the first time, Huchthausen told the Post-Intelligencer he had several terse but pointed conversations with Soviet admirals about the two sinkings. One was in June 1987 with Admiral Pitr Navoytsev, first deputy chief for operations of the Soviet Navy. When he asked Navoytsev about the Scorpion, Hutchhausen recalls this response:

"Captain, you are very young and inexperienced, but you will learn that there are some things both sides have agreed not to address, and one is that event and our K-129 loss, for similar reasons."

In another discussion in October 1989, Huchthausen said Vice Adm. B.M. Kamarov told him that a secret agreement had been reached between the United States and Soviet Union in which both sides agreed not to press the other government on the loss of their submarines in 1968. The motivation, Huchthausen said, was to preserve the thaw in superpower relations. A full accounting of either submarine loss might create new tensions, he said.

"He (Komarov) said the submariners involved and those few in the know on both sides were sworn, with the threat of maximum punishment, never to divulge the operational background of either incident," Huchthausen said.

And in 1995, after Hutchhausen had retired and was working on a book on Soviet submarines, he interviewed retired Rear Admiral Viktor Dygalo, the former commander of the submarine division to which the K-129 was assigned. Dygalo told him the true story of the K-129 will never be known because of an unofficial agreement by senior submariners on both sides to freeze any further investigation of involvement of either side in the losses of the Scorpion or the K-129.

And he told Hutchhausen this:

"So forget about ever resolving these sad issues for the surviving families."


Reporter Ed Offley has left the P-I since this series was originally published. His e-mail address as of August 2002 was ed_offley@yahoo.com

The Day of the Supercarrier Floating AirField is Long Over

How Fragile are Aircraft Carriers? Watch how fast the USS Oriskany Sank without fuel or ammo being ignited...


In the world of big business, and big military, money is power. The more money one controls, the more powerful one is. And, in the U.S. military, the bigger the program and sexier the hardware/technology, the more prestige you've got, especially if that hardware can rain a lot of destruction down on the enemy. Perhaps those are just a few of a multitude of reasons the U.S. Navy wants to spend an estimated $13.7 billion per unit for a future Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier a.k.a. yet another "super carrier" called the CVN 21 (formerly CVNX).

Basically, the stated mission of the CVN 21 Program is to "conceptualize, design, build, test and deliver a state-of-the-art aircraft carrier that meets operational requirements of the United States Navy and results in specified reductions in acquisition costs, manning and weight while enhancing operational capabilities." How, a $13.7 billion super aircraft carrier is going to lead to reductions in acquisition costs is anyone's guess, but it sounds good. And, good PR is everything these days when it comes to huge-budget military programs. Besides, after the Navy's tailhook mafia retired our Iowa class battleships, U.S. aircraft carriers are now the most visible projections and communicators of U.S. military might around the globe to do "gunboat diplomacy"---except they are not gunboats they are huge fuel-laden targets that the second they are challenged at sea will bring upon ridicule.

The U.S. Navy mislead by the aircraft carrier mafia have been lying to the American public for other 60 years saying the only way to get aircraft to sea to provide air cover is by increasingly larger and larger aircraft carriers in fewer and fewer numbers to bolster their budget and ego. The truth is WW2 was won by small escort carriers that FDR forced the U.S. Navy "capital ship" ego brass (who didn't want them) to operate that smothered both the German and Japanese navies with a total of 124 carriers of all types and cruisers and battleships that could catapult launch and water landing recover seaplanes. The U.S. Navy was at one time the world's leader in small and large seaplane technology. As WW2 progressed, the Navy fielded SC-1/2 SeaHawk seaplane fighters capable of shooting down enemy fighters in addition to scouting ahead and adjusting naval guns to deliver high explosives ashore or against enemy ships far more economically than operating a large carrier and having airplanes drop bombs and torpedoes. At the end of WW2, the Navy knew it had to act to preserve their "Midway Myth" of large aircraft carriers supposedly winning the war in the Pacific by erasing all competing forms of sea power from the public eye: small seaplanes operated by cruisers/battleships, large seaplanes from tender ships and the heavily armored battleships themselves which are the real gunboats to do gunboat diplomacy. Before 1960, small seaplane fighters had not only broken the sound barrier, but large seaplane patrol bombers had beaten the USAF's B-52 in speed overcoming the alleged "impossible" handicap of having a fuselage shape that could land on the water. The Navy response was to cancel all seaplane development, retire all seaplanes in use and to handicap the remaining cruisers/battleships with guns that could shore bombard better than the "super carriers" with slow, pathetic helicopters so they would be totally dependant along with the destroyers for their air cover on their floating airfield cash cows.

Immediately after WW2, the nuclear bomb tests against Navy ships Bikini atoll signaled it was time to end the practice of packing thousands of men inside obviously vulnerable surface ships. Yet Navy and marine corps racketeers refused to adapt but instead made excuses and work arounds to keep their livelihoods going. The marines lied and said helicopters would somehow enable ships to disperse more and not be vulnerable to atomic bomb blasts covering hundreds of miles of heat and radiation effects. The navy lied by saying they needed "super carriers" large enough so twin-engined bombers could fly off their decks with their own nuclear weapons to somehow pre-empt their own nuclear destruction from multiple sources(?). The truth is twin-engined S-2 Tracker ASW planes flew off not only WW2 fleet carriers but escort carriers in the 1950s, so the big supercarrier as required for big planes excuse was a lie all along. Another failure of the Navy was not adopting the British Mamba contra-rotating prop engine from the British when our contraprop turboprop engines failed, so twice the engine power could be had in the space of one but without the aircraft crash causing torque. The carriers grew and grew to where in the 1950s they couldn't even sail through the Panama Canal anymore! This was great because it created yet more lying excuses for more carriers from Congress---now a supercarrier would be needed on both sides of the American coast. Our heavily armored Iowa class battleships can transit the Panama canal and be on the other side of the American continental land mass in a matter of hours to respond to a war crisis. We now know today, that in the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, 4 Soviet submarines had nuclear torpedoes and were one push of a button away from incinerating the entire Navy/marine conglomeration of ships and exposing their lies.

Fortunately or unfortunately, the Soviets did not give our Navy/Mc racketeers the reality check needed for Congress and the American people to stop their expensive hobbies. The Navy/Mc racketeers continued in their reliving of WW2 badly through the '60s, '70s, '80s and '90s unabated despite dire warnings from people like Army General James M. Gavin and the Navy's own Chief, Admiral Elmo Zumwalt that guided missiles now can incinerate their surface ship carriers and amphibious ships just as surely as the nukes from the '40s could. The safe saber rattling and land bombardment against third world countries without any blue water navies to challenge the big carrier racketeers was then used as sophistry to somehow "justify" and "validate" their fatal madness. Those in the know, and their numbers are growing---know that once attacked America's supercarriers will be flaming infernos and our superpower status will be sunk with it by our own stupidity.

U.S. Naval Aviation Dying in Quantity

They still don't get it. The linear thinking anal retentive types can't "fathom" what's been happening to them has been "underway" since the end of WW2.

Its the battle against the earth (TBATE) that's killing us, stupid! Complex helicopters can't be flown continually (V-22s can't even fly safely), they need to be husbanded to do missions requiring their VTOL and hover capabilities. Complex fighter-bomber jet lawn darts are going to crash continually and they are making us go broke.

We need SIMPLE fixed-wing aircraft to fly continuous ASW, ASuW, LA/MAS, COD, AEW missions and simple helicopters for point-to-point AMS missions and some sort of affordable fighter-bomber for AAW/LA (interdiction) and we need to built at least 1, 000 of them each year. Building even 100 airplanes a year isn't going to cut it. We're going to have even less than a dozen aircraft carriers, carriers empty of aircraft.

Translation #1: cancel the unworkable V-22 immediately


The Coming Crisis in Naval Aviation

Sea Power | John A. Panneton | December 11, 2006

Five years of combat have taken an awful toll on the equipment of U.S. naval forces. Marine corps vehicles and battle tanks are being ground to dust, new types of weapons and small craft are needed, and equipment for the Navy Seabees must be replaced quickly.

The cost of re-equipping, or “resetting,” the marine corps is about $12 billion, some of which is being provided in the annual supplemental appropriations for the war in Iraq.

The Navy will require at least $7 billion.

But that is only part of the story. Looming behind the immediate needs of the naval forces is a coming crisis in aircraft procurement. The average age of the 3,880 planes in the Navy and marine aircraft inventory is about 18 years, making it the oldest aircraft fleet in the history of the naval services.

Symptoms of this crisis already abound:

* Navy electronic attack pilots have been told not to maneuver their planes aggressively;

* The marine corps for months had weight restrictions on its 40-year-old CH-46 helicopters;

* Fatigue cracks and other deficiencies probably will shorten the service lives of Navy P-3C Orion patrol planes;

* The marine Corps is rotating older F/A-18 Hornet strike fighters from reserve squadrons into the active-duty force because many of the newer F/A-18C versions have reached their maximum number of catapult launches and carrier landings -- about 2,000 per aircraft.

As these aircraft have aged, maintenance costs have risen rapidly and they have become increasingly costly to fly. To keep costs down, the Navy has retired dozens of its older planes, including all F-14 Tomcats, most S-3B Vikings and nearly all of the Navy Reserve’s P-3Cs.

Other aircraft are being revitalized. Millions were spent to upgrade Navy EA-6B electronic warfare planes and marine CH-46 choppers. Improvements to the CH-46 will almost quadruple the time between engine replacements.

In addition, the services are adopting new preservation strategies to keep their aircraft flying in the Middle East, where harsh environmental conditions and sand have wreaked havoc on helicopter rotor blades and aircraft engines, avionics and wiring.

Remedies include better inspection methods, new washing processes and the use of special coatings on compressor blades. Some mechanical adaptations have been made virtually on the fly. For example, helicopter rotors are now double-taped to reduce wear from the sand. More importantly, the services are developing better diagnostic systems to anticipate failures and foster proactive maintenance processes.

These remedies are vital. But they serve only to slow the decline of the naval aircraft fleet. Additional investment is required. Modest modernization of the fleet -- reducing the average age to 16 years, for instance -- would require the purchase of 170 aircraft annually, substantially higher than the current level of about 130.

The Navy’s 2007 budget projects an increase in aircraft procurement from 134 to 269 annually by fiscal 2010. But increases of this magnitude often are pushed to the “out years,” as budget constraints force the services each year to cut back on production volumes and reduce their cash flow.

Left untended, the aging fleet combined with the continued stress of current operations, inevitably will mean diminished performance despite the services’ innovative efforts to keep the aircraft flying. Additional limits on weight, range and maneuver are a virtual certainty, and that could jeopardize readiness and ultimately affect the services’ ability to conduct future operations.

We are confident Congress has the foresight and wisdom to avoid the coming crisis with appropriate funding for naval aircraft. Action in the near term is essential. The Navy League’s legislative representatives will ensure that aviation procurement is at the top of Congress’ agenda during the coming session.

We are not confidant that the MICC-TT will wake up and stop buying more and more complex, increasingly expensive JUNK. When EGO and GREED run what we do, we are headed to disaster. HUMILITY and EFFECTIVENESS must replace ego and greed as our institutional cultural core values.

Dying Naval Aviation: How did we get into this mess?

Naval aviation has been dying ever since it deviated from simple, mass-produced fixed-wing prop planes in WW2 towards more complex, sexy jet planes that increasingly can only be built in handfuls. EGO is the main cause; you see at the end of WW2 a desire to smash all remnants from "the war" which could instill regard for past practices that threatens the avant garde quest for new toys. Behind this hubris is a fundamental misunderstanding of the-battle-against-the-earth (TBATE). The ocean is BIG. If you want to cover/control it you need LOTS of platforms of DIFFERING types. Maintaining such numbers (quantity) costs money the avant garde would rather spend on visions of quality that feeds their man worship makes-his-own-Tower-of-Babel while-Cain-kills-Abel ego.

Thus, at the end of WW2, the Navy and marines mothballed most of their carriers and WW2 prop aircraft to pay for several new jet avenues and some new prop planes along the battle against man (TBAM) mission considerations IGNORING TBATE. They tried to fund too many new aircraft types and by 1949 ran out of money. This pattern of TBATE neglect and over-reach for a new technological marvel continues to the present day with the supercarrier, V-22 and F-35 one or both of which will bankrupt naval aviation out of existence or result in a disastrous battlefield defeat at sea, air and land. Had the USN/Mc not been so egotistical and greedy they would have ascertained that they need a lot of small aircraft carriers and that since these eat aircraft, they needed a LOT of simple prop airplanes to do the majority of naval sea control and land attack missions since the platforms that operate in the medium of the sea and land move SLOW at no more than 60 mph because they are bound by the friction of the water or earth. The only platforms that really need to be HIGH SPEED are the fighters so they have a maneuvering edge over enemy fighters and even then the USN/Mc fucked this up and continue to fuck this up. Straight-wing Banshees and Panthers were no match for swept-back MIG-15s over Korea--thank God the USAF had the F-86 Sabre. The Naval AAW fighter screw-up continues to the present day with the F-18 Brewster Buffalo 2 now in supersized form.

So now we are down to just 3 aircraft types: F-18 turbofan delta-wing jets, E/C-2 straight-wing turboprops and Blackhawk turbine rotary-wing helicopters to try to do everything required, all of which overly expensive and we only have moneies to build around a 100 a year. Is it a wonder why we can't do ASW, ASuW, air refuelling, LA MAS, small ship-based observation, enemy fleet recon, long-range and land on the water to do rescues, commando insertion/extractions and patrol the oceans anymore?

Here's a road map of how the linear, anal retentive mind sees naval aviation and the bad choices that were made:


dirigibles---->framework too heavy, crash, give-up: DEATH 1934

blimps--------------->successful ASW but not sexy, give-up: DEATH 1962


Aircraft-carrier based


Prop fighters--------->Hellcat----->BearCat---->can't fly fast enough, give-up: DEATH 1947

turbojet straight wings---------->Phantom 1-->can't fly fast enough, sweep wings--->Cougar

delta wings--->F-8 Crusader----->Phantom 2--->Hornet

variable wings--------------->Tomcat; complicated, give-up DEATH 2006


prop attackers------>Helldiver DB/Avenger TB------------>SkyRaider----->SkyShark-->contraprops fail; give-up DEATH: 1968

LA (maneuver air support)

prop attackers------>F-4U Corsair---------------->hard to fly, high torque, bad viz-->DEATH: 1954

mission transferred to SkyRaider

LARA: DoD perverts OV-10 DEATH: 1968-1994

jet attackers------------------------------------->SkyHawk flies too fast, used for interdiction; no maneuver air support after SkyRaiders retire! OV-10s at best can carry light ordnance loads.

LA (interdiction)

Panther----->SkyHawk----->Corsair 2------------->not sexy, give-to Hornet: DEATH 1993

LA (strategic bombing to air refueling)

AJ-1/2 Savage---->SkyWarrior------------------>too slow, becomes air tanker, DEATH 1993


Avenger--->AD-4 SkyRaider---->AF Guardians----->S-2 Tracker----->S-3 Viking------>not sexy: DEATH 2006


Avenger--->AD-4/5/6 SkyRaider----->E-2 Hawkeye


C-1 Trader--------------------->C-2 Greyhound

Small Ship-based

SOC----->Kingfisher------->SC-1/2 SeaHawk 300 mph seaplane fighter threatens carriers: DEATH 1949

Slow 100 mph helicopters for CSAR/short-range ASW: SH-60 quasi-"SeaHawk"

Sea-Based Maritime Patrol

PBY Catalina------>PBM Mariner------->Marlin----->SeaMaster jet threatens supercarriers: DEATH 1960

P-7M replacement for Marlin cancelled

Marlin: DEATH 1968

Sea-capable transports

MARS---->NATS devoured by MATS--->Tradewind contra-rotating prop turbines fail; give-up; DEATH 1960

Shore-Based Maritime Patrol

B-24----->Privateer---------->Neptune------------P-3 Orion NEAR DEATH 2007

Our Emasculated 1960 U.S. Navy/marines of 2007

If you go back to 1960, you will see that the U.S. Navy and her dumb marines are essentially unchanged.

The same nuclear supercarrier packed with thousands of men operating EXACTLY the same airplanes except for F-18s (Hawkeye's first flight 1960-ish time frame). The same flimsy subservient surface ships coughing up smoke visible for miles away. All making obvious wakes in the water. The helicopter types have changed but they still fly slow, not for very far and are loud and easy to shoot down packed with marines ready to die and be heroes. These helos fly from equally vulnerable packed with thousands of men aircraft carriers with costly flooding well decks for landing craft to relive Iwo Jima as part of a flag-waving victimology club waiting to die and self-validate.

There has been ZERO progress in naval warfare since 1960 with the departure of the last of the can-do WW2 types, replaced by a progression of losers re-enacting the Midway Myth and the Iwo Jima death cult.

This clusterfuck has a rendezvous with a destiny of disaster at sea.

Consequenses of not keeping the A-4 SkyHawk in U.S. Service: Death Spiral Cancer in U.S. Naval Aviation Turns Malignant in 1968

U.S. Naval Aviation began its fatal turn for the worse in 1968 when it stopped developing A-4 SkyHawks en masse in favor of handfuls of A-7 Corsair IIs with dubious slight advantages to pork feed the corrupt LBJ Texas MICC-TT "mafia" at the height of the Vietnam war. The A-4 should have been kept in production since the A-7 really offered no significant improvements. A-4s should have received at first one, then two turbofan engines to increase payload and speed to transonic. Seaplane versions would give every surface ship self-defense capability. Special submarine aircraft carriers would launch surprise air strikes and SEAL team insertion/extractions using seaplane SkyHawks and GRIER pods. Today's A-4s would have thrust vectoring and might even be stealthy. All of these things are possible by KEEPING AN AIRCRAFT TYPE IN PRODUCTION and a focus of successive improvements. The concept here of a SIMPLE, affordable aircraft to do most missions has been lost.

The other aircraft of dubious worth as part of naval aviation's "batch-itis" was the A-6 most-weather Intruder bomber. This plane shouldn't have been built, a pair of two-seat A-4 SkyHawks with night/adverse weather navaids would be cheaper and more effective than the cost of one Intruder. If we want to pork out Grumman New Yorkers and keep it going, have them build the A-4 "NightHawks" under license from Douglas/McDonnell-Douglas. One thing MacNamara did get right was to save $ and use the two-seat A-4s as pilot trainers which also keeps a two-seat AFAC capability in play which the USMC used in Vietnam to its credit.

The third strike against naval aviation after the A-7, and the A-6 was the TFX. Surprisingly as MacNamara was leaving in 1968 the delusion that the huge F-111 could be a carrier-based, fleet air defense fighter shooting BVR Phoenix AAMs was still in play. The naval F-111's cancellation represents more $ BILLIONS of wasted pork thrown the way of the corrupt Texas porksters who murdered JFK in 1963 to seize full power and plunge the nation head-long into an ill-conceived Vietnam war. If U.S. Naval Aviation finally implodes as its headed towards, you can thank former naval officers LBJ, Connally, and SecDef MacNamara and former SecNav Korth for setting them onto the final path of oblivion.

In the aftermath of Vietnam, the Navy which fought the war with WW2 Essex class large carriers and Forrestal supercarriers would be saddled with huge costs to build USS Enterprise nuclear supercarrier clones and a bunch of small aircraft batches to support. Rather than coming to their senses and building lots of affordable escort carriers from container ships and small A-4 sized planes they have spent far too much money building and operating nuclear supercarriers when the truth is they only operated ONE during the entire Vietnam war. Their excuse was that to operate the F-4 Phantoms and the TFX replacement F-14s, they would need the supercarriers; a rehash of the old we-need-the-supercarriers-to-fly-the-A-3D SkyWarriors excuse. They kept the F-8 Crusaders around adding more costs because the Essex class carriers allegedly couldn't operate the F-4s. To pay for the supercarriers in the middle of America's post-Vietnam malaise amidst hyper inflation, oil crisis etc. something would have to give--a lot of things in fact; almost like a plane with one engine out and losing altitude rapidly, the crew is tossing out the door everything they can that's not bolted to the floor in order to stay airborne!

First to go, were ASW carriers based on the Essex class, and with them the F-8s. Now ASW became a non-priority to such a degree that even the fleet was defenseless much less escorting merchant ships. It was like WW2 never happened and submarines never existed. The last gasp of the carrier-based ASW community was that the ASW helicopters were too short ranged (duhh) and the large twin-engined prop ASW planes were not fast enough, so the large turbofan twin S-3 Viking was born to operate from the supercarriers since it was a bloated design. The next things to go to pay for the supercarriers was aircraft development and maintenance on the too-many small batches of aircraft types. This gave us the "Hollow Force" of the 1970s that Admiral Zumwalt tried to correct with sea control ship mini-aircraft carriers but was rejected by the supercarrier egomaniacs resulting in the 1980 Iranian hostage rescue non-mission debacle of RH-53D minesweeping helicopters malfunctioning at Desert One and the 1983 A-7 and A-6 shoot downs over Lebanon. The F-14 Tomcats gave the pompous Navy admirals a "high-end mix" item comparable to the USAF's F-15 and a security blanket that their ego platforms wouldn't get sunk in a hail of Soviet Navy anti-ship missiles and bombs as the Brits almost had happen to them in 1982 and a 1986 sexy "Top Gun" movie to draw in naval aviator candidates, but costs were spiraling out of control. The parasitic marines whined they didn't want perfectly good A-4s anymore and demanded "new" Harriers---allegedly VTOL jump jets, crashed them all when they found out they are really STOVL and then wanted a new batch of Harrier IIs which they are finishing up crashing now. Rather than turbofan their sturdy F-4 fighter-bombers, the Navy wanted the rejected lightweight fighter program loser from Northrop to have a high-g maneuvering air-to-air fighter to join the USAF on the John Boyd bandwagon. There went the last mass-produced naval airplane and the death spiral of small batch-itis kicked in with a vengeance. A poor A-6 showing in 1991's Desert Storm resulted in that batch retired, then the A-7 batch regardless of a good showing. The Navy and marines are great liars about wanting to do CAS and the OV-10s were tossed under the bus as soon as the required excuse of a couple shoot-downs caused by IRCM neglect during the 'Storm occurred. Still not enough money saved.

Then the A-3D Skywarrior tankers were ditched. Still not enough money saved. The A-12 stealth A-6 replacement was botched so whatever was saved by retiring small batches was lost. The Navy too proud to admit it needed to use an Air Force plane refused to navalize F-117s when offered, would come to rely on USAF tankers and stealth precursor aircraft to bust a way open for them in both Iraq wars. Still running out of money, the S-3 Vikings were cancelled--to hell with ASW!, then to hell with fleet air defense!, too---F-14s "Bombcats" became "Noncats". Yet the madness for ever more nuclear supercarriers continues unabated with a "CVN-21" monstrosity on the horizon. Planes are now reduced to just increasingly gadgetized to allegedly compensate for decreasing physical power, overweight, under-powered, non-stealthy built-in-handfuls $56M each F-18s for everything and E/C-2 Hawkeyes/Greyhounds to do ash/trash and wake up everyone! We are being attacked!. That's it. Helicopters are BS good for rescuing victims which we are going to have a lot of once ANYONE challenges this stupid ever-decreasing in numbers and increasing-in-vulnerability Navy clusterfuck @ sea.

Had the Navy not taken a turn for the worse in 1968, and kept operating and buying "low-end mix" A-4s we could have had a trainer plane with an attack capability, too instead of the T-45 Goshawk which only trains and represents more $ down the drain. More money will soon be wasted keeping up with the Air Force "Joneses" buying T-6A Texan II trainers to replace still perfectly good T-34C Turbo Mentor turboprops that just need ejection or extraction seats or recovery parachutes and could be great AFAC planes to do MAS had the Navy or Mc been interested in such things.

All hopes are now on the F-35B/C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter which research suggests will be an AOK interdiction land attack plane but a deficient in stealth fighter plane to have a significant edge in air-to-air combat against the SU-25 Flanker series which has thrust vectoring super maneuvering and BVR AAMs that can after launch in the general direction of our F-18s/F-35B/Cs and acquire these targets while-in-flight once they are forced to maneuver to break lock.

If the F-35 falters, pundits proclaim the unmanned airplane full of gadgets will fill our supercarriers while constantly crashing at a 50% rate; we are our own kamikazes. So corporate greed has went from small batches of manned aircraft in the '50s/'60s to cramming electronic black box gadgets into ever decreasing numbers of physical manned platforms in the '70s/'80s to the current lets-not-build-any-airplanes lets cram gadgets into even less physical amounts of material to maximize our profits in the '90s.

Exit the Prowler: Not Sexy Enough For Pilot Egos, Never Mind that It Works

The Prowler works, but since when is that an important consideration?

So we retire the supersonic EF-111 Raven ECM jamming aircraft that could accompany strike formations of fighter-bombers because 1 guy as pilot and 1 guy as Mr. Jammer wasn't enough human power to operate the jamming equipment.

EF-111 Raven


So now we use the subsonic, ugly, penis-shriveling EA-6B Prowler that has a 4-man crew that offers 3 men to do jamming tasks. From all reports, the Prowler kicks ass and does fantastic. When fighter-bombers are laden with bombs they only go subsonic, anyway.

Here's an excellent web page on the ECM war in Gulf War 1:



The Navy egomaniacs don't want to fly the Prowler they want to fly a sexy fighter-bomber!

The Navy bean counters don't want to pay to maintain "old airframes" with J52 turbojet engines.

BRING ON THE TWO-SEAT Ewhatever F-18 "Growler, Howler" to replace it.

The Howler: do you think I'm sexy?

Go back to our opening statement.

Only having 1 man do jamming proved insufficient with the EF-111 but now "SUDDENLY" we can now get by with just 1 man when it comes to pilot egos and penny pinchers? What about the EF-111 experience, it never happened?


Oh shut-the-fuck-up.

The technology hasn't done shit, the Navy egomaniacs don't want to be seen in the Prowler. This is all about them and their egos not function. That "technology" could get us MORE CAPABILITIES with 3 jammer guys and could include putting TURBOFAN engines into the Prowlers to extend their already good range and loiter time. They should be armed with AAMs for self-defense and perhaps a cannon under the belly, maybe the German recoilless 30mm to shoot down UAVs (see the Iranian UAVs threatening our carriers today in the Persian Gulf at the top of this web page?).....NAHHH! we can't do that!

Saving our uber egowagon stuporcarriers from being sunk by massed enemy guided munitions attacks is less important than pilot egos.

Where are all the tankers going to come from to keep the EF-18 lawn darts flying? We gathered from the USMC OV-10 documents that not only do F-18s have short range and short loiter times, one of the marines lamented the loss of even the turbojet A-6s as a long loiter time platform.


We will tank EF-18s from other F-18s!! Everyone wins! Everyone gets to be Top Gun! Everyone gets to be a "fighter pilot".

Everybody gets to die, too when the entire USN/USMC selective racket relive-WW2 badly clusterfuck gets sunk at sea the first time a capable foe challenges us.

Why does Congress fund this stupidity? Because this is how the self-validaters want to die? Since they are offering their lives, we must subsidize their suicide? Whatever happened to THE JOB, the MISSION we are to accomplish to defend the American people? Or has the entire All-Victim Force U.S. military degenerated into a giant greed and ego club for self?

U.S. Naval Aviation Dying in Anti-Air Warfare Quality: F-18: the new Brewster Buffalo?

"You can do any combat mission you like as long as you use an F-18"

The new Point #12 in our Falklands Report above is the need to gain air supremacy. Its "new" because in the Falklands, the British did this one thing right and it saved them so it was until recently, a lesson to be "learned". In modern naval combat, the outer defensive ring MUST SPOIL the majority of an air attack; unhindered, enemy planes can sink ships even if they are flimsy Japanese Betty/Nell bombers as the HMS Repulse and Prince of Wales sinking in 1942 shows.


"The key to successful AAW is to destroy the launching platform before it fires, thus removing a number of missile threats in one go."

The 1944 U.S. Navy War Instructions, Chapter 7 even then realized this truth:


739. The primary defense during daylight against an air attack is fighter interception. The accomplishment of this depends upon good radar detection in addition to good communications.

740. Fighter protection destroys trailing or shadowing enemy aircraft.

This is one thing the British did well, by cramming every Harrier they could onto their ships, saving their entire effort. That was 1982. Today, the British have UNDONE their force structure and UNlearnt this lesson to have adequate air cover by retiring their Sea Harriers! Its so shocking and stupid, we have had to add a point #12 on our Falklands War web page to address this. The U.S. Navy followed this insanity by retiring their F-14 Tomcats with long-range Phoenix missiles, placing both fleets at risk of enemy ASM destruction due to non-existant or weak outer ring air covers. It looks like both navies need to relearn lesson #1 again--and quick.

If their Harrier STOVL jump jets were unable to SPOIL the air attacks of the Argentines, their fleet would have clearly been sunk and they would have lost the war. After the Falklands, the British upgraded their new Sea Harriers with search radar and AIM-120 AMRAAM air-to-air (AAM) missiles that can shoot down threats at a far greater distance without risking themselves to short-range dogfights to get into Sidewinder short-range AAM and cannon range. Then in 2006, the ROYAL NAVY UNLEARNED THIS LESSON AND RETIRED THEIR SEA HARRIERS. Followed by the Americans retiring their F-14 Tomcat/Phoenix long-range AAM combination and also replacing it with nothing.

Large American carrier on left, small British aircraft carrier on the right

The one thing the U.S. Navy fan will tell you that sets them apart is that Americans have full-size aircraft carriers that the British didn't have in the Falklands. This means POSSIBLY having more capable fighter planes and AEW radar planes to control the skies better than just STOVL jump jets. We said POSSIBLY. If you are lazy and stupid like Americans are, just having 11 large carriers doesn't mean you have better planes and pilots to control the air. The U.S. Navy has retired A-4 SkyHawk, A-6 Intruder and A-7 Corsair II SLUF attack planes, A-3D Skywarrior, K-3 tankers to refuel planes to get long ranges, S-3 Viking long-range anti-submarine patrol jets and now F-14 long-range interceptors. The AIM-120 AMRAAM is the ONLY thing going for the F-18 "Brewster Buffalo 2". The Navy has saddled it with every mission possible burdening it with more and more weight--just like what happened with the Brewster Buffalo 1 in the early 1940s!. In a dogfight after the AMRAAMs run out, the F-18 against an equally skilled pilot in nearly any modern fighter jet is going to shoot it down. The widely-exported Russian SU-27 Flanker family of fighters can operate by ski-jumps from small carriers and has superior flight maneuverability over American F-18 Brewster Buffalo 2s. Chinese versions have pilot helmet slew-to-cue aiming capability to be able to get missile lock-on without even having to get into a nose-on aircraft maneuvering position. Without air supremacy, the U.S. Navy in flimsy armored surface ships cannot survive on a sea dominated by multiple, guided High Explosive munitions attacks.

SU-33 in action videos, amazing maneuverability puts F-18 Brewster Buffalo II to shame

Basic Aircraft Maneuverability

Subject: Russian SU-30MK fighter aircraft

This is a video of an in-flight demonstration flown by the Russian SU-30MK fighter aircraft. You'll not believe what you are about to see. The fighter can stall from high speed, stopping in less than a second. Then it demonstrates an ability to descend tail first without causing a compressor stall. It can also recover from a flat spin in less than a minute. These capabilities probably don't exist in any other aircraft in the world today. Take a look at the video with the sound up:



Admiral Kuznetsov small STOBAR carrier operations


SU-33 misses the wire, goes over side, pilot ejects


An American aviation expert points out:

"There is more to the Flanker than the maneuverability. The 'cobra' maneuver in the clip. where the Flanker pitchers up to over 100 degrees is not a stunt, it is a missile launch maneuver for a over-the-shoulder launch on a passing head-on target by an IMFIL missile, as briefed to me by the Director of TsAGI. German Zagainov. Notice the ski-jump takeoff. Its missile systems are such that against a AIM-7 or AIM-120 the Flanker will always have first hit."

Why is the U.S. Navy squandering all its assets?

There is a direct connection to the U.S. triumphalist navalist narrow-minded mentality and why these same things are repeating 60 years apart.

A narrow-minded person CANNOT TOLERATE VARIETY; in war you need DIFFERENT, COMPLIMENTARY THINGS offering OVERLAPPING capabilities; ie you need to be able to chew gum and walk. The narrow-minded egomaniac only wants to chew gum. There can be nothing else. So as soon as WW2 ended, all the creative means that we had to get the synergism we had to win the war were ditched one-by-one by the ruling capital ship-is-the-aircraft carrier mafia:

Escort "jeep" carriers (1946)
Cruiser/Battleship seaplanes (1949)
Transport seaplanes (1958)
Patrol seaplanes (1960-7)
Blimps (1962)
Heavily armored cruisers (1983)
Heavily armored battleships (1994)

Since the Germans began to sink Allied ships with guided anti-ship missiles (ASMs) and guided bombs starting in 1943---why has the U.S. Navy at the conclusion of WW2 continually refused to armor their ships? 32 ships were sunk in WW2 by guided munitions...these are NOT new and "revolutionary" weapons...they are only new to dumbasses who don't study their profession and want the U.S. taxpayers to fund their party-going-at-every-port lifestyle.


The entire surface navy other than the 11 large carriers is now under weight (10, 000 tons) and has even LESS armoring that was WRONG IN 1941! If 10, 000 tons was too light to survive WW2 HE attacks how do you think they will survive today's HE attacks which are more lethal by a factor of 100x? The only reason the USN's submarine fleet was spared elimination was through the life-long struggle of Admiral Rickover supported by the American Congress that at that time was full of WW2 veterans that knew that our submarines won the war for us in the Pacific. However, the submarine has yet to be fully exploited as an aircraft carrier and amphibious force projection means to avoid precision HE destruction on the surface.

If that were not enough damning damage, the planes on the carriers were too much "variety" for the RMA bean counters so they had to be discarded, too:

Attack planes (1990s)
Jet tankers (1994)
ASW patrol jets (2004)
Long Range AAW interceptors (2006)
EW jamming planes with 4-man crew (2008)

Disaster in the Far East, Again

By the time the navy self-destructs, it will have only TWO types of fixed-wing planes on carriers; overloaded F-18s and E/C-2 Greyhound/Hawkeyes. One will cry "HELP!! HELP! THE JAP ZEROS AND BETTTIES ARE ON THEIR WAY!" Its a replay of the HMS Repulse and Prince of Wales tragedy from 1942. The Zeros are modern Russian-made Su-27 variants and clones and the "Betties" are them and other aircraft to include business jets fitted with anti-ship missiles (ASMs).

The other emasculated American platform, the F-18 Brewster Buffalo 2s will fly towards the enemy "Zeros" and get a rude surprise. "Oh, shit, we can't do that against them". Entire squadrons will be wiped out. The "learning curve" will be the ejection seat handle. Those that die there will be no "learning curve" except from meeting their maker.

Sound too far-fetched?

Think again.


Here's an easy-to-understand summary of Dr. Kopp's report that everyone should read in detail.


Consider that a force of F-18 Brewster Buffalo 2s are approaching a force of thrust-vectoring, canard equipped SU-30K Flankers, called the "merge". The SU-30Ks can fire first because they will see the F-18s first by infared or radar then their radar missiles have longer 86 mile range. This is called Beyond Visual Range (BVR) combat. The F-18 cannot be made a little radar stealthy to gain a worthwhile breathing room and will be seen on infared regardless. Then the SU-30Ks fly supersonic and transonic picking off the slower F-18s with their helmet-mounted sighting systems. After the "merge", the SU-30Ks can do a "Cobra" maneuver and turn in their path and fire their heat-seeking missiles which can be fired 60 degrees offset from the line of sight of their targets and have a 20 mile range into the asses of the fleeing F-18s. Even weirder, the SU-30Ks have REAR facing AAM capability to shoot at the F-18s as soon as they fly past each other. Both the radar and infared missiles are 5+G maneuvering so there is not much chance of evading them by human flight maneuvering, especially from the bloated, supersized F-18F.

If the F-18 pilots want to try the John Boyd high-G maneuver dogfight against the SU-30Ks they will be toasted like their Brewster Buffalo 1s were against Jap Zeros in WW2. The F-18s can't run or maneuver much as a 500 mile radius plane versus the 1, 000 mile radius SU-30Ks.

Speed is life. Speed is gas.

The F-18 doesn't have much of either like the Argentine SkyHawks and Mirage jets in the Falklands war. It has to air-refuel itself with another F-18 carrying buddy fuel tanks, the SU-30K doesn't need drop tanks.


Russian fighters superior, says Pentagon

18:14 2004-06-30

The American military amazed Moscow and the Russian media by saying that Russian-made fighter planes were superior to their American equivalents. How can these flattering revelations be explained?

General Hal M. Hornburg told USA Today that India's Sukhoi Su-30 MKI multi-role fighters have been successful against F-15 C/D Eagle aircraft in mock combat. In fact, the Indians won 90% of the mock combat missions.

USA Today reported: We may not be as far ahead of the rest of the world as we thought we were, said Gen. Hal Hornburg, the chief of the Air Combat Command, which oversees U.S. fighter and bomber wings...The F-15Cs are the Air Force's primary air superiority aircraft...[and] the results of the exercise [were] wake up call.

The Inside the Air Force official newsletter also discussed the "Russian victory," and reported even more details. F-15 C/D Eagle fighters were pitted against not only Su-30 MKI fighters but also MiG-27s, MiG-29s, and even the older MiG-21 Bisons, which also performed well. The fighters not only defeated the F-15s but the French-made Mirage-2000 as well. According to the Washington ProFile Web site, the results of the exercises surprised the American pilots.

Meanwhile, Russian military experts and aircraft designers did not seem surprised by these victories. The Sukhoi general designer, Mikhail Simonov, has repeatedly told RIA Novosti and other news agencies the Su-27 Flanker and the Su-30 MKI, a modified version of the Flanker, which are now in service in the Indian Air Force, were developed in the 1980s in response to the F-15 Eagle. Moreover, Soviet designers had stipulated far superior specifications. Consequently, Russian experts were not particularly surprised that the performance of the fighters matched their specifications.

Why did an American general publicly admit this fact four months after the exercises?

India's Su-30 MKI fighters and F-15 C/D Eagles from Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, engaged in mock combat exercises in February 2004. However, no one mentioned that India won three of the four exercises at the time.

Russian fighters first defeated their U.S. rivals when Sukhoi and MiG fighters had just started being shown at international aerospace shows in the early 1990s. At that time, several Su-27 fighters, under the command of Maj.-Gen. Alexander Kharchevsky, the head of the Lipetsk center for retraining air force pilots, went to Canada to demonstrate their impressive potential. (President Vladimir Putin flew in a Su-27 to Chechnya.)

Instead of missiles and artillery shells, Russian and American fighter planes used aerial cameras to record their mock air-to-air battles. American fighters were disappointed to learn the results of exercise - their cameras had not captured any Su-27s. The Russians, however, had filmed their rivals' vulnerable points from just about every angle.

Russian pilots owed their impressive success to the Su-27's spectacular performance and its substantial thrust-to-weight ratio. The fighter's unsurpassed performance has already become well known throughout the world because no other fighter (except MiG fighters) can execute such impressive stunts as Pugachev's Cobra and others.

The F-15, the F-16 and the F-18 have wide turning radii. Russian fighters, on the other hand, can turn on a dime by merely switch on their afterburners.

Apart from in Canada, MiG-29 fighters also fought mock air battles with South Africa's Mirage-2000s. Again, the Russia planes defeated their enemies.

Chief designer Arkady Slobodskoi, the supervisor of the MiG-29 program, said, "if our plane is within range of an opponent and has a direct shot, the enemy can be considered destroyed. It only takes 5-6 machine gun bursts."

The United States, which is aware of the impressive combat potential of Russian fighters, had even purchased a squadron of MiG-29s from Moldova after the Soviet Union disintegrated. (That squadron was deployed at an airfield near Chisinau.) Germany, which had obtained a number of MiG-29s after reunification, helped repair the Moldovan fighters. Both Germany and the United States now use these aircraft to train their pilots, so that the pilots can cope with the 7,000 Russian fighters in the world. Britain's Military Balance magazine estimated that India had more than 500 Russian-made fighters. It was therefore not surprising that Indian pilots could defeat their American rivals, despite the U.S. Air Force's intensive combat-training programs.

On the other hand, American pilots have not confronted any serious adversaries for a long time. The U.S. Air Force dominated the skies over Yugoslavia in 1999 and in Iraq in 1991 and 2003. Iraqi planes were grounded during both campaigns. Therefore, mock combat is the only way to amass experience.

The long-standing American Air Force mentality prevents its pilots from confronting their Russian counterparts because any possible setback would be detrimental to morale. An American Air Force pilot must be convinced that he can and must defeat the former "theoretical enemy." At the same time, these problems do not exist for mock combat exercises against Indian pilots because any defeats can be explained by inadequate training.

Why did the United States inform the world about its setbacks? Neither Russian, nor U.S. generals like to do this.

The explanation lies on the surface: The U.S. Congress discusses defense spending for the next fiscal year every June and therefore, top American military officials started talking about events in February 2004 now.


Since the SU-30K has longer range than the F-18, it can attack the U.S. fleet with ASMs outside of the range of both the F-18s and ship-based SAMs to hit their air bases. The SU-30Ks attacking the fleet do not have to even give the F-18s and SAMs a chance to fire back if their ASMs provide greater stand-off range. An "AWACS Killer" long-range AAM is going to be or already available to poke the eyes out of the fleet and maybe USAF E-3s flying out of Japan.

Over 600 SU-30Ks are flying all over the far east alone.

With nothing to stop the Betties, our ships will try to stop enemy plane attacks coordinated with surface and submarine attacks with just their on-board weaponry and we all know how how well that doesn't work.

USS Stark had SAMs and two small Exocet ASMs nearly sank her. Are we to expect desperation SAMs at the inner defensive ring even with Aegis phased-array radar is going to stop 100% of the missiles? The large enemy missile only has to be lucky ONCE, Aegis has to be lucky 100% of the time or else our flimsy ships will be hit, exploded and sunk.

We will have burning ships and thousands of men in the water and NO SEAPLANES to pick them up (remember? they were "obsolete"?).

Let's hope the Chinese are nice or want PR points parading American POWs so they pull our Sailors out of the water.


Will the USAF in F-22s be there in the middle of the ocean to save the inept USN?

And who will save THEM if the CHICOMs get their own F-22skis?



Whatever "friendship" Bush has with Russian President Putin, he should use it to get some U.S. fighters vs. SU-30K tests to see how fu*ked up we really are. This explains why the USAF is so desperate to get the F-22 that hopefully will be invisible during the merge and can get some licks in then. After the merge its supersonic cruise and thrust vectoring should enable it to fight the SU-30K even. For naval aviation, it truly is fu*ked up beyond belief. If the F-35 falls through or continues to be delayed, they could go into battle as outlined above and get knocked out of the sky. Can the USAF rescue them with F-22s and F-15s from Japan with air refuelling is problematical. Without air supremacy, the U.S. Navy/Mc's BS WW2 re-enactment house of cards collapses.

Racket Theory Explains Military Incompetence

Racket: An organized, self-perpetuating, self-serving, less-than-optimal "solutional" beavior to a societal need/want

Reading Professor Roger Thompson's new book, "Lessons not Learned" there is a constant theme of the U.S. Navy lying and denying its failures. So you ask yourself WHY would the USN not be interested in military efficiency excellence?

The answer that screams at you is BECAUSE THE NAVY IS A RACKET.

Admitting to errors would mean an end to that racket. The thing Americans do not understand about themselves and life in general is that IT PAYS MORE TO BE INEFFICIENT WITH A PARTIAL SOLUTION THAN IT DOES TO BE EFFICIENT WITH A FULL SOLUTION. Military men do not need excellence on a daily basis, they are most of the time not at war against a human foe trying to kill them. In the air forces and navy the earth itself is trying to kill them and this keeps a certain amount of efficiency in play but it doesn't have to be the best means to defeat a future enemy, it can be a COUNTERFEIT set-up.

Essentially in ALL human militaries, the men involved are trying to justify their existence and pay parasitically taken from the civilian populace who have to earn this money (certificates guaranteeing reciprocal behavior) by creating tangible goods/services. This was a dire necessity for the USN's racketeers like Admiral King during the economically depressed 1930s, and he damn sure wasn't going to spoil their racket by a little thing like WW2. If the battleships can't be the lucrative cash cow, FINE he will demand Congress buys him a dozen large, ego-gratifying "fleet aircraft carriers" instead of the 100 escort carriers made from humble cargo ships actually required to fan out across the still very large planet earth oceans to effect sea control from enemy submarines and surface ships, aircraft etc. that FDR ordered him to use to win the war. Its more greed and ego lucrative to have a COUNTERFEIT NAVY that inefficiently spends more money on inefficient means that never solves the problem that can then be milked for years and years than to have an efficient navy that gets the job done best, with least. There simply is no reward for EXCELLENCE in human behavior "that works itself out of a job" if an OK less-than-full-solutional racket offers counterfeit goods/services that pays off the most people. You could say its better to run less-than-optimal solutional rackets in human affairs than to run perfect solutional human organizations because the former keeps more people busy and employed.

Think about it before reading further.

A lucrative, money-for-everyone bloated racket is OK as long as the less than optimal solution is unchallenged or is challenged only by minor crisies where its "good enough" to get by. In other words, as long as everybody is fat and happy, why bother to change the racket? "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" is the folk saying. The mortal danger to a society is that as time goes on and there is no threat to force the racket to become more efficient, arrogance and smug delusions of "we are great" begin to grow as the reformers warning of future disaster due to fatal inefficiencies and fatal flaws are dismissed and more and more people want to get their piece of the growing racketeering pie. The fatal danger is that these series of minor successes smothered in years of no wars at all create a false sense of security that the less-than-optimal racket is "good enough" or even "the greatest military in the world" while dangerous vulnerabilities grow uncorrected and if exploited, KILLS THE ENTIRE CIVILIZATION.

The American military refuses to look at any problems on their cause-effect merits to get EXCELLENCE because a series of small successes with the racket is used to justify not having any sense of urgency to fix this problems. The racketeers will tell you there is no sense of urgency, in fact if 3, 000 are killed and 22, 000 are wounded in Iraq by military inefficiency they will say its not a problem since we lost over 650, 000 dead in the Civil War or 385, 000 in WW2 ie; NO AMOUNT OF MILITARY FAILURE WILL DEMAND THE RACKET BE REFORMED BECAUSE WE HAVE TAKEN FAR GREATER LOSSES AND STILL CONTINUED TO EXIST AS A NATION-STATE etc. so the current losses due to military incompetence pose no "clear and present danger" to the survival of America, so SHUT-THE-FUCK-UP those all victim force people dying and being maimed for life KNEW WHAT THEY WERE GETTING INTO WHEN THEY VOLUNTEERED FOR THE RACKET. They knew that they could be sent on some fucked-up corporate war of convenience as part of a deliberately less-than-optimal military racket and die or be maimed in exchange for middle class wages, college benefits and a chance to order people around and wear sexy looking uniforms. YOU SIGNED FOR THE RACKET so now you must forfeit your what's-best functional common sense and your conscience, THUS SAITH THE RACKETEERS.

This is utter BULLSHIT, YOU ARE ALWAYS A FUCKING HUMAN BEING, PERIOD. And you NEVER abrogate your rights to do what's right and I do not give a flying fuck what you scribble on anyone's piece of paper. There comes a time when you have to start acting like a moral human being and damn all the social consequences of the various racketeers you cross when you do so. We used to call this capability human FREEDOM. If you are not free to do what is right you are not free.

History is full of examples where sewers leading under the city are unguarded and enemy forces sneak in unopposed and wipe-out every man, woman and child without mercy, wiping out the entire society. I dare say, America is on such a collision course because the American people as a whole DO NOT UNDERSTAND HUMAN RACKETEERING BEHAVIOR. They have no clue about how a partial solution racket in any walk of human life will be milked by those doing it so it grows and grows like a cancer until it stops working completely and shuts down society's vital organs, killing the nation-state.

Former marine Smedley Butler is quoted as saying "war is a racket" but didn't fully think racket or "rice bowl" theory through. He just hated it in an anti-military knee-jerk. We need a military---it just needs to not be a racket.

Rackets are standard human behavior in ALL walks of life.

Dutch, British, Canadian and other militaries have a CULTURE of excellence that understands--even without realizing it---to not corrupt its practices and equipments for less than optimal solutions that can be manipulated into a self-serving racket. Maybe because they are SMALLER they don't have the $$ to waste and their small solutions can employ enough people...maybe its our LARGE SIZE that corrupts us to less than optimal solutions to give more people a job to do?

Large Size = Rackets

For example, in the '80s/'90s the "heavy tankers" mis-ran the U.S. Army and refused to buy the M8 Buford Armored Gun System light tank because if the 82nd Airborne which had just kicked ass in Grenada (1983), Panama (1989) and Haiti (1994) by flying in M551 Sheridans would continue to "get all the action" leaving nothing for the M1 Abrams heavy tankers to do. Boo-Hoo. Light tanks threaten the ego and existence (racket, rice bowl) of the Heavy tankers when if they were less selfish they'd realize their ROLE (mission) to fight in OPEN TERRAIN for 2D MANEUVER will always be needed in conjunction with light force's closed terrain 3D maneuver. In other words, if you want to contribute to some small wars requiring light tanks rapidly deployed GET OFF YOUR ASS AND LEARN HOW TO PARACHUTE JUMP. If not, shut up and wait 'til you are needed for an open terrain fight ie; Desert Shield/Storm in 1990-91.

Because of the foot slogger lightitis and heavy tanker "mech pussy" rackets America doesn't have the light tracked tanks it needs and people like OBL remain on the loose to keep the GWOT racket going.

The way to stop racketeering behavior is for the people involved to have the self-control and wisdom to CONSCIOUSLY CHOOSE efficiency over more lucrative inefficiency.

In a word we have to be SMART.

Smart enough to know the subtle nuances of human behavior that if you do not fight against it, rackets will develop. Rackets and less than optimal solutions MUST BE REJECTED AS A MATTER OF PRINCIPLE.

Right now, Americans have no such principle of excellence, the "market" drives everything ie; GREED AND EGO to get the maximum cash for the least work to the most people because the more people corrupted by the racket, the more clout we have to keep the racket going.

Americans are not smart, we tend to be FULL OF SELFISH EGO, PRIDE and GREED to make a lot of money quickly at the lowest personal effort possible.

"Pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall" as God says.

In a nation-state, this means having a morality-based, logical CULTURE which America does not currently have. Other nations have good culture and they have good military services because of it since they determine what they do from honest war games and experiments and when they go to war they actually learn from it. In a smaller group like the U.S. military, some sense of what war realities are and to take what these demand to be done and do them---not factoring in what's best for the service bureaucracy racket. Without actual wars, war games and experiments could be the driving force like practice games and scrimmages are for football. However, the racketeers have learned to rig the games and lie about their results so as to not have to change their lucrative ego and greed rackets. A voluntary military attracts racketeers to its ranks so its the American people who do not have a cultural sense of themselves that are to blame for their less than optimal military. If a society does not have a self-control and excellence-seeking culture, then the next best thing is to not let volunteer greed and egotists take over the military services turning them into self-serving rackets but to force everyone in the nation to be involved to inject some get-the-job-done efficiency since these folks are not interested in "making the service a career" ie; being involved in a racket.

USN/Mc Lessons that Must be Learned


1. EGO: The USN wants to duel other navies in nation-state war because defeating mirror images of themselves is obvious self-validation (narcissistic existentialism) and they are not interested in NAVAL WARFARE. An example from land warfare is U.S. Army heavy tankers in M1s wanting to duel other tanks rather than fight battles, campaigns to defeat ARMIES which would be helped by having a diesel piston engine that sips fuel at 1 MPG rather than a turbine that hogs fuel at 7 gallons per mile just because the latter delivers 1500 hp at 4 tons less weight than the former so they can "hot rod" in a tank duel.


People that voluntarily join uniformed militaries do so primarily for either money or to prop up weak egos, these folks are not adults who see war as a necessary evil or who can see what NAVAL WARFARE really is about and do what's necessary to serve the nation. Other nations get this, the USN does not. If there are no enemy fleets to sink, the USN will aircraft/missile bombard land masses at very high costs and little effect from supercarrier ego/budget wagons.

2. GREED: The USN drunk from the Midway myth from WW2 have created a ship-building racket centered around a few overly large super aircraft carriers that strokes their egos and gives them budgetary power that corrupts the politicians whence cometh the ship building jobs/votes/campaign contributions. The USN is off in its own world preparing badly to relive Midway which is really the IJN Tsushima myth which had a bad outcome for the latter.


At the turn of the 20th century, a fad developed to build metal surface warships because for the first time in human history, we could.

Having fleets was an END UNTO ITSELF for national prestige and economic power. The FUNCTION of naval warfare to control the seas was served FOR A TIME by large surface warships at the same time EGO and GREED were fed. A racket is a less than optimal solution to a real need that the racketeers become aware of and deliberately milk for all its worth. Simpler, less costly and more efficient means as they are discovered will be vehemently opposed by the racketeers because they threaten greed and ego---things like seaplanes, submarines, sea mines, blimps and armed merchantmen. FUNCTIONal realities would educate a PROFESSIONAL military man that planet earth is still a huge area to defend and that to do it right we need a lot of platforms that can only happen if we constantly economize with efficiency to get the necessary effects. This ain't happening in the USN/Mc who forgot that WW2 was won with a LOT of little, humble platforms.

EGO + GREED = RACKET ie a fatally weak functional means

Naval warfare is actually about CIVILIANS and what they need to live (food, water, shelter, energy) which means 4 things; cargo ships, oil tankers, oil drilling platforms and a healthy earth--not military men and what they need to feed their ego and greed. The seas are no longer a main conduit for people passengers trying to get from A to B because conventional ships are too slow at 30 mph compared to airplanes at 500 mph. When WW2 began, USN Chief of Naval Operations King DID NOT WANT TO FORM UP CIVILIAN CARGO SHIPS INTO CONVOYS AND ESCORT THEM, he wanted to sink the enemy's surface fleet. He did not want to convert merchant ships into escort carriers. He basically DID NOT WANT TO DO HIS FUCKING JOB. He wanted to do what he wanted to do as an end unto itself when his job as a PUBLIC SERVANT should be to be a MEANS to a necessary end. After Midway, he didn't have much of an IJN fleet and never had a German fleet to sink so the navy went into "second fiddle" role grudgingly bombarding land for the army/marines and sinking the only enemy ships that could be found: THEIR CARGO SHIPS which is best done by seaplanes and submarines. The USN is sore that the world does not revolve around military men sailing around in surface warships.



The war in the Pacific was a sideshow instigated to get the Japs to attack us at Pearl Harbor to as an axis power get Germany to declare war on the USA so the pacifist German-sympathetic American populace would defeat the actual very real threat to them from Germany. Japan was never a threat. The USN's aircraft carriers were not even necessary to defeat the Japs as we land bridged aircraft forces that could dominate the seas around their area to march to the Japanese home islands. Had the USN been focused on NAVAL WARFARE, we would have been sea mining the Jap home islands by long range seaplanes and submarines immediately after Pearl Harbor and starved out the Japanese land garrisons at the strategic level not just at the operational level as MacArthur did. The stupid USMC frontalist blood baths to take islands for land-based bombers would not have happened to create the "Iwo Jima" myth that has corrupted into the current not-needed amphibious warfare racket we have.


FUNCTION must drive everything; vain people do not give a fuck about function. We must not create a Navy composed of narcissistic people. People who are young tend to be vain because their bodies are young and have not suffered to age. That they function better physically than older people is questionable in its own right, but regardless is not worth the price if it creates an organization of vain idiots, which is what we have today. We propose that we have 2 years of national service to get ALL Americans involved in military/civil affairs to include college graduates who would serve as active-duty OFFICERS and reserve officers for 10 years after their initial 2 year stint TO INJECT COMMON SENSE FUNCTIONAL ADULT GET-THE-JOB-DONE REALITY INTO THE SERVICE NOW RUN BY SNOBBY ASSHOLE CAREERISTS WHO WANT TO RACKETEER.


If this cannot be done then we will have to use volunteers but must SCREEN THEM OUT IF THEY HAVE NARCISSISTIC PERSONALITY DISORDER. From Day 1 the EXCELLENT USN is about FUNCTION. No fancy uniforms just fireproof jumpsuits and water survival gear.


They are taught what NAVAL WARFARE is all about. They spend at least a month on a container ship learning how they work and load/offload. Another month on an oil tanker. Then a month on an oil platform. Then they learn how to fight in the ocean with a near-submersible attack boat.


They are taught to scuba dive. They know how to fight with hand weapons and board/repel boarders. THEY GET WET. Everyone fights and everyone works. There is no "officer country" in air conditioned floors as the lower ranks swelter below. Fuck the Royal Navy precedents, everything they do is not golden.

Once we get a FUNCTIONAL Navy, then we can proceed with force structure and design. Assuming we're already that type of people with that type of understanding, we lay-out the following naval threats/tasks:

1. Ecological Destruction
2. Oil tanker interdiction
3. Container cargo ship interdiction
4. Oil platform interdiction
5. Enemy naval leveraging platforms
6. Land threats best leveraged from the sea

The ego/greed USN racketeers only want to do threat/tasks 5 & 6 using their bloated dozen supercarriers which themselves hog-up surface ships so there's not enough to do tasks 1-4 even in a poor way. To get enough and the right quality platforms we need to end this stuporcarrier-centric stupidity.

1. BVR Goose, BVR Gander: Heavily Armed Near or Submersible Cruisers with their own Seaplane Air Cover

In Professor Thompson's book, "Lessons Not Learned" he details how when two opposing groups of fighters approach eachother they lack still effective IFF and radar means to enable beyond visual range (BVR) attack and must "merge" and get a visual identification (VID) before attacking. The conclusion in this chapter is that fighter aircraft with men inside must look through bubble canopies to determine friend or foe.

However, in a chapter later he describes how the Aegis missile cruiser Vincennes couldn't differentiate an Iranian airliner from a F-14 and berates their radar operators for a lack of training. Why would radar work any better on a ship than it does in the air to facilitate BVR engagement? It doesn't. The world's greatest trained radar operators are not going to be able to differentiate friend from foe either from a plane or a ship many miles away, VID must take place. And with the USN only able to operate at the most 6 supercarriers, the lesson here is clear: cruisers and destroyers NEED THEIR OWN AIR COVER IN THE FORM OF THEIR OWN SEAPLANE FIGHTERS SO THEY CAN VISUALLY IDFENTIFY FRIENDLY AIRCRAFT FROM ENEMY. It also means a return of inexpensive escort carriers made from civilian container ships so we can have air cover for our surface fleet independent of the half-dozen BS supercarrier racket. This means TANGIBLE, EQUIPMENT changes in our Navy not bad-Boydian all-we-need-is-training anti-equipment knee jerk crap. If Boyd was so anti-equipment why did he design F-15 and F-16 EQUIPMENT if all we need is "personnel reform"? Talk is cheap and talk about reforming our training and word talk isn't going to amount to jack shiite when we need TANGIBLE, physical equipments in QUANTITY to get enough effects to prevail over the still very large earth.

A real cruiser can cruise around world and not be sunk if an enemy in a business jet shoots ASMs at it. Has jet and prop cat-launched seaplanes. Think USS Enterprise from Star Trek TV/movies. Has ASW and CM means. Can lay sea mines to deny the sea to foes. Can board ships to inspect, fight pirates etc. Can take hits and keep fighting. Zumwalt's SCSs but more armored, lower or under the water.


2. Long-Range Patrol and Transport Seaplanes and Near or Submersible Seaplane tender ships

Puts ASW pressure 24/7/365 on quiet diesel-electric submarines, CSAR, rapid sea mine-laying, AsuW, LA more efficiently than aircraft carriers and short-range fighter-bomber lawn darts. Move Army troops by transport seaplanes not marines who want to play at warfare on foot and in trucks. P-6M Seamaster and R3Y Tradewinds equivalents:



3. LTA blimps

Puts ASW pressure 24/7/365 on quiet diesel-electric submarines, CSAR


4. Maritime Self Defense force to Arm Civilian Ships to include making into Escort Aircraft Carriers

100 escort aircraft carrier modular kits and on-board weaponry to protect civilian ships and oil platforms from pirates and ASM/torpedo attacks from aircraft and diesel-electric submarines. Disband the moron USMC to get the man slots to create shore security battalions able to fight non-linearly with light tracked M113 Gavin type AFVs.


5. Heavily Armored Iowa Class battleships that can smash wade-into and an enemy Amphibious Invasion

Return all 4 to duty, give long-range liquid propellant guns for 200 mile ranges to do LA without risking pilots or cost inefficiencies, if we do gunboat diplomacy we USE GUNBOATS!




(Midway Myth Racket)


(Iwo Jima Myth Racket)



What Can We do About this Short of a Total Brain Transfusion AKA radical reform of the corrupt USN/Mc?

The following reforms are in addition to the 12 Naval & Ground Lessons from the Falklands War web page.

1. The Navy needs to buy F-35B STOVL Lightning IIs that are SOMEWHAT radar invisible during the pre-merge phase of an air-to-air battle and determine the best way to fly them from Arleigh Burke and Ticonderoga class destroyers/cruisers. Use the retired USS Ticonderoga as a test bed. At least 1 x F-35B Lightning IIs needs to be on every Navy surface combatant to insure we have air cover even in event that there are no aircraft carriers.

2. Reactivate ALL 4 of the Iowa Class battleships that are heavily armored and can wade into a Chinese communist invasion of Taiwan using amphibious tanks and landing craft to smash them even if we do not have air supremacy. Fit all the Iowas with ski-jumps to fly at least 6 x F-35B STOVL Lightning IIs.

3. Arm ALL P-3C ASW and E-2C AEW patrol planes with AIM-120 AMRAAMs; they are going to be attacked and they need to defend themselves. Wake up.

4. Buy small seaplanes that can fit into SEAL delivery nuclear submarines and float planes that can fire AMRAAMs operated from military sealift command and amphibious ships. The small observation/attack seaplanes can also do Maneuver Air Support (MAS) on land and sea by virtue of their low speed agility, armor protection and rear-seat observer. Buy large Russian jet seaplanes to replace the P-3Cs to sub hunt and attack surface ships. Buy transport seaplanes that can land large ground forces in M113 Amphigavin light tanks and rescue Sailors stranded in the water.

5. Develop submarine aircraft carriers that can covertly deploy marines in M113 Amphigavin light tanks. Get the marines out of the fatalistic, obvious beach assault mentality or disband them and get adults doing the naval ground maneuver mission.

6. Get more aircraft carriers by using converted container ships.

7. Improve the 11 large aircraft carriers we have by fielding a navalized A-10 "SeaHogs" that can help fight enemy SU-30Ks by air tanking the F-18s and shooting multiple AMRAAMs. Create a "deck extension" so we can cram more aircraft per carrier.

8. Wake the Navy up that its a COMBAT organization not a welfare-sailing-party at-port-club in horizontal metal buildings that float; change the uniform to one that is fire-proof and enables in-the-water survival.



"The PRC is developing a classic continental power's sea denial strategy to counter the US/Japan/Australia' classic maritime strategy.

However, unlike the Bonapartists, NAZIs, and Soviets, the PRC has a few different twists on the game. Until war breaks out, the Chinese are aggressively building their flag merchant marine and building up a "civil" maritime presence around the world, and are also buying dual-use technology wherever they can, including the EU, Japan, RoK, US, etc. Also, the PLA is working on means to target battle groups with ballistic missiles -- possibly nuclear-armed, but certainly adapting terminal guidance systems to SRBMs in an unprecedented manner (neither the US nor USSR ever saw much value in this). This is an interesting complement to a mix of conventional and nuclear attack subs, the still very limited PLANAF, and their mediocre surface fleet that is being modernized to carry very lethal 3rd generation Russian anti-ship missiles.

USPACOM can probably still defeat the PLA in any likely war, but the cost would be quite high, and since the war would be a limited one, it is likely that the PRC with its much larger (though less efficient/capable) defense-industrial base would be able to recoup its losses faster than the US would be able to do so. Also, a force-on-force US defeat of the PLA might not save Taiwan from annexation nor the RoK and Japan from de jure neutralization as war outcomes. Again, whenever the US fights a limited war while its enemies wage total war, the US MUST lose. The PRC would not see a war over Taiwan and Korea as a limited war, would probably fight in both theaters simultaneously (to its advantage, because they have more resources than the US in the Pacific even if they are mostly quantitatively inferior), and would retain escalatory dominance because of its large and growing/improving nuclear arsenal."


A former Navy Sailor writes:

"The whole DoD is a racket, and it's bankrupting the American economy. We spend as much on defense as the rest of the world combined, yet our military is nowhere near what it could, or should, be. Parasites is the perfect word for it. The USN is awash with waste, fraud, and abuse. Keep your mouth shut, do what you're told, stay in your social place, these are the rules of operation. We need to clean house and get rid of these corrupt assholes ASAP."


Monday :: Nov 28, 2005
Gaming Indian Wars

by pessimist

While Washington insiders are playing Patriot Games with each other, the United States military - the world's most expensive - is losing air war games to India:

Had the Indian air force beaten the Americans? Not exactly, according to observers and participants. The exercises had mixed teams of Indian and American pilots on both sides, which means that both the Americans and the Indians won, and lost.

Yet, observers say that in a surprising number of encounters -- particularly between the American F-16s and the Indian Sukhoi-30 MKIs -- the Indian pilots came out the winners.

[T]here are some signs that America's premier fighter jet, the F-16 Fighting Falcon, is losing ground to the growing sophistication of Russian-made fighter planes, and that the United States should be more wary about presuming global air superiority -- the linchpin of its military might.

The participants of the bharat-rakshak.com Web site, like a blogger who called himself "Babui," were convinced that the Americans' advantage was in doubt.

Citing a quote from a U.S. participant in Cope India '05 in Stars and Stripes ...

"We try to replicate how these aircraft perform in the air, and I think we're good at doing that in our Air Force, but what we can't replicate is what's going on in their minds. They've challenged our traditional way of thinking on how an adversary, from whichever country, would fight."

... Babui wrote:

"That quote is as good an admission that the F-16 jocks got their clocks cleaned."

Are Indian pilots superior to American pilots? Considering that the Air Force Academy seems more interested in Christian proselytizing than studying aerodynamics in combat situations, that may well be the case.

But, there is another possibility: Did the Pentagon throw the games just to get Congress to fund the F-22 for production? That's the question being posed at the Acorn.

According to this article, the U.S. pilots would have had to work at throwing the exercises. Instead, they may have lost fair and square:

U.S. fighter prowess slipping

Military experts say the joint exercises occurred at a time when America's fighter jet prowess is slipping. Since the U.S. victories in the first Gulf War, a war dependent largely on air power, the Russians and French have improved the aviation electronics (avionics) and weapons capabilities of their Sukhoi and Mirage 2000 fighter aircraft. These improvements have given countries like India, which use the Sukhois and Mirages, a rough parity with U.S. fighter planes like the F-16 and F-15C.

China, too, now has 400 late-model Sukhois.

The Su-30 MKI "is an amazing jet that has a lot of maneuverability," Capt. Martin Mentch told an Air Force publication, AFPN. Maneuverability is key for missions of visual air combat.

If it turns out the US Air Force did, in fact, get their clocks cleaned, it will have been the second time. In Cope India 2004, an air combat exercise that took place near the Indian city of Gwalior, U.S. F-15s were eliminated in multiple exercises against Indian late-model MiG-21 Fishbeds as fighter escorts and MiG-27 Floggers. In the 2005 exercises in Kalaikundi air base near Calcutta, Americans were most impressed by the MiG-21 Bisons and the Su-30 MKIs.

One USAF controller working aboard an AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System) plane told reporters at Kalaikundi Air Base that he was impressed by the speed in which Indian pilots responded to target assignments given them by AWACS. The AWACS, while operated by Americans, was acting as a neutral party, feeding target assignments to both Indian and American pilots during the exercise. In most cases, the Indians responded to target assignments faster than the American pilots did - a surprising fact, given that this was the first time Indian pilots had used the American AWACS capability.

But then, considering that we pay the Pentagon to be the best military in the world, maybe losing these war games are just a way to point out to the Congress that our military professionals need the best weapons and armor we can provide - a lesson they should be learning from the shortages of body armor and armored Humvees in Iraq.

But I digress.

The Pentagon apparently has known for a while that U.S. aircraft capabilities were slipping:

The American military amazed Moscow and the Russian media by saying that Russian-made fighter planes were superior to their American equivalents. How can these flattering revelations be explained?

General Hal M. Hornburg told USA Today that India's Sukhoi Su-30 MKI multi-role fighters have been successful against F-15 C/D Eagle aircraft in mock combat. In fact, the Indians won 90% of the mock combat missions. India's Su-30 MKI fighters and F-15 C/D Eagles from Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, engaged in mock combat exercises in February 2004.

However, no one mentioned that India won three of the four exercises at the time.

"We may not be as far ahead of the rest of the world as we thought we were, said Gen. Hal Hornburg, the chief of the Air Combat Command, which oversees U.S. fighter and bomber wings...The F-15Cs are the Air Force's primary air superiority aircraft...[and] the results of the exercise [were] wake up call."

The Inside the Air Force official newsletter also discussed the "Russian victory," and reported even more details. F-15 C/D Eagle fighters were pitted against not only Su-30 MKI fighters but also MiG-27s, MiG-29s, and even the older MiG-21 Bisons, which also performed well. The fighters not only defeated the F-15s but the French-made Mirage-2000 as well. According to the Washington ProFile Web site [unable to find a link to an English-language page], the results of the exercises surprised the American pilots.

Meanwhile, Russian military experts and aircraft designers did not seem surprised by these victories. The Sukhoi general designer, Mikhail Simonov, has repeatedly told RIA Novosti and other news agencies the Su-27 Flanker and the Su-30 MKI, a modified version of the Flanker, which are now in service in the Indian Air Force, were developed in the 1980s in response to the F-15 Eagle. Moreover, Soviet designers had stipulated far superior specifications. Consequently, Russian experts were not particularly surprised that the performance of the fighters matched their specifications.

Why did an American general publicly admit this fact four months after the exercises? The explanation lies on the surface: The U.S. Congress discusses defense spending for the next fiscal year every June and therefore, top American military officials started talking about events in February 2004 now.

Russian fighters first defeated their U.S. rivals when Sukhoi and MiG fighters had just started being shown at international aerospace shows in the early 1990s. Instead of missiles and artillery shells, Russian and American fighter planes used aerial cameras to record their mock air-to-air battles. American fighters were disappointed to learn the results of exercise - their cameras had not captured any Su-27s.

The Russians, however, had filmed their rivals' vulnerable points from just about every angle.

Chief designer Arkady Slobodskoi, the supervisor of the MiG-29 program, said, "if our plane is within range of an opponent and has a direct shot, the enemy can be considered destroyed. It only takes 5-6 machine gun bursts."

Russian pilots owed their impressive success to the Su-27's spectacular performance and its substantial thrust-to-weight ratio. The F-15, the F-16 and the F-18 have wide turning radii. Russian fighters, on the other hand, can turn on a dime by merely switch on their afterburners. The [Su-27] fighter's unsurpassed performance has already become well known throughout the world because no other fighter (except MiG fighters) can execute such impressive stunts as Pugachev's Cobra and others.

There have been some heavy layoffs in the aerospace industry over the last several years. Could it be that the Air Force has adopted the 'if you can't outfly 'em, buy 'em!' stretegy? It looks that way:

The United States, which is aware of the impressive combat potential of Russian fighters, had even purchased a squadron of MiG-29s from Moldova after the Soviet Union disintegrated. (That squadron was deployed at an airfield near Chisinau.) Germany, which had obtained a number of MiG-29s after reunification, helped repair the Moldovan fighters. Both Germany and the United States now use these aircraft to train their pilots, so that the pilots can cope with the 7,000 Russian fighters in the world.

But considering the results of the recent war games with India and Russia, this plan isn't working too well. At least that's the take of experts across The Pond:

Britain's Military Balance magazine estimated that India had more than 500 Russian-made fighters. It was therefore not surprising that Indian pilots could defeat their American rivals, despite the U.S. Air Force's intensive combat-training programs.

Admitting flaws and defects isn't part of the Bu$hCo game plan, however, and the excuses have begun to flow:

American pilots have not confronted any serious adversaries for a long time. The U.S. Air Force dominated the skies over Yugoslavia in 1999 and in Iraq in 1991 and 2003. Iraqi planes were grounded during both campaigns. Therefore, mock combat is the only way to amass experience.

Every "Top Gun" in the U.S. Military should howl long and loud over this "justification" of the Indian pilot performance:

The long standing American Air Force mentality prevents its pilots from confronting their Russian counterparts because any possible setback would be detrimental to morale. An American Air Force pilot must be convinced that he can and must defeat the former "theoretical enemy." At the same time, these problems do not exist for mock combat exercises against Indian pilots because any defeats can be explained by inadequate training.

The planes' operational capabilities themselves may not be the reason for the poor U.S. showing, agrees one critic:

Is fighter X better than fighter Y?

by Ross Smith (avfaq@meanmach.actrix.gen.nz)

This is the kind of question that gets discussed all the time, but doesn't really have an answer.

First, best for what? Every fighter is designed with a particular set of requirements in mind. "Fighter" is a fairly general term that covers a multitude of missions. A Tornado F.3 or a MiG-31 is an excellent long-range interceptor, but you wouldn't want to send one of them up against an F-16 or an Su-27 in a dogfight.

Second, the aircraft itself isn't the only factor involved, or even the most important one. Put two aircraft of similar (or even somewhat different) capabilities up against each other, and by far the most important factor is the relative skills of the two pilots.

It's widely believed that superior pilot training was the main reason why American F-86 Sabres consistently gained air superiority over technically superior Russian MiG-15s in the Korean War.

Third, even apparently identical fighters can differ enormously in their electronics fit; and in modern fighters, the electronics is at least as important (not to mention expensive) as the airframe. Export versions of fighters are normally much less capable in the electronic sphere than the equivalent models for the home air force, even when the aircraft have the same designation; does anyone expect the F-16Cs exported to, say, Egypt to be anywhere near the capability of the F-16Cs in USAF service? Older aircraft can be upgraded to modern electronic standards at a fraction of the cost of new fighters, an option increasingly popular in these days of tightened defence budgets (for example, the RNZAF recently upgraded its Skyhawk fleet with a radar and avionics suite equivalent to that of the F-16A).

For the elucidation of all of you wrong-wing kids who weren't even twinkles in the eyes of your parents yet, the Skyhawk was used in the Vietnam War.

But I digress.

Most of the modern generation of fighters are fairly similar in performance. Leaving out specialised interceptors such as the Tornado and MiG-31 mentioned above, if almost any two modern fighters came up against each other in a dogfight, pilot skill would certainly be the main deciding factor.

In these war games, it may well have been the superior ability of the Indian pilots which carried the day for the IAF:

Like fish taking to water, Indian fighter pilots took their maiden introduction to Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AWACS) technology, which flew over the country's skies for the first time. Fresh from having proved their mettle in maneuvers with their United States Air Force counterparts in exercises last year on F-15 Eagles, IAF pilots held their own, when they came up against the Fighting Falcons, F-16's, billed as the most superior fighter in the world during the almost two week long joint exercises over this airbase.

Though both Air Force officials painstakingly shied away from giving any figures of "kills" or "hits", U.S. Air Force pilots said they had been impressed by the flying skills of the Indian pilots.

This Indian officer knows how to be diplomatic when bragging about his force's victory:

"U.S. Air Force is the largest and most technologically advanced Air Force in the world with rich operational experience. At the same time, the home grown ingenuity and skill of the IAF pilots has earned them respect from different nations of the world", Marshal Major said.

Respect - a word too often alien to the wrong-wingers who visit us - is vital if one's country is to experience peace. It is unfortunate, if necessary, to be able to inspire respect through one's military capabilities. It doesn't help when a fourth-rate military like Iraq's can stand off the Mo$t Expen$ive Military in the world using cell phones and buried artillery shells.

This article presents the military challenges facing India:

Strengthening defence

India's two neighbours, Pakistan and China have continued to strengthen and expand their defence capabilities with new acquisitions, including an entire range of modern missiles and aircraft, which may not he as sophisticated as F-16s or SU-30, but lethal alright. China still remains the world's largest importer of war equipment and because of its old friendship with Pakistan, has passed on hundreds of tested missiles and fighter aircraft to that country.

And that's not all, folks! China and Pakistan began joint naval exercises last week, something that the Indians eye warily. But don't shed any tears for the Indians over this. China is also conducting separate joint naval exercises with Indian units, which indicates the range of their growing influence in the region.

But never fear! The Stars And Stripes are flying proudly off the China coast during war games conducted with ...

... The Philippines?

New war games between the Philippines and the United States would be held in North Cotabato in January next year, the military announced yesterday.

Col. Ruperto Pabustan, commander of the Army's 602nd Infantry Brigade based in Carmen town, said a battalion of Filipino Soldiers and a company size of American troopers will participate in the exercises. The January war game, dubbed Balance Piston, would be the second for Americans in Carmen. "There will be crash training on anti-terrorism campaign ...," he said.

So - is it the fighting prowess of the Americans that impresses the locals? I doubt it! They seem to think we're only very good at something else:

Asked what the provincial government plans to do to avoid incidents similar to the Subic rape case, Gov. Emmanuel Piñol said in a jest: "Let's cut their organs."

On Okinawa, the local citizens would certainly be sympathetic. There is plenty of frustration to go around when the U.S. military shields sexual predators from local justice.

Such excesses make an already difficult diplomatic situation into a nearly impossible one that thwarts cooperation among nations with common goals.

But I digress.

But what if the local situation is already every bit as complex as the international one? North Cotabato is a very complicated place. It is a locality where Islamic separatists desire to create their own religious-based state not affiliated with the Phillipines.

But some of these separatists are operating on the Phillipine government's side. Why else would the Army have to stay on its base for these exercises to avoid a diplomatic misunderatanding?

To avoid conflict with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), which maintains a presence in Carmen, [Col.] Pabustan said the anti-terror exercises would be confined to the 200-hectare area that his command's camp occupies.

North Cotabato is part of Central Mindanao where soldiers are hunting down terror suspects allied with the Jemaah Islamiyah. These include the Abu Sayyaf and its local ally, the Pentagon gang. The Pentagon gang is composed of former Moro rebels, who have resorted to extortion and kidnapping to raise funds.

Eid Kabalu, MILF spokesperson, said they have already deployed spies to help government security forces recover [kidnapped victims]. Last month, the MILF recovered a four-year-old boy from the hands of the Pentagon [Gang].

Delicate diplomacy would certainly be called for here, wouldn't it? In a way, this situation illustrates what this nation would be like if the NRA were to get its way and allow everyone to use openly carried side arms when they felt threatened. Everyone would have to be extremely careful not to upset the guy pointing a big gun at you (and they all look big when you're looking at the business end of one!).

Substitute military exercises right outside your borders for openly carried side arms, and the basic situation of diplomacy remains unchanged. War games aren't just the purview of the big guys. But that doesn't mean that there aren't tensions, or less of a need to be diplomatic and cautious when armed activities are conducted by smaller, less-militarized nations:

Indonesian Navy Holds Largest War Games Here

The games, which shall be held along 81,000 km of Indonesia's coast line as far as the waters of the Ambalat block, were opened by Indonesian Navy Admiral Slamet Subiyanto just off the city of Surabaya on Monday (11/21/05). Subijanto said the war games were not meant as a show of force by the Indonesian Navy towards Malaysia although they were carried out near the waters of the Ambalat block.

Undiplomatic tensions can inspire war games as much as war games can generate tension:

War games in Venezuela gird for any U.S. invasion

Camouflaged soldiers jumped from boats into the surf and waded ashore in a mock assault Thursday, the latest in a series of Venezuelan military exercises preparing for a U.S. invasion that President Hugo Chavez warns could come.

Hundreds of men, women and children met the troops on the beach, some shouting "Gringos go home!" and "Freedom!"

The soldiers ignored them and hiked into their small fishing town, stone-faced as they spread out and took control. Smiling children ran after the troops on the beach, and a couple of burly men shoved soldiers back into the sea before an officer explained that wasn't part of the drill.

"That's what is going to happen to the Americans if they come here," said Wolfang Pino, a 44-year-old electrician.

Many civilians said they were thrilled to be a part of the exercises, but a few found it alarming to have their town overrun by soldiers. "I've never seen anything like this in all my 56 years," said Juana Brazon, who said the war games "bring fear" to the town. Several residents said they feared the U.S. government might try to take control of Venezuela's oil fields given recent tensions between Chavez and President Bush.

"If Bush is in Iraq, in Afghanistan taking oil, he could do it here, too," said Pino.

Chavez, a tough-talking nationalist who accuses the Bush administration of trying to overthrow him, says close cooperation between the military and civilian defense groups is key to resisting any U.S. attack. American officials insist there is no such plan, but Chavez says the South American country must be ready.

The attitude that Chavez displays toward American invasion isn't such a stretch for most of the world. Grenada and Panama certainly still remember when the Yanks were coming, and I'm still within the short period that most young conservatives were alive. Many nations remember our arrival with less than delight prior to that.

There are other ways to win the respect of the world without resorting to the drawn weapon as the first response. Make it clear that a weapon like our military can be used if needed, but do everything you can NOT to use it.

Once you do, all doubts are removed, and all bets of success are off.

That happened to King George with the spy plane incident. He drew his sixgun long before he had to, and when he was stood down, he looked like a fool that anyone - Al Qaeda, Iraqis, Talibani, etc. - could take. And did.

Just like what happened to Custer.


Why are Russian fighters so big?
Thursday, October 21, 2004 (00:39 AM)

Reply to this thread RSS Feed Posted by whocares (25)

Im just curious to any ideas why Russian fighters are designed so heavy. If anyone has the real explanation for the reason then let me know.

What about mid-air refueling? And as for increased weapons loads, more hard points under the wings and fuselage coupled with a good power plant takes care of that problem. Oh well. You do have a good point though.

Posted by Karakondzhul (6)

No, Let's take an example: USA and USSR wanted to have a heavy and a light fighter jets. So in USA were born the F-15 (heavy multirole) and F-16 (lighter jet and cheaper). The counter result in USSR was the heavy Su-27 and the lighter MiG-29. This was the concept from the end of the 80-s. So it is not very accurate to say that russian fighter jets are too big. Simply the big jets are F-15, Su-27, Tornado. The lighters are MiG-29, F-16. Posted by anticommi (33)

Karakondzhul, You forgot to include F-14 there. It's quite big and heavy.

On the other hand, Su-27K (Carrier based version) takes-off fully loaded without cat. Try to do the same with F-14 or F-18 - you'll be fishing them out of the Ocean :-) Posted by anticommi (33)

yeap, I agree, in the 50-th size did matter. I have a couple of questions though: How is that three times heavier Su-30 outmaneuvers light F-15 2.5 times and future F-22 2 times? How's stupid and old Russian electronics beat every aspect of modernized American technology in radars and military navigation? How's that that nuclear Russian submarine faster than fastest American torpedo? How's that that Russian modern torpedo 5 times faster than fastest American torpedo?

It was always trial and error for American Military "Intelligence" to see that maybe Russians are not good enough. Let's fly U-2 as they do not have missiles that'll fly that high while first russian AAA flew higher than any military aircraft today.

Posted by Military (2)

Wow.ridiculous, but amazing argumentation.

The U.S. is technologically advanced. No doubt about that. The Russians are also technologically advanced. There's no doubt about that, either. Each side has its ups and its downs. It's practical. Get used to it.

Russians are, in more ways than one, superior to Americans. If you take into account all military considerations, Russia has the biggest biological and chemical weapons' arsenal in the world; it has the biggest stockpile of nuclear weapons, tactical and otherwise. It's Russia who built the only missile to completely and effectively render the American defences incapable -- the Sunburn -- and the U.S. initiated proceedings to ban it.

Now, we could go on and on about this topic and still get nowhere. Truth is, there are both +ve and -ve points on both sides of the flair -- there are some areas where the U.S. is advanced. There are some areas where Russia is advanced. However, present circumstances in mind, although the Russian economy is in shambles, the Russian military is far more superior and powerful in the world than of any other country. And bear in mind that superiority is not guaranteed by what you incorporate into a system. You could very well build a kitchen in a fighter plane and that would be laughable. It is that which matters in a combat scenario, heavyweight or lightweight, that matters and with that in mind, Russians rule the world right now.

Oh, and did I forget the whole idea of 'suitcase nukes' from Russia, that still work, by the way?

Posted by Greek (40)

Hang on a minute anticommi! I can understand the rest of the points in your last post, but I really can't swallow the "How's that that nuclear Russian submarine faster than fastest American torpedo?" Which Russian sub is faster than which American torpedo?

Posted by JoeHQ (1)

No submarine can, practically, be faster than a torpedo. Particularly, if you're talking about military submarines, it defeats the purpose if the submarine is so easily detectable. The bigger the mass, the more force it requires to propel faster, or generate a bigger velocity. The smaller the mass, the smaller the force it requires to propel faster; the relationship here is that of direct proportion.

If a military submarine can be detected, and it can be due to its sheer size, and moving fast, it is really tactical stupidity. Russians may be a lot of things, but they're not tactically stupid.

Posted by Rogue (2)

I noticed everybody is trying to make it look like Russian technology is more effective then America's.lol. This is my first post on here, I named myself stinger because in the Russian Afghan conflict, the c.i.a pretty much just gave the Afghan's just one simple shoulder launched missile to push back the so called mighty Russian army. My point is, it's not the size that matter's, it's the quality and effeciency of your weapon system's. As far as it goes as Russian fighter's being so big, again it's not the size that matter's so, no offense this is kind of a weird bulletin post.


Russian Demo Flight
The best pilot ever. Impressive

67 comments | Add Comment

* SU-37 [ +2 interesting ]

this is not the su 27, but the far superior su 37. the su 37 is the only aircraft to pull off some of those munuevers. the f 22 would be taken out of the sky by this plane. the su 37 is the only plane to be able to force stall. that is what lets it make some of those menuevers. there is another plane being built that is far supiriour to this one, but its by the russians as well. the americans are still trying to figure out some of the techknoledgy used on this plane. the su 37 is at the time, the fastest, most muenuverable, and over all best fighter jet at the moment. for the pilots of the su 37, they are each tought the meunuvers that this video demonstrated.

the one and only ART! by ‎crzychipmunk , 9th February

o ‎ not the only one [ +1 insightful ]

hi! the su-37 (if it's one) is not the only aircraft of the russians being able to perform maneuvers like that. i saw the su-35 life at the ila in berlin in 1998. it performed the so called pugachev(?) cobra maneuver where the plane is flying almost inverted the tail forward almost without gaining altitude. even the mig 29 is very very good in tight maneuvers, even better is the flanker, the su-27. the su-35, and i guess the su-37 as well have vector thrust making it able for the pilots to fly like that.

it's probably not the technology of those aircraft, it's the fact that they don't have it! f-18 pilots tried the cobra years ago but couldn't fly it due to their computer avoiding aircraft attitudes like those seen in this video. i bet the eurofighter typhoon comes close! but really when today will you get into a dog fight using such maneuvers. i hope we will never find out which one is the best, the raptor, the typhoon or one of those AWESOME russian aircraft.

by ‎tralldriver , 10th February

+ ‎ Its all about technology. Russia's technology is so advanced that Bush asked Russia to holt the improvement of the technology. Ya right Bush keep dreaming. by ‎Lepo , 22nd March

This is a beautiful aircraft with astounding aerobatic capabilities. But the F-22's weapons systems would make it more than a match for this plane in air-to-air combat. In an airshow, I'd take this one. In combat, I'd take the F-22. U.S.-made fighter jets have a dominant record against Soviet (Russian) made fighters in real combat engagements over the last few decades. And it's not by accident.

by ‎Sawster , 12th February

Correction, US jets have dominant record against PREVIOUS generation of Soviet/Russian jets. The only time when US jets had met the same generation Soviet jets was in Korean war and Soviet jet fighters took US planes off the skies one after another. After that there wasn't a single real combat match-up between concurrent generation of Soviet/Russian and US jet fighters.

by ‎lagin , 1st December

In the past 20 years, whenever Russian-built jets engaged U.S jets, yes, they lost miserably. You may say that this proves the superiority of U.S jets, but not so fast...

First of all, let's look at simple facts: (I don't have numerical statistics, but I believe you'd agree with these simple truths) Whenever Russian-built jets took off to engage U.S fighters in conflicts during the 1990s (Serbia, Iraq...) they were horribly outnumbered, had no AWACS coverage, no ECM jamming, low pilot morale.... Therefore under all these negative circumstances, I don't understand how it is fair to compare the combat records of U.S vs Russian fighter aircraft. Oh, and don't forget this: the Russian jets part of the "combat record" of U.S jets were flown by countries which didn't manufacture the aircraft itself. Imagine what the scenario would be if Russian pilots themselves flew these jets, along with all the appropriate AWACS ECM support?

by ‎major_gunner , 14th October

* the plan can do hard moves but in a low speed... can this plan do the same manouvers with voice speed.. since in real battles nothing go that slow and all these great moves will be useless... thats why i respect the F16... its creatures only concentrate how to improve it in real battles actions

by ‎wolfheart_2001 , 7th February

Old Thinking and absolutelly amateur

Reach a hight speed and do things there is not a problem since 60s... Sure all modern fighters and interceptors can flight 2-3 M - not a problem. But the faster an aircraft on hight speed, the harder it is to make it well controlled on super-low speed... The point is to show the aircaft controllability and how strong the plain is. Why we need super-sonic + low-speed ability in one machine? Simple - to survive. It allowes for the aircraft to flight super-low (25-50 meters), where you need great maneuverability to avoid collisions with buildings, groud and other flying crap like enemy choppers. In this case you can penetrate modern anti-aircraft defense system with less than 10% losses. (If you try to do that on a high speed, high altidude, you're lucky if your losses is lower than 70-75%). Good luck

by ‎Getaway , 7th February

russians are * GREAT SCIENTISTS. u just need to be more honest about your failures. at least the americans wear their failures on their sleeves. if we could have russian, japanese, american, german scientists put their heads together we could get off this rock. by ‎J-ust B-een S-een , 16th April

o ‎ god point

yeah all the enginners of humanity together could create wonders

by ‎Mutley103 , 30th April

‎ Su 37 RULES

* "Any time, any place." were the words of Sukhoi's Chief Designer, Mikhail Simonov, as he challenged any US aircraft to a mock combat after being questioned about the relevance of the Su37's Thrust Vectoring (TV) manouvers in combat. And it is a challenge which has not been taken up. The Su37 Super Flanker is yet another development of the Su27 (which now seems basic in comparision!). The main improvement / addition in this development is the addition of the AL-37FU thrust vectoring engines.

When the Su37 was displayed at Farnbrough in 1996 it stole the show. Under the control of Sukhoi's Cheif Test Pilot, Eugeny Frolov, the Su37 performed some astounding manouveres.

I feel sorry that money is today there problem but hope they will get stronger in finance soon! But IDEAS are no ones monopoly.....


* I am new on this site ,Do not enderestimate the russians.They are the only one who have the capability to track american submarines which are some off the best in the world.With the beyond visual range dont you think they would have develope some form off counter mesure.The Russians built the best plains .If there planes are so big and yet out manuvers all the others.I know some day the russian is going to built a plain as small as the american plaines and at that time the american will be shitting in there pants.If this plain is the Fu 27 it carries about 16 misiles with look down shoot capability.

by ‎cecja , 15th March

Here is more on SU-37 * Do Video Search on top for "super flanker"

F22 - 2D thrust vectoring
SU37 - 3D thrust vectoring

Both are amazing.

Developed for different tactics and strategies. Cannot compare them in the way some ppl are trying to here.

Sometimes it seems that patriotism = idiotism. At least it clouds the judgement. My god has a bigger d**k than your god...

by ‎chiefaviator , 1st March

* Pugachov Cobra is only one of the simpliest things what this plane can do. hail.

by ‎greebothecat , 14th February

‎ Nice plane but

* There is no doubt that this is a great plane. The only problem is the "first shot, first kill" reality to today's modern air combat. This plane is basically an F-15 with thrust vectoring. If dogfighting was valid in today's modern combat, the Russian plane might be the best out there but dogfighting has nothing to do with modern combat. America's eyes in the sky would see this plane and kill it LONG before it ever saw the American plane, whether it be the new F-22 or the F-14, F15 or F-16. Besides, Russia would run out of money to build enough of these fighters to make them any real threat in a war with America!

by ‎ChristianRedBlooded , 12th February

o ‎ Is that what you think?

You think that Russia doesnt have enough planes to make a threat in war with America because they dont have enough money? Lets put it yhis way more than 80% of all the taxes goes to the Army which makes it easy to make weapons, aircrafts, sea and land vehicles. And if you say that Russia doesnt post any threats to the Americans. How come Mr.Bush went to the Russia's president and cried like a little b***h to holt the advancement of the technologies

by ‎Lepo , 22nd March

‎ Lots of Jealous Yanks in this string

* I saw this plane, a SU-37, being thrown around the sky just like this at Farnborough in '96. For the record F-22 and Typhoon are only just coming in to service. Also Mr Bush can't decide how many F-22 he can afford, so whilst it might be better BVR, once all the missiles are fired the Su's will just keep coming and when it down to guns only I know where I'd rather be....

by ‎Sats , 9th February

I'm sorry to say that

I'm russain myself you know but most of these planes will never see service in the army theyre just test planes in order to show off youu know russia has got severe problems with economy right now we can't mass product our newest technology at least that's what the last pocets of free media say

by ‎Mutley103 , 30th April

‎ Getaway, you make me doubt you

If you "personally investigated a crash of an SU27" you should know that "those little wings in front of the cockpit" are called "canards".

While this is an impressive demonstration, I saw no maneuvers that many other aircraft cannot make give similar pilot skills. I have seen propeller-driven aircraft in air shows do more.

by ‎Slrman , 8th February


you CANNOT compare propeller driven aircraft with heavy ton jet planes, please! every year at the red bull air race almost every plane performs more incredible maneuvers than in this vid.

by ‎tralldriver , 10th February

su-37 is coming for you

* classic plane! but there is a plane way better then this one. it's not built yet, it's just on blueprints, they are getting money to build one. i bet you'll be stunned when you see that plane flying

by ‎westbam , 7th February


* As soon as they added those extra wings right behind the cockpit, the controlability became amazing. Before that, just 10 years ago only a few pilots in whole army could do the Cobra (when plaine stops from speed 400km/h to 20-30 km/h in matter of seconds - great anti-missile maneuver). I personally investigated a crash of SU27 after the pilot attempted to do that and lost controll... With this new little wing - it is so much easier to perform it - it is almoust a routine maneuver for pilots and part of their training (where they have such aircrafts)...

Also the reverce flight is amazing (there is no othe plaine in the world can do that. Why? The engines simply stop (surge) as soon as the air flow stops coming into the front inlet and comes into the engine in behind nozzle.)...

Go Russia, go.

The problem is - except a few courtier air wings (trained for shows) the 80% of the army is extremely poor, equipped with old junky crap and bureaucratically oppressed... :-( Ok, stopping - it is too sensitive theme.

by ‎Getaway , 7th February

+ ‎ good luck

this is the reason the raptor was built. It will kick on an f15 or an f16 but the raptor can do all these manouvers. look around on the net and you can find the raptor doing this stuff. now the big edge for the raptor is stealth. same principle the best aces of ww1 ww2 and any other war used, sneak up and nail em before they see you. its rare that two piots get into dogfights anymore. You get nailed before they ever see you visualy. As for the typhoon I am not up to date on what it can do so I won't comment.

by ‎WhatMeWorry , 6th February

It cannot do all of these maneuvers...

The Raptor (which I happen to be a fan of) incorporates pitch-axis vectored thrusting which allows it to complete some of the extreme AoA and vectored turning displayed above...However - the SU33 incorporates 360d-vector thrusting which provides enhanced yaw control in addition to pitch. The Su33 also incorporates control surfaces on the conard which supply additional control at low speeds and ensure a higher stall tolerance.

As for BVR (beyond visual range) - you are correct that the F22 has a much lower signature and should have the advantage, but the superior airframe belongs to the Su33. This is because of an educated assessment of flight capabilities - not because I'm talking out of my A$$ 'cause I want the Su33 to win...Kapeche?

by ‎rabbitc , 7th February

...and I've already confirmed that the F22 will be a superior BVR attacker.. The independant skill of the pilot (and Russian has some damn good ones) and the philosphy of what modern combat shall become is neither here nor there...The Cobra manuever upon itself is not a combat maneuver and was never intended to be - it is a demonstration of the aircraft's abilities.

As far as talking goes - I have studied modern combat aircraft for the better part of 20 years and talk quite frequently with former drivers. When comparing two aircraft - do it on the individual merits of both. Flag waving rhetoric won't change the facts - it just makes the conversation boring.

by ‎rabbitc , 8th February


I think that this is a SU - 37UB.A jet fighter that can carry 7 tons of munition.To compare american bomber A 10 Thunderbolt can carry 10 tons.But he hadn't shown Kulbit.A special manoeuvre with starting speed about 500 km/h then 360° backward flip and ending speed of 60 km/h with no altitude fall.And that machine can do 120° Cobra not only 90°.

by ‎Nacrocyklo , 6th February

was it?

Was it adjustable exhausts? Or is it that the canards allow insanely high angles of attack? It's fascinating to watch this and watch what the canards do.. they appear to act as forward elevons. I think they're using them to maintain airflow over the wings at incredible AoA, since each maneuver is thrust-down and nose-up. Plus the Su-33 has a positive thrust to weight ratio so it does in fact fly like a rocket at times, like the poster above said. I might be outdated but I don't think the US has had a positive T/W air superiority ship since the F-15. Anyway you can see the combat applications of those snap moves right away. Technological wonders never cease! (Nor cease to amaze...)

by ‎Jenga , 7th February


Its a combination of the two. its called vectored thrust. thrust is what makes it move exhaust is a biproduct of the engine burning fuel.

by ‎WhatMeWorry , 7th February

that was a rhetorical question

Right, knew that. I'm saying I don't think this craft has a vectored thrust engine. Or more specifically I'm saying that I think those maneuvers are possible without a vectored thrust engine, if the canards are acting as a turbulence foil, keeping the airflow over the top surface of the wing even at high angles of attack. The craft has enough engine power to muscle straight through so (given enough altitude) he could recover from anything, including a flat spin... as long as he can control and maintain airflow over the wing. Which is what the canards appear to be doing, if you look at their position relative to the angle of attack on the high-vector maneuvers.

by ‎Jenga , 7th February

You could be partly right...

The U.S. did quite of bit of research with canards back on the X-29 project and the results were astounding. Better turn rate, higher envelope (IIRC) - all and all a great little plane.

by ‎rabbitc , 8th February


They put the canards on an f15 I think nasa was using it as a test bed for them. can't remember what the results were.

by ‎WhatMeWorry , 10th February