Wow! and there's a family connection too. The Army really is rolling out the first bolo.
It's time to be afraid. I think Laumer trusted the people to do the right thing with autonomous weapons but after my experience with these, me? Not so much. Every night my father would come home with not one, but two briefcases of crap he had to read and respond to about fielding the M2 and M3 Bradley. A lot of it boiled down to an idiot Air Force Colonel in the Pentagon who thought it was a tank and a bunch of other people who thought it was too big, too small, too little firepower, too much firepower, weighed too much, couldn't float, etc. Hell, they made a movie. It's been doing its Army thing now for 38 years and if there is a planned replacement I haven't read about it.
|BOLO MK 1|
Some day I'll tell you about being an acquisition professional and Program Manager buying patrol boats for the Navy. You would think that would be easy and you would wonder, where did the acquisition professional community go wrong. I can tell you.
What the old man saw was what any Army guy saw; the best was the enemy of good enough. Once you finally get the thing into production and rolling off the assembly line you can fine tune it but the first goal is to get the thing into production. The system is set up to allow the user to complain or offer suggested improvements. It's not like the Navy's worthless LCS paddleboats where there was absolutely no fleet input for over 15 years.
Singapore has announced a remote piloted/self-piloted version of their IFV. Capable of working independently through a list of tasks and only needing remote operator input on major decisions or when needed. Shooting is not one of the major decisions...ReplyDelete
I doubt it can do worse than the defense of Singapore when it was overrun by the Japanese in 1942. The USN had a basically united leadership for 20 years of dunderheads who brought us the LCS. Half of them are probably consultants for Singapore through their second careers as namists for LockMart, Boeing, etc.Delete
So is that an Infinite Repeater I see on the Mark I?ReplyDelete
I don't think they came into service until the MK XX.Delete
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our youngest brother was a Program Manager for the USAF next gen training helicopter. they liked the huey but wanted to modernize it to reflect what pilots faced in the "real world". upon his retirement, i sent him a copy of "Pentagon Wars".He thought it was like seeing the past come alive.Delete
So, the plan was to utilize the Huey but glass the instruments getting rid of the old steam gauges, and have a t-700 FADEC engine with autothrottle etc. etc. more fuel, payload, range, weapons blah blah blah.
The Pentagon failed to contract access to the programming for the engine management systems. the manufacturer wouldn't give it up without really big money and voiding the engine warranty. Otherwise, the USAF couldn't turn down the engine power; who in their right minds wants to turn the power down, you ask???
Turns out the student pilots, under dire angst and stress of sighting pilot eating Alabama alligators thru the windscreen, would overtorque the engine output exceeding the gearbox limits and breaking the mount bolts holding the whole shebang to the airframe(also called "not a good thing") proving yet again that helicopters are heavier than air.
I always told him manly helicopters were built by Igor and his minions, but of late, I am enamored with the Kaman designs. they just seem to be too simple a design for the military to take seriously, but turn out to be excellent UAVs for sling loading supplies to the FEBA. I know it must gall him to no end that he can see a pilotless helicopter coming down the pike after all that they went thru for their "new" huey.
While I was at NAVCENT former VADM Tony Less (good guy, i worked for him too) came out to give a pitch to VADM Fargo et al (me too) on the KMAX helicopter back in 1996. It looked like a fascinating thing to me but of course the aviation and medical guys were concerned that there was no seating for anybody but the pilot and Tony's glib response that the could always weld benches to the sides for up to 6 or 8 more guys was poo pood by the real 'experts'. Tony made the point that the helo had more than enough lift for anything up to about what a CH-46 could lift but I never heard anymore about the KMAX. It's interesting to see SEALS wafted around on Little Birds sitting on benches welded to the sides of the helo. I could just see them screaming in delight if they got to fast rope all the way to the objective :)Delete
specops bemoaned a lack of speed. 100% of available torque went to lifting surfaces. also, simplified power flow-no tail rotor-simple controls, damage tolerant, not requiring boosted controls, and for those in dire need of interior volume, Kaman designed and tested a voluminous aft fuselage for troop lifts. still, the basic design was optimised for lifting loads on a sling for moving inanimate freight and what not on the same power as a UH-1. all the requirements from the military were afterthoughts. video of UAV ops in Afghanistan is on Youtube. presently, Kaman is considering reopening the production line as demand dictates. interesting technology dating back to WW2. a real plus for the design, one could fly freight on the KAMAX for one third the cost of flying the same loads with UH-60s with half the number of crew at risk if any.Delete