Infopost | 2023.05.08

F-16 F-22 Su-27 waifus Slave I

Controversies abound. F-16s to Ukraine? Wagner's casualties. Dominion and Tucker Carlson. And finally, what is the best Star Wars spacecraft?

Japanese F-35

The next installment of "why the US military-industrial complex owes Russia a gift basket" just dropped.

WhiskeyTigerFoxtrot WhiskeyTigerFoxtrot Lockheed Martin awarded USD7.8 billion for 126 F-35s

The US F-35 Joint Program Office on 28 April awarded Lockheed Martin USD7.8 billion for 126 F-35 Lightning IIs. The deal exercises an option on a contract awarded in January for Lot 17 of F-35 production.

The contract includes 81 conventional take-off and landing F-35As, 26 vertical take-off and landing F-35Bs, and 19 carrier-capable F-35Cs.

... the order also contains aircraft for eight different customers: eight As for Finland, seven As and two Bs for Italy, six As for the Netherlands, six As for Poland, four As and two Bs for Japan, four As for Belgium, three As for Denmark, and seven Bs for the UK.

All the aircraft will be equipped with Technical Refresh 3, which upgrades processing power substantially with an L3Harris core processor, a new memory system, and an open mission systems architecture. The refresh also includes a new cockpit display.

The first of the Lot 17 aircraft is scheduled for delivery in 2025. Lot 17 contains many aircraft for non-US customers, particularly in Europe. The F-35 has been increasingly popular since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

From Janes Defense Weekly today.

And that's without any F-35s actually in the conflict.

Yeah, Tiktok feeds full of Javelins blowing up top of the line Russian tanks has been a pretty effective indirect marketing program.
The war has been a great marketing tool for a lot of other weapons, too - HIMARS (GMLRS), Bayraktar drones, various SPGs.

F-16 jdam

There's an ongoing controversy about whether or not to send F-16s to Ukraine. It seems like an unapproachably-complicated issue, but an interesting one.

Korn-e-lus Korn-e-lus Former F-16 pilot says he would not want to fly missions over Ukraine right now, arguing 'there is no fighting chance' [Link].

I'd mostly heard dialogue about whether it'd be escalatory, this was new. I mentally recapped what I (think I) know about the air war in Ukraine:

Glide bomb delivery diagram
Since Ukraine's MiG-29s have flown JDAM sorties, it seems trivial to say that an F-16 in the same role has a 'fighting chance' (to borrow the phrasing from the article).

I found a similar sentiment on /r/CredibleDefense:

ChornWork2 ChornWork2 But what about in MiG-29 like they're doing today? Tone deaf commentary imho. Would his view change if a foreign power was slaughtering his countrymen and trying to take over his country?

Lets ask a former MRAP or M113 crew what they think of wanting to take those out in an offensive against Russian entrenched defensive positions without airsupport.

This has to be a politically motivated piece...

Huh, but I thought Business Insider was pretty left-leaning?

Business Insider Fourth- and fourth-plus-generation fighter jets like the F-16 that lack stealth features are "completely outmatched in high-threat environments" because of advanced air-defense systems like Russia's S-400, argued Venable, a veteran and senior research fellow for defense policy at The Heritage Foundation, a Washington-based think tank.

Ohhh. Business Insider was reporting (uncritically) on a Heritage Foundation blog post. I checked out the original post from a former F-16 pilot.

Heritage Foundation SBDs[sic] can be carried by F-16s and have small wings that unfold after they are released, allowing them to glide dozens of miles. The latest version (SDB II) can even acquire and hit mobile targets. The distance that SDBs can glide is determined by the altitude and speed at which they are released, and even at their longest range, a fourth-generation fighter attempting to employ them would be detected and engaged by S-400s long before it could release those munitions.

It's weird the author doesn't mention JDAMs since they're apparently already in use. The range of a winged SDB II (according to Wikipedia) is about the same as the JDAM-ER, for what it's worth.

The Drive JDAM ER wing kit

I should point out that article asks and answers the question, "are F-16s a game changer for Ukraine". So strictly, since JDAMs are already being delivered by MiGs, lobbing them from an F-16 is more of an improvement than a game changer. Perhaps the phrasing of the question was deliberate.

Is it me that's stupid? Like this guy is an F-16 pilot but seems to just miss or gloss over a number of points.

Ukraine will run out of planes in the next couple of years, it will happen. And then they'll have nothing to use the literal JDAMs and HARMs that we have given them. We have seen through public domain images (HARM) and leaked documents (JDAM) that even in a contested environment these are being used and are working

Surely F-16s would still be incredibly useful away from the frontline, and would reduce pressure on GBAD when it comes to drone and cruise missile attacks.

Nobody is asking Ukraine to run SEAD and DEAD or drop JDAMs from 30k feet. Also just because he wouldn't want to fly missions over Ukraine doesn't mean Ukrainian pilots wouldn't - they are literally doing so right now in planes that are far worse than F-16s.

I actually think that's an irresponsible and harmful article from this guy.
> Is it me that's stupid?

You simply misunderstand the policy goal of the article (or interview).

It's the Heritage Foundation. Their goal is to prevent the flow of weapons to Ukraine. If they can't achieve that, they aim to stop Biden from sending effective weapons. Failing both of those objectives, they'd like only a small number of weapons to be sent.

If you approach the article/interview with that perspective in mind, everything falls into place.

In fairness to the author, he does advocate for the export of Predators, Reapers, anti-aircraft systems, and other support. In fairness to /u/osmik, this could just be lip service.
Bakhmut and Victory Day

Prigozhin Wagner video ammunition

A few days ago Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin made headlines with a very public rant about being denied ammunition for his campaign in Bakhmut. The Wagner-MoD drama has been simmering for some time, but things took a severe turn with Prigozhin shouting at defense ministers from a field covered with dead mercenaries.

I don't know man, eighteen months ago we had the Taliban driving bumper cars, last month conservatives cancelled Budweiser, and now we have Putin's PMC guy calling his MoD guys a bunch of Marie Antoinettes. This timeline is getting less and less believable.

Surely this is some clever disinformation strategy from the ex-KGB mastermind of the 2016 election. Is Prigozhin's withdrawl deadline a ruse to bait Ukraine into Bakhmut? Is it just a way to make Kadyrov's entrance seem necessary? None of it seems worth the very public embarrassment.

Maybe it's exactly what it looks like; Wagner is inadequately supplied and they need to be rotated out anyway. But that's not a conversation that has to happen on Telegram so, once again, what the heck is going on here?

Destroyed car Prilepin Twitter

With recent assassination attempts on pro-war Russian milbloggers, there's a lot of fringe speculation about the factionalism being more than just angry words.

SaltyWihl SaltyWihl American/west desinformation is a sensitive subject that is rarley talked about but as seen from operation earnest voice and SA it does occurs.

Has there been any signs that the west has been involved in creating or adding fuel to this crack between Ru MOD and Prigozhin? If not, western intelligence really have an open goal here.

Anyway, it's Victory Day over there, so we can look forward to a unified celebration of our collaborative defeat of the Nazis (Russia, Ukraine, and US alike). Almost guaranteed we'll have T-14s with their turrets spinning the whole time for whatever reason. And maybe we'll see an unauthorized drone landing.

RobRob F5 on r/Ukraine new tonight
Fox News and Tucker Carlson

In funny but uninteresting news, Fox settled with Dominion for a lot of money. The fallout was somewhat interesting though:
Tucker Carlson via NYT A couple of weeks ago, I was watching video of people fighting on the street in Washington. A group of Trump guys surrounded an Antifa kid and started pounding the living shit out of him. It was three against one, at least. Jumping a guy like that is dishonorable obviously. It's not how white men fight. Yet suddenly I found myself rooting for the mob against the man, hoping they'd hit him harder, kill him. I really wanted them to hurt the kid. I could taste it. Then somewhere deep in my brain, an alarm went off: this isn't good for me. I'm becoming something I don't want to be. The Antifa creep is a human being. Much as I despise what he says and does, much as I'm sure I'd hate him personally if I knew him, I shouldn't gloat over his suffering. I should be bothered by it. I should remember that somewhere somebody probably loves this kid, and would be crushed if he was killed. If I don't care about those things, if I reduce people to their politics, how am I better than he is?

The context of this was Tucker watching January 6th videos and texting his producer. The popular commentary was twofold:
  1. "It's not how white men fight." I don't think anyone was surprised he'd say something like this.
  2. He's more or less admitted his show's content is rage-bait. A couple years later he'd release exclusive footage that showed January 6th wasn't so bad.
Those items were digested and re-digested in the media because they had him dead to rights on two things everyone already knew. And so I didn't hear much discussion about Carlson's apparent realization that political anger can result in unjustified human suffering.
New York Times Writing to one of his producers after the assault on the Capitol, Mr. Carlson describes the president he championed on his show as a "demonic force" and a "destroyer."

Of course it's all theatre, that was the premise of the Dominion suit, but I wonder who was writing the script.

Fallout please stand by
The lighter side

Star Wars Squadrons A-Wing Star Destroyer battle

As we were talking about Mon Cal cruisers, Rob sent me a May (the) 4th post on /r/StarWars about the best spacecraft waifu.

Slave 1
Yes, absolutely marvelous ship. I loved stealing it in Jango's GameCube game. It's utterly stupid that Disney renamed it.
Unpaid Intern 1
It's now the "Prisoners with Jobs 1"
Exploited Migrant Laborer Uno
They didnt really rename it, they just shy away from saying the name, referring to it by its owner or class instead.
No, several canon medias refer to it as slave 1.

There was a lot of love for Shadows of the Empire's Outrider. Probably too much love, since it was a ripoff (but reasonable in-universe) of the Millennium Falcon piloted by a ripoff of Han Solo. Also popular were each of the Rebel starfighters and the CR90 corvette.

Moldy Crow Jedi Knight Dark Forces

Moldy Crow
Cultured opinion

And I knew it was going to be there:

TIE Defender
Why did I have to scroll so far down for this?

TIE Defender rocks. Even if it was too expensive for mass production.
If the imps invested in defenders instead of death stars they would have won in weeks

Well, /u/corpboy, the reason you had to scroll so far down for this is because the TIE Defender was a bullshit OP fighter introduced in TIE Fighter because stupid casuals kept dying so much. There's a reason it wasn't in XvT or X-Wing Alliance and it was nerfed in X-Wing miniatures.

Related - internal

Some posts from this site with similar content.



But why two months later?

Further reading

I read a bunch of interesting stuff about Ukraine, Russiagate, and global security.


I was up all night anyway.

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Created 2024.04 from an index of 185,804 pages.