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Saturday, February 22, 2003
 

Arsenal of Democracy



Jacques Chirac emits a gaffe and exposes the true scope of the war. I had no idea! Folks, we might not win this one.

On the one hand, we're up against Arabian fanatics who have hijacked one of the world's major religions. With little opposition, they hold sway over more than a billion people.

On the other hand, we're up against Europe -- even if the Europeans don't know it yet.

Europe has undergone a profound structural and demographic change, which is not yet fully perceived by Europeans, even less by Americans. This transformation of a Judeo-Christian based-civilization and culture by strong trends of Islamization is creating social, political and cultural grounds for confrontations that could provoke dangerous social implosions. The drifting away of Europeans from America is not, therefore, due to their superior moral exigencies, as some superficial analysts write. Rather, this drift reveals a traumatic fear of a terrorism that the EU always refused to acknowledge, scapegoating instead Israel and America. It reveals the preservation, at all costs, of Arab and Muslim corrupt dictatorships, including Arafat, with whom the EU has built its economic and international political strategy, power and security. And, more threatening, it indicates a profound transformation, a mutation, whereby a civilization is drifting toward 'dhimmitude.'
(Frontpage Magazine)


Yikes! Who do we have on our side? I suppose we've got the Anglosphere, what's left of Christendom, and (maybe) the Red Chinese. A strange alliance, sure; but not by a long-shot the strangest we've joined.

Now the numbers don't really scare me. We can use the blinding power of American sunshine to even up the odds. What worries me is the spiritual side. We're essentially fighting to maintain our status quo. They're fighting to carry out their God's will. Who do you think is better motivated?

As you know, the Arsenal of Democracy can kick any country's butt. But can it beat up God?

The answer is yes, and we can even make money in the process. Isn't that the American way?

Have you ever read the original Grimm Brothers' Fairy Tales? Have you watched the Disney films based on them? Wonder why they're so different?

Some of Disney's older properties, such as Peter Pan, Winnie the Pooh, and Alice in Wonderland, came out of books. But the authors' names are rarely if ever mentioned, and you can't buy the original books at the Disney store. If you could, they would all seem old and queer, like very bad knockoffs of the purer, more authentic Disney versions.
(In the Beginning)


One of our strengths is the ability to take another culture's history and, through a process I'll call 'Disneyfication,' turn it into a harmless and universally palatable cash cow. Eventually the Disneyfied version supplants the original, and everyone is happier, better adjusted and slightly more American.

Note that this power is not limited to the Disney Company. It flows from the melting pot to the individual. Let's face it: only an American like Glen A. Larson could take the Hebrew and Mormon faiths and mix them up into Battlestar Galactica.

By way of further example, consider Christianity. It's a 'universal' faith -- like Islam, it claims to the only true religion. But in the United States, there are more than 31 flavors of this one, true faith. Why don't we see any bloody intra-Christian fighting on American streets? How come nominal Christians are so comfortable saying "Shared Judeo-Christian Values?" How did they learn how to make nice and play well with others? The answer is Disneyfication.

Dear readers: I'm not trying to mock your faith, or the faith of anyone else. Rather, I'm illustrating how America can take ancient (and often hoary) concepts and improve or adapt them to our culture. Remember that this is the land of the better mousetrap. Which explains why America keeps reinventing itself into stronger, faster and better iterations.

Disneyfication works overseas, too. Consider Japan: once the land of the brutal Bushido; now a 'Hello Kitty'-centric culture (thanks again, General LeMay).

If our enemies are fighting to carry out God's will, why we'll just have to change God's will, won't we? We've done it before. So I suspect once we turn the sights of the Disneyfication Device on our enemies, we'll improve and adapt their creed in to a respectable faith which gets along well with others. And then we'll sell it back to them. And that's why today's weapon from the Arsenal of Democracy is Dislam(tm).

Friday, February 21, 2003
 

Adopt-a-Bunny



Meet Moonlight:


(Richmond (CA) HBS)

Moonlight was a stray at Laney College, rescued in the moonlight, who needs a safe, permanent home.
(Richmond (CA) HBS)


How'd they rescue this dark-furred little guy at night? Oh, I get it...
 

America's Newest Citizen



Ravenwolf is officially a US citizen today!

(so you can stop making fun already...)

Glad to have you aboard, Ravenwolf!
 

Arsenal of Democracy



Now this is too cute: Iran held an air show:

LATE LAST YEAR, despite embargoes and the country's self-imposed isolation since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Iran decided to host its first air show. Although no U.S. firms participated and only a handful of European firms were in attendance, the event was a direct attempt to reconnect Iran to the Western aerospace community.
(Iran's Fantasy Island)


What kind of aircraft can Iran put on display?

When the shah's government fell, Iran was left with an arsenal of mostly U.S.-made fighter aircraft, including Northrop F-5s, McDonnell-Douglas F-4 Phantoms, and the famous Grumman F-14 Tomcat that was featured in Top Gun.
(Iran's Fantasy Island)


Doesn't this remind you of the patched-up, tailfinned treasures cruising the streets of Havana? And just like Cuba, Iran is proud of it's arsenal made in America.

The Iranian air forces briefly flirted with switching suppliers in the early 1990s and purchased a number of Mikoyan MiG-29 fighters from Russia, but there were no significant follow-on orders. One reason appears to be a strong attachment by both Iranian pilots and aerospace officials to their U.S. equipment. Despite the age of these aircraft and the increasing problems associated with maintaining them, no one wants to make a change to another pedigree or design-Russian, French, or otherwise. Asked which aircraft he would choose for his fleet if he could have any in the world, one Iranian aerospace official smiled and said "the Boeing F-15."
(Iran's Fantasy Island)


Soon, Mr. Iranian aerospace official...soon.
 

Arsenal of Israel



While catching up on reading Strategypage, I came across the following (excerpted in whole due to lack of hyperlink):

February 16, 2003: Since the late 1990s, the Israeli made Litening targeting pod has been replacing the older Lantirn pods on American aircraft, or equipping reserve and National Guard warplanes that previously lacked such equipment. Now the Litening pod is equipping National Guard A-10s. These aircraft are using the latest version; Litening ER. This 440 pound, 87 inch long, $1.22 million pod, turns the A-10 into an all-weather aircraft that is much more effective with it's 30mm gun, missiles and smart bombs. If there's a way in Iraq, Litening equipped A-10s will probably be involved.
(Modern Battlefield)


"...replacing the older Lantirn pods." I bet you feel older reading that.

Remember during Desert Shield? Lantirn was barely out of Texas Instruments' laboratory. We hardly had enough to equip our Strike Eagles. Pilots had to share (go ahead, you try making them share).

A dozen years later, and the wonder-pods are old-skool.

Anyway, kudos to Israel for the plucky little Litening pod. (As you know, on this web log, Israelis (and Australians) are unofficial Americans, so today is a two-fer AoD day.)
 

Arsenal of the World's Oldest Profession



Forgive me the lapse in taste:

Bulgarian pimps have been moving armies of prostitute reinforcements hundreds of miles across country to cash in on the arrival of US troops.
(Ananova)


Didn't something like this happen when the USS Carl Vinson visited Australia?

One pimp was reported as saying that the women would "give a worthy welcome" to the soldiers.
(Ananova)


OK it's official: Bulgaria is the new Philippines.

Most people think of the AoD as composed of fighters, not lovers...

Thursday, February 20, 2003
 

Adopt-a-Bunny



Here's a nice young bunny named Blake:


(North Georgia HBS)

Hi, my name is Blake. I am a small-medium young bunny, about 6-7 months old (I was probably born right before Easter). I was found in a neighborhood with my sisters, Avery and Betsy (who was adopted), where my previous owner had let us go... I am pretty shy and quiet, and I'm looking for a permanent home where I can settle down and learn to be an even better bunny than I already am! I like attention a lot and I love to be petted and eat treats - like raisins!
(North Georgia HBS)


Hooray for rescue bunnies. Everybody go say hi!
 

When Bunnies Attack!



Now here's a really belligerent bunny:


(The Planet's Funniest Animals)

Okay, maybe belligerent isn't the word. Still, he's on TV, and part of the unstoppable Arsenal of American Pop Culture taking over the world.

P.S., Dogs can really be good sports, no?
 

Fighting Back



Clubbeaux has details of next week's big protest. Apparently the holier-than-thou folks are going to phone it in.

On February 26th, every Senate office will receive a call every minute from a constituent, as they receive a simultaneous flood of faxes and e-mail. Hundreds of thousands of people from across the country will send the collective message: Don't Attack Iraq. Every Senate switchboard will be lit up throughout the day with our message -- a powerful reminder of the breadth and depth of opposition to a war in Iraq. And on that day, "antiwar rooms" in Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles will highlight the day's progress for the national media, while local media can visit the "antiwar room" online to monitor this constituent march throughout the day.
(moveon.org)


I cannot improve upon the Harp Seal's analysis, and recommend you read his posts.

Wait a minute: isn't it illegal to deliberately tie-up telephone circuits?

Obscene or Harassing Telephone Calls Act

Whoever makes repeated telephone calls or repeatedly initiates communication with a telecommunications device, during which conversation or communication ensues, solely to harass any person at the called number or who receives the communication shall be fined in accordance with title 18 or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.
47 U.S.C. ยง 223(a)(1)(E)
(US DOJ)
(Findlaw)


Frankly, I think that a conspiracy to jam the communications, command and control networks in the capitol of a country at war, with the express purpose of disrupting our decision-making capability is a coin-toss away from treason.

Do these guys know about this?
 

Arsenal of Democracy



Bet you didn't know our beloved Army has a small fleet of airplanes, huh? Well according to the Key West agreement they're not supposed to operate fixed-wing aircraft. Except in a few limited exceptions. One of these is the Guardrail Common Sensor (GR/CR):

GR/CS provides near real-time SIGINT and targeting information to Tactical Commanders throughout the corps area with emphasis on Deep Battle and Follow-on Forces Attack support. It collects selected low, mid, and high band radio signals, identifies/classifies them, determines locations of their sources, and provides near-real-time reporting to tactical commanders. The system uses an integrated processing facility (IPF) which is the control, data processing, and message center for the overall system.
(Global Security)


Translation: it's a tactical spyplane.

The NSA has one on display at its National Vigilance Park. Worth the trip!

The plane itself is a prosaic little King Air, but when the Army gets through with it -- watch out, it could put an eye out!
 

Almost in the AoD



XC-142

Meet the original V-22, the Chance-Vought XC-142:

The tilt-wing XC-142A was an experimental aircraft designed to investigate the operational suitability of vertical/short takeoff and landing (V/STOL) transports. Such an aircraft would permit rapid movement of troops and supplies into unprepared areas under all-weather conditions. An XC-142A first flew conventionally on Sept. 29, 1964 and on Jan. 11, 1965, completed its first transitional flight by taking off vertically, changing to forward flight, and finally landing vertically.
(Mighty USAF Museum)


This plane had the bad fortune to be in the pipeline at the beginning of the Vietnam war. So we didn't buy it. Too bad. It's a nice plane. I've touched it. It's smaller than you'd think -- about the size of one of those Reading is Fundamental busses.

Wednesday, February 19, 2003
 

Adopt-a-Bunny



Hello pretty Jasmine!


(Kansas City, MO HBS)

Jasmine is a beautiful gray French lop mix (we are guessing) she is approx. 9-10 lbs. She is shy but curious. She absolutely loves attention. She does not like to be held and does not like her feet touched. She loves to be petted and talked to. She is learning to use her litterbox. We are estimating her age to around 3-4 years. Her previous "owners" were evicted from their apartment, and they left Jasmine in the apartment, living in filth. She is now enjoying life in her foster home.
(Kansas City, MO HBS)


Poor abandoned bunny. Let's hear it for great landlords and foster shelters! And of course, for potential adopters...
 

Onward



My kind of MOUT


(60 Minutes II)

Coming soon to a 24-hour news channel near you...
 

Protests having an effect



During Operation Desert Shield, one couldn't swing a cat without hitting a protester carrying a "support our troops" sign something like this:


(PeacePosters)

I think they wanted to distinguish themselves from the evil hippies who spit and cursed our Vietnam vets.

This time around, you don't see many "support our troops" posters. And any that might be present are obscured by the ubiquitous bloody red communist flags.


(Belligerent Bunny Blog)

How do the troops feel about this?

U.S. troops massed in the Kuwaiti desert can't avoid news of anti-war protests sweeping the globe, and it is making some angry, defensive, fired-up and anxious.
(Washington Times)


I couldn't find the article online. So please indulge the lengthy excerpt.

Privately, some soldiers wonder if the patriotic mood and pro-military spirit in the wake of the September 11 attacks has evaporated.

With all its soldiers and high-tech war machines, the US. military would not have had its recent successes if American soldiers didn't get so much support from the public, Sgt. Edgerton said.

"They don't have to support what's happening," he said, "but at least support the soldiers?'


Sgt. Edgerton, you ask too much. After all, that would take class.

UPDATE:
Steven Gallaher of Cogito, Ergo Non Possum Dormire. found the whole story.
 

Arsenal of Democracy



It's only a matter of time before the AoD starts to crank out powered armor:

The overall goal of the Exoskeletons for Human Performance Augmentation (EHPA) Program is to develop devices and machines that will increase the speed, strength, and endurance of soldiers in combat environments. Projects will lead to self-powered, controlled, and wearable exoskeletal devices and/or machines and demonstrations of their utility in military applications. Inclusion of exoskeleton technology into land-based operations could potentially increase the capabilities of the ground-based warfighter and radically alter the current military doctrine. This technology will extend the mission payload and/or mission range of the soldier and increase the lethality and survivability of ground troops for short-range missions and special operations.
(DARPA)


Heinlein must be smiling up in heaven.
 

Almost in the AoD



Sea Lance

If we hadn't been in such a rush to whip the Russians and win the Cold War, we could have bought and stockpiled a remarkable robot named Sea Lance:

Boeing's UUM-125A Sea Lance design was to be launched from the submarine's standard 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedo tube inside a watertight canister, which would then float to the surface in a vertical attitude. On the surface, the missile's solid-rocket booster would ignite, and the Sea Lance's inertial guidance system would direct the missile toward the expected target position, using flip-out tail fins for stabilization...

After motor burnout, the UUM-125A would coast on until, at a precalculated point of the flight path, the payload would separate from the rest of the missile. Before entry into the water, a parachute system would decelerate and stabilize the payload. The payload of the UUM-125A, as well as the RUM-125A, was planned to be a nuclear depth charge with a W-89 thermonuclear warhead.
(Designation Systems)


Geez, what is Sea Lance? Is it a torpedo, a missile or a nuclear depth charge? Actually it's a little bit of everything -- sort of a 'best-of the AoD' rolled into one little robot.

By the way, if you're the type to eschew A-bombs (poseur), you could buy the Mk 50 optional package. But that one makes a much less satisfying boom.
 

Arsenal of American Pop-Culture



Our TV shows are so insidious:

[P]olice in many lands are now complaining that local arrestees are insisting on having their Miranda rights read to them, just like perps in American TV cop shows. When it's explained to them that they are in a different country, where those rights do not exist, they become outraged. Starsky and Hutch reruns, dubbed into diverse languages, may turn out, in the long run, to be a greater force for human rights than the Declaration of Independence.
(In the Beginning)


Doesn't that just remind you of 21 Jump Street. Me too.

Remember the episode where Dustin Nguyen recounts how he got to America? And how he learned English by watching SWAT (and not the gun-phobic Sesame Street)? Very Lee Greenwood.

P.S.: A French Jump Street shrine. Told you so!

Tuesday, February 18, 2003
 

Adopt-a-Bunny



Fuzz is such a cutie:


(California North Coast HBS)

Bud is a sweet dwarf who gives rabbit kisses. Fuzz is a New Zealand young girl. Bud is about 3 years old, while Fuzz is only 1 yr. old. Bud went to a new home for about a year, but his person had to give him up. He will live out the rest of his life without moving again. Fuzz was a baby bunny who was captured by a cat. The cat's owner saved Fuzz, but Fuzz's sister didn't fare so well. Who knows why Fuzz was out where a cat could capture her in the first place!
(California North Coast HBS)


Another rescue bunny, that's great! Fuzz is the white-furred girl on the left. She's small now, but will top the scales somewhere around 10 pounds.

Who would abandon a nice bunny like Fuzz? She's got no camouflage, and she's not even the same species as American cottontails. Good thing a cat-owning Samaritan came to her rescue! Now (if you're in the market), it's your turn.
 

Arsenal of American Pop Culture



Given that I profile AoD gear on this web log, it should not come as a surprise to learn that one of my favorite programs is Mail Call.


(Mail Call)

I like that the Arsenal of American Pop Culture has a show dedicated to showing off our hardware. Whether it's historical or just plain neato, R. Lee Ermey has you covered. I especially like it when he takes off his hat so you can see the throbbing vein on his forehead.

This show scares the pants off our enemies. My kind of show, really.
 

Arsenal of Democracy



Y'know how peaceweenies are always complaining about how the Navy trains dolphins? (Note: don't tell'em about the Army's dogs and horses!)

Well DARPA is turning vegetables into cyborgs:

The Biological Input/Output Systems Program will develop robust technologies for designing DNA-encoded "plug and play" modules that will enable the use of organisms (e.g., plants, microbes, lower eukaryotes) as remote sentinels for reporting the presence of chemical or biological analytes.
(DARPA)


Can't make this stuff up...
 

Almost in the AoD



Seek Spinner

Another loitering anti-radiation missile (ARM) we didn't buy:

The BRAVE 200 was designed and built by Boeing Military Airplane Company in the early 1980s and received the military designation YCGM-121B. It is an unmanned aerial vehicle designed to seek out and attack the radars that control enemy anti-aircraft artillery or surface-to-air missile defenses. (Some radar antennas rotate or spin, hence the name "Seek Spinner.") It is launched from the ground with rocket assistance. Using instructions programmed into its computer, the YCGM-121B flies to a designated target where it loiters or circles until its sensors detect the enemy radar signal. The vehicle then follows the radar beam to its source and detonates its warhead damaging or destroying the radar site.
(Mighty USAF Museum)


As long as these cute little robots would buzz overhead, the enemy couldn't risk turning on their radar sets.

Apparently we didn't buy Seek Spinner because it was too expensive. Look, as I've said before: babysitting enemy air defenses is never cheap.
 

TDOTFA



(Title refers to the Horse and Cow Bar)

A New Zealand man ended up in court after he was seen speeding semi-naked down a road on a motorised barstool with his backside on fire.
(Ananova)


Talk about a triple-threat!

Sullivan, of Tauranga, confessed to having "had a few" and said he shouldn't have been on the road on the motorized barstool, which he claimed could reach 50mph.


Those Kiwis, always bragging about their motorized bar stools...
 

Life Imitating Art



You know those folks who say that television exerts an insideous influence on our kids and stuff? It turns out they were right. In fact, TV is stronger than we suspected:

More and more real life mafia godfathers are seeking help on the psychiatrist's couch, according to new research.
(Ananova)


Now that is too funny.
 

Time Running Out



The Extreme Ironing challenge ends April 31. So hurry up already!

(via Ananova)

Monday, February 17, 2003
 

Adopt-a-Bunny



Introducing Lucky Lisa:


(Buckeye HBS)

Lisa is an adorable dwarf, size female. Her beautiful black fur is peppered with white, giving her a radiant appearance. She has a calm temperament and enjoys being petted. Lisa weighs 3 lbs, 2 oz.
(Buckeye HBS)


Lisa is a rescue bunny:

Buckeye HRS has been involved in a rescue situation in the Toledo area where eight bunnies have been taken into our foster homes. A former rescue group went out of business leaving eighty cats and these bunnies without a place to stay. The bunnies were being housed inappropriately; several unaltered bunnies were packed together in tiny cages. They were living in a filthy, frigid garage and only being fed every few days.
(Buckeye Rescue Page)


At least Lisa has a nice warm foster home. Let's hope there's a friendly family for her out there.
 

Arsenal of Hamas



Laurence writes up an account of a half-dozen self-inflicted Hamas casualties. Here's a primary source:

Hamas blames Israel for destroying its drone

The six Hamas members were killed when they went to open the trunk of a car parked in the Zeitoun neighborhood south of Gaza City, news agencies reported. The circumstances of the "mysterious explosion" were not clear, and it was originally reported that the Hamas members were killed in a "work accident" as they unpacked or assembled the contents of the trunk - a pilotless remote control miniature airplane.
(Israel Insider)


Of course Hamas blames Israel. Have they blamed anyone else for anything in the last few decades? If you ask me, the blast couldn't happen to nicer folks.

Whether this was sabotage or a malfunction, I think the lesson is clear:

Just because the AoD makes flying robot bombs look easy, doesn't mean you can too.
 

Web log tips from the USAF



The mighty USAF invented the internet (and the prequel and the sequel) so you might say they speak with a certain expertise. When they address web logs, you should listen:

Recent advances in technology have Air Force officials urging airmen to use common sense and remember operations security when posting on the Internet.

An item of special concern is the placement of photos of forward operating bases on personal Web sites. What has officials worried is the possibility of adversaries collecting those photos and using them to plan attacks against U.S. forces.
(USAF)


The information you write might fall into the wrong hands:

In a recent case, Bloxam said, personal photos taken by an airman and placed on a personal Web site were downloaded and placed on an anti-American site. What began as "I was here" photos for friends and family became propaganda material used by an adversary.
(USAF)


Yikes! Watch what you post -- our hippie fifth-column is reading.
 

Almost in the AoD



AH-56 Cheyenne

Back in the sixties, the Army wanted a real hot-rod helicopter as a follow-on to the Hueycobra. So Lockheed drew up a compound helicopter that was fast, acrobatic and loaded for the Soviet bear.

Cheyenne had more than meets the eye: as the aircraft sped up, its pusher-prop and wings gradually transformed the helicopter into an airplane. Pretty cool, no?

So why didn't the Army buy it?

Well, um...the prototypes sometimes chopped off the pilot's head (scroll down to the test flight photos).

That does sounds like a show-stopping problem. So now you know why Cheyenne isn't in the AoD.
 

Arsenal of Democracy



Check out this little flying robot, Desert Hawk:


(USAF)

Autonomously executing its flight plan, the UAV feeds data back to the operator at a mobile ground station, said Maj. Mike Giger, FPASS program manager. If necessary, the operator can change the flight plan with the click of a mouse, directing the aircraft to change its flight path or circle over a certain area for a period of time.
(USAF)


A point-and-click robot, that's just showing off.
 

Arsenal of American Pop Culture



Takin' over the world, one episode at a time:



You really haven't watched the show unless you've seen it in the original French.

And a Dynamite Magazine shrine. Awesome! Take a look and be sure to view the guestbook. It gets funnier the further you scroll.

Sunday, February 16, 2003
 

Adopt-a-Bunny



Here are a couple of adoptable bunnies who are cuddly, cute and smart:


(Alabama HBS)

Cremora and Mocha Latte are: spayed/neutered, litterbox trained, healthy, and affectionate. Cremora and Mocha Latte are best friends so they must be placed together. They are the most wonderful bunnies and absolutely LOVE to be petted. They will snuggle against each other to enjoy petting until their foster mom's arms are tired and she stops.

Cremora knows her name and will come when she is called. Her favorite foods are green bell pepper and romaine lettuce. She is the first one to explore new areas of her foster home and she loves to run fast and jump high!

Mocha Latte also knows his name but needs an extra incentive to come--usually a handful of new hay or the promise of some petting will do the trick. Mocha loves to play with his toys especially his batta ball and plastic slinky. He also likes to climb up onto cardboard boxes to get a "bunny's eye view" of the world.

Cremora and Mocha Latte are looking for a permanent home with someone who will give them lots of attention in exchange for lots of bunny affection.
(Alabama HBS)


That's right: bunnies can learn your language. If you're interested in learning how to speak bunny, follow this link. Time well spent.
 

Consequences



Leigh-Anne at Over Coffee has a post about a family get-together that went horribly wrong -- especially for the bunnies.

I can live with the knowledge that bunnies are primarily commercial creatures -- valued for their meat, fur and usefulness in the lab. Life is tough and all that.

But torture for the sport of it? Skinning live animals? Restraining them for the benefit of hungry dogs?

Fortunately, that's illegal. Leigh-Anne has the details.
 

Arsenal of Democracy



Anyone who reads this web log knows that we love the Crossbow Project (if you don't get the nickname, you haven't seen this).

Some people think Crossbow Project is too big to be practical. Well guess what: it has a baby brother:

"Tactical COIL technology permits, for the first time, highly mobile, self-contained laser weapons with significant lethality at engagement ranges up to 10 km for ground-to-air defensive systems, and over 20 km for air-to-ground or air-to-air systems," said Mike Skolnick, vice president of the Laser & Electro Optical Systems unit of Boeing. "Packaging concept studies show complete weapons systems in roll-on, roll-off installations for rotorcraft (V-22, CH-47), aircraft (AC-130), and ground vehicles."
(Boeing)


Look: here's a picture of how an Osprey would look when outfitted with its laser blaster. Now that is too cool. I want one!

Here's the best part:

With a slightly different set of sensors and fire control, the ATL also offers a unique ultra-precise strike capability for operations other than war, where pinpoint accuracy, tactical standoff and no collateral damage are dominant considerations.
(Boeing)


And you scoffed when I called it the Crossbow Project.

Anyway, the only drawback to these COIL lasers is logistical: they drink up a lot of juice (LOX and Iodine). We as a nation need to start writing a lot of blank checks to jump to the next generation of solid-state lasers -- they run on electricity. So instead of shipping refrigerated chemicals, we could just set up a Copper-Top Express to keep'em flying and frying the bad guys. And who isn't looking forward to that?
 

Almost in the AoD



Sprint

One hundred G's of acceleration. Zero to Mach 10 in five seconds. This plucky little missile actually was in the AoD (but only for a day). Sprint was a last-ditch anti-ballistic missile, and part of Safeguard.

Sprint's cousin HIBEX was supposed to have a 400 G motor and the first ring-laser gyro, which made it even more neato, if such a thing is possible.

Why did we abandon these projects? They go fast, look sharp and scare the heck out of the bad guys (and as a bonus, they frighten the environmentalists).

You could swap out the neutron bomb, slap on an ERINT seeker head, stuff it in a cold-launch canister and strap it on the back of a truck. It would put Patriot to shame.

That's it, I'm writing my Congressman. But not holding my breath...
 

Weather



It's as bad as you've seen on the TV. A good time for snow bunnies; bad time for anyone to be on FTX.

 

 
   
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