WWI AIR COMBAT – WHAT IT CAME DOWN TO

What is more natural than looking back over major aviation innovations of the Great War today, the anniversary of the Armistice? Here is a very interesting video posted by the BBC on how the fighter pilots dealt with reconnaissance, bombing missions and dogfight techniques. Primitive flight controls are well explained as is the interest of performing missions with a triplane aircraft – three sets of wings are necessarily more narrow, providing the pilot with a better visual field.

From the flimsy Blériot XI to Sopwiths and Fokkers, the first aces developed early methods that are always taught in fighter schools even though beyond-visual-range air combat has taken over since. Major Charles Tricornot de Rose was considered by many as the father of air fighting as early as 1914. Then as shown in this video, the German ace Oswald Boelcke laid out a first set of rules for dogfighting called the Dicta Boelcke. Pilots’ life expectancy was not measured in years but in weeks.

U.S. drone captured in Iran

The USAF RQ-170 Sentinel – ISR (Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance) + Ground-attack stealth drone – recently captured in Iran should remain indefinitely according to the latest news:

“No one returns the symbol of aggression to the party that sought secret and vital intelligence related to the national security of a country,” Iranian General Hossein Salami said.

Nothing more was revealed but the U.S. Air Force admitted that the UAV would have had a malfunction on its course to Iran after leaving Afghanistan. The pictures of the fuselage cannot show evidence of shooting down, and nothing proves what the Iranian officials suggested about EW (Electronic Warfare) means which might have brought down the drone to the ground perhaps by jamming.

To be continued…

FUKUSHIMA NUCLEAR ACCIDENT FALLOUT

Firefighters, as well as military personnel might be involved in a CRO (Crisis Response Operation – WARNING as this acronym has many other meanings in the military).

To whom it may concern, a short vocabulary review could be useful in case of (let’s hope you won’t deal with it) either natural disasters or a nuclear powerplant accident.

For instance:

  • « Fallout » is used in the headline above, and it means « consequences » but it also means « fallout » like in « radioactive/radiological fallout » (retombees radioactives/radiologiques)
  • NRBC (Nuclear, Radiological, Biological, and Chemical) or CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear)
  • Meltdown scenario = scenario de fusion du coeur du reacteur
  • Plume of smoke = Panache de fumee
  • Tidal wave, tsunami = Tsunami
  • Earthquake, quake = Tremblement de terre
  • Tremor = Secousse, replique
  • Shake, shaking = Secousse
  • Mud slide (prononcez [meud slaïd])/Land slide = Coulee de boue/Glissement de terrain
  • Flood/Flooding (prononcez [fleud] ou [fleuding]) = innondation
  • Fire/Arson = Incendie/Incendie criminel

…and so on. Watch, and listen carefully to this PBS News-Hour video:

  

SAAB GRIPEN wins tender in Switzerland

11/30/2011 – The news broke today : The Swiss Air Force is to acquire 22 Sweedish SAAB GRIPEN fighter aircraft. The Swiss government had warned that they were compelled to squeeze their budget for this $3.36 billion bid as they could not afford to purchase the 33 fighter aircraft planned for the replacement of their F-5 Tiger fleet.

In spite of its outstanding performance during the tests as well as over the battlefields in Afghanistan, and in Libya, the Dassault Rafale was not chosen. Moreover, like the EADS Eurofighter/Typhoon, it was deemed too expensive for Switzerland could not buy as many aircraft within the budget allocated.

The Gripen is a good option for Switzerland since it is the cheapest one. The version to be delivered – JAS 39E/F or Gripen Demo/NG – is believed to be an excellent one – IRST (InfraRed Search and Track); ES-05 Raven AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array) radar & SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar); Electronic Warfare (EW) systems; Helmet Mounted Sight and Display (HMSD)…

However, this new-generation Gripen NG is a single engine fighter aircraft. It was tactically outperformed by its opponents, and last but not least, it has not yet been produced. As a matter of fact, the Swiss should be involved in the R&D works.

SAAB’s RAPID 3D MAPPING for Military Aircraft

RAPID 3D MAPPING is a superior awareness system able to generate three dimensional maps. It processes pictures shot by digital and thermal sensors added to live georeferenced data onboard aircraft; drones; and helicopters.

It was chosen by the SDMA – Swedish Defence Materiel Administration – in order to provide 3D imagery to Gripen simulators last year.

The images can be compared several hours apart to establish whether threats can be considered in the latest analysis. As you can see in this video, the result looks quite accurate and useful for network centric warfare (NCW) purposes: