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Thanks for bashing the R&D crowd. Take LANDWARRIOR II and OICW. They talk the talk but don't walk the walk, you know? "Treat the infantryman as a weapons system..." If that meant anything at all, it meant moving all those programs to Fort Benning and creating a PM-INFANTRY (Program Manager) at Brigadier General O-7. Body armor, gas masks, chemical suits, laser protective visor, weapons, LAND WARRIOR II, all of it.
If I were Commandant and Infantry Branch Chief, I'd put PM-Infantry at a desk in the corner of my office where I could see him at all times. And I'd make him come to work wearing all that ill-fitting and conflicting gear:
"Uncomfortable in your helmet, mask, laser visor, armor, chem suit, LANDWARRIOR II, OICW and LBE today, Gin'ral? I said before, feel free to produce something more ergonomic for yourself and 45,000 other soldiers... Now if you don't mind some advice from your rater, I suggest looking into integrating that helmet, mask and laser visor for starters. You could also lose some weight and save this great Army money by consolidating the OICW and Land Warrior batteries into one unit. "
"Say what? I think you're right Gin'ral. There is redundant weight and duplication of function in the OICW and LW electronics. I'm sorry, would you please repeat that, Gin'ral? Your gas mask muffles your voice, suh. Yes suh, I'm with you on that one too. There's absolutely no reason the armor vest and LBE can't be integrated into a single entity for a better fit. Now, did that engineer call back yet about those lighter ballistic plate inserts? You remember I'm expecting you to have upper arm and leg armor ready in 18 months with no increase in total weight.
.....Gin'ral, puh-lease stop cursing all those fine folks at Natick, Picatinny and that previous Fort Monroe colonel running Land Warrior. It's unseemly in an officer of your rank. Not a one of them had the benefit of your combined perspective... The laser visor, helmet, chemical protection, armor, OICW and LBE people, every last one of them did the very best job they could on their individual projects."
I would have fun.
Mark Gallmeier email@example.com
There are great government scientists
Needless to say, I am offended. While you raise valid points in
the editorial, those points are lost in the sweeping derogatory comments you
make about the R&D community, especially in the government and corporate
labs. The notion that government labs attract only those that are
concerned about job security is patently false and offensive. Every
single research project that I am involved with has to map out a clear
'transition' path and in some cases receive endorsements from PMA's in
order to go forward. Much of what I work on is novel technology that
advances the state of the art AND can be immediately applied to Navy programs.
An example of a program here at China Lake is the DAMASK
program, a resounding leap forward in PGM's using COTS technology.
Ed. China Lake is well known as one of America's top research facilities, possibly because few top level bureaucrats visit them in the remote desert to tell them how do things.
LW155 howitzer design is impossibleHV-22 Canceled
I think they are trying to put 5 kilos into a 2 kilo
bag with the LW 155. Unless there is a way to DRAMATICALLY (like 70% or better) reduce
recoil forces, it won't work. The physics doesn't allow it. If you
much longer path of recoil, plus a half-barrel length of additional muzzle
brakes, it might be feasible. But the recoil path length is limited to
the first muzzle brake flange starts. And to add weight in the recoil
or the barrel means more stress on the frame, which is what I think cracked
on the test gun.
Note: The magic numbers on
LW155 howitzer range are to match the Soviet
guns which can reach that far. Guns reach further than howitzers of the
bore diameter, due to longer barrels. The Soviets outranged NATO by
kilometers per light, medium or heavy gun caliber, which would have made the
counterfire fight rather dicey.
Body Armor and Utility Blouse
As a Marine who has deployed to hot climates, I can attest that body armor worn over the utility blouse is hot. The Generals don't let us shed the blouse and just wear the vest over a T-shirt because it looks too casual on TV. What occurred to me EVERY DAY is why the utility blouse? We always have to wear body armor in combat zones, so why have four useless pockets on a light jacket underneath? Just add some durable denim sleeves to the body armor vest and leave the utility blouse back in garrison.
Editor update on February V-22 story. The Navy has canceled plans to buy 48 HV-22s as part of the Marine Corps' planned buy of 348 MV-22s. Apparently, Navy leaders learned of a near 1999 crash during shipboard testing when a V-22 almost flipped over. The tests revealed that the V-22 tilt-rotor must approach and depart ships on a straight heading because if one rotor is over the deck while the other is off the side, it immediately wants to flip over. The Navy plans to buy more new MH-60S Knighthawks (formerly the CH-60). The recent movie "A Perfect Storm" demonstrates the toughness and stability of the H-60 design; the V-22 is a "fair weather" bird.