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Think Defence hopes to start sensible conversations about UK defence issues, no agenda or no campaign but there might be one or two posts on containers, bridges and mexeflotes!
So we will soon have to use million dollar missiles to take out mortars and snipers. Remember when we use to have a guy firing bullets for a couple of pence a round to take out such things.
Interesting blimp concept but would only work in a very permissive air environment. The Calus UAV seems very expensive especially if it won’t return on land some where and the other missile seems very much like spear 3. It’s good to see companies like MBDA thinking out side the box but I think there are more than enough requirements on the defence budget for current missile projects let along new niche ones.
I don’t have much knowledge of this sort of operational situation, but it seems very cost inefficient. We need to get over our technology fetish. The expensive high tech solutions are not necessarily the best. If we keep pursing them we won’t procure enough systems to have a useful ability without relying too heavily on unreliable allies.
@Radwulf: yeah, this is going way too far. We already have micro-UAV’s in service, if we really need to do this sort of stuff, some smart mortar bombs (just GPS/accelerometers) can handle this at a fraction of the cost
I do like the idea of aerostats providing permanent air cover in permissive situations though. If small man portable UAVs could communicate with an aerostat carrying existing missiles (don’t see the need to develop new ones) imagine the cover it could provide in places like Afghanistan?
Some of the new aerostats could also become formidable ISR assets as well and would surely be cheaper to operate than aircraft and after development possibly cheaper to purchase. They could also be adapted to a range of different roles such as maritime patrol and my personal favourite – providing permanent AEW for the carriers!
You also have to factor in the cost of losing ground troops – both financial, political and ethical/moral. Just recently there ways a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth on the media and in parliament when we lost ONE Warrior IFV and occupants. The casualties we’re prepared to accept have dropped drastically since Operation Goodwood or the Battle of the Somme.
Forget blimp ship replace with long range istar aircraft with bomb bay and potential for onboard uav operators and or targeting specialists couple with Above missile or indeed the compressed scaneagle and a formidable assets with multiple operational dimensions.
Fireshadow, Brimestone (later Spear) carried by A400M with palletised C4I and extra fuel for endurance – Jobs a good ‘un?
I quite like the idea of a blimp over water for ISTAR. I rather see it as a huge flag – but I think that sort of works in a number of ways.
It marks out permissive territory in a visible and helpful way. Making it contested / non-permissible means the enemy needs to take down the blimp. A distraction possibly for the enemy?
It provides cheap and consistent ISTAR / AWACS etc. I personally think an extensively weaponised blimp is going too far.
I don’t see why it could be cheaper than the alternatives (certainly 24/7). however you would still need a plan B.
and finally no lives should be at risk.
” Remember when we use to have a guy firing bullets for a couple of pence a round to take out such things.”
In reality it took 250k rounds to take out each ”bad’ guy in Iraq, plus associated costs.
Ammo doesn’t cost a couple of pence per round either. I think RG stuff is about 50p per round
A400 costs a lot to fly and support and we don’t have many of them. In practice there will likely be watchkeeper or scavenger providing overwatch for troops on the ground already. Its a small step to then arm these assets – in which case you get much better istar information and quicker weapon response. No troubles in mounting vigilus – but won’t there already be brimstone or spear cap 3 anyway.
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