Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The misc. military blog post

Here's a bit of automation that's been a long time coming. An Austin, Texas company has embedded a reliable ranging and computational ability in a scope to create a precision infantry fire package, similar to the fire control systems introduced to armored vehicles back in the 1980s.

Prior to the deployment of fire control computers on tanks and infantry fighting vehicles, first round hits were a rarity in the world of mounted combat. Typically an armored vehicle came to a halt and fired two to three sensing rounds before finally bracketing a target and scoring a kill. During the 1991 Gulf Conflict, fire control computers changed that, allowing American and Coalition tanks from Western European allies to make first-shot kills at ranges far beyond the effective engagement envelope of their Iraqi opponents.

Facing an opponent with fire control systems -- especially fire control systems mated with weapon stabilizers that allow vehicles to shoot accurately on the move -- is no mean feat for a lower tech force. It frequently means abandoning the open countryside and potential low friction maneuver and resupply corridors to the enemy, and concentrating on close combat in broken terrain and built up areas like towns and cities. The latter is rarely a good thing for the defender's society.  

So will automated scopes have a similar effect on infantry combat? What will it be like when every soldier is, if not a potential sniper, then a long-rang marksman? That's something to think about.

Mil Nerd News: Evaluating the Battle for Hoth

Defense Nerds Strike Back: A Symposium on the Battle of Hoth | Danger Room |

'via Blog this'

Wired Magazine's Danger Zone blog, whose journalists handle defense issues, recently performed an analysis of the Battle of Hoth, from the Star Wards film, The Empire Strikes Back. Yes, it's silly, but it also started a broad debate that pulled in some learned pundits from military and academic circles. A sample of some of the well-written and well-considered responses can be found here. It's fun,  and worth the time if you're into military and political affairs. Or if nothing else, it shows why a multidisciplinary approach with experts from many fields providing contrasting views can be so illuminating when looking at both history and warfare.

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