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Jeff Rubinoff

Dang, I thought this was going to be a post about Warhammer 40K.


At least one person got the joke.


The US Army in Iraq: Orks who think they're Eldar..


The Taliban: Tyranids who think they're Space Marines, and want to be Inquisitors...

Ben Dejo

All jokes aside, there is nothing new here, not even in scale. The German Luftwaffe first experimented with this in May 1940, and the Allies in June and September 1944. I am not suprised that the U.S.M.C. would of course ask for the more expensive (but sexier) option of using a highly visible infrared beacon to announce their landing instead of the much more practical alternative of using already developed technologies and simply marrying them together.

What am I talking about...

How about a very affordable way to solve the U.S. Armys heavy lift problem with A true rapid deployment force.

See if you can guess the answer.


Wouldn't a "Thor"-like deployment of inanimate projectiles be more effective and also easier? There are jobs which require real humans, but generally they are on a long enough timescale that you can wait for an airlift.

Ben Dejo

THOR is OK as an Adjunct to, but not a replacement to boots on the ground. The last experience with a Predator drone shows the inability of a THOR to take and hold ground, for that you need boots on the ground. You,ve kinda hit on it with airlift, but now you have to land those troops and ideally with heavy equipment.

There is an answer...

Tom Womack

Bring on the cargo zeppelins?

Makes some degree of sense given quite how perfect the air superiority that a modern air force can achieve is; and zeppelins react in much more relaxed ways than MV22 Ospreys to having a hole blown in their side ...


Ben Dejo

Originall Posted by: Tom Womack

Bring on the cargo zeppelins?

Good if you already have a good command of the air and have a place to land them, more like a truck than a sort of "Higgins Boat" approach I'm thinking about...

Gliders... The concept has more going for it than it did even five years ago.

Recent advances in stealth, lifting body type chassis that rely on glide characteristics, computer control, GPS navigation, and whole aircraft parachute landing, you can concieveably land fully loaded combat vehicles in a precisely defined area with a very low probabability of loss form accident. Think of it as a "Sub Orbital" drop of troops and equipment ( traditionally the strong point of gliders along with the decrease in dispersion), no nasty infra red plumes eminating fron hot exaust, decreased RADAR signature, and the attendant increase in area the defender has to guard against an opponent in force. Needless there are other developments that also need to take place, a reduced signature tow aircraft, insertion decoys and counter measures, SEAD, and follow on logistics for the landed forces. A purpose built tow aircraft can probably be modified for relativly low cost from existing commercial designs, basic stealth can accomplished with carbon fiber replacement of skin structures with RAM composities ( I'm not trying to fly this "Downtown", so radical stealth would hopefully not be neccessary), SEAD, decoy and landing zone prep can be accomplished by a mixture of drone types and cruise missiles now coming into use ( and indeed the lines are being blurred by the somewhat "disposable" aspect of UCAV), follow on can be accomplished by other more conventional means, be it more gliders, aircraft, or blimp.

The only drawback is that a force so inserted must be successful as withdrawl is not an easy option. If SEAD fails, this force can be quickly lost ( think "Market Garden")

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