October 29, 2023

Open Thread 142

It is time once again for our regular Open Thread. Talk about whatever you want, so long as it isn't Culture War.

If you want more about what's been going on, see the Navy Day post from Friday.

Except the USNI holiday sale, which has already started. Look for a list of recommendations next week.

Overhauls are Iowa Part 1, Underbottom Explosions, The Last Days of the High Seas Fleet, JDAM, Submarines in the Falklands Part 1 and for 2022 my revised review of Midway and In Defense of Missile Defense


  1. October 30, 2023Kitplane said...

    I'd love to see your reaction to this: https://thinpinstripedline.blogspot.com/2023/10/why-uk-should-not-buy-off-shelf.html

    In a naval context, I'd be super surprised if the cost of

    6 Daring destroyers UK's share of developing the Sampson radar UK's dhare of developing the Sea Ceptor missile

    was less than just buying 6 Burkes.

  2. October 31, 2023bean said...

    I generally like Pinstripped Line, and I think he's right here. A call for the British to transition wholesale to US equipment is a bad one, and the UK has a decent defense industry, even if it is saddled with the worst management in the Anglophone world. Also, the US government is a nightmare to deal with, and I wouldn't want to tie myself more closely to them than I had to.

    I am also extremely amused by the take that US equipment is the best, and reasonably priced. There's a definite "grass is always greener" element to this kind of thing, and it's not helped by the fact that your average journalist probably doesn't have the context to understand defense wikipedia.

  3. October 31, 2023ike said...

    defense industry [...] saddled with the worst management in the Anglophone world.

    Is this still true if we count India as Anglosphere?

  4. November 02, 2023Ariel said...

    First operational intercept of a Yemeni MRBM by Arrow 2 - https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/israel-shot-down-ballistic-missile-fired-yemen-us-officials-say-rcna122936

    Allegedly a Ghadr-110, which is a very extended range Scud.

    Unlike the Gulf War, this time the Yemenis are the butt of jokes, rather than the Patriot missiles.

    Arrow 2 has previously intercepted a runaway Syrian S-200 that allegedly failed to self-destruct.

  5. November 02, 2023bean said...


    No, but that's because India is its own special level of difficult for this.


    Ooh, excellent. More evidence that missile defense works.

  6. November 02, 2023redRover said...

    What does and doesn't the Ukraine war tell us about modern peer warfare?

    In some ways it seems like it's been instructive on where smart weapons work and don't, and also how pervasive drones change the nature of warfare, particularly the tradeoffs around mobility, maneuver warfare, and protection. Also, it reinforces the importance of having the logistical upper hand for consumables and munitions. It seems instructive on what higher-intensity warfare looks like after thirty years of essentially low-intensity or asymmetric conflicts, save for the Second Gulf War.

    On the other hand, they're both sort of 'second rate' powers at this point,* so they're being forced to fight in a more constrained manner than the US or China (or even India) would.

    On the third hand, the most likely peer conflict (China-US plus allies) would be far more maritime than the primarily terrestrial and littoral warfare in Ukraine.

    *Russia is a nuclear power, etc., but it's also an economy the size of South Kora with a run down industrial base and a shrinking population.

  7. November 04, 2023Mike Kozlowski said...

    Enjoying the repost of Last Days Of The High Seas Fleet. Have always wondered if the HSF actually had gotten loose, would the US battleships in Sixth Battle Squadron have gone out with the Grand Fleet?

  8. November 05, 2023muddywaters said...

    @Mike: probably. See here.

  9. November 05, 2023Philistine said...

    I assume Canada doesn't rate as the "worst management in the Anglophone world" just because they don't have much of a defense industry left at this point. When it comes to defense acquisitions, though, Canada makes the UK and even India look like the US. (That is, still not well-functioning by any means, but at least they do occasionally manage to buy things.)

  10. November 05, 2023bean said...


    Undoubtedly. Muddywaters beat me to linking it, but I looked into this reasonably closely, and they were well integrated with the Grand Fleet by the fall of 1918.


    Canada doesn't count because due to Quebec they aren't properly Anglophone. (Or because I forgot about them when writing. Take your pick.)

  11. November 09, 2023Rabidchaos said...

    @Mike: When Drachinifel covered the hypothetical sortie of the High Seas Fleet, the 6th Battle Squadron was included in the Grand Fleet. https://youtu.be/YrTeYcRXDEw?si=DJxlo9a0cZdfYcdy

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