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The_Capt last won the day on May 18

The_Capt had the most liked content!

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  1. My point was that your point was silly and unrealistic. But if you have forgetting my point then yours has no doubt retreated in the darkness never to return. An entire military trade built around error and missing - not an entirely surprising outcome.
  2. Gawd, typical gunner. Drone collects oranges, squeezes oranges, puts little umbrella in glass, delivers orange juice - “hey there is too much pulp…this whole drone thing is overblown hogwash!”
  3. You want it to make you OJ in the morning too? Human beings do fratricide all the time under those conditions. In fact AI will likely do better because it’s processor is not built on a panicky teenager chassis and when told not to shoot, it will actually follow orders. If you wanna set the bar that high we may as well outlaw all warfare.
  4. Totally true. In reality this little beast is kinda shooting for the deep end - asymmetric warfare and HVT strikes. This is in the Switchblade 300 league - not go out and find me a tank and kill it with 2-3 buddies. But the video does show where I think things will go in the short (read “now”), the last mile. If an operator can get the drone within a few kms, do the target selection, and then hit release, we have a drone that is basically a flying ATGM system. It can’t be soft-killed on final approach as there is no link to operator. Second, these videos are from 2020. I am fairly confident that processing power has continued to increase and what can be built now for less has higher capabilities. Regardless the age of full autonomy is going to happen, it is already happening. The main issue with EW is that it takes a lot of energy to get what you want, in an age where pumping a lot of energy out is essentially self-illuminating targeting. Direct energy weapons will have the same problem. Large, big and brash is not going to fair well in an age of small, cheap, everywhere. It would be better to figure out how to create distributed EW capability and put them on unmanned systems as a net as opposed to single major platforms.
  5. I am so tired of this entire line of thought. Sure the UA has legacy Soviet doctrine but 1) what is wrong with Soviet doctrine - there is a huge assumption that Soviet doctrine was ineffective and somehow did not know how to manoeuvre, which is patently false, and 2) And ignores the other factors staring them in the face that are making large scale manoeuvre impossible. This is straight up western arrogance built on a foundation of ignorance. Until someone from the Pentagon can explain how we would successfully operate under the same conditions (no air superiority, ISR every where) using “mission command and manoeuvre” of course. Did anyone ask the Ukrainians why they are using fires first? Did anyone stop to wonder why manoeuvre has failed for the Russians as well? Nope, too easy to blame it all on “Soviet-era” doctrine. This “us-centric” analysis is frighteningly similar to what European observers of the US Civil War walked away with…and it cost them dearly.
  6. And apparently there is already one on the market: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/STM_Kargu I would be willing to bet a beer these are not “prohibitively expensive”
  7. Excellent question. Last summer they were doing stand off strikes at 8-10 kms back. But all of these pushes over the winter have lacked tac avn support as far as I can tell. The air power play has been glide bombs release from well back but AHs have been largely absent.
  8. Same scenario but RA turns magic EW up to 11. Operator- UAS stand back and provide ISR, fully autonomous go in and become landmines - don’t even go in for fancy strike, just fly and plop down in front - arty and ATGMs still do the dirty. Infantry backstop the whole thing. Welcome to 2024.
  9. Other than a speculative RUSI report (and 80k is no where near prohibitive - a Javelin round costs nearly 3 times that (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FGM-148_Javelin)). Do you have any references for this? Processing power has been getting exponentially cheaper and lighter over time. At a full 80k milspec FPV I would also expect 80-90% pk rates at still 1/3 the cost of the Javelin. Plus an FPV has nearly twice the range, can double as ISR and target on the fly. I have seen exactly zero analysis that outline the “prohibitive” costs of full autonomy. [aside: If EW can block encrypted burst comms then none of us can talk to each other so worrying about comms from the drone is also pointless.] “At the cost of everything else.” ??? Yes, that is how defence procurement works. Those poor $25m dollar tanks might not get funded because we are investing in $80k fully autonomous drones- that is 312 FPV to a single tank. The reason tanks won’t get invested in is more likely because they are no longer effective given those drones. The reality is actually the other way - we will spend billions on legacy equipment while emerging gets shorted because industry cannot make enough of a profit at them.
  10. I am no expert either but EW has been around for decades, so a mature counter is struggling in this war. As to more fanciful EW (EMP blaster?). I have not seen any of this sort of tech nor does it really address fully autonomous unmanned. The cheap-many makes the most sense out of this but again if a UAS does not need transmission protocols to target and strike then basically we cutting a link back to an operator that isn’t there. As to the rest (eg hacking in flight), well if you can do that why not do the same for every other computerized and networked system on the battlefield? (which is basically everything.)
  11. Few points on EW - it has been effective in this war in eroding unmanned systems range and effects, but it likely won’t in the next one. First off EW is very “loud” as one is basically pumping a bunch of EM into atmo. These basically look like giant beacons to ISR designed to pick this up. So in a peer conflict where one side is not being starved of long range precision fires, EW systems are going to be hunted by other systems. But we know it has not been effective enough. EW has bought neither side an ability to regain freedom of manoeuvre for mech forces. So while it can erode UAS it cannot achieve denial or superiority. And then there is autonomy. No matter how many videos get posted people still have a block on this one. UAS in the next war are all likely to have levels of full autonomy. Whether it is complete or partial, no military is going to leave its unmanned arms vulnerable to falling out of the sky just because someone turns on EW. Right now the UA has a bunch of civilian UAS they have repurposed to effect but a war in 5-10 years is going to see widespread us of fully autonomous systems…why? Because everyone is watching this war. Industry is going to explode in these areas because the advantages are simply too high. So basically in this war we have a bunch of drones bought online with RPG7 rounds gun taped to them pulling off a 20% success rate (which is damned high) in what is likely one of the most potent EW environments ever. The fact that some are looking down noses at the fact it takes more than one strike for these systems to kill a multimillion dollar tank shows how upside down we are here. These systems are not only working, as challenged as they are, they are shaping the battlefield. No large mech concentrations. Tanks staying back 10s of kms right next to tac aviation. When we actually see a tank shooting another tank it is a rarity to be highlighted, which is nuts from what we envisioned modern warfare to look like even 3 years ago. UAS are not a fad, they are breaking war as we knew it…and frankly we should have seen it coming.
  12. Honestly this kinda feels like pulling numbers out of thin air. A Milspec FPV is going to some at a higher price point, of this there is little doubt, but how much is really unknown. Most commercial drones already have sensors and comms links and can lift. Milspecing some bloated monster FPV is the natural trend in this sort of thing but I think we may be able to find so etching between 2500$ and $80k. The other thing missing at economies of scale for a large military drone industry. This will drive down price points overtime. We will also likely start seeing fleets of these systems. Some broad capability motherships or specialized and other treated like ammunition and made as cheap throw away systems. So not a single price point but a menu.
  13. One has to ask out of each artillery shell, or direct fire round for that matter, how many effectively reach a target either? Warfare is a highly inefficient business. We waste millions of rounds of ordinance all the time. 20% pk is actually very high compared to say small arms. Not as high as reports of the Javelins (80-90%) but given the low costs of the systems 1 in 5 is frighteningly effective for something that hasn’t even been designed or produced with milspec. But the article is very good and on point as to the foundation of a mass precision complex - the new arms race. Full, or near full autonomy is a must to sidestep EW shielding. This will mean drones will need to get smarter. Light, cheap processing power is not the problem, algorithms likely will be the competitive space. The videos of drones with MGs is also interesting. Someone is going to put a 40mm GL barrel or two in one of those in about 15 secs and now we have HE/HEAT standoff out to 1000+ m. Now put fins on that 40mm with a laser designator seeker and things could get interesting really quickly. We have seen all sorts of really expensive counters to FPVs being pushed but it is important to remember that the UAS/UGV side of the equation has barely even gotten warmed up. Most of the FPVs in Ukraine are civilian make being repurposed. We have not really seen the results of real investment by military industry in this field. We are going to, which will drive costs up of course, but capabilities that survive a lot longer and do a lot more are going to happen. A UAS with a Javelin or Spike missile. A Wild Weasel UAS with anti-radiation missiles. Fuel air or aluminum powder based explosive drones. The mass precision complex is coming because mass precision beats everything,
  14. I think Steve was leaning pretty heavily in favour of artillery rounds to give them the best light…and in typical gunner fashion - biting open hands (a more acerbic lot is impossible to find). If we are talking strategic transport then the key metric is weight. I will leave it to you to compare the weight of an artillery shell with propellant vs that of a drone and RPG warhead.
  15. So maybe 5k, not 50k. Well then this really was more RA leg humping to prove some sort of point. Based on the rumoured losses it looks more like Russian business as usual as they lose hundreds of people for small gains. The UA likely picked them up on ISR but either was constrained or did not have the resources at hand. RA grabbed a few kms and then got stopped. Dismounted aspect looks more likely either due to shortfalls or simple battlefield realities, as opposed to a shift in tactics. And we are back to another Friday in this war.
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