Thursday 11 February 2010

Look away it’s going all turney and burney again.

I’ve been meaning to get this off my chest again for a week or two, ever since it became obvious that our armed forces were about to be amalgamated into one great big Euro enforcement hit squad.

By that I mean EUROFARCE will not be used to take out enemy nuclear subs or stealth bombers but to enforce CARBON350 rules.

A little vignette to illustrate.

You are a peasant in a poor land, you’ve scraped together enough wood to light a fire and crisp the dead rat, maybe poisoned, maybe not, you don’t care your starving, on a barbie. Overhead the Planetary Skin monitors all and notes that this is a regional phenomenon, you are not alone in crisping rats that day, and the algorithms kick in. Before you know it a Green UAV is over head and you are dead. CARBON350 limits are satisfied and the oligarchs can rest in their perfumed vomitoria.

Got the picture?

So after how many years of pouring squillions of USD into our military why have we got nothing to show? Remember how many B2s were originally planned, 100s. F22s, almost a 1000. ALX/LHX, thousands. V22, hundreds and hundreds. Typhoons, squadrons and squadrons. Sea Wolf. Astute. LCS.

I’ll tell you why because the money has been pilfered that’s why. It’s all been run like the construction industry, only really, really badly. Only as badly as you can with the biggest computers and the highest educated professionals you can get your hands on. Contract awarded, pocket half, run the programme on the rest, whilst blackmailing/bribing the legislature. The noises currently coming out of US warship building about dodgy build quality makes me want to stay a landlubber.

Every year the unit price goes up and the numbers projected to be bought goes down but the amount of cash pocketed never changes. It is disarmament by project theft. Just like Project Wembley bought all those villas in far away places but only one stadium.

So A400M. How many decades have I been staring at artists’ impressions of that then? Just like the Typhoon. Just Like the ATF/F22. Just like the JSF/F35.

Which got me round to doing a quick comparo.

The stats are all from Wiki

First flight a few weeks back Kawasaki XC-2

General characteristics

  • Crew: 3
  • Capacity: Length 16 m, Width 4 m, Height 4 m
  • Payload: 30+ tons [12] (60,000 lb, 27 215 kg)
  • Length: 43.9 m (144 ft)
  • Wingspan: 44.4 m (145 ft 8 in)
  • Height: 14.2 m (46 ft 7 in)
  • Empty weight: 60,800 kg (133,920 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 108 952 kg (240 200 lb, 120.1 tons [12])
  • Powerplant: 2× GE CF6-80C2K1F[13], 59,740 lbf (266 kN) each


First flight a few weeks back A400M

General characteristics

  • Crew: 3 or 4 (2 pilots, 3rd optional, 1 loadmaster)
  • Capacity: 37,000 kg (82,000 lb)
    • 116 fully equipped troops / paratroops,
    • up to 66 stretchers accompanied by 25 medical personnel
  • Length: 45.1 m (148 ft 0 in)
  • Wingspan: 42.4 m (139 ft 1 in)
  • Height: 14.7 m (48 ft 3 in)
  • Max takeoff weight: 141,000 kg (310,852 lb)
  • Max. Landing Weight: 122,000 kg (268,963 lb)
  • Total Internal Fuel: 50,500 kg (111,330 lb)
  • Powerplant: 4 × Europrop TP400-D6[45] turboprop, 8,250 kW (11,060 hp) each
  • Propellers: 8-bladed, 5.3 m (17 ft 5 in) diameter


  • Cruising speed: 780 km/h (480 mph; 420 kn) (Mach 0.68 - 0.72)
  • Initial Cruise Altitude: at MTOW: 9,000 m (29,000 ft)
  • Range: 3,298 km (2,049 mi; 1,781 nmi) at max payload (long range cruise speed; reserves as per MIL-C-5011A)
    • Range at 30-tonne payload: 4,540 km (2,450 nmi)
    • Range at 20-tonne payload: 6,390 km (3,450 nmi)
  • Ferry range: 8,710 km (5,412 mi; 4,703 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 11,300 m (37,073 ft)
  • Maximum Operating Altitude: 11,278 m (37,000 ft)
  • Tactical Takeoff Distance: 980 m (3,215 ft) (aircraft weight 100 tonnes, soft field, ISA, sea level)
  • Tactical Landing Distance: 770 m (2,526 ft) (as above)
  • Turning Radius (Ground): 28.6 m

Shorts Belfast 1960s

General characteristics

  • Crew: Basic aircrew 5 (two pilots, engineer, navigator and loadmaster); in RAF use, a bunk-room on the lower deck provided sleeping facilities for a second crew, permitting double-crew operation
  • Capacity: 11,750 cu. ft.
  • Payload: 80,000 lb (36,288 kg)
  • Length: 136 ft 5 in (41.70 m)
  • Wingspan: 158 ft 10 in (48.1 m)
  • Height: 47 ft (14.33 m)
  • Wing area: 2,466 ft² (229.1 m²)
  • Empty weight: 130,000 lb (59,020 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 230,000 lb (104,300 kg)
  • Powerplant:Rolls-Royce Tyne R.Ty.12, Mk. 101 turboprops, 5,730 ehp (4,270 kW) each
  • Propellers: Hawker Siddeley Dynamics 4/7000/fully-feathering
    • Propeller diameter: 16 ft ()


An70 1994.

General characteristics

  • Crew: 3-5
  • Capacity: 300 troops or 206 wounded
  • Payload: 47 tonnes (2.25g) (103,620 lb (2.25g)) of cargo
  • Length: 40.7 m (133 ft 6 in)
  • Wingspan: 44.06 m (144 ft 7 in)
  • Height: 16.38 m (53 ft 9 in)
  • Empty weight: 66,230 kg (146,000 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 108,860 kg (240,000 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 145,000 kg (2.25g) (319,725 lb (2.25g))
  • Powerplant:Progress D-27 propfans, 10,350 kW (14,000 hp) each


Looks like we are buying something we already owned in the 1960s. We could also have got something better in the 1990s. And blow my windsock something newer and better has just been flown by our allies out in the Far East.

I know, I know all about that rough field shit, but we don’t put these babies anywhere near rough field, ever. THEY ARE TOO EXPENSIVE AND RARE TO LOOSE!!!!! We capture the airfield and then fly in. So the distances involved in all this NWO policing would tend to favour the Kawasaki’s better cruise speed and I’m sure that baby is being modest about it’s lifting ability. Anything with two 60,000 lb st big fans under its wings lifts bigtime. Oooohhh lets check the B767 stats. According to Boeing a 767-300 will lift 60tons, and an A300-600 will lift over 50 tons. So modest it is.

Another really annoying thing is the time wasted to do anything. KC-X and UK’s tanking.

Why don’t you Yanks buy up a load of wide bodies and plumb them with tanking facilities as a quick fix before the KC-135s drop out the air? Let’s see, the high desert is full of cheap frames, commonality?, wait for a whole airline to fail or dispose of it’s 767s and start rolling them through refurb.

And as for the RAF, PFI will simply steal your budget and not a drop of fuel will ever be tanked!!

Then she heaved into view again and one of my favourite songs ever.

God it hurts.