Yes that’s right, added to the ranks of countries with carriers to include the US, China, France, the UK (well, they are building two new ones anyway), and India is that internationally respected naval powerhouse of Angola. It is now the only African country to have ever owned a flatop.
According to Portuguese daily ECD, the former Spanish naval jump carrier ‘Príncipe de Asturias’ will be acquired by Angola. Not for scrapping, or to be a hotel or casino, but to perform as an aircraft carrier and flagship of their navy. The 16,000-ton ship, commissioned in 1988, was just retired by Spain nine months ago. It’s argueably the lowest mileage surplus aircraft carrier on the market today.
The ship would presumably operate helicopters as their are no VTOL fixed wing aircraft currently on the market. This could prove a problem for the Angolan navy as that service has no helicopters. However, the country’s air force does operate about 70 aging Soviet Hip and Hind choppers as well as a smattering of French Alouettes, Dauphins and Gazelles.
With the sale (and an agreed refurbishment by Spanish shipyards) the African country will also (complementarity) receive three lightly armed offshore patrol boats and an amphibious assault ship that had been removed from the Spanish Naval list. These include the P-27 Ízaro (300-ton, launched 1980) P -61 Chilreu (1900-ton, launched 1991), F-32 Diana (1200-ton, 1979), and the L-42 Pizarro (8500-ton, formerly the 1972-era USS Harlan County LST-1196). The country is awash in new oil money and is looking to put up a naval ‘keep off the grass’ sign.
Angola’s navy, the Marinha de Guerra, currently has just 1000 officers and men and consists of a dozen near-shore Osa and Shershen type Soviet PT/FAC boats. A couple small minesweepers and landing craft serve as its blue-water force while about forty small boats handle brown water. As the Príncipe de Asturias requires a 600-person crew irregardless of any embarked air crews, coughing up some experienced (non-national?) sailors who can operate gas turbines and NATO communications suites is going to be Angola’s challenge.
How would you like to be the Logistics guy for this navy?
“The white Volkswagen Worker truck was transporting a “teletherapy source” containing cobalt-60 when it was stolen Monday in the central Hidalgo state town of Tepojaco, north of Mexico City, the International Atomic Energy Agency said.”
While its was most likely a simple case of vehicle theft (its TJ afterall), the contents could wind up being moved by the cartels to the highest bidder. I mean who wouldnt want a few drums of instant dirty bomb for those special occasions. Just add some C4 and its moonsuits and geiger counters for everyone!
(Update 12/5) : They found the material. However, the clown that took it opened the case it was in and removed it from the shielding, unknowingly adding himself to the next season of 1000 Ways To Die, but on the bright side, he could get a Darwin Award.
A display of decoy flares illuminates the sky above one of the Royal Navy’s newest and most powerful warships, HMS Dragon. HMS Dragon is the fourth ship of the Type 45 or Daring-class air-defense destroyers built for the Royal Navy. She was launched in November 2008 and commissioned on 20 April, 2012. The flares were fired by the ship’s Lynx helicopter as it flew over the vessel. Such as last-ditch action can help divert incoming anti-ship missiles without blooming out the ship’s own radar and close-in weapons system. .
A few months ago, the collective gun community fell off its rocking chair when Cody Wilson created from a jug of plastic media a disposable single-shot pistol. This was done through the magic of 3D printing. However, a totally different company has trumped Wilson’s “Liberator” by making the much more interesting clone of the famous Colt 1911 .45ACP pistol– out of steel.
For the rest of the real deal on this story, check it out in my column at Firearms Talk.com
Sure, Ruger has built plenty of pistols, rifles and shotguns, but did you know they also made a handy little submachine gun for a while? It is true. The guns name was the MP9, and its inventor may surprise you.
In the 1980s, Ruger was very keen to attract law enforcement and military sales. It was always rumored that Bill Ruger himself thought that the Mini-14 should have been chosen to be the US Army’s standard rifle after Vietnam. The P85 series pistols came about from the US military handgun trials that led to the adoption of the Beretta 92 as the Department of Defense’s M9.
With the above in mind, at the same time, police forces across the country were rapidly establishing SWAT teams and SRT units. These small, specially trained groups would be sent into harm’s way, often engaging serious threats at close quarters. For this, they liked compact 9mm submachine guns like the S&W Model 76 and HK MP5. Well, if Smith and the Germans could make a sexy little 9milly burp gun, by gosh Ruger could too. Better yet, old Bill had an Israeli ace up his sleeve.
Read the rest in my column at Ruger Talk
Looking like 1944 is calling and sending an Essex class fleet carrier into a time warp, the newest Amphibious Assault Ship, PCU
USS America (LHA6) is on her builders trials.
“The amphibious assault ship America (LHA 6), built by Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, MS, sails the Gulf of Mexico on
builder’s sea trials, Nov. 7-9, 2013″
Built without a floodable well dock like the 8 LHDs that came before her, or even the Tarawa class LHAs, the America is a strait
aviation-only ship. She’s similar in concept to the old 15,000-ton USS Iwo Jima (LPH-2) amphibious assault ships of the 1960s– just nearly three times as large.
The LHA6 class is optimized to operate a couple squadrons of the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, making the ship basically an aircraft carrier when not jam packed full of a Marine Battalion Landing Team and its attached MAU of helicopters and CV-22 aircraft. The Navy wants 11 of these to replace the LHAs and LHDs currently in service. This class investment means the F-35C variant *has* to be built as these ships would recover their fixed wing birds (AV-8, F-35, CV-22) by vertical landing only.
Lets compare 1944 with 2014
Essex class fleet carrier
- 36,960-ton full load
- 888-feet overall
- 147.5 feet of beam at widest point of deck (only 94 at the waterline)
- 27.5 feet max draft
- 150,000 shp to make 32.7kts at full speed/20,000 knot range at 15 on boiler-fired steam turbines
- 2170 ships crew, 870 airwing
- 90 WWII propeller driven aircraft, 40-modern jets in 1960s/70s.
America class LHA
- 45,693-ton full load
- 844 feet overall
- 106-feet of beam (at waterline, no figure for widest point of deck)
- 70,000 shp to make ’20+’ knots on gas turbines. Range undisclosed but thought to be 9500nm+ at 20kts.
- 1060 ships crew, upto 1600 marines or airwing embarked
- 22-31 modern aircraft
Still, this ‘ambib’ is a more capable aircraft carrier than just about any other ship outside of a NATO navy. It should be noted that
the only other purposely built warship named USS America ever completed was CV-66, commissioned in 1965 and decommissioned in 1996,– was a KittyHawk-class attack carrier.
LAV-25 Light Armored Vehicle, D/2d LAI Battalion
A LAV-25 is crewed by a vehicle commander, gunner, driver, and four infantry scouts. The 17-ton LAV-25’s armament is a 25mm M242 Bushmaster chain gun, 7.62mm coaxial M240C and pintle-mounted M240E1 machine guns, and eight smoke grenade dischargers.
LAV-25 vehicle commander, D/2d LAI Battalion : Other than the DH132 Combat Vehicle Crewman’s (CVC) helmet, LAV crewmen wear the same uniforms as other Marines.
1st Fleet Antiterrorist Security Team Plt Member
Attached to D/2dLAI Bn., the 1st FAST Pit. cleared PDF installations using its close-quarter battle skills, to which it devotes a
great deal of training time and ammunition. Platoon members wore reversed utility caps rather than helmets to ensure maximum vision and hearing inside buildings. A strip of GLINT tape was fixed to the ‘cover’s’ top crown. FAST Pit. weapons include stun grenades, M16A2 rifles, M203 grenade launchers, M249E1 SAWs, 12 ga. Mossberg Model 590 riot shotguns, and 9mm Colt ‘M16’ sub-machine guns, as carried by this Marine. He has a SWAT-type magazine carrier and M1961 ‘butt’ pack. Flashlights
were sometimes attached to weapons or gloves by Velcro for use when searching dark rooms.
SMAW Gunner, K/3/6th Marines
The 83mm MK 153 MOD 0 Shoulder-launched Multi-purpose Assault Weapon, mounting an integral 9mm MK 8 MOD 0 spotting rifle, is a building- and bunker-buster rather than an anti-armor weapon. The gunner is armed with an M9 pistol and M9 multi-purpose wire-cutter bayonet. Like all Marines, he carries a small first aid kit on his belt.
Vier im Leopard -– King of the Volkswagen!
You’ve seen them around in increasing numbers in the past few years. Those spooky Jason-meets-Michael Myers masks being
worn by ‘operators’ from video games to the sandbox. They are the ballistic face shields, and we are taking a closer look.
Read the rest in my column at Firearms Talk.com
Ok, now take a look at this pic.
(click tio make larger)
How many can you identify?
1: Chinese PGO for the RPG rocket launcher
2: Bulgarian PGO-7
3: NPZ PGO-7
4: PK-23 blinking red dot
8: PK-A Original
9: PK-A Venezuela
11: 1PN58/NSPUM Night Vision
12: 1PN34/NSPU Night Vision
13: Kobra EKP-8-02 Gen 2
14: Kobra EKP-1S-03m Gen 1
17: 1P76 Rakurs
19: PK1/1P63 Obzor
20: PO 3.5x21P2 with NPZ mount
21: PO 3.5x21P
22: PO 3.5x21P Venezuela
23: PO 4x24P
24: PSO-1 from Izhmash
25: PSO-1 from NPZ
26: PSO-1-1 from NPZ
27: PO 3-9×24
28: Chinese JJJ PSO type optic for NMD86
30 1P78 Kashtan
31: Romanian LPS/TIP2 PSO type optic
32: POSP 4x24v
33: POSP 4x24v AA battery model
34: POSP 8×42
35: Zeiss ZFK 4×25
36: MP4-20 spotter scope
37: yM8 spotter scope