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Attack of the clones…

So a baker’s dozen of these cute little fellas attacked Russian bases in Syria lately

Carrying these:

Modded mortar bombs?

Via Russian Ministry of Defense:

Security system of the Russian Khmeimim air base and Russian Naval CSS point in the city of Tartus successfully warded off a terrorist attack with massive application of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) through the night of 5th – 6th January, 2018.

As evening fell, the Russia air defence forces detected 13 unidentified small-size air targets at a significant distance approaching the Russian military bases.

Ten assault drones were approaching the Khmeimim air base, and another three – the CSS point in Tartus.

Six small-size air targets were intercepted and taken under control by the Russian EW units. Three of them were landed on the controlled area outside the base, and another three UAVs exploded as they touched the ground.

Seven UAVs were eliminated by the Pantsir-S anti-aircraft missile complexes operated by the Russian air defence units on 24-hours alert.

The Russian bases did not suffer any casualties or damages.

The take away: swarm drone attacks are 100% going to be a staple of the modern battlefield. Also, the Russians have drone scramblers, likely much like the Battelle V1 and V2 DroneDefenders the U.S has been using for years.

As for where the drones came from? Russian state media, of course, says the U.S. funded the op and coordinated it. The Pentagon scoffed at the allegation, and the more likely explanation is that its just low-tech asymmetric warfare in 2018. Ready player one…

Mobile Bay at 30: Still a brawler

Mobile Bay was ordered from Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula on 15 January 1982. She was laid down on 6 June 1984, launched on 22 August 1985 and commissioned on 21 February 1987. At 30-years young, she is still worth keeping around. Photo Caption: (Oct. 22, 2017) The guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53) sails past Port Hueneme, Calif. after the successful transport of passengers and equipment to and from the ship. Mobile Bay is currently underway testing the updated AEGIS Baseline 9 weapons system in preparation for its upcoming deployment. (U.S Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Chad M. Butler/Released)

Defense News has a great piece about USS Mobile Bay (CG-53) an aging Ticonderoga-class Aegis cruiser, one of the most senior of her class, set to be decommissioned as early as 2020. However, with new Baseline 9 software enhancements, she is no “ghetto” warship on her last legs ready to push, pull or drag to mothballs, but one of the most potent missile slingers in the world.

“Right now, on a 30-year-old ship, I have the most capable combat system,” said Capt. Jim Storm. “It was a pretty powerful moment when we were sitting on the pier directly across from a destroyer that had just got commissioned two weeks prior – we were gearing up for our MISSILE-EX. I was able to tell my crew that when we deploy, based on where we are going and the threats we’ll be facing, I’d rather be on this ship than that one. That’s a pretty powerful thing to be able to tell your crew, it’s something to get excited about.”

More here

Gun rights via militia definition expansion?

“The Whites of Their Eyes” Colonial militia at Bunker Hill 1775. Ken Riley. Located at the JFK Presidential Library.

An Arizona lawmaker wants to add specific weapon allowances and a public marksmanship program to the broad definition of the state militia. The four-pack of legislation pre-filed for the 2018 session aims to revise the composition and protected equipment of the unorganized militia, which under the state Constitution currently consists of “all capable citizens” aged 18 to 45.

Stringer’s proposal would remove the upper age limit on militia composition as well as spell out a list of “particularly suited firearms” protected for personal possession. These protections would include any revolver or semi-auto firearm, magazine or accessory of the type used by law enforcement in the state or the military as well allow for “sufficient quantities” of privately held ammunition for both training and emergency use.

Kind of an interesting concept.

More in my column at Guns.com.

Meet Nomad. It lives in a tube and could be a very interesting

The Naval Research Laboratory has been testing a light rotary drone called the Nomad from USS Coronado (LCS-4). The cool thing about it is that it is CO2 launched from a tube, and they can carry (and operate) multiple Nomads at once.

Civilian contractors from the Office of Naval Research conduct a test on a Nomad drone system aboard the littoral combat ship USS Coronado (LCS 4)

A Nomad drone launches from the flight deck of the littoral combat ship USS Coronado (LCS 4). The four -pack as shown looks like it is on a rolling cart and has a small footprint

Nomad drone lands on the flight deck of the littoral combat ship USS Coronado (LCS 4). Note the second incoming at the top of the image

According to NRL:

The Nomad is a highly affordable expendable design, allowing for execution of its mission without concerns for returning to the ship. This new upgrade retains the original affordable expendable design, but now has a recovery feature that allows operators to retrieve and reuse the Nomad vehicles multiple times in support of development, testing, training, and potentially future operational missions.

A kinda interesting concept, especially if you allow the tech to grow to where a single LCS could serve as a “drone carrier” flying dozens or even possibly hundreds of small tube-launched Nomads or weaponized successors operating in swarms. Now that actually sounds like a useful littoral combat ship.

More here

NYPD breaks up with the wheelgun for good

Group of New York City policemen posed in front of police station 1909. Via LOC

The nation’s largest municipal police force, which officially adopted its first standard revolver when Teddy Roosevelt was commissioner back in 1896, is doing away with the last of their wheel guns.

With over 30,000 officers on the job, the agency has been on the slow transition to semi-autos since 1993 and only has about 150 officers still carrying revolvers, a number that shrinks with every retirement. This is down from the more than 2,000 still reportedly packing the guns back in 2004.

Now, the last of New York’s Finest carrying them will have to convert to Glocks or Sigs by next August.

More in my column at Guns.com.

Got $46K? Want a FV721? Gotcha covered

It may be a 46-year-old armored vehicle but this British-made Alvis Fox reportedly drives well and looks good right down to its Jaguar engine.

Officially designated an FV721 Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Wheeled), the Fox was created to help British Army armored units scout across Europe in an engagement with the Warsaw Pact across the Fulda Gap during the Cold War.

Using aluminum armour to protect from small arms fire, the Fox mounted a pretty serious 30mm cannon as well as a co-axial machine gun, though Atlantic Firearms — who currently has this 1971-vintage model up for grabs — says this one is fitted with simulated gas-fired cannons as it was used in movies and publicity events.

Powered by a 4.2L Jaguar XK J60 with a five-speed transmission, when new the 4×4 Fox could break 65 mph on good roads. While the British withdrew them from service after the First Gulf War, these vehicles are still apparently on active duty in Malawi and Nigeria among others.

Price for your very own Fox? Atlantic is asking just under $50K, but is “open to reasonable offers.”

This could be you:

Just you and your Fox chilling on the beach. All the ladies love a 30mm Rarden

Fits in (some) two car garages (Bongo truck not included)

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