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2020 US/Iranian Crisis

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  • This administration is congenitally averse to "escalation". See Ukraine. As such, the Biden administration DEEPLY respects the military power of our enemies. Consequently, we address matters obliquely. Never forthrightly.

    Iran could give a fcuk about Syrian and Iraqi proxies. Dying, if need be, is their final contribution and pathway to blessed martyrdom.
    "This aggression will not stand, man!" Jeff Lebowski
    "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool." Lester Bangs

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    • Originally posted by statquo View Post
      Using B-1s to attack militia targets? Why?
      Cause they are highly effective bomb trucks that have great EW systems to help protect themselves. None of the Bones are nuclear capable.

      And I wonder what the status of the TLAMs are on the US ships. They may be holding them for more attacks on the Houthis. Keep in mind the TLAMs in the VLS's on the Burkes are not reloadable at sea.


      FYI we just TLAMed 36 Houthi sites about 15 minutes ago. 1700 EST or 0100 ZULU.
      Last edited by Albany Rifles; 03 Feb 24,, 23:18.
      “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
      Mark Twain

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
        Biden failed Sun Tzu. When the enemy's allies hit you, it is time to hit the enemy. I'm surprised the Joint Chiefs didn't recommend hitting Iran.
        I am not. As far as we know Iran has not actually been directly involved in the attack on the US forces. It has been likely Iranian backed forces. While it may be splitting hairs it is an important distinction.

        Here is an analogy. If US trained and supported Kurds were to attack and kill Iranian soldiers is Iran then in its right to launch an attack on the continental US? Because that is what in effect you are advocating.
        “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
        Mark Twain

        Comment


        • Joint Statement by the Allies on today's strike on Houthi targets.

          Click image for larger version

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          “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
          Mark Twain

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post
            I am not. As far as we know Iran has not actually been directly involved in the attack on the US forces. It has been likely Iranian backed forces. While it may be splitting hairs it is an important distinction.
            We do know that the Iranians have not discourage such attacks. This was not the first attack, nor the first successful attack on US Forces. It was the first attack that killed Americans. In all this time, Iran continues to supply munitions to the rebels.

            Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post
            Here is an analogy. If US trained and supported Kurds were to attack and kill Iranian soldiers is Iran then in its right to launch an attack on the continental US? Because that is what in effect you are advocating.
            That is because Iran does not want to be in a war she can't win. She struck Pakistan perfectly fine,

            Chimo

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
              We do know that the Iranians have not discourage such attacks. This was not the first attack, nor the first successful attack on US Forces. It was the first attack that killed Americans. In all this time, Iran continues to supply munitions to the rebels.

              That is because Iran does not want to be in a war she can't win. She struck Pakistan perfectly fine,
              Right. And directly striking Iran will ignite a war with them and greatly piss off the Gulf Arabs and many others in the region...not because they have any love for Iran but they just became direct targets. And we lose basing rights. And ensured enmity for a millenium.

              No thanks...we already did that shit and we have buried over 7,000 military and 8,000 civilian contractors. Not fucking worth it. Not in my country's best interest.
              “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
              Mark Twain

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post
                Right. And directly striking Iran will ignite a war with them and greatly piss off the Gulf Arabs and many others in the region...not because they have any love for Iran but they just became direct targets.
                They're already targets. Houthi missiles have struck the KSA.

                Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post
                And we lose basing rights. And ensured enmity for a millenium.

                No thanks...we already did that shit and we have buried over 7,000 military and 8,000 civilian contractors.
                And you lost no basing rights.

                Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post
                Not fucking worth it. Not in my country's best interest.
                That's what the Iranians are counting on. They're out Sun Tzu-ing the US.

                Chimo

                Comment


                • The Houthi attacks and the drought condition in the Panama Canal are combining to give US ports and railroads boosts in business.

                  https://maritime-executive.com/artic...u-s-west-coast


                  Trade Lane Upheavals Divert More Container Cargo to U.S. West Coast



                  All leading container lines have quit the Red Sea in order to avoid the risk of missile attack (above, courtesy SCA)

                  PUBLISHED FEB 4, 2024 9:26 PM BY THE MARITIME EXECUTIVE

                  With the Panama Canal restricted by drought and the missile-prone Red Sea abandoned by ocean carriers, U.S. West Coast container ports are getting a back-to-the-future moment - back to the days when they had an ample share of the box shipments from Asia to the East Coast.

                  The Pamana Canal is currently allocating 24 slots per day for east-west transits, down by a third from the normal 36 slots. This has driven up the price and the waiting time for canal-bound shipping, and has discouraged shipowners from using the waterway.

                  In the meantime, Yemen's Houthi rebels continue to attack merchant ships in the Red Sea with missiles, armed UAVs and suicide drone boats. The risk is high enough that virtually all container carriers have quit the waterway. (Even CMA CGM, which had been a final holdout among the top-10 operators, is said to have called off using the Red Sea/Suez route after a recent near-miss.)

                  Asia-U.S. East Coast services that skip the Red Sea must go around the Cape of Good Hope instead, adding thousands of nautical miles to the voyage. For container ships, this equates to an additional 10-14 days of sailing time, plus an extra bunkering stop for smaller vessels.

                  Luckily for U.S. East Coast retailers and consumers, there is another way to get goods to market: the vast, unencumbered Pacific Ocean. Given the disruption for all-water routes to the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, ″[retailers] have decided to bring cargo into the West Coast ports and then use intermodal rail to get the cargo back to the East Coast,” National Retail Federation VP Jonathan Gold said in congressional testimony last week.

                  The rising demand for this trade lane is large enough that the Department of Transportation is keeping an eye on possible congestion. Little has been reported yet, but Gold says that his members need to anticipate a surge of traffic in four to six weeks.

                  Congestion and tight capacity are worth their weight in gold for ocean carriers, and freight prices have been rising rapidly. According to Gold, retailers have reported freight price quote hikes of up to 75 percent in recent weeks. Carriers suggest that the price adjustments are linked to higher operating costs (extra sailing days, extra fuel, bringing more ships into rotation) - but investors have been signaling otherwise. The markets have been bidding up the share price of the top boxship operators by double digits, demonstrating an expectation that the extra revenue will outpace the extra cost.
                  “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                  Mark Twain

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                  • Well it looks like the Marines may have our first Ace in awhile!


                    https://www.twz.com/air/marine-corps...-drones-report


                    Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier Pilot Downed Seven Drones: Report

                    The U.S. Marine Corps AV-8B pilot reportedly made the kills while helping to blunt the Houthi’s relentless drone attacks.
                    BY THOMAS NEWDICK|UPDATED FEB 12, 2024 1:34 PM ESTAI




                    Marine Corps AV-8B pilot Capt. Earl Ehrhart receives signals during flight operations aboard amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD-5), December 26, 2023. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Matthew Romonoyske-Bean

                    In an interview with the BBC, Marine Corps AV-8B pilot Capt. Earl Ehrhart said that he had shot down seven Houthi drones. Ehrhart serves with Marine Attack Squadron 231 (VMA-231), the “Ace of Spades,” currently aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD-5). Since late December, USS Bataan has been operating in the Mediterranean, but as of October, when the Houthi campaign began, in the wake of Israel’s war in Gaza, the warship was operating in the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf areas. It is not entirely clear where Ehrhart assembled his tally.

                    “I never imagined I was going to be doing this when we launched,” Ehrhart told the BBC, reflecting that, as of early October, the squadron, part of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable), was expecting to complete its latest deployment, which began last August.


                    An AV-8B armed with a live AIM-9L/M Sidewinder missile aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan on December 26, 2023. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Matthew Romonoyske-Bean


                    “The Houthis were launching a lot of suicide attack drones,” Ehrhart said, describing the Yemen-based militants as “a robust and capable force.”

                    Ehrhart’s account suggests that aerial combat against any kind of opposition was not necessarily expected by VMA-231.

                    “We took a Harrier jet and modified it for air defense,” Ehrhart added. “We loaded it up with missiles and that way were able to respond to their drone attacks.”

                    The types of missiles used were not revealed.



                    Armed with a live AMRAAM missile, plus a Litening pod, an AV-8B takes off from USS Bataan during flight operations, on December 26, 2023. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Matthew Romonoyske-Bean

                    However, the Marine Corps AV-8B can be armed with examples of both the radar-guided AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) and the heat-seeking AIM-9L/M Sidewinder. The aircraft can also be fitted with a GAU-12 25mm gun pod, which could potentially also be used in air-to-air engagements.


                    Photos released by the Pentagon of AV-8s aboard USS Bataan in recent months also confirm the aircraft are carrying LITENING targeting pods. These can also play an important role in the air-to-air realm, with the ability to slave the pod to the jet’s radar or other sensors for very long-range visual identification of targets, day or night. You can read more about this critical capability here.

                    However, the same BBC article indicates that at least some drone interceptions were carried out at a range close enough for their explosive payload to potentially damage the aircraft hunting them down.


                    An AV-8B loaded with AIM-9M and AIM-120B captive training rounds prepares for a sortie. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Cody Rowe
                    The risks involved in finding and shooting down much slower-flying drones are something that we have heard about before, including from the war in Ukraine, in which similar Iranian-designed one-way attack drones have been widely used.



                    According to Ehrhart’s account, it seems that the USS Bataan held one or more AV-8s at high readiness to launch against incoming drone (and likely also anti-ship cruise missile) threats. Targeting information seems to have been provided primarily by a U.S. Navy destroyer in the region, using its Aegis combat system, which you can read all about here.


                    An AIM-9M Sidewinder is loaded onto an AV-8B during flight operations aboard USS Bataan, on December 26, 2023. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Matthew Romonoyske-Bean
                    Ehrhart continued: “The command room will say: ‘The Houthis have launched a one-way attack drone. We have this amount of time.’ Then we can step down from a two-hour response time, all the way down to a five-minute response.”

                    While the apparent use of the AV-8 to counter Houthi drones would have been driven primarily by its availability in the region, it’s worth noting that the aircraft has a highly relevant, if often overlooked air-to-air capability.

                    In its radar-equipped AV-8B+ form, the aircraft uses the AN/APG-65 radar that was ported over second-hand from F/A-18A/B Hornets. Since then, it’s been subject to some upgrades and, combined with AMRAAM, provides a robust beyond-visual-range air-to-air capability as part of its multirole repertoire.


                    An AV-8B aboard USS Makin Island is seen with its AN/APG-65 radar pulled forward and exposed. U.S. Marine Corps
                    We know from the Royal Saudi Air Force’s experience confronting Houthi drones that the AMRAAM is the preferred weapon.

                    With a limited thermal signature, the drones can’t always be reliably downed using a Sidewinder. In the past, a former U.S. Air Force F-15 pilot explained to The War Zone that while an AMRAAM is not the only option in this type of engagement “it may be best, depending on the target size and engine type.”

                    Another former Air Force Eagle pilot added: “By not putting out enough of an infrared signature, you might not get a tone before going inside the minimum range, rendering the AIM-9 useless. Apparently, the drones have enough of a radar signature to enable a target lock before hitting the AMRAAM’s minimum range…”

                    A Saudi F-15 shoots down a low-flying Houthi drone:


                    On the other hand, flying over the sea might also make it easier for the Sidewinder’s seeker to acquire a target even with a lower infrared signature.

                    Gun kills against small aerial targets are generally judged to be tricky to achieve without a good deal of practice and it’s unclear if the pilots involved would have trained for aerial gunnery in any capacity. They can also be dangerous with the possibility of running into such a small target.


                    One former Harrier pilot told The War Zone: “Guns would be possible but tricky — very tricky — but fun too.”

                    The unique performance of the AV-8 might also make it an especially useful platform for targeting slower-moving threats. As we have explained in the past, the Harrier’s four thrust-vectoring nozzles, combined with reaction control vanes and augmented aerodynamic control, provide the pilot with some remarkable slow-speed flying qualities that could be useful in engagements with slow-flying drones.

                    While we don’t know the exact types of drones claimed destroyed, the Iranian-designed Shahed-136 that has been used by the Houthis (and by Russia) reportedly has a top speed of only around 115 miles per hour.

                    An AV-8B with Marine Attack Squadron 214 launched an AIM-120 AMRAAM missile over Florida skies for the first time operationally, on August 14, 2012. U.S. Marine Corps
                    The AV-8 may lack the performance of the Super Hornet, but it is nonetheless able to range far ahead of naval assets and offer them an additional degree of protection or to take off and respond to potential threats. The ability of crewed aircraft to investigate a potential threat is also a significant advantage of the AV-8, over a surface-to-air missile system. This kind of flexibility is especially useful in a complex battlespace like the one found today in the Red Sea.

                    As well as defending against Houthi threats in the air, the report states that the USS Bataan has also taken part in retaliatory airstrikes, which have targeted militant groups in Iraq and Syria, as well as the Houthis in Yemen.

                    That would indicate that AV-8s launched from USS Bataan while it was in the Eastern Mediterranean, where it arrived on December 28, via the Suez Canal, to form part of an Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) there.


                    An aviation ordnanceman assigned to the USS Bataan stands small caliber arms team watch while the warship pulls into Larnaca, Cyprus, on February 11, 2024. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Riley Gasdia

                    The War Zone has reached out to the Marine Corps for more details about both air-to-air and air-to-ground actions by the AV-8s aboard USS Bataan.

                    The Harrier is in the twilight of its career with the USMC. It will be entirely pulled from service by 2027. We have discussed in great detail the past how the aircraft's unique talents, especially in the air-to-air and short-takeoff and landing realms, could still be of high use, especially to Taiwan. Upgraded with an AN/APG-79V4 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar now found on the USMC's legacy Hornets, and the Harrier could defend large swathes of airspace from highly austere locales, without relying on huge vulnerable runways. This could also be of great use in the Pacific. But as of now, this won't be the case.


                    As far as the shooting down of Houthi drones is concerned, the fighting in the Middle East since October 7 has seen the Israeli Air Force claim victories, as well as the U.S. Navy and, apparently, the Air Force. The Royal Saudi Air Force may well also have racked up further drone kills. Now, it seems that the U.S. Marine Corps can be added to the list.


                    With few signs that the Houthis are scaling back their attacks on maritime targets, it seems certain there will be the opportunity for further aerial engagements against drones and anti-ship cruise missiles in the region. But for the Harrier, it's latest achievement serves as a reminder that the Marines' 'jump jet' will be going out at the top of its game.
                    “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                    Mark Twain

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