Filthie's Mobile Fortress Of Solitude

Filthie's Mobile Fortress Of Solitude
Where Great Intelligence Goes To Be Insulted

Thursday, 24 November 2016

The Filthie Tactician

Fair warning: I am talking out of my arse here, so anything that follows is worth exactly what you paid for it.

Dunno if this GIF works or not...but:

Canadian Leopard 2 firing a DM12 Multi-Purpose Anti-Tank 120mm round in Afghanistan

I ask this in all seriousness: Can somebody tell me why are we still bothering with tanks? To quote Sterling Archer, "Hello! I'm Captain Yesteryear with a message from the past!!!"

That damned tank is a widow maker the same way a Light Horse Regiment would be on today's battlefield. The Chinks are selling rudimentary shoulder fired missiles that can put that obsolete armoured trash can out of commission faster than you can think about it, and even disable modern tanks. The Yanks, Euros and Soviets are selling more advanced weapons that will take out their own more advanced tanks should they fall into the wrong hands - as they inevitably seem to do.

About 5~7 years ago I was watching a documentary on drones. At that time they had autonomous drone programs that could successfully identify and engage enemy targets roughly 60% of the time. That is orders of magnitude beyond acceptable error for actual deployment... but the algorithms and sensors required for a fully autonomous drone will be coming out of the Skunk Works in very short order. Stuff as little as three years old is hopelessly obsolete today when it comes to microprocessor and firmware based weapon systems. Will western people stand for the idea of fully autonomous killing machines?

Prolly not...but they probably should. Friendly fire incidents are heart breakers but I can see the day when judgement calls like that are better off being made by machines than by humans. We are entering an age when the weapons of our fathers are unequal to the tasks that face us - never mind the weapons of our grandparents.

But whatever. I'm sure that between Murphy, Darwin, and the politicians - we can come up with new and exciting ways to kill us all I suppose.


  1. Just think, all this could be avoided if old men didn't want what wasn't theirs and would quit sending young men with guns to go get it.

    1. Ayup. But I dunno if age has anything to do with it - you and I would never send kids to die for nothing. I think there are more people than we would care to acknowledge that just don't give a tinker's damn about anyone but themselves and the idea of killing kids by the score wouldn't faze them in the least. Cankles Clinton springs to mind. She and her dear husband were born that way.

  2. Why? Well, for openers...

    Cost. The cost of designing, building, testing, and finally deploying a weapon system I don't have right now is far greater (worlds greater, really) than digging another pallet of whiz-bangs out of a warehouse somewhere and shipping them off to NoMan-ah-Stan. That leaves more money for rent control, public healthcare, and recreation.

    Public Opinion. If your system functions correctly 60% of the time, that means that 40% of the time it fucks up. Now, if we're talking about a rat trap, then so what? But if we're talking about a drone that the U.S. is sending into, say, Mexico and which is programmed to look for drug houses and meth labs, and your drone disintegrates a Mexican whore house instead, the beaners are going to claim it was a kindergarten where 37 economically disenfranchised Mexican children and their teacher were killed in a massive fireball that also destroyed three bars and a Church. The moonbats will have a field day, commercial media will blame it all on the Wingnuts, and no one will get any sleep. But, if you use ground pounders instead, the same thing will happen but we can blame the Lt., a 90 day wonder that was going to get fragged next week anyway.

    Tradition. Let's say that you develop this wonder-drone, and instead of building it with a doomsday automation system, you use human beings and a remote control, complete with joy stick, go buttons and a case of Mountain Dew. Since no one can actually fly this beast except for the QA, QC, and Product Test teams, you gear use them and gear up for a demo with an elite cadre of politicos and 25 pounds of brass hats from every branch of the armed forces that employs attack aircraft. Your demo comes off, and your key point is that instead of a $94 million dollar Thundercat Attack Craft, you have a $500,000 drone. You're selling 188 planes for the cost of one, plus if the thing gets shot down, no pilots are lost. The politicos like it; the military doesn't. Why? Because now we don't have fighter pilots, and carriers take on a whole new meaning. Think in terms of the middle ages, and you've just eliminated the cavalry entirely. A lot of families aren't going to like that. But it gets better.
    Humility. Or maybe humiliation. Because, you see, it turns out that the best drone pilots are not egotistical twenty-somethings with a lot of attitude. They're 12 year old geeks with great hand to eye coordination, and they'll work for peanuts. Almost literally. When they turn 13 you can hire them two or three ladies with, ah, certain compromises in the morals department so that the kids can keep their minds (ha ha) on their work. Which they love, by the way.

    That last scenario actually happened, and you've never seen a more pissed off group of young bulls in your entire life. They got their asses kicked by a group of out of shape kids, who then had the audacity to fight them again, win again, and call them names before, during, and after the fight.

    You really think that's going to fly?