Cheeseburger Gothic

F-35

Posted April 23, 2014 into Science and Tech by John Birmingham

Double snifters all round at the Air Force Club this morning, as the gubbermint announced it would lay out large wads of the folding stuff on buying another 58 Joint Strike Fighters to add to the fourteen it's already parked in the garage. (And the 24 Super Hornets it picked up when the F-35 was looking a bit wobbly).

At $12b and change (probably blowing out to double that when cost overruns have their way) it's an expensive program, but it'll be cheap compared to replacing the Collins Class subs in a couple of years. That's still looking like a thirty to forty billion dollar payday for someone. (Perhaps the Japanese, in a nice historical irony).

The ABC, which kept calling them 'Joint Strike Force' fighters in a little cringe-making boo-boo this morning, had an interesting interview with analyst Michael O'Hanlon from The Brookings Institution who was straight up and down in his take:

"If you think more about your military needs being the Afghanistan-style operations, the troubled waters of the South China Sea, counter-piracy, peace operations, keeping some degree of regional calm with some turbulence in the ASEAN region but not necessarily China, then frankly it's a debatable proposition whether the F-35 is the best bang for your buck," he said.

"If you want to be in the high-end combat aircraft business, the F-35 is frankly about as good of a deal as you're ever going to find. But if you think that that kind of high-end threat is not realistically where you're headed with your military requirements, then it's more of a debateable proposition."

Of course, even 74 of the planes, assuming they turn out to be any good, would simply disappear into the maw any air war over the South China Sea. They'll be very useful for monstering middle powers in the region - the unspoken threat of the RAAF cratering every runway and port in Indonesia back in 1999 severly constrained Jakarta's response to the Timor Crisis - but in a confrontation with China they do nothing but add three squadrons to the US side of the ledger. And as O'Hanlon points out, they are massively expsenive and over-engineered for dealing with regional security threats short of war; the more common and likely secnarios.

Given the budget cuts being faced by every other department this purchase tells us a lot about Canberra's view of the next three decades. (Not just Abbott's. The ALP has pushed this program forward too, and under Rudd was even considering a much larger submarine force).

They are hedging against Beijing.

59 Responses to ‘F-35’

pi is gonna tell you...

Posted April 23, 2014

Isn't that, like $500, for every man woman and child in Oz?

For that sort of dosh I want a ride in one.

Brother PorkChop has opinions thus...

Posted April 23, 2014

Me too. But you and a bunch of other folk can go first. Kind of a beta test.

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robW ducks in to say...

Posted April 23, 2014

I don't know how accurate the World Bank numbers are, but they show that Australia spends about 1.7% of its GDP on defense. Compare that to Mongolia, which spends 1.1%; the United States, which spends 4.2% + probably another 1% in Homeland Security & NSA + off-the-ledgerbook wars like Iraq and Afghanistan; and Russian Federation at 4.5%. How can Australia keep up with the Jones's at that paltry 1.7% rate? Maybe you can up the ante a tiny bit, help the US economy, and place another order for, say, 3,000 Predator drones? $25 billion down, with 60 easy payments over the next 5 years should do nicely.

Oh, and don't forget to accessorize your drone purchase with a sweet collection of Tomahawk cruise missles. Cut you a real deal on those, too! Free Cokes and balloons for the kids!

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w from brisbane reckons...

Posted April 23, 2014

Do they only come in silver?

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Murphy asserts...

Posted April 23, 2014

I'd think one would want to pick up some F-35Bs for the new LHDs your government keeps saying will not be used for fixed wing operations.

As it stands, Australia's defense policy in future decades may well be to pool their resources with other regional powers such as Japan and South Korea. Both of which are also investing LHD type platforms capable of operating F-35Bs from their flight decks.

That said, I can't see China roaring out of their corner of the world in the same fashion the Japanese did during the last century. That doesn't fit their overall historical/cultural pattern at all.

As for which jet to get, well, the folks in St. Louis who assemble the F/A-18 Super Hornet would be mighty happy to get more orders for their aircraft.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Blarkon asserts...

Posted April 23, 2014

The future of air combat is drones. They don't have the costs involved in being a life support system for a sack of meat.

Therbs mutters...

Posted April 23, 2014

Speaking of the F35B variant is JB's hovercraft configured for one of these birds? If not, why not?

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Therbs is gonna tell you...

Posted April 23, 2014

I reckon we should have bought MiG's.

Murphy swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 23, 2014

Why, I'm sure the Chinese have some surplus Migs they'd be willing to sell.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

Therbs puts forth...

Posted April 23, 2014

Given that our foe is New Zealand and their airforce consists of a few transports I reckon MiG's would be great value for money. And later on we could sell them to 'private collectors' in Africa.

Bangar has opinions thus...

Posted April 23, 2014

NZed has an Airforce? I thought Mokes was the advanced gaurd?

BigWillieStyle puts forth...

Posted April 24, 2014

I once saw a MiG 28 do a 4G negative dive. I started up on a 6 when he pulled through the clouds, and then I moved in above him.

I was inverted.

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Blarkon asserts...

Posted April 23, 2014

Especially now that they are buying Sukhois.

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Barnesm mumbles...

Posted April 23, 2014

Surely Havsy has an opinion on this?

Bunyip would have you know...

Posted April 23, 2014

Ah. Thanks for the reminder. I'll put my chainsaw earmuffs on for his response to Therb's *cough* suggestion *cough*

Therbs puts forth...

Posted April 23, 2014

Havsy is too busy building a pergola. By pergola I mean a luanching pad. By launching pad I mean a string of ICBM silos which he'll operate with an app on his Motorola flip phone. (They still make those things?)

Blarkon puts forth...

Posted April 23, 2014

Just tie some balloons to his house, like in Up, arm him, and point him at the muppets.

w from brisbane puts forth...

Posted April 23, 2014

I thought Supreme Commander Havock had transcended antique sub-orbital defence thinking.

As the great man opined,
"fkn NUKE THE FKLN FKRS FROM FKN FKLN ORBIT!!!!!!!!!"

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Rob reckons...

Posted April 23, 2014

This just strikes me as a typical public service failure. Failure to give honest frank and fearless unbiased advice, failure to make a decision, and failure to spend other people's money responsibily.

This combined with a government desperate to appear relevant, you end up spending big bucks on a load of useless crap.

The Public Service in Australia is a mess, teams of over paid policy developers, sending endless useless emails to eachother while service units get cut to the bone and an executive/management class too scared to make a decision about anything.

Blarkon would have you know...

Posted April 23, 2014

Well given the bollocking they get from the fuckers we elect when they do offer unbiased advice, is it a surprise that we've developed a public service that provides the advice that the politicians want to hear?

For decades we've elected self entitled children to Canberra. We can't blame the public service when we elected the cunts.

Barnesm ducks in to say...

Posted April 23, 2014

Consulting

If you're not a part of the solution, there's good money to be made in prolonging the problem.

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Rob mutters...

Posted April 23, 2014

I'm not surprised, more sick of working in this PS/BS environment. But these are golden handcuffs i have in my cubicle , gold I tells ya.

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JG is gonna tell you...

Posted April 23, 2014

Here we go: $12 billion--$12 frickin' billion--to be spent on 58 new fighter planes that have *probably* got their technical problems sorted. Maybe. Touch wood, they'll be alright. If not, we're looking at 57 flying white elephants.

Either way, this government has warped priorities. We're all in for a frightening Federal budget come May 13. I am truly disgusted at this government: happy to spend billions on new defence toys while millions in Australia will suffer with from the this impending slash and burn budget.

JBtoo asserts...

Posted April 23, 2014

I'm with you Red, 100 per cent.

Brother PorkChop is gonna tell you...

Posted April 24, 2014

These governments I think given that this has been through all flavours. The only ones that would scrap it would be the greens. Clivesaurus would have us replace it all with mechatronic dinosaurs.

Sudragon has opinions thus...

Posted April 24, 2014

If we had Mechatronic Dinosaurs, we probably wouldn't need F-35's

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Squid ducks in to say...

Posted April 23, 2014

Not sure what happened with the post above. Perhaps they are tracking defence criticism.

John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted April 23, 2014

Were you cupying in from Word? That'll do it. ANyway, for those who missed it, Squid say: "

Matters of defence are really not my thing, but I thought it was the range of the F111s that was the regional deterrent. I question what we can do with the abilities of the F-35, and the insignificant number compared to China.

Perhaps it's more a token gesture that we can at least contribute to regional efforts, rather than sending some clunkers over that will just get in the way."

Bondiboy66 mutters...

Posted April 23, 2014

I reckon we should not have ditched the F111s as they had the range and payload to do just what you say JB, I.e. Bomb possible threats to the aust mainland. Sure they were old, but the U.S. Has a metric but load of bits lying about in deserts we could have bought cheap. And surely there is a suitable fighter we could have bought cheaper that actually flies NOW. Further, I doubt these things are any good for other roles like close support of ground troops, or blowing up ships (I have no idea about that point, mind). Huge waste of money for a load of vapourware.

Guru Bob puts forth...

Posted April 26, 2014

I seem to recall that the f111s were untried technology when they were purchased, years before I was born, and I am an old codger. I wouldn't want to put the future of the country in those old clunkers.

HAVOCK21 has opinions thus...

Posted April 26, 2014

you are correct, it was a fkn basket case and cost a bomb, nobody ever said it would work. Unlike now....where its costing FKN GAZILLINS and we are fkn beholden to the pricks in the Mil estab;lishment fkn ment!

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Squid reckons...

Posted April 23, 2014

Thanks JB. Duly noted to avoid in future.

I would like to know (and therefore by extrapolation everyone wants to know) what 74 planes can actually do or what they bring to the defence equation. It's dealing in a scale I don't comprehend.

I understand (give or take) what $12b can buy, but can't actually judge whether it's a good deal or not.

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Murphy swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 24, 2014

Nearly every U.S. defense program of the past forty years has been fraught with a lot of handwringing over the cost, reliability and value of the system in question. Throughout the 1980s one could hardly turn on a news program without finding yet another report of a weapons system in crisis. Out of them all I believe the only one we shitcanned was the Sergeant York Division Air Defense Weapon.

And we who got to use the gear, or rely on others to use it, spent most of Operation Desert Shield listening to dire predictions of imminent doom, disaster and destructions at the hands of the "battle hardned Iraqi Army," equipped with the latest and greatest of Soviet weapons. Our tanks were crap, our planes too complicated, blah, blah, blah.

My point?

Maybe the F-35 isn't right for Australia. Maybe it isn't worth the money. Are their cost overruns? Yes, there always are and always have been for the most part. The senior military officer in charge is trying to get that under control.

As for reliability of the aircraft? Well, you really won't know until you try to use it in combat. The Chinese have their fair share of reliability problems with their own aircraft and I suspect that if they were to try and make their way Down Under they'd face the same strategic and logistical challenges the Japanese faced during World War II.

I would say this. We have a pretty solid track record of weapons systems doing more or less what they are supposed to do. But if $12 Billion is too much, get a Super Hornet instead.

By the way, do you even have the pilots you need to fly the ones you are going to buy?

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

damian mutters...

Posted April 24, 2014

Australia has a proud history of outsourcing quite a bit of what should be jurisdictional responsibility or even authority to (mostly US) defence contractors, whom it allows to behave like borderline-psychopath, licenced thieves. I suppose this isn't really limited to defence. But the one whose name starts like a beam of sunshine, has a definite article in the middle and ends with a preposition that usually means being atop a thing; those guys are horrible fuckers you'd never want to deal with outside a high security mental healthcare facility.

Brother PorkChop has opinions thus...

Posted April 24, 2014

Murph, we don't have any homegrown pilots but we can rent some from Malaysia pretty cheap and India too. Strangely this is the same with doctors.

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Therbs puts forth...

Posted April 24, 2014

RAAF pilots learn to fly U.S. planes in the U.S. and come back qualified as instructors to bring the squadrons up to speed. Some also work as instructors in the U.S. Its what's been happening whenever we've bought planes from US suppliers.

Shame we couldn't have had the F22's. They look really nice and that's what matters when the RAAF does flyovers at car races and football matches. The F111's were great for that sort of thing. Should have kept them.

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Adam_Denny ducks in to say...

Posted April 24, 2014

I would be interested to if the Australian economy is that bad, or is Abbott slashing and burning his way through the budget for ideological reaons? Even from across the Pacific, it seems to me to be awe inspiringly stupid to in the say week as releasing that the retirement age is going up to 70, to have him waving from the cockpit of an F-35, the program for which he is saying is more important. It's hardly like Indonesia has this state of the art air force we... I mean you, have to be on constant alert against.

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Darth Greybeard mumbles...

Posted April 24, 2014

Look, I'm no armchair Wing Commander but it's obvious you lot - whether pro or anti F-35 - have missed the point. This is not about defence capability, it's about jobs. And I'll go out on a limb here and predict that, over a five to ten year period, we will see real growth in a job sector that's been neglected lately. By which I mean ex-politicians, ex-public servants and ex-defence personnel getting plum positions either with Lockheed Martin or with associated companies that might owe L-M a favour.

Murphy would have you know...

Posted April 24, 2014

No, I didn't miss it.

Defense contractors protect themselves by spreading the jobs around.

insomniac ducks in to say...

Posted April 24, 2014

as we are now doing jobs our grandparents could not imagine existing, i think you're right, it's not far off the mark

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Darth Greybeard is gonna tell you...

Posted April 24, 2014

Aaaargh! My eyes! Greg Sheridan in the Australian has extended his embarrassing man-crush on Tones to the F-35. Read on, if ye be stout of heart and strong of stomach.

"If I believed in reincarnation, I think I'd like to come back as a Joint Strike Fighter. Lean, sleek, intimidating, the best in my class. Ah ..." (At this point Mr Sheridan's eyes bulged, his face went red and he staggered from the room, panting loudly.)

John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted April 24, 2014

Seriously?

Dave W has opinions thus...

Posted April 24, 2014

I can independently verify that. Young Greg had a *moment* there.

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Blarkon reckons...

Posted April 24, 2014

even though we are apparently bestest of buds, we still aren't allowed to buy the F22. which should tell you somethingabout the relationship

Murphy is gonna tell you...

Posted April 25, 2014

Even the U.S. Air Force isn't allowed to buy anymore F-22s.

187 of them seems a bit on the paltry side to me.

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TheWah swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 25, 2014

I'm far from an expert on these matters, but these planes do seem like a really odd purchase. I get we have to be able to defend our borders and be able to extend our power to 'touch' other nations near us if they get uppity, but are these planes the best value for money?

Wouldn't it be better value to purchase a metric truck-tonne of missiles and spread them out across the northern borders with the pointy explosive bits pointing North? The right missiles could deny air superiorty to an aggressor and the right other missiles could make the aggressor's airports and bases vanish into many craters.

If you want to use airpower to support ground troops wouldn't it be be better to have gunships floating menacingly around or something like the A10 Thunderbolt (or whatever the sexy modern equivalent happens to be now).

What I'm trying to say is that the F35 appears to be a very expensive and overly technical answer to a problem that A) Doesn't exist at the moment and B) If it did exist it could be dealt with much more cheaply and effectively.

Happy to be told why I'm wrong.

(P.s Cutting funding to your organisation involved in pure science research projects (such as CSIRO) and then spending buckets of cash on tech weapons designed by the science research organisations of other countries seems... stupid in the long term. But that's a gripe for another time)

NBlob asserts...

Posted April 25, 2014

You can't post nothing.

RAGE-SMASH EVERYTHINGS!

w from brisbane has opinions thus...

Posted April 25, 2014

I think the CSIRO really irks Tony Abbott. He knows, like many of his thoughts, he can't really say this out loud. But, when he hears things like earth sciences, and he knows the CSIRO is at least waist deep in that racket, he knows in his heart that the whole ecology thing is just a trojan horse for nature worship, pantheism and various nudie, moon bathing weirdo paganisms (eg. Gaia). And, as a christian warrior, these are the very anti-Jesus beliefs that he joined politics to fight, whatever the earthly cost.

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Rhino reckons...

Posted April 25, 2014

$12 billion, huh?

You can find that in the sofa cushions of most US Congressweasels.

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Guru Bob reckons...

Posted April 26, 2014

I thought Japan won't sell us their subs and we were talking to Sweden about it?

HAVOCK21 is gonna tell you...

Posted April 26, 2014

YEAH, they fkn wont, If we had kept the F111's we could have at least threatened to drop another couple of FKN NUKES ON THE ARSEHATS!

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HAVOCK21 mutters...

Posted April 26, 2014

So this is how it goes down.

We but F22 Raptors off you with all the bit n fkn pieces etc and we also plan to upgrade the F111’s.

We will also buy the Arleigh Burke DDG the Navantia AWD design from the fkn Bull Killers.

We will buy and have converted a tranche of F18 Growlers, in fact, rather than 12 we will take 36 units, all converted to EA config. ( reason is people, we can sell them later, this bird will fkn near appreciate in value )

As aprt B, you get to play here, we get to help ya out, but maybe up the coast a weeee bit further we build a fkn new base....and you might be able to use it too.

The F35 is all about, see them first and sheet first and nOT get into a dog fight and we all really fkn well know thats gunna play out like that all the time. What happened to DONT SHOOT UNTIL FIORED UPON..kinda helps them get closer don’t it. Its fkn stealth...NOT UNDETECTABLE!

Its got a POXY FKN PAYLOAD, like....a suzukieeee fkn mighty boy really and its range is about that of MONSTERS FKN RANGIE!.....BAD and fkn thirsty!

The US still has long range strike capability in the B1 and Russia does as well but we gave up the biggest stick we had when the F111’s were decommissioned. The cock sucker who authorised that needs fkn capping really. Now, we will end up with a force so mixed, with such short legs, that offensive strike passed Indon is not possible without massive tanker support.

OH...and the HELMET LOOK FKN EVERYWHERE AND SEE EVERWHERE FKN SHIT onthe poxy F35 is NOT FUNCTIONAL...ITS JUST LIKE ALL OTHER CURRENT GEN FKN HELMETS. I reckon about 10 years before they get it to SEE all around the fkn plane!.

OH!...AND BTW. ITS ONLY GOT ONE FKN ENGINE! FFSAKES!, like a mono cycle, when that goes flate you are FUCKED!

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Murphy mutters...

Posted April 27, 2014

Well, if it is big stick work you are looking for, why don't you get someone to convert 737s into bombers for you? You can start with the P-8A platform as a point of departure for that.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

tqft ducks in to say...

Posted April 27, 2014

We have people working on this

http://hypersonics.mechmining.uq.edu.au/hifire

HyShot VII - Sustained Mach 8 Scramjet Powered Flight

Not there yet. Yet. Who needs planes in the future?

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Chaz reckons...

Posted April 28, 2014

The problem lies with the fact that noone outside of a few test pilots and the wonks at L-M exactly how good or bad the JSF is.

All newly developed aircraft get crap media. Like the F-15's autopilt that couldn't fly the plane over the equator or the the F-16A/B's that couldn't fire their 20mm cannon for months as it unbalanced the aircraft, or the case of the Rafale that was soo far behind schedule France's main CVN was a glorified 'copter carrier for years ( a similar fate awaits the UK's latest CV as well due to delays in the JSF).

As for cost yes they're expensive but they're also brand new tech, I believe the latest F-16E/F's are well over US$25 mill a pop (ive seen a figure of $43Mill and the Typhoon comes in a tad over US$122mill. So at about US$90Mill I'd say that for a brand new light fighter design its pretty much on the mark.

The timing of the purchase of course is crap when there's a slash & burn budget on the way but then these costs will be amoelated over a number of years.

My main problem is that we're phazing out a medium/heavy fighter in the F18E/F in favor of a light fighter. Yes with aerial refueling the lack of legs of the JSF and the alleged synergy in its systems means that it acts as a force multiplier but its current CAS and strike profile is woeful compared with the F-18E/F's. The choice not to build the twin engine design was a major mistake.

I still belive we should have gone with a mixed fleet made up of Typhoons for air superiority/ cas and super hornets for strike/cas plus of course 12-24 Growlers for ECM/SEAD.

Drones are a nice idea but to be honest it'll be years before there'll be one UCAS airframe that can undertake AtoA combat and maybe longer for one that will be able to survive in the modern battlespace in a strike configureation. the other issue about using drones is how long before you remove the 'man in the loop' because in an ECM rich environment you want your air assets to be as independent as possible.

Bottom line is we'll see F-35's in our squadrons before we see UCAS in proper combat (not Reapers dropping PGM's on AQ/Taliban suspects).

It is a real shame that those F-22 production lines were closed down but maybe recent events in Europe may nudge them back ito production as it looks like we have a new cold war on our hands.

NBlob puts forth...

Posted May 1, 2014

"Drones are a nice idea but to be honest it'll be years before there'll be one UCAS airframe that can undertake AtoA combat and maybe longer for one that will be able to survive in the modern battlespace in a strike configureation. the other issue about using drones is how long before you remove the 'man in the loop' because in an ECM rich environment you want your air assets to be as independent as possible."

I am very interested in this line of reasoning and would like to subscribe to your pamphlet.

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HAVOCK21 mumbles...

Posted May 1, 2014

maybe we might yet get a chance to sqush tanks like bugs in the fulda gap!

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matt mumbles...

Posted October 15, 2015
Have you thought of writing an alt history novel about a hot war between Aus and Indonesia in 1999.?

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Respond to 'F-35'

Super Axe

Posted April 22, 2014 into Science and Tech by John Birmingham

On those increasingly rare occasions I overnight in the country I'm always happy to find a big pile of unchopped wood in need of the axeman's special lovin'. I'm not a great axeman, m'self, but I am enthusiastic, especially after a few brewskis.

Shut up, safety nerds. I got this.

There's something hugely satisfying about splitting wood with edged metal and violence. I think that's why I love this Business Insider story about a weird super powered Finnish axe so much. It makes splinters of old growth forest at an insane rate.

As a matter of physics and engineering, splitting wood with an axe requires a huge amount of power to drive the wedge into the wood and split it without getting the ax stuck. Traditional axes can also be dangerous since they can hit your leg if you miss the target. This is why using an ax is such a macho test of strength, and not a simple household task you can assign to a child.


One day, some guy thought to himself, "Eureka! I need to work on this!" (According to the history of Vipukirves). After testing out a few different methods, the company realized that leverage was the answer to the problem. A regular ax uses virtually no leverage — it simply strikes the wood at a 90 degree angle like a sharp hammer. Leverage — in which a shallow angle is used to maximize the force of the weight on the other end of the lever creating the angle — is a more efficient way of transferring force.

And so the Leveraxe was born.

Check out this bad boy making short work of a stump I'd probably spend half an hour reducing to something usable. You only have to watch the first thirty seconds or so.

30 Responses to ‘Super Axe’

beeso would have you know...

Posted April 22, 2014

If they weren't so crazy expensive I would've already bought one.

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w from brisbane is gonna tell you...

Posted April 22, 2014

They call me Lightning with an axe. But that's because I never hit the same place twice.
Ha ha ha!
You can use that.
No need to thank me.

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Matthew ducks in to say...

Posted April 22, 2014

I prefer this: http://i.imgur.com/dSPe9rK.gif

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Sudragon ducks in to say...

Posted April 22, 2014

I thought half the point of chopping wood was the workout it gave you? If you make it easy, what's the point?

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Bunyip would have you know...

Posted April 22, 2014

Wow. That appeared to need minimal force.

BTW JB, I would call you a crazy fucker (beer+axe>woodsplitting) but as they appear to be a dime a dozen here, I'll just go all technical and call you a loon. Bet you wear your thongs when you do it.

John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted April 22, 2014

Pfft. Thongs are for girls.

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beeso has opinions thus...

Posted April 22, 2014

To get chopped wood mainly

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Barks mumbles...

Posted April 22, 2014

I think we have a new contender for zombiepocalypse weapon-of-choice.

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Bangar reckons...

Posted April 22, 2014

I prefer a wood splitter (curved not angled of course), to an axe for wood splitting duties. Think sledgehammer, with one face like an axe, so you have the weight and the curved edges to bite deep and then split the wood.

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Dino not to be confused with is gonna tell you...

Posted April 22, 2014

yep

uys got bsuested ribs,

Who gives a fuck.

Moe fiction please.

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pete swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 22, 2014

that's bullshit, he's chopping wood for a fairy fire, up here the whole log goes in -

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Barnesm is gonna tell you...

Posted April 22, 2014

Gotta love the Fins.

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insomniac asserts...

Posted April 22, 2014

Don't you have Bunnies for that?

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pitpat has opinions thus...

Posted April 23, 2014

Soft woods pfft. try that with a sundried angophora or iron bark.

Alterantively there is the mechanical aproach

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=te3FBhdqgK8

Brother PorkChop mumbles...

Posted April 23, 2014

Indeed. A real demo would be splitting a gnarly ironbark. My old man had his first stroke after we spent a morning splitting iron bark logs with a sledge hammer and wedges.

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Maddoug swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 23, 2014

Just wait until Axe Cop gets a hold of it.

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pi mutters...

Posted April 23, 2014

Why take an axe to a chain-saw fight?

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Therbs mumbles...

Posted April 23, 2014

Irridescent orange, Fender Strat decal and the upper handle engraved with "Zed's Dead Baby, Zed's Dead".

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan puts forth...

Posted April 23, 2014

Is it too late to put this fine thing into Dave Hooper's hands?

John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted April 23, 2014

Yep.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mumbles...

Posted April 23, 2014

Perhaps he has a suitable cousin.

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FormerlyKnownAsSimon puts forth...

Posted April 23, 2014

I get snow (sometimes) where i live. So wood chopping has been on my mind lately. Just spent $ buying a new block splitter handle as the old one is looking like going any time now - it's done it's three years service and have been looking around for a more engineered axe. This one and the Fiskar one have definitely caught my eye. Thanks for the timely post JB!

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Barnesm would have you know...

Posted April 23, 2014

yeah but the ax from K-tel can also julien fries

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted April 23, 2014

Isn't that amazing!! How much would you pay? Don't answer yet. If you order before midnight tonight, you also get these twelve stainless steel bowls (guaranteed for the life of the product.) Now how much would you pay??

insomniac ducks in to say...

Posted April 23, 2014

if you also throw in this ultra cool looking (no pun intended) device, i'd pay anything

https://www.buyzoomies.com/

damian mutters...

Posted April 24, 2014

Holy astygmatism, insomniac, my eyes hurt just looking at those things

John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted April 24, 2014

If only they had the functionality of Google Glass.

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Bondiboy66 reckons...

Posted April 23, 2014

I could have used one of these over the many years I chopped the wood for the household fire at home...of course as soon as I moved out my folks installed gas into the home.

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SZF would have you know...

Posted April 24, 2014

Last time I saw this axe, Sarah Michelle Gellar was wailing on Nathan Fillion with it.

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Guest post. The definition of 'lots', by Warddog

Posted April 10, 2014 into Science and Tech by John Birmingham

I have been struggling lately with estimating sizes of files and apps, Is it 200GB or 200MB. It's definitely lots, but what's lots nowadays?

And then I realised that the definition of lots has changed by 9 orders of magnitude since I first started coding. 3K used to be lots, and 3MB was oh wow amazing, 3GB was unthinkable vast open space, 3TB wasn't even talked about. Nowadays I have systems approaching 3TB in RAM let alone disk space but I still have to deal with all of the other units (an even down to byte level - so 12 order of magnitude all up).

It will only continue ..

If I have 200 albums how much disk do I need? Can I fit it on a flash drive (or how soon till I can). Is that a lot of storage? NB Assuming 10 songs per album and 5MB per song it's only 10GB which is next to nothing today - I could fit it on my phone. It wouldn't have fit on the big iron Solaris box we used at the Board of Secondary School Studies back in 1998. It would have choked after only 40 albums. But it still marked all the year 12 QCS exams, ranked and generated OP results and generally ran the rest of the business.

16 Responses to ‘Guest post. The definition of 'lots', by Warddog’

Dino not to be confused with asserts...

Posted April 10, 2014

mY Guess will not be how much but "where is it"?

3TB Ram? OMG.

Search Functions etc.

Trashman would have you know...

Posted April 11, 2014

3TB of RAM? What are you doing JB? Modelling nukes for Havoc?

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Rob mumbles...

Posted April 10, 2014

My new $170 smartphone (and my old one for that matter) has more memory, faster cpu and storage than a $1000 PC my sister bought me in 2002 (1gig amd chip, 512 meg ram, 20 gig hard drive) so I always had to be a bit shifty with storing music or photography projects on it.

Now my new PC, Tablet and phone are just chokka block with music, files, movies and general crap. I'm so used to it I never back up anything. which was a mistake when my spare hard drive died with 10 years of home photos and movies on it. ($500 minimum to repair)

so lots is probably too much to worry about but not enough to be careful....

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S.M. Stirling mumbles...

Posted April 10, 2014

I suspect the whole enterprise will die of complexity unless totally automated.

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Anthony mutters...

Posted April 10, 2014

I'm ancient enough to remember installing a one gigabyte drive network drive (three actually in a ID array) It was the size and weight of a housebrick.

But even earlier than that I have a pair of discs from an ancient Burroughs B4700 mainframe. Each is solid brass with a magnetic coating, has a diamater of nearly three feet. The cabinet hlf four disks nd together with the associated motors lctroics etc it weighed 575 pounds. All four discs held around five megabytes.. They were a fixed head (non-removable) disk with one head per track and a wondrous access time of 20ms.

Now that was a real disc drive. :)

Dick reckons...

Posted April 10, 2014

When I first started work,our billing system was a 20Mb Micromation computer with 640k RAM. Booted it up with an 8" floppy. Had a line printer that was faster than you would believe but, and I used that printer right up until 1999 when we retired our Novell network.

WarDog asserts...

Posted April 10, 2014

Well when I first started work, we had to collect our own stone tablets each morning before resetting that new fangled abacus thing.

Sorry, couldn't resist :-)

tygertim reckons...

Posted April 11, 2014

When I went to. College, I took the then exotic computer class. The machine was an IBM 360. You had to have a working knowledge of two languages, Fortran and Cobol. You had to write the ENTIRE program each time you operated the machine. You entered the program useing paper (a manila type of cardboard) punch cards. Debugging was a BITCH ( and a very frequent insurance). The IBM 360 filled an entire room. Thank heavens for progress.

Sudragon would have you know...

Posted April 11, 2014

Stone tablets? Stone tablets?

We had mud. and a stick. I remeber when IT support deployed pointy sticks and the outrage that occoured from those who didn't want to upgrade.

Tell that to the kids today and they won't believe you.

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Blarkon mutters...

Posted April 10, 2014

All of Usenet (without the binaries) up to 2002 totalled less than 200 GB of data.

Google indexes approximately 130 Exabytes of visible internet data.

damian reckons...

Posted April 13, 2014

A human genome fits in around 0.9GB, zipped. But we don't know how much computational resource is required to model consciousness. It seems that the answer is "lots".

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dweeze mumbles...

Posted April 11, 2014

dweeze's law of storage: "however much you have got, you will always fill it up and need more" or: n+1, where n is what you have and n+1 is what you need.

'puters & sheds, especially... I now have 3 sheds... and they are all full. Time to build another one.

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ShaneAlpha mutters...

Posted April 11, 2014

Just wait until recording video in 4k resolution becomes the norm, it's going to suck up drive space at a rate to bring giant smiles to the CEOs of the hard drive companies.

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Chaz mutters...

Posted April 11, 2014

Yes long gone are the days of using an apple II and loading 5inch floppies with progs on them......

Or ye olde Spectrum using music cassettes for data storage........

Trashman mutters...

Posted April 12, 2014

I still have ye old Spectrum +3 - and it works! 30 years old!

Have an emulator on my PC, but I still fire it up occasionally to hear the sqeal fo the tape loading...

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tqft mumbles...

Posted April 12, 2014

Early job I had involved using an actual IBM PC. Think green organization. Besides harddisk had a tape drive for backups. Had to turn the machine on and leave it for a while in winter to warm up as the timing was off if you didn't.

8086 for ever. Well it seems that way.

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This is why we built New Zealand

Posted April 4, 2014 into Science and Tech by John Birmingham

To protect us from Chilean tsunamis.

15 Responses to ‘This is why we built New Zealand’

Barnesm has opinions thus...

Posted April 4, 2014

three post in less than an hour? you are launching these posts remotely on a pre arranged time interval aren't you JB? How long till you set a Bot that can trawl the internet for these things, generate a script and post them?

tqft is gonna tell you...

Posted April 4, 2014

I notice authors on twitter tend to post a lot near deadlines and when copy editing. Guessing the same here

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Darth Greybeard has opinions thus...

Posted April 4, 2014

And why we should send them more than Doc Yobbo. Although it's a start.

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yankeedog puts forth...

Posted April 4, 2014

New Zealand-Australia's giant Mulberry!

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BigWillieStyle would have you know...

Posted April 5, 2014

Sorry, what's a New Zealand?

Quokka swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 6, 2014

JB is saying it wrong, BWW. It's pronounced Noo Zillund.

You know, that place where they eat fush and chups for tea.

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HAVOCK21 is gonna tell you...

Posted April 6, 2014

Is it just me, or are the CHINKS MILKING THIS to try and show how fkn hoigh tech they are...arnt really when thye have a plan land at the wrong fkn airport. But this new PING seems really fkn vague and fkn dodgy as!

Halwes swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 6, 2014

If by "chinks" you are referring to our soon to be masters and overlords I think you are right onto this. The seppos must have got the original radar pointing them out there and the chinks have decided they aren't happy that the yanks know where their planes are/ have been and they don't.

w from brisbane has opinions thus...

Posted April 6, 2014

Can we point the finger?
Didn't Tony Abbott yell 'We found it!' about 2 weeks ago.

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HAVOCK21 mumbles...

Posted April 6, 2014

to be fair, Neither the REATRDED RED HEAD< or the WHITE HAIRED WANKER, OR BIG TONY are either stupoid enough or ambitious enough to pull a stunt. NO, they've toed the line well and so has Tony. The fkn CHINESE on the other hand are ALWAYS ABOUT FKNING PROPOGANDA!!..>AND THATS WHATS PUT A BURRR UP MY FKN ARSE! THIS MORNBING!

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Quokka would have you know...

Posted April 6, 2014

I don't know if this has been reported yet but it can't be far off so here's the scoop: it is a well known fact that missing Indonesian crab pots go 'Ping!' at the same frequency as a Boeing when they float far enough out to sea, provided, of course, there's a spanner crab trapped inside that happens to tap on the cage at just the right intervals, and a whale nearby with it's mouth open at just the right angle to amplify the signals.

That clear things up for you, Hav?

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HAVOCK21 mumbles...

Posted April 6, 2014

NOICE! QUOKKA.....

Quokka asserts...

Posted April 6, 2014

Ooops. I forgot to mention that the spanner crab must be equipped with a set of Guatemalan castanets.

Those clever PRC fellows, hats off to them for finding it. The flamenco dancer who lost them will be ever so pleased to get them back.

damian ducks in to say...

Posted April 6, 2014

They're not up in Tewantin? Or Tenterfield...

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JG swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 8, 2014

Very funny animation, though unintended. It's like New Zealand is Australia's bullbar. Shouldn't say that: my mother's from New Zealand.

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Finally! Scientz proves JB right

Posted March 21, 2014 into Science and Tech by John Birmingham

Not being good at sums because I'm left handed – Shut up, you! It's a thing – I've followed and enjoyed the story of the brainiac whose theories about gravitional thingies were proved right this week.

It was a win for science, and I always like that.

But I didn't follow too closely because... well... I get confused. Don't you judge me. How happy was I, then, to find this article in The Daily Galaxy which not only explained the gravitional thingies in terms I could understand without doing sums, but which proved I'd been right all along about alternate universes.

I feel that I should get a piece of any Nobel action that comes out of this too.

So true.

The research, led by John Kovac of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, is among the most significant for years. So far, it seems to confirm the existence of gravitational waves, which are the 'ripples' in space time created in the very first moments after the big bang about 14 billion years ago. Most models of inflation we have today show that different parts of that hyper-dense early universe would have expanded at different speeds, creating "bubbles" of space time which would effectively be cut off from each other, resulting in many bubble universes, co-existing but unable in to interact.

Stanford University theoretical physicist Andrei Linde theorizes that initially the universe was rapidly inflating, being in an unstable energetic vacuum-like state. It became hot only later, when this vacuum-like state decayed. Quantum fluctuations produced during inflation are responsible for galaxy formation. In some places, these quantum fluctuations are so large that they can produce new rapidly expanding parts of the universe. This process makes the universe immortal and transforms it into a multiverse, a huge fractal consisting of many exponentially large parts with different laws of low-energy physics operating in each of them.

Professor Linde, one of the authors of inflationary theory and of the theory of an eternal inflationary multiverse told space.com: "It's possible to invent models of inflation that do not allow [a] multiverse, but it's difficult. Every experiment that brings better credence to inflationary theory brings us much closer to hints that the multiverse is real."

18 Responses to ‘Finally! Scientz proves JB right’

pitpat mumbles...

Posted March 21, 2014

billionth of a trillionth of a trillionth .

0.000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 001 of a second

Try measuring that with your FitzBits watch.

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NBlob mumbles...

Posted March 21, 2014

Of course in another universe alt.JB was wrong. Again.

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tqft mumbles...

Posted March 21, 2014

"I feel that I should get a piece of any Nobel action that comes out of this too."

In one of the mv's you get the whole Nobel. Of course in another you are married to Campbell Newman.

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John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted March 21, 2014

Stop pissing on my multiverse parade.

Rob has opinions thus...

Posted March 22, 2014

and in another you are allowed to marry Campbell Newman.

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Dave the Brave mumbles...

Posted March 21, 2014

But remember, in one universe, S.M. Stirling, amongst many others, contributes enthusiastically to just about any subject you propose. You are not at the bottom of the scale of possibility here JB.

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Peteb has opinions thus...

Posted March 21, 2014

Bangs and bubbles, sounds like a sex and hookah party back in the day when felafels were lunch and dinner

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Julie would have you know...

Posted March 22, 2014

I'll share the Nobel with you. Once had a company called Multiversity which pre-cursed the NBN, but not if I have to take a share of Campbell Newman.

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Darth Greybeard asserts...

Posted March 22, 2014

AltMe just snapped my fingers and AltNBob, clad in his best floral loincloth, rushed to fetch me another G & T before massaging my gnarled and scabrous feet. Are we sure we can't swap between universes?

NBlob puts forth...

Posted March 22, 2014

Urghghghghghghghgh

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w from brisbane would have you know...

Posted March 23, 2014

I just hope that the anti-'fantasy' brigade now reconsider their narrow-minded and tiresome "but elves aren't real" dogma. I won't mention any names, like Therbs for example.

Within the multiverse, elves and hobbits very possibly scamper delightfully within some magic-drenched arcadia. Because gravitational waves. You can't keep ignoring the science.

Therbs mutters...

Posted March 24, 2014

Hobbits Shmobbits. Those little fuckers ARE allowed to exist but not in my universe. They can slouch about under cherry trees as much as they like or have rave parties with Vulcan lookalikes, doesn't matter. Don't want them in my universe going around nicking stuff, claiming the dole and whinging about having to do something to earn their keep. Sort of like Kiwis in Bondi back in the 80's.

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Barnesm would have you know...

Posted March 23, 2014

"gravitional thingies" surprised they don't have you on a science communicator at the Guardian JB. Like to see those smartpants types at Smart Enough to Know Better cover that report as succinctly.

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan asserts...

Posted March 24, 2014

I often think about the imaginary promise of the multiverse and envision a cosmos where extraterrestrial circumstances that support life are more common than our reality allows, and, at a minimum, Mars has a earth-like magnetic field and Venus rotates at a speed that makes the Venusian magnetic field effective enough to support terraforming.

tqft reckons...

Posted March 26, 2014

I am big on Venus as a target for terraforming. It has more of 2 things Mars lacks - sunlight and atmosphere.

Can't find the link now (lost with prev phone) about colonising by building cloud top floating dwellings.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 26, 2014

The magnetic field is key in any terraforming effort. Doesn't matter if you have an atmosphere and sunlight if solar radiation kills everything. There is no point in even considering colonizing a planet or investing to terraform it unless it possesses a sufficient stable magnetic field.

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 24, 2014

When I'm not thinking about that kind of stuff, I am most often watching cartoons on the telly.

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NBlob mutters...

Posted March 26, 2014

One should participate, because SIENTS aint a match for drug fcked hobbyists.

Have your say on the space suit going to Mars.

I have already reccomended rocket launcher.

http://jscfeatures.jsc.nasa.gov/z2/

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Think we're gonna need a bigger radar thingy

Posted March 19, 2014 into Science and Tech by John Birmingham

Australia has agreed to help Malaysia searching the southern 'arc of possibility' for the missing flight 370. If the captain went nuts and decided to end it all, that's likely where the wreckage will be, a couple of miles down on the floor of the Indian Ocean. Most of the interesting conspiracy theories would have it somewhere along the northern arc, however, landing on a smuggler's strip in South Asia.

This Guardian piece has an interesting couple of pars on Australia's air defence net, which has an extensive surveillance reach to the north, especially along the Indonesian Archipelago. About three thousands miles, reach, probably more. (3K is only what's acknowledged on the record).

What I found interesting is how quickly any cover dies when you track northwest and west, however:

There are just two primary radars on the West Australian coast, one in Perth and one further north in Paraburdoo, which has even less range and is used to monitor mining traffic heading to the nearby Pilbara region.

Australia’s Civil Aviation Authority relies on aircrafts’ automatic dependent surveillance broadcast to ping information to commercial satellites, such as telecoms firm Optus’s four telecommunications satellites, and back to ground control.

The source said that this was the case with flights by Emirates Airlines, which all fly over the Indian Ocean to Australia, but it did not provide a specific radar plot.

Australia does not have any government satellites.

The Australian military has an over-the-horizon radar network that allows it to observe all air and sea activity north of Australia for up to 3000km. This encompasses all of Java, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

Although the Jindalee operational radar network extends part-way across the northern Indian Ocean, government papers online describe it as a “tripwire” in Australia’s northern surveillance system, helping underpin the defence of the country from any attack originating from the north.

Given the Chinese PLAN's intention to develop a blue water fixed wing fleet air arm, that big yawning blank spot on the map over the Indian Ocean suddenly doesn;t look so empty. Money on the barrelhead it gets filled in by an extenstion to JORN sometime in the next four to five years.

28 Responses to ‘Think we're gonna need a bigger radar thingy’

Peteb has opinions thus...

Posted March 19, 2014

The plane may have been escorted by defence aircraft, away from it's intended target.

It may have been shot down over the ocean.

Halwes puts forth...

Posted March 19, 2014

we would never know

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w from brisbane puts forth...

Posted March 19, 2014

On an unrelated note, I just thought I would put in some eye candy for my tired, poor, huddled fellow Burger readers yearning to be free.

Hugh Laurie (actor/musician) continues to revel in his somewhat unexpected dream life of travelling with a great band and playing the music he loves. A few hours ago, He's posted this photo from his hotel.
Though, courteously, he apologises.
"On behalf of heirs, heiresses, lottery-winners and jammy buggers everywhere, I apologise"
https://twitter.com/hughlaurie/status/446005277964652544/photo/1/large

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Surtac reckons...

Posted March 19, 2014

Testing - I can't seem to post a reply from here in the work bunker this morning.

But it did work yesterday..

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Quokka puts forth...

Posted March 19, 2014

Too hard basket, JB.

I'd say that right about now, there'll be a mad scramble amongst the airlines to install spyware in the cockpits.

At least that way they'll know whether their pilots are actually flying planes, or if they're beseiged with hijackers, or are just off their heads from hookers & blow.

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Therbs has opinions thus...

Posted March 19, 2014

Even if our guys find the missing plane our government won't tell anyone as its an "on water" incident. If by some miracle there are survivors they'll be put in a lifeboat and towed back to Malaysia.

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Lulu asserts...

Posted March 19, 2014

I don't understand (or I missed the explanation) why there are two completely separate arcs, northern & southern. What about the middle section - why has the possibility of that area been discounted?

Stephen swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 19, 2014

For some information, see here

http://ogleearth.com/2014/03/flight-mh370-search-data-in-google-earth/

"the interruption in the arc near the Gulf of Thailand is due to the Malaysian government’s own calculations that MH370 flying at its slowest possible speed in a straight line would not be in this region. This, however, assumes that MH370 would henceforth fly in a straight line, which it obviously had not been doing"

So, no technical reason, just a belief that it would be headed away, not back.

NBlob asserts...

Posted March 19, 2014

Lulu, you need to imagine the satelite tha caught the data.

  1. It would have recieved & logged only That Data it had been instructed to log. Satelites are busy, expensive & not very bright. If the data wasn't recorded then it cant be recovered, like trying to watch a tv show you forgot to record.
  2. That data probably only included signal & range or angle, not direction. Thus when it comes to interpreting the data the Authorities can only identify which aircraft made the transmission & scribe an arc (radius; range, or an angle.) If a 2nd satelite had recieved the same transmission, They would be able to draw 2 intersecting arcs. This would give 2 spots from which a signal could have originated. 3 satelites would triangulate, giving a single point.
  3. Many many Hundreds of aircraft are in the air & area / day.

Hope this helps

NBlob mumbles...

Posted March 19, 2014

I forgot to add

4. The data is by default Super Secret. The Machinery of Government that it would need to pass through to be made available to allies, or *worse* public, is labyrinthine, convoluted, archaic, ridiculously perverse & hysterically precious. The worst empire builders I ever encountered may / may not have been related to spookery. IE When you ring reception & ask for an individual by name, reception will not admit that you have rung a number, that the number belongs to the agency, nor that any individual or position you have described may or may / not actually exist.

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Lobes would have you know...

Posted March 19, 2014

Has anyone considered the theory that maybe someone didnt set their phone to flight mode?

Quokka puts forth...

Posted March 19, 2014

LOL.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted March 19, 2014

Perhaps that isn't all that funny. My son seems to think it would be cheap and easy to locate the plane using the passenger's cell phones and/or tablets and/or lap tops. I am too old and tech-ignorant to know whether this is true or not.

Anyone know?

insomniac asserts...

Posted March 19, 2014

I believe that phones are receivers rather than transmitters of location, so they know where they are but don't tell anyone where they are, and are probably too weakly powered in any case to be detected, especially out in the middle of nowhere or at the bottom of the ocean.

Stephen ducks in to say...

Posted March 19, 2014

Phones - if they were on (they are not supposed to be unless in flight mode), and operational (not destroyed by a crash), and in range of a cell tower (not a given in many places in that search zone), and still had battery life, and people were looking in the correct network, then sure.

Laptops and wireless only tablets would have to be in range of an open wireless network, and they usually don't connect to such networks unless they've done it before, so unless there is an active phone home program that tries to connect to any network, they probably won't show up anywhere. They may be broadcasting their ID's, but if nobody right nearby is looking, no one will know.

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Halwes mumbles...

Posted March 19, 2014

All someone would have to do is take the plane up very high and switch off the cabin pressurisation. All the passengers would be out cold in minutes and dead soon after. Therefore no phone calls or passengers breaking into the cabin to take control of the plane. I don't know an electrician or metalurgist that likes flying. The electricians know that you are only one fuse away from oblivion and the metalurgists watch the wings flexing and wonder if the crack inspectors have done their job properly.

Dave W reckons...

Posted March 19, 2014

Holy shmoley, how do either of those groups cope with traveling in a car on a motorway? Nobody's checking the fuses or the metalwork. Plus the 'pilot' of the motor-vehicle isn't on a couple of hundred k a year to make sure that the thing goes in the right direction and stops properly.

I wouldn't say I'm a fan of flying, but I'll trust the airline to do the right thing every time. Their business model relies on it and the stats back me up. Except for 3rd world domestic services. I draw a line there.

Halwes reckons...

Posted March 19, 2014

I don't think the mechanics are on big money in places like Thailand where our airlines intend to send planes to take advantage of cheap labour. The thai mechanics will need a yahbah allowance to keep up with the workload.

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Bangar asserts...

Posted March 19, 2014

So you're saying that WA is our Belgium?

Therbs would have you know...

Posted March 19, 2014

That's a tad harsh on WA, bangin' man.

Bangar asserts...

Posted March 19, 2014

Well it was the alternate way into France, just asking the question.

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Murphy mumbles...

Posted March 19, 2014

Just a thought.

Might want to talk to Navantia about what it would take to get your new LHDs ready to launch AV-8B and/or F-35Bs from the flight deck. And build a new dish thingy or three.

And why is it you don't have a government satellite helping with surveillance? Not even one? I guess all three of those new Hobarts you are building are supposed to plug the hole, right?

Wow, that is rather shocking and depressing.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

stephen mutters...

Posted March 19, 2014

They've always used US satellites on the few times they needed them. They help run the systems (see Pine Gap), they share the take.

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Therbs is gonna tell you...

Posted March 19, 2014

Satellites? We had Aussat but we couldn't use it because we all wear alfoil hats.

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Andrew ducks in to say...

Posted March 20, 2014

This is the most sensible thing I've seen so far, http://www.wired.com/autopia/2014/03/mh370-electrical-fire/?utm_source=nextdraft&utm_medium=iosapp . And if it is the case, JORN 2 might have seen it depending on its capabilities.

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