January 23, 2013

Canadian Army introduces updated combat uniforms

Filed under: Cancon, Military — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 15:46

A press release describes the changes as the “most radical change since 1970s”:

Canadian Army uniform improvements

After 18 months of testing and operational user feedback, production has begun on the Enhanced Combat Uniform for Canadian soldiers.

This product improvement to the combat uniforms includes more than 20 changes which will allow for greater comfort, enhanced protection and greater integration with personal protective equipment, allowing soldiers to more effectively train and perform their duties while deployed.

Some of the major changes are:

  • a flexible Mandarin-style collar;
  • integrated soft kneepads;
  • flat pockets and zippers to avoid pressure points;
  • an action-back for increased range of motion; and
  • a flexible waist for improved fit.

“The uniforms are better integrated with the rest of the combat equipment while increasing comfort and providing greater wearing options adaptable to the environment a soldier is deployed in,” says Major Stéphane Dufour of the Director of Land Requirements’ Soldier Systems Requirements section. For example, the integrated soft knee pads provide protection in and outside a vehicle. The flat chest pocket style also removes any pressure points while wearing ballistic protection and fragmentation vests.

[. . .]

The uniforms will continue to use the Canadian Disruptive Pattern, known as CADPATTM, which allows soldiers to blend in with the field environment.

How easy would it be to fake the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing?

Filed under: History, Media, Space — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 11:13

H/T to Kathy Shaidle, who writes:

Remember: Conspiracy theories are history for stupid people. They provide idiots with the thrilling sensation that they’re smarter than everyone else, and are a seductive distraction from real problems.

As the (liberal) filmmaker says:

“They lead you to sell your soul for the comfort of being a rebel.”

That’s what Satan did.

Tyler Cowen explains why recreating Neanderthals won’t be happening soon

Filed under: Science, Technology — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 10:14

Even if we have the technology to do it, there are lots of ways for the experiment to go very wrong (without going the Jurassic Park route):

…could they be taught in our schools? Who would rear the first generation? Would human parents find this at all rewarding? Do they have enough impulse control to move freely in human society? How happy would they be with such a limited number of peers? What public health issues would be involved and how would we learn about those issues in advance? What would happen the first time a Neanderthal kills a human child? Carries and transmits a contagious disease? By the way, how much resistance would the Neanderthals have to modern diseases?

What kinds of “human rights” would we issue to them? Would we end up treating them better than lab chimpanzees? Would they be covered by ACA and have emergency room rights?

Unlike the debate over recreating extinct animal species like the dodo or the passenger pigeon, Neanderthals were close relations to modern humans: under most of our ethical and moral systems, they would be people, not animals. Unless we’re so debased that we can countenance restarting the Nazi experiment that we forcefully terminated in 1945, we could not treat neoNeanderthals as anything other than intelligent, self-directing, self-owning beings. By bringing them back from the dead, we’d be taking on the moral requirement to maintain them and sustain them.

We have no way of knowing if a group of neoNeanderthals could peacefully co-exist with humanity, and no way of finding that out without running the experiment. That’s not a decision that can or should be taken by a single person or a group of scientists at a university. This wanders too close to “playing god” of old science fiction stories: those stories rarely turned out well for the non-gods.

Retired Argentinian destroyer ARA Santísima Trinidad sinks at naval base

Filed under: Americas, Military — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 09:34

The Argentinian defence minister was sure to include the possibility that the ARA Santísima Trinidad was sunk by enemy action:

Arturo Puricelli, the defence minister, said the loss of the Holy Trinity was due to “negligence in the best-case scenario, or an attack” aimed at making the government look bad. He did not go into detail.

The destroyer, which was retired from active service in 2004, took on water at the Puerto Belgrano naval base after a six-inch pipe burst, the navy said.

The minister later said, however, that he was surprised that the ship sank quickly while it was moored at the port.

First it started listing, he said. “So the breakdown must have been major, or someone opened a value to sink it,” he said.

The ARA Santísima Trinidad was the warship that landed the first military forces — 84 marines and a team of divers — to start the Falklands War of 1982.

Update: I wonder if Colby is freelancing for the Sun now:


UK considering alternatives to Trident

Filed under: Britain, Military — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 09:15

The Royal Navy operates four Vanguard-class ballistic missile submarines equipped with the Trident nuclear missile. The coalition government is internally divided over the decision to order replacement submarines to come online when the current subs reach their designed end-of-life. The Tories (at least for public consumption) are in favour of a replacement on a one-for-one basis, while the Liberal Democrats would prefer to eliminate nuclear missiles from the British arsenal.

In the Telegraph, Peter Dominiczak explains why the one-for-one replacement is the least likely outcome:

Mr Alexander, the Chief secretary to the Treasury, dismissed Tory demands for a new continuous at-sea nuclear deterrent and warned that the Treasury does not have “a magic pot of money” to pay for a new generation of submarines.

In an interview with the Guardian he insisted that there are “potential alternatives” to Trident.

The Liberal Democrats have repeatedly clashed with Conservatives who are calling for an upgrade to the fleet of Trident submarines.

The Lib Dems insisted on an official review into Trident, which is due to report in June, as part of the Coalition agreement in 2010.

[. . .]

“Is it right in the 21st century that we still need to have submarines at sea, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 12 months of the year? All those things are ripe for being reviewed and considered, and alternatives presented.”

Philip Hammond, the Defence Secretary, last year said that upgrading Trident would probably be cheaper than any alternative nuclear deterrent proposed by the Lib Dems.

He said the Trident missiles and warheads have “many, many years of life in them” and will only need new submarines to carry them by 2028.

Any attempt to create a whole new nuclear deterrent system is unlikely to be economic, he said.

Ballistic missile submarines are very expensive to design and build (and to operate), and shifting to a smaller number of hulls would save very little money. As I put it back in 2010, “Army, RN, RAF, and Trident replacement: pick any three“. Trident is nearly as expensive as an entire arm of the military all on its own, and it’s no surprise that the Liberal Democrats would love to eliminate it if they could get away with it.

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