EMGC49 Compilation

Ordinarily, Memorial Day weekend signals the start of Fleet Week, whereby several US Navy warships, Coast Guard cutters and patrol craft arrive at the port of New York City for a well-deserved respite from sea duty. To commemorate the event, we have loads of Eaglemoss Collection’s 1:1100 scale warships now in stock, ranging from stalwarts such as the IJN’s super-battleship Yamato to the recently arrived and oddly-designed HMS Nelson. Make sure to check out our entire collection of Eaglemoss warships, which typically sell out faster than we can replenish ’em.

Incidentally, World of Warships, a free, massively multiplayer online game has now entered alpha testing and should become available to everyone later this fall. Check it out at http://worldofwarships.com/


141103-N-AZ866-050 PACIFIC OCEAN (Nov. 3, 2014) An F-35C Lightening II carrier variant Joint Strike Fighter conducts it’s first arrested landing aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68). Nimitz is underway conducting routine training exercises. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kelly M. Agee/Released)

In a rather stark admission, US Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, disclosed that the soon-to-be-deployed F-35C will be the last manned strike fighter for the US Navy.

The F-35C “should be, and almost certainly will be, the last manned strike fighter aircraft the Department of the Navy will ever buy or fly,” Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said in a speech in April at the annual Sea-Air-Space Exposition outside Washington, D.C. Fighter jocks would still be needed for dogfighting, but Mabus envisions a future when strike missions will be fulfilled by unmanned aircraft.

According to Defense News, Mabus announced the creation of the N99 Navy staff office for unmanned weapons systems and a new position for deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for unmanned systems.

“Unmanned systems, particularly autonomous ones, have to be the new normal in ever-increasing areas,” he said.

The announcement came the same day as a milestone test for the Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstration program, the first of three aerial refueling tests that mark the program’s concluding step.

Following the tests, the two UCAS jets will be sent to an aviation museum or to the aircraft boneyard in Arizona, Capt. Beau Duarte, Carrier Unmanned Aviation program manager, said Tuesday at the exposition.

“The UCAS-D program was born with the primary role of, ‘Okay, let’s show ourselves that we can successfully take off and land from the ship, integrate operations around and on the carrier, and work in the pattern [with manned jets],’ ” Duarte said.


SR72

According to a recent article that appears in the June issue of Popular Science, the folks at the legendary Lockheed Skunkworks are at it again.

“With regional threats growing and portable surface-to-air missiles evolving, engineers have once again set out to build the fastest military jet on the planet.

This time, it will take the form of a 4,000-mile-per-hour reconnaissance drone with strike capability. Known as the SR-72, the aircraft will evade assault, take spy photos, and attack targets at speeds of up to Mach 6. That’s twice as fast as its predecessor.

Aeronautical engineers at Lockheed Martin and Aerojet Rocket­dyne have been designing the SR-72 at their Skunk Works black site in California for the past several years. It will require a hybrid propulsion system: a conventional, off-the-shelf turbo jet that can take the plane from runway to Mach 3, and a hypersonic ramjet/scramjet that will push it the rest of the way. Its body will have to withstand the extreme heat of hypersonic flight, when air friction alone could melt steel. Its bombs will have to hit targets from possibly 80,000 feet. Lockheed says the craft could be deployed by 2030. Once it is, the plane’s ability to cover one mile per second means it could reach any location on any continent in an hour—not that you’ll see it coming.”

Several on-board systems will need to be redeveloped for such a reconnaissance and weapons platform to work at a speed of Mach 6, chief among them targeting, high altitude bombing, piloting, and stability at a high friction rate of speed. Frankly, if anyone can do it, its the boys at Lockheed, who are responsible for creating some of the most sophisticated aircraft ever to take to the sky.


HA5101

Ever since Hobby Master came out with their first F/A-18 Hornet, it was long speculated but never confirmed that they would eventually up the ante by producing its larger successor, the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. Earlier today, the Company finally fessed up by indicating that a Super Hornet is indeed in the works and expected some time in early 2016. Their first bird is a US Navy McDonnell Douglas F/A-18E Super Hornet Strike Fighter that was attached to VFA-14 “Tophatters”, and bears their 90th Anniversary commemorative scheme (HA5101). Frankly, if you like modern US warbirds, then this is a no brainer, simply because its the inaugural release. While an operational scheme always seems to do better at retail, its going to be hard to pass this one up. 


DASW35 Compilation

Apparently, Disney has deemed that September 4th is when a great many licensees of its Star Wars brand will be able to reveal their merchandising plans to the public at-large. In the meantime, we’ve learned a couple of interesting tidbits that should get the party started a wee bit early. First off, our distributor has confirmed that the large majority of the legacy-based DeAgostini Star Wars vehicles and ships come with their coveted magazine, which offers loads of information and full color illustrations concerning each replica portrayed.

Star Wars Compilation

At the other end of the spectrum, Mattel has posted pix of three of their upcoming 1:18 scale ships that have appeared prominently in previous Star Wars films. Heavy in the hand, and bearing all of the detail you’ve come to expect from this long time toy maker, these limited edition replicas will certainly help to get the ball rolling ahead of the debut of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which is scheduled to hit theatres on December 18th. May the force be with them.

Star Trek Continues

Posted: May 19, 2015 in Whispers
Tags:

Star Trek Continues

Some times I think we’re completely out-of-the-loop when we stumble upon information that could have knocked us over with a feather. While perusing the web, we discovered a brand new web-based film series based upon the original, Gene Roddenberry-created Star Trek television series. Named, aptly enough, Star Trek Continues, these “webisodes” feature all of the familiar characters, sets, costumes, and hokey special effects first witnessed in the 1960s series, going so far as to even include the same dated introduction, sound effects and animations. To view the five uploaded webisodes and see what’s in store for Trekkies, visit: http://www.startrekcontinues.com/


M1A2SEP

Back in 2014, long before the Russian T-14 Armata main battle tank was unveiled to the public, the US Department of Defense awarded General Dynamics with a contract to build 12 advanced main battle tanks with digital vetronics. Dubbed the M1A2 SEP Version 2, the tank, according to Military and Aerospace Electronics,  “is considered to be one of the most technologically advanced and most survivable digital tank available worldwide. The networked tank has an electronic backbone, improved processors, high-resolution color displays, increased memory capacity, a day and night forward-looking infrared (FLIR) sighting system, auxiliary power, a tank-infantry phone, and an open architecture designed to accommodate future upgrades without redesigns.”

Its not clear how the upgraded M1A2 SEP V2 will fair against Russia’s new battle tank in a 0ne-on-one slugfest, or whether the Abrams has the ability to defeat other armed threats on the battlefield, particularly from air-launched heliborne assets. This electronics-based upgrade could serve as a short-term solution before  the Armata gets fielded en masse, further extending the life-cycle of several thousand battle tanks that have seen service throughout the world with a number of armies.