This morning the new “Next Generation” aircraft carrier, the Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) was christened during ceremonies in the Newport News Shipbuilding facilities, Hampton Roads Virginia… you can watch a replay of the ceremonies here.
At 1,080 feet long, 100 feet high, a beam of 134 feet and 250 feet wide at the Flight-Deck, this behemoth used around 47,000 tons of steel and will have over 90,000 tons of displacement.
Replacing the ex-USS Enterprise, it is the first entirely new class of U.S. aircraft carrier in 45 years since the Nimitz of 1968. The island is 140 feet further aft than previous designs and its three aircraft elevators are electromagnetic – doing away with the traditional cable-hoisting. (I wonder if they are still keeping the old-style warning horns? Those things were cool.)
But the BIG news is the Navy’s new EMALS system, which translates into landlubber speak as the “Electro-Magnetic Aircraft Launch System”. This modern technology does away with the steam-powered catapults that have flung aircraft into the sky for the last half-century, which is both exciting and a little sad. Continue reading Christening of the Next Generation Aircraft Carrier – Gerald R. Ford
You may have seen this photo before. It shows Volksgrenadiers fighting in the Ardennes offensive by Germany in WWII. Like most people, I wondered what kind of rifle the grenadiers are using. It’s a Sturmgewehr 44 (storm rifle 1944), and it’s considered by many to be the first true “assault rifle”.
Continue reading Sturmgewehr 44
The K-43 was a Soviet Charlie-class nuclear missile sub launched in 1966. It served the Soviet navy well, but would soon go on a journey of national intrigue.
Continue reading Soviet-Indian Nuclear Proliferation
One of my IT guys recently told me that one of the things that makes me more likable than most engineers is I’m willing to admit when I don’t know something. Let’s face it, us engineers tend to be the classical “know it all”. Well, when I came across this beast at the Motor Muster (read about it on our sister site Hooniverse) I had to admit I didn’t know much. I knew that’s a 50-cal BMG up top and two 30-cal BMGs on either side, but that was the extent of it.
Continue reading M3A1 Scout Car
Yesterday we looked at a less than successful weapon developed by the awesomely named Directorate of Miscellaneous Weapons Development. Today, we look at one that was much more successful. Not to be confused with the Soviet Fire Hedgehog, the British Hedgehog was an anti-submarine weapon that actually proved more deadly than depth charges.
Continue reading Sub-Sonic: Britain’s Hedgehog
This happens to be a holiday weekend in the US, because on Monday we will remember those that have lost their lives in defense of this country and her freedoms. Knowing that we have a bit of a diverse and multicultural crowd here at Atomic Toasters, I am going to try to balance the patriotic-type tribute that will run later today with a look at some military strategy of another group of rebels fighting the tyranny and oppression of a sweeping empire. I think you know the Rebel Alliance and Empire in question, and the battle we will be looking at starts out the film The Empire Strikes Back, the Battle of Hoth. This careful analysis comes by way of Spencer Ackerman at Wired.com’s Danger Room and can be found in its entirety there. Hit the jump to get a taste of what you will find there!
Continue reading Strategery
As a weapon system, the V-2 was fairly ineffective. It’s real purpose was to terrorize and punish Germany’s enemies, hence it’s use on England and Antwerp. More people died producing the V-2 than were killed by it in military use. At the time the V-2 program went into high gear, Germany had bomber systems capable of delivering bombs and rockets to London with higher accuracy and at less cost to Germany in terms of both Reichsmarks and diversion of resources. Despite all this, Germany pressed on with the V-2 program. The Fuhrer wanted to terrorize London, and he wanted a propaganda win for his loyal subjects. It’s an absolutely horrible weapon system, and it’s failure as a weapon system should have relegated it to a historical footnote. It did inflict significant damage on its targets, though, and it laid the groundwork for all modern rocket systems. For that reason, it is quite important.
Hit the jump for some video of test failures of the V-2 rocket.
Continue reading German V-2 Tests im Video!
Focke Wulf Triebfluegel
Desperation can lead to creativity. When you have nothing else to lose you will look into every option possible. This led to one of the more interesting designs in the wars waning days with that in mind we look at our next point defense aircraft.
Continue reading Point Defense – When All Else Fails Be Really Different