Through an urban legend

It all started with me not getting any sleep. So as I was pondering in all directions, I remembered a really old issue. It was something I heard as a kid. The story was: ‘the laws of aerodynamics prove that the bumblebee can’t fly‘, as I have seen them and as I knew they would fly, I knew that the story was false, but the urban legend remained alive. It was much later when I learned of the full story and in my view, the consideration of non-flight, whilst the person had a limited knowledge of ornithology made it a bit of a comedy. So there I was pondering that event and suddenly I connected it to the principle of Archimedes. As I pondered ‘upon immersion an object receives a buoyant force equal to the weight of the water displaced‘, it is the first part you learn in ships engineering. It always fascinated me whenever I saw a large warship, all that steel and armour, and weight. So in that I realised the issue with these large boats. You see, the part that is keeping them afloat is almost set to a decimal point. So what happens when that changes? So there I was and CNN was giving me (at https://edition.cnn.com/2018/01/26/politics/iranian-boats-stop-harassing-us-navy-ships/index.html), on how the Iranians have their boat escalation and I was mindfully becoming creative. So as I went through the five stages of such a project

Design, Devise, Delivery, Deployment, Detonation, My mind became more and more creative. As I changed one element for the other, I suddenly realised that I had a new concept, something that is not stealth, but would not electronically register. It had the potential to take down a warship with them having almost no defence against it and the consequence was that this could be universally applied. It has limitations on where it would work, but wherever it does, it could be devastating. So basically I optionally solved the Iranian navy problem before there even is one.  Even in my own light I will use the word ‘optionally’, because I, like nearly all others am a flawed person, I never tested the solution for real (not enough Iranian frigates to test the solution on in Sydney) and in the end it was merely a puzzle for my mind to solve. Data, Engineering, Science, the puzzle does not matter, merely the need to solve it when I am confronted with one. The entire puzzle took an hour to solve; it was not as challenging as the NHS issue, but a nice distraction as I remained awake.

I went over every stage a few times. With every pass I improved the solution, I improved its effectiveness. It remains close to undetectable. The deployment system is slow but to some degree maneuverable and the solution could take out a frigate or destroyer. In theory it could also take care of a battleship. I do wonder if it remains ‘invisible’ with the upgraded electronics that a carrier tends to have.

So what do you do when you are sitting on a solution that could have such wide repercussions?

The idea, sell it or forget it?

I wonder how this is seen, in light of the revelation from Wesley G. Bush, as Defense News reveals today: “Northrop Grumman will form a new business sector focused on new, innovative technology once it closes on its acquisition of Orbital ATK this year, a top Northrop executive said during a Thursday earnings call“,  In this we get also “We believe that after the transaction has completed, our collective set of market-leading technologies and products, along with very compatible, innovation-focused cultures, will enable us to better serve our customers’ current and emerging needs“, according to Kathy Warden, President and CEO of Northrop Grumman. So, in light of the stated innovation culture that is meant to their customers and not the consumers at large, we wonder where their innovation will take them and as such the Defence spending bill of the United States.

In all this, I considered the length that the US went with the USS Zumwalt, versatile, 610 foot and $440 million for this dinghy. Here I am, coming up with a $5 million solution to sink it. It feels almost too comical to consider that it cannot afford the $1 million smart shell and this vessel cannot afford the cost of filling the 600 shell armoury. Here I am coming up with a nickel and dime solution to a high tech problem. A feat that was possible because these ships need to go into harbours, which is their weak link. They need to resupply and I considered the disadvantage the Iranians have at Bandar Abbas and how that plays into the hands of its enemies.

We seem to seek security, safety. We get lulled into some state of false safety, because the falsehood of all this is not about the high tech, it is what happens when the opposition goes low tech and all the technology leaves you without options, because the armistice race has all been about pushing forward, not look backward and solution nature had for a thousand years and no one sought to see an application for that knowledge. The danger of someone stating: ‘be clever about it‘ whilst the reality of a solution was to get back to basics.

That is shown with “For decades the Navy faced no major rival on the open ocean. As a consequence, it allowed its missile arsenal to shrink and grow obsolete, even as Russia and China developed better and better ship-destroying missiles“, so as they all sought more versatile and more intelligent missiles to do the work for them, I looked at the ceiling and came up with a low tech solution that was a solution almost 250 years earlier. I merely upgraded the concept to be partly biological in nature and upgraded it with the smallest amount of electronics, the mere 10% of a ZX Spectrum and not that much additional computation power. A solution that can down something 200 times its value. An idea that we got to see in the book and movie Charlie Wilson’s War. It is as I personally see it a simple and economic solution to end the impasse between superpowers. The Russian Hind helicopter, each at $12 million, versus the FIM-92 Stinger at $38,000 each. It really did not take that long to find a naval alternative. The solution, tested on several fields against whatever Northrop Grumman or Raytheon throws at the Defence spending committee and according to some sources with the upcoming cost of $1 million, per smart shell. So how smart is the envisioned solution?

I do not know and I actually do not care, but I wonder if defence committees all over the world need to reconsider the way they spend their money and that is all before that new behemoth will spend even more. It is called the EU Army and so far the people are lucky that the UK, Ireland, Denmark, Portugal and Malta have so far not signed up. Some idea driven by France and Germany, whilst the operational folly it could end up being is going to be devastating to economies in several nations, in that they should realise that even as Charlie Wilson’s War was an American victory, that same tactic could be pointed against any of them. And it would happen in a day and age that none of the nations can afford to become the victim of a tactic like that. Because that is how the law of Murphy tends to unfold.

Now realise that this was set in motion by remembering the fake fact on non-flying bumblebees, the mere application of creativity in action.

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, Military, Politics, Science

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.