Thursday, May 9, 2024

Belarus "Nuclear Drills" Show Aircraft Fuel Tanks

 Belarus "Nuclear Drills" Show Aircraft Fuel Tanks
Copyright 2024 by Michael H. Maggelet

Video released by the Belarus Defense Ministry, and posted to YouTube by the Hindustan Times on May 8th, 2024, shows Belarussian forces participating in "snap nuclear drills". Images include Belarus military personnel working with short range Iskander tactical missile systems, and taxiing Sukhoi Su-25 attack aircraft, with stores on the inside pylons blurred out. Additional images show that the "sanitized" items are nothing more than 800 liter PTB-800 fuel tanks. 

Monday, April 15, 2024

 QB-19 RCAT Drone Was Not "Top Secret"
Copyright 2024 by Michael H. Maggelet

QB-19 RCAT Drone Was Not "Top Secret"

Recent news articles and websites are promoting a myth that the RCAT QB-19 drone and its derivatives, produced by Radioplane and used by the Army as a target drone, was "top secret". 
  In fact, I have yet to find any reference that the common drone, or its radar guidance and tracking system, was even classified. 
The RCAT was produced under various designations from 1946 to the mid '80's, and saw service worldwide. 

Yahoo News article parroting the myth of the "top secret" drone.

Camp Wellfleet target range in Massachusetts-

M33 and M38 Fire Control Systems-

History of the drone and versions (by Andreas Parsch)-

Sunday, March 31, 2024

 "Reasons Why Pentagon Won't Shoot Down Chinese Spy Balloons"

1 April 2024, Copyright 2024 by Michael H. Maggelet

1. Shooting down balloon in sparsely populated Montana or North Dakota may trigger a "near peer" balloon arms race between Montana and North Dakota.

2. Tourists may confuse deflated balloons for obese Lewis and Clark reenactors, buckskinners, and USAF missile officers.

3. Don't want to provoke Putin, nor any Winnie the Pooh balloons.

4. Local ranchers may confuse balloon debris for UFO, much to the detriment of actual UFO crash sites in New Mexico.

5. Gender identity of balloon not confirmed, which may violate numerous equal opportunity guidelines, instructions, and power point presentations.

6. General Milley has not had time to secretly phone his Chinese counterpart to reassure Beijing that the US would not shoot down the balloon, thus altering "strategic recon balloon stability".

7. Shooting down PRC balloon may move "Doomsday Clock" hand closer to midnight, thus negatively influencing Russian, Chinese, Iranian, and North Korean strategic interests.

8. USAF does not have a "Chinese Reconnaissance Balloon" Environmental Impact Statement ready at this time.

9. Joint Chiefs of Staff decided to have Army attempt to shoot down balloon, followed by Navy, and maybe Space Force, thus denying USAF CMSgt JoAnne Bass another medal.

10. Pentagon assured by China that balloon is just a stray from Chinese New Year celebrations, flying over to see relatives in North Dakota near Minot AFB.

Friday, September 29, 2023

US Should Retain B83 Bomb

Copyright 2023 by Michael H. Maggelet

  The B83 strategic bomb, first deployed to FB-111 bases in mid 1984 (and later to SAC B-52's), was derived from the B77 thermonuclear bomb. I worked on the first mod of the B83, and since it was a newly deployed modern weapon, there wasn't much maintenance to perform internally. There were several retrofits accomplished just as I arrived at my new base, and the B83 was a welcome arrival compared to the B43 bomb which had been in the stockpile since 1960.

  I won't go into the technical details regarding the B83, only to say that it was quite easy to maintain compared to the labor intensive B43, and made our operations much easier since it contained insensitive high explosive (and it was more versatile for strike aircraft). [1]

  Statements by detractors that the B83 has "too high a yield" are laughable, since the bomb has selectable yields for a variety of targets. [2]

  Given the Russian, Chinese, and North Korean emphasis on building command posts and other high value targets in mountains and in heavily reinforced underground complexes, the US only has a limited number of weapons to destroy these targets. In addition, the B61-11 bomb has an earth penetrating capability. These weapons can only be delivered by the B-2, since nuclear gravity bombs were recently removed from B-52H's.

  While some portion of the ICBM and SLBM force can attack and possibly neutralize some underground facilities, the use of low yield SLBM warheads and air launched cruise missiles cannot be successfully used to destroy deeply buried underground complexes with surface bursts. 

1. "Nuclear Weapon Characteristics Handbook" by Sandia National Laboratories, September 1990. Declassified/sanitized from "Secret/Restricted Data", p. 77. 

2. Low yield option discussed by General C. Robert Kehler during the "Hearing Before the Subcommittee on Strategic Forces of the Committee on Armed Services, House of Representatives, 113th Congress, 1st Session, October 29, 2013".                  

B83 load shapes maintained by the author and other 463X0 personnel at Plattsburgh AFB, NY in the mid '80's (photo  


Soviet Officer “Saves World” Bravo Sierra

Note- I wrote this piece in 2019 on another blog, and unfortunately Leftist propaganda continues to deceive those naive enough to believe such nonsense.  

Copyright 2019 by M. H. Maggelet

  Time and again we read stories about Soviet officers performing their internationalist and progressive duties, and in the face of overwhelming imperialist hegemony and provocation, they manage to save the world from a nuclear holocaust and restore collective peace and international justice, etc. That’s what the Left wing press would have us believe. As we used to say in the military, it’s pure “Bravo Sierra”.

  As with other world nuclear forces, a single individual cannot authorize the launch of a nuclear weapon. It takes many individuals, ranging from security forces to authentication codes, to access nuclear weapons or to initiate the nuclear release process of a combat ready nuclear weapon system.

  Such was the case during the Cuban Missile Crisis, when Soviet submarine B-59 (Project 641, NATO Foxtrot class) was detected by US anti-submarine forces and eventually surfaced after her batteries ran down. Just prior to surfacing, conditions inside the sub were extremely difficult with equipment breakdowns, and temperatures reaching 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

  Several senior officers lost their bearing and argued about using a nuclear torpedo on board the sub (likely a 53-58 T-5 with RDS-9 warhead, 3 or 9 kilotons) on circling US destroyers. One Soviet officer aboard B-59, Vadim Orlov, recorded the incident, and notes Captain Savitsky angrily ordered the assembly of the torpedo to combat readiness, which takes a minimum of three individuals (team chief, and at least two team members to perform mechanical and final assembly tasks).  Additionally, a KGB officer (and communist party representative) were on board, having the final word on preparing nuclear weapons for launch.

  There were at least two versions of the RDS-9 warhead for the T-5, one mod with an internal neutron initiator that required extra steps for installation into the physics package, and a “sealed pit” version. Additionally, a nuclear armed torpedo would also have to be loaded into the tube, another time consuming task with a 24 foot long, 4400 pound weapon.

  The story has been skewed by many in the media and the Left wing press, which  continually ignore the facts regarding the incident.  Orlov writes that after several moments, cooler heads prevailed and Second Captain V.A. Arkhipov and Deputy Political Officer I. S. Maslennnikov persuaded the captain to surface.

  The story doesn’t end there of course, as some anti-nuclear activists have promoted a Soviet officer named Stanlislav Petrov with another glorious internationalist task of “saving the world” in 1983. Lt. Col Petrov was a duty officer in charge of an air defence (PVO-Strany) command center, which was alerted by orbiting Molniya early warning satellites of a missile launch towards the Soviet Union. Petrov ignored the indications, which were later proven erroneous. However, once the Left wing press learned of the incident after 1998, he was showered with awards from activist groups.

  A statement released by the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the UN noted that multiple sources are used to confirm an attack- “Under no circumstances a decision to use nuclear weapons could be made or even considered in the Soviet Union or in the United States on the basis of data from a single source or a system. For this to happen, a confirmation is necessary from several systems: ground based radars, early warning satellites, intelligence reports, etc.”

Saturday, April 1, 2023

Air Force to Revert to Old Specialty Codes, Duty Uniforms.

Air Force Times

Washington, D.C.- 1 April 2023

  The U.S. Air Force announced today that the special military operation conducted by General Merrill McPeak in the '90's resulting in changes to U.S. Air Force regulations, specialty codes, and uniforms will be reverted to the 1986 era. 

  This move, designed to improve morale, will be implemented immediately and will revert all Air Force Instructions back to "Regulations", which were in place since the end of WWII. Additionally, Air Force airmen, totally confused about ever changing annual physical testing requirements, will now have to run a mile and a half at least once a year, or walk a mile and a half at a brisk pace while smoking a cigarette. 

  While the new Occupational Camouflage Pattern uniform has been lauded by many, there are new changes afoot. Instead of insignia being "spice brown", it will be "pumpkin spice brown".  Due to the negative connotations of the term "coyote", parts of the uniform will now be described as "Labrador Brown" or "Dark Brown Kitty Cat" (depending on personal preference). At no time will such color schemes be refered to as "Ginger" or "Bill D. Cat".  



Patrol caps will now include a ventilation hole at the rear of the cap for man-buns (or ponytails). 

  The instructions/regulations for moustaches (for men, or whatever) will be dependent on specific duties. For example, fighter pilots may be permitted to wear the "Colonel Robin Olds" pattern, however Guy Fawkes, Navy SEAL goatee's, '70's porn 'staches, and "tacticool" beards will be permitted for the rank and file. 

  On the matter of flight suits and leather jackets, anyone who has ever seen an airplane may be permitted to wear these uniform items. However, aviator sunglasses will be limited to actual aviators. 

  As for Air Force Specialty Codes, the Air Force Intelligence Agency has determined that adversary nations have finally cracked the current AF specialty codes and badges dating from the McPeak era, and since no historical documentation exists on Air Force websites and on Google, the Air Force will revert  to the 1950's era AFSC's with additional shredouts for REMF's, Homesteaders, Ticket Punchers, and "Nonner's". 

  Finally, the Air Force intends to spend millions of dollars researching the conversion of non-covert velcro closures on the OCP uniform to silent button closures (as was the case on the previous OG-107, OG-507, and Woodland BDU uniforms).

Tactical Velcro Opening Secret

Space Force; FLOTUS Designs Space Force Uniforms
(warning- language)



Sunday, April 17, 2022

Could The Moskva Have Been Carrying Nuclear Weapons? Possibly.


Could The Moskva Have Been Carrying Nuclear Weapons? Possibly.

Copyright 17 April 2022 by Michael H. Maggelet

  The recent sinking of the Russian Federation Navy flagship Moskva (formerly the “Slava”, i.e. Glory in Russian) has brought concerns by some in the media that the warship may have been carrying nuclear weapons.

  The possibility exists that the ship may have been carrying nuclear weapons, however there are no public announcements made by NATO countries, which likely have surveyed the area of Moskva’s sinking in the Black Sea.

  Aerial sniffer aircraft, such as the USAF WC-135W, are equipped to monitor the atmosphere for radionuclides, and media claims of Turkish and Romanian rescue ships rescuing at least 50 Russian naval personnel have yet to be verified. Losses on the Moskva may number in the hundreds. 

  At this time, there is no evidence that the Moskva used her defensive systems (flares, chaff) and anti-aircraft missiles and guns. Also, note that apparently two missiles hit the ship; more than two may have been fired in order to overwhelm defenses (along with other measures). 

Project 1164 "Atlant" and NATO "Slava" class, now known as the "Moskva" class (

  The location of the attack was near 45 deg 10 min N, 30 deg 55 min E. At the time of this writing, several Russian ships were in the vicinity of the sinking (as reported by naval blogger H.I. Sutton). The depth of the sinking is around 50 meters (164 feet). 

  It should be noted that US and NATO surface vessels do not carry nuclear weapons, while the Russian Federation still retains at least 1800 tactical nuclear weapons in its arsenal.

  Given the fact the Moskva was heavily armed with sixteen liquid fueled surface to surface missiles, sixty-four surface to air missiles, RPK-6 anti-submarine rockets, dozens of RBU-6000 anti-submarine rockets, and possibly depth bombs (not to mention CIWS and cannon), a hull penetrating hit by ordnance such as the R-360 Neptune with a 330 pound warhead could have been initially catastrophic.

  Additionally, Russian nuclear weapons are undoubtably one point safe, meaning a one point detonation of the warhead high explosive will not produce a nuclear yield.

  The Moskva could carry the following Russian nuclear weapon systems-

P-1000 Vulkan (SS-N-12 Sandbox)- 350 Kt.

RPK-6 Vodopod (SS-N-16 Stallion)- 200 Kt.

Nuclear depth bombs for the Ka-27 helicopter.

(Source for ordnance-

  Attacks on warships using artillery and iron bombs were not uncommon during the Cold War era. During the Viet Nam war, several US warships were hit by North Vietnamese MiG-17s and shore artillery batteries, at some times leading to extensive damage and fatalities.

  One case was the USS Ozbourn (DD-846), patrolling off the DMZ Viet Nam on 25 March 1967. The ship was stationary in the fog, and as morning light highlighted the ships mast, North Vietnamese shore batteries opened fire hitting the ship twice. At least one round hit the ASROC storage compartment, seriously damaging several conventional and nuclear armed ASROCs.

The most serious nuclear weapons accidents to date at sea include the loss of the USS Scorpion in 1968, loss of the Soviet submarine K-129 in 1968, K-8 submarine in 1970, K-219 in 1986, and K-278 in 1989. These accidents are covered in detail in "Broken Arrow, Volume II" by yours truly and the late James C. Oskins.