Open thread 14 December 2022

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34 Responses to Open thread 14 December 2022

  1. Leith says:

    First flight today for Turkish air-to-air combat drone. Jet-powered and supersonic, it has an 1100 km/hour max speed, a 930 km combat radius, and a five to six hour endurance. Designed by MIT whiz Selçuk Bayraktar, the same guy who brought out the TB-2 Bayraktar.

    But what is most fascinating is that the engine is Ukrainian built by Ivchenko, based out of Zaporizhzhia City.

    • JamesT says:


      It appears to me that suppression of enemy SAM complexes is the problem that both Russia and Ukraine are wrestling with right now. I haven’t heard about a lot of dogfights in this war.

      As I said in an earlier thread – the standout successes of this war seem to be the DJI and the Shahed-136 drones. Cheap, expendable, and able to get the job done. Putin and Erdogan should dial their egos down a bit and listen to what the grunts are asking for … in my opinion.

      • TTG says:


        The latest Shahed-136 attack on Kyiv consisted of 13 drones. None of them got through. As Ukraine figures out how to deal with them and obtain the means to deal with them, their utility will approach zero. If Russia could launch 100 to 200 drones at a time, day after day, such attacks would most likely become effective again.

        • JamesT says:


          I don’t know how many AC-3 and AMRAAM missiles we have in stock, but I find it hard to believe that Russia has to fire 200 Shahed-136s a day, day after day, to deplete those stocks. Sometimes you can take the Shahed-136 down with point defense guns, but to cover wide areas I believe one needs to use missiles which are not going to be either cheap or plentiful any time soon.

          • TTG says:


            The Shahed drones are shot down mostly by means other than our expensive missiles. They are susceptible to small arms fire. A car load of police in Kyiv shot one down with a few AKs. Territorial Defense Force AD units have been established equipped with pickup mounted heavy machine guns to deal with them. The Gepards typically take them down with just a few rounds. Stingers and Strelas also work. Even the Ukrainian Air Force is getting in on the act.

            The Patriots are more likely to be used on cruise and ballistic missiles. The Russians want the Iranian ballistic missiles and may eventually get them. They were pretty damned effective against that US airbase in Iraq. They may be better than what the Russians have.

      • Mark Logan says:


        A sign the Russians may be short of even the POS Iranian drones. They seem to be gathering a fleet of AN-2s near Ukraine to use as SAM bait.

        • JamesT says:


          I strongly disagree that the Iranian drones are “POS”. Cheap and able to get the job done is a bad combination? The US military has demonstrated in Ukraine that it has no near peers – it is light years ahead of everyone else in professionalism and capability.

          Russia stumbled into the Iranian cruise missiles (if the Shahed-136 is a drone then so is the Tomahawk) entirely by accident. But stumble into it they have – and to pretend that it is not working well for them is simply (in my view) foolish.

          They might be running low on Shaheds but how difficult is it to build more. I am expecting that it won’t be that difficult but I may be proven wrong.

          • JamesT says:

            I hesitate to make this comparison but I will. In world war II the German tanks were over-engineered and expensive while the T-34s were cheap. A Tiger tank cost 300k man hours to produce, a Sherman 48k man hours, and a T-34 3k man hours.

            Let’s hope for the sake of the Ukrainian nationalists that the Shahed-136 doesn’t turn out to be this war’s T-34.

          • JamesT says:

            The Washington Post is reporting that Iran will be supplying designs as well as technical supervision for a Russian Shahed-136 factory to be built in Tatarstan.

          • JamesT says:

            Sorry – I should have been clear that the factory is to be built in Tartarstan, Russia.

          • Mark Logan says:



            I suppose the information in the amassing of AN-2s is how frightened the Russians are of the coming offensive anyway. The barrel bottom is being heavily scraped.

      • Leith says:

        JamesT –

        I didn’t post the above comment to suggest UKR would use them against VVS aircraft in dogfights. Currently it is only a prototype. Production may not start for years. I suspect that UKR will not receive any of these Kizilelma UAVs for a long, long time.

        I only brought it up on this open thread due to the curiousness of its Ivchenko engine, made in Zaporizhzhia UKR.

  2. borko says:

    If anyone is interested, this article lists some of the most popular Russian military bloggers on telegram:

    Unlike official Russian sources they are often very well informed as to the situation on the ground. Some, like WarGonzo, are actually on the ground.

    Also they are usually very critical regarding Russia’s mistakes.

    For example, this is an excerpt from a recent piece by Andrei Morozov, one of the mentioned mil blogers.

    At first, you, citizens, did not notice how, during the “de-escalation” in March, we ran out of large mobile armored formations and, accordingly, the ability to carry out some kind of encirclement operations. And “battles of attrition” began, with the echeloned fortified defensive lines being gnawed through.

    Then, in May-June, they did not notice that we were running out of more or less sane infantry, and they decided to compensate for this with artillery fire.

    Then we ran out of shells and “Russia-24” shows us f*cking science fiction about “taking apart the fortifications” with a 57-mm anti-aircraft gun.

  3. Sam says:

    “The upper ranks of twitter..were absolutely loaded with people who once did Intel work for government agencies, at least 15..and possibly many more”

    Do we have a constitutional republic in the United States?

  4. Fred says:

    Spent some time puppy sitting for a friend. Good deed for the holidays, though I think not having a doggy door up here on the 3rd floor was a bit a surprise for said pup. Got some nice leg work-outs in though.

    • jim ticehurst.. says:

      Time For Some Peace on Earth..Good Will toward Men..Women and Children…Any Buster Brown and His Dog Tide…Silent Nite..

      • Fred says:


        Odysseus in his return to Ithica recieved a wag of the tail in recognition from his hound. This fine pup gave howls of delight upon returning to his master.

  5. Valuenotfound says:

    Anyone have the odds that Bankman-Fried will have an “accident” in prison? Or maybe suicide?

    • jerseycityjoan says:

      I can’t begin to predict anything about those people. I don’t know if they themselves can predict their own reactions and behavior.

      They were hyper aware, informed and educated yet were convinced they could do whatever entered their minds with no possible negative future consequences.

      What they think laws are for heaven only knows. Certainly their indifference to lawbreaking and how their choices might affect others has nothing whatsoever to do with bravery.

    • Fourth and Long says:

      Perhaps he can drown in a riptide just off the beach where Doctor Mengele is reported to have perished after a friendly game of pinochle with Martin Borman and Eva Braun’s sister. However I myself pray for swifter justice. Something televised, possibly, involving 4 turbocharged stock cars and ropes. Why that idea occurs to me is something unwise to publish. If Zeus would lend mankind that rock on which he confined Prometheus along with an eternally ongoing supply of large hungry eagles who flunked out of hepatic biopsy school .. it would present a worthy alternative.

    • Notfakebot says:

      He’ll become somebody’s wife before that happens.

    • Fred says:

      “died suddenly”; but definitely not the vax.

  6. MJ J Steinberg says:

    Fusion Energy is the Beacon of Hope

    A breakthrough that should become top priority for the United States;

    The United States has a sad history of failed policy decisions regarding fusion power, but science and the inquiring mind that is the essence of human existence continues the journeys into unknown territory.

    In the 1970s, the US government had an Office of Fusion Energy in the Dept. of Energy headed by Dr. Stephen Dean; Princeton University had a Tokamak research reactor; and progress was being made. The Office of Fusion Energy was shut down in the late 1970s and funding dried up as part of the campaign against all nuclear energy in a panic engendered in part by the sci-fi propaganda piece, The China Syndrome.

    In 1979, Dr. Dean went into the private sector where he continues to study and promote fusion energy and give interviews and speeches about the crucial importance of fusion.

    The company he helped to found,, is a treasure trove of information, not only about “feasibility” but about the urgency of this technology.

    Dr. Dean can be reached at

  7. LeaNder says:

    Will Assange soon reach his high security cell in the US? The Country of the brave & free. Free speech and free press???

    • Pat Lang says:

      Fair point. OTOH what would Germany do if a 3rd country national suborned a German soldier and received from him secret e-mail from the MoD and Foreign Ministry and then this 3rd country national published these on the internet? All is forgiven?

      • LeaNder says:

        First is the US Army, Second Chelsea Manning, and then “A third country national”, reporting about a US war in the second foreign country arbitrarily strafed for 9/11? …

        What do you feel should happen to him?

      • borko says:

        I can understand the US would go after Snowden, a US citizen, former CIA employee, working for NSA (via Dell), betraying the trust granted to him.

        Assange however ?
        Who’s going to keep our governments honest if not journalists ?

    • KjHeart says:

      I am not at all certain that Assange will get a fair trial in the US.

      An accurate trial, run by an honest prosecutor, would answer a lot of questions.


  8. KjHeart says:

    on the FTX – SBF story

    Looks like he (SBF) ‘has accepted extradition’ to the US, he is going, however, to New York, NY. ..

    There is so much ‘spin’ on all the stories that I am skeptical on just about everything I read ATM.

    some thoughts;
    since SBM ‘accepted extradition’ to New York, that concerns me about ‘plea bargaining’ etc.

    I had hoped to see a more extensive ‘client list’ but with so many ‘clients’ applying for ‘protections’ from the courts (ie: anonymity), I am thinking that it will be easier to see Epstein’s full client list than SBF’s.

    On the Ukraine financial connection (speculating here) It appears to be correct that SBF took money for Bitcoin purchases (specifically) and NEVER bought the Bitcoin – that suggests money laundering from that point onward… this does NOT show that the laundering ended up involving Ukraine banking.

    “The deputy crypto chief of Ukrainian government says war-torn country used FTX only as a fiat on-ramp.”


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