& Bullets

Musings on the worlds of aviation, military and international affairs.


With reviews of books that cover these topics


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Brize 2010 Reds 3

By psmiddy, Dec 11 2017 10:05AM

Adventures of a Cold War Fast-Jet Navigator by David Herriot, from Pen & Sword. Great stories, but flawed, very flawed. Review here.

By psmiddy, Dec 8 2017 05:34PM

Poignant and nostalgic to see all those photos in today’s papers of Her Majesty attending the commissioning ceremony of her namesake. But it is as well to remember that we have the two carriers as a legacy of Gordon Brown’s pork-barrel politicking. We can trumpet the arrival of these two large military assets, but we should remember the strain they have put on the rest of defence spending. No coincidence that today’s Times (which has become the go-to paper for defence matters with its defence editor Deborah Haynes) carries a small note to the effect that the current national security review may mean that the initial order of 138 F35s may be cut. All the current SoS Def will say is that HM QE will have “the jets she needs”. If this means that the RAF’s F35 strength will be reduced to vanishing point, the two carriers will already have wrought havoc!

There are many issues concerning the carriers which concern UK defence specialists, but in terms of its aviation equipment, there is also the question of whether it will have any ability for airborne resupply. We currently have no (fixed-wing) COD – aircraft to deliver and remove materiel to/from the ships. Much to worry about….

By psmiddy, Nov 29 2017 12:10PM

Just finished reading (over a prolonged period of time) Phoenix Squadron by Rowland White. If ever a book is over-written, this is it. He takes a noteworthy but not spectacular sortie by two Buccs (my favourite aircraft), and makes a book about it. Protagonists of naval aviation argue it is the supreme piloting craft, and I shall not dispute that. But White turns everything into high drama. Reading it is rather like rubbing your nose on a cheese grater. Good when it stops.