French aircraft-carrier: a floating embarrassment

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Tech Sergeant
Apr 6, 2005
The Long Beach newspaper yesterday had no such rosy outlook for the C-17 and its effect on things. It will be a loss of $8.45 billion and 25,000 jobs nationwide.

And the Germans are just a bit tardy getting in on UCAVS as it seems as though just about everybody else already has. :)

PS Love your cat!
This has been a major issue for Boeing ever since they "swallowed up" McDonnell Douglas many years ago. Having briefly worked at that facility as a consultant I know there are many still bitter over the decision to stop building the MD-11 and the B717, let alone being part of that old dynasty and watching the company swallowed up by the "enemy." Boeing has some challenges there - to reconstruct another assembly line is no easy task, especially doing it the "Peoples Republic of California" which as become hostile to heavy manufacturing primarily due to past environmental situations. Boeing could also let the C-17 run its course, close the facility when done and take the win falls of selling off the remainder of the facility, but then again they may be facing environmental skeletons left behind from the McDonnell Douglas days - I witnessed how ugly this situation could become when Lockheed closed down its Burbank facility. We found chemicals, parts, even an old wing jig with part of an assembly buried through out the facility!!!

I have heard on at least 3 other occasions where Boeing was considering moving one of its production lines to Long Beach. At one time there was talk about bringing the very profitable 737 line to Long Beach and even opening "a second front" when airliners were really selling but both situation drifted into rumor heaven, possibly these stories started in an attempt to bait incentives from the City of Long Beach and the State of California.

As this news is emerging from Seattle I take more stock in its seriousness, but I think it may be the first waring flag Boeing is giving to California that the final demise of the long Beach facility may be around the corner if something isn't offered in return by the Federal and State government. I know Long Beach may stand to loose a Major employer but also gain a win fall in property values if Boeing put the wrecking ball to the place in 2008, providing it doesn't take 20 years to clean up the place!

Let's see - Hughes, Lockheed, McDonnell Douglas, NA Rockwell have all disappeared in the past 25 years, it reinforces my decision to leave aircraft manufacturing and California, but I feel sorry for those still at Long Beach who were holdovers from the "good ole days."
Nobel Gets Prize GBP 40M Contract for Bunker-Busting Bazookas

Only the British could look at a bunker-buster bazooka and call it an "Anti-Structures Munition." Anyway, following a rigorous competition which included full test firings of the weapon and soldier trials, a GBP 40 million ($69.7 million at current exchange) contract to deliver these weapons has just been awarded to Dynamit Nobel Defence. Yes, that Nobel, who makes the Panzerfaust family of weapons. This contract includes combat weapons, training systems, and contractor logistic support for the first five years.
Interesting stuff about Boeing vs MD et al.

I like the C17 and thought it would go on and on...

MW also in the news is that old warhorse, the 737.... my first ever jet flight was in a 737... ugly brute which I was to fly in many times in the US.

Boeing and Southwest Airlines celebrated the 5,000th 737 to come off the production line as thousands of Boeing employees and special guests attended an historic delivery ceremony at the company's Renton, Wash., manufacturing facility. Guinness World Records has acknowledged the 737 as the most-produced large commercial jet airplane in aviation history.

Xiamen Airlines is set to fly its first Boeing 737-800 commercial jetliner.... maybe set up a new plant in china for C17 etc - ho ho!
All things come to pass. That is the ebb and flow of the aircraft industry. For decades the Long Beach area was influenced by Douglas and it's later incarnations. They'd hire 20,000 lay off 9,000 in 10 months then bring back 6,000 4 months later. Always up and down.....
I managed 10.5 years at Lockheed, then got layed off from Rohr and later BAE, becuase I was also involved with aircraft maintenance as well as manufacturing, I never had a hard time finding another job.

Te day I got layed off from Lockheed (July 1990) 6,000 people were let go that week!!!
During a ceremony at the
Joint Systems Manufacturing Center - Lima, General Dynamics Land Systems, a
business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), today delivered the first five
of 59 M1A1 Abrams Integrated Management (AIM) tanks to the Commonwealth of
Australia. Awarded in November 2005, this foreign military sales contract is
valued at $70 million. The M1A1 AIM tanks will replace the Australian Land
Forces' aging Leopard main battle tanks.
The Abrams M1A1 AIM tanks are survivable and affordable vehicles with
excellent potential for network-centric warfare that will provide Australian
Forces with increased connectivity, mobility and firepower. Additionally, the
M1A1 AIM provides a cost-efficient armor solution as it incurs low operational
and support costs, and reports high operational readiness rates. Under this
contract, M1A1 Abrams tanks from the U.S. Army inventory are completely
disassembled, overhauled and refurbished to like-new "zero-kilometer, zero-
hour" condition.
General Dynamics Land Systems Senior Vice President for Production,
Delivery and Support Richard O. Gillette told ceremony attendees the process
for the Australian tanks began last year when 59 M1A1 Abrams were inducted
into General Dynamics Land Systems' partner facility, the Anniston Army Depot.
"There, the vehicles were stripped of their component parts," Gillette said.
"The process comes full circle here at Lima, where upgrades and technology
enhancements are completed. Today's ceremony celebrates the first major
deliveries under Australia's Foreign Military Sales program with the United
States. This is a major achievement."
Brigadier Damian Roche, the Australian Army Military Attache to the United
States, represented the Commonwealth of Australia. General Dynamics Land
Systems and Australian vehicle crews participated in a symbolic vehicle log
book presentation to signify the transfer of the tank from the contractor to
the Australian government. Additionally, General Dynamics Land Systems, U.S.
Army Foreign Military Sales program managers and Roche signed the first
vehicle's official certificate of acceptance.
The Australian M1A1 AIM tank has a cruising range of up to 480 kilometers,
the ability to reach speeds of 66 kph on-road (41 mph) and up to 48 kph off-
road (30 mph), while carrying four crewmen and ammunition. The primary weapon
is a 120mm smooth-bore cannon; it is also equipped with a 50-caliber machine
gun for the tank commander and two additional 7.62mm machine guns. The Abrams
can fire an advanced kinetic energy tungsten penetrator round against vehicles
and a multipurpose round for infantry support.
The Abrams' survivability is enhanced through its nuclear, biological and
chemical protection system, crew compartmentalization from munitions and
armored blow-off panels, which allow stowed munitions to vent to the
atmosphere if detonated.
The 59 M1A1 AIM tanks will be shipped to Australian Land Forces in two
increments: June and December 2006. The tanks are part of a large worldwide
fleet with known, stable operating costs, and are expected to be in service
beyond 2020.

General Dynamics, headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, employs
approximately 72,200 people worldwide and had 2005 revenue of $21.2 billion.
The company is a market leader in mission-critical information systems and
technologies; land and expeditionary combat systems, armaments and munitions;
shipbuilding and marine systems; and business aviation. More information can
be found online at
FYI aka DYK: The Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) group recently uncovered the fact that since New Labour came to power, Britain has supplied the Indonesian regime with £323 million worth of military material, that's 83% of all Indonesia's weapon imports.

Good old 'New Labour'.... well, don't blame me, I didn't for them.

"Global military expenditure is now nearly $1 trillion every year. It is the largest item of government spending in the world".
Well this morning, here in the US, there was a report that not even the Indian ship yards, which have an abismal safety record, may not be allowed to break up the carrier because of safty concerns with asbestos. The report was on NPR's Morning Edition.

Still when either restoring these old ships or breaking them apart the health concerns must be huge especially if they are pre '70s and '80s ships. I can only imagine, for example, how hard, expensive, and hazerdous it was to even get ships like the Yorktown, Alabama, Intrepid, or even the Dreadnaught to make them into enviornmentally safe museums. I can only imagine the dangers if these ships were broken up.


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