Sunday, October 23, 2011

F-35 "AN/PRC-77 II"

The AN/PRC-77 was a 14 lb rectangular metal box wiyh several knobs and dials on the top, two types of antenna, and telephone receiver gadget on the end of a rubber cord. From its first introduction in 1812 to retirement early 2000s, it was given to section and platoon level signallers or radio operator in the Canadian Army as punishment for being appointed the section and platoon signaller. The signaller or radio operator carried this box on one of several types medieval torture devices known as "harnesses" or sometimes "rucksacks." The operator's job was to was develop severe back injuries carrying this box whilst being abused by section and platoon commanders. Section and platoon commanders erroneously thought the AN/PRC-77 was something called a "radio." Radios are devices through which they or the signaller could reach mysterious entities broadly termed called "other call-signs" (usually other signallers being cursed by his/her superiors) but sometimes the all-powerful deity called "Sunray." Actual radios were not acquired in large numbers by the Canadian Army until the new millennium.

However to be a proper radio, the AN/PRC-77 would have to be able to transmit and receive radio signals converted to and from human voice along the electro-magnetic spectrum. It did not do this. The AN/PRC-77 might have looked like a radio, but this was merely to camouflage its true purpose, which was to be a 14 lb inert metal box carried by signallers so platoon and section commanders would have someone to abuse for their own misunderstanding of the nature of the AN/PRC-77. 

In much the same way the Royal Canadian Air Force - via several future generations of Canadian taxpayers - is about to purchase a large number of very expensive flying metal boxes called "F-35 Lightning IIs" which, like the AN/PRC-77, are supposed to be able to send radio signals to space and back so they reach a long way over the horizon. However, Lockheed-Martin, the company that makes the F-35 has been kind enough to tell the air people that the F-35 cannot do this. At least for several years.  In doing so, they reveal the true purpose of the F-35, which is in fact to be a flying machine designed to cause citizens to heap vast amounts criticism and abuse on the Conservative government and RCAF command staff for spending so much of their money on something that doesn't work.


Steve said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve said...

I just keep adding links to this post, but for those who don't already realize what a lead sled the F35 is.
Look at the process for the new ships, then look at the F35, there is something seriously amiss.

Edstock said...

IMHO, we should go with the F-18 Super Hornet.

15 years from now or before, there will be transonic/supersonic RPV "drone" interceptor replacements that will be ideal for Arctic use, whether or not they can log onto SkyNet.

Steve said...

@Edstock, I agree the Hornet is the best tactical choice, but from a good for the country I would go with a zero hour rebuild of the existing fleet on a contract very similar to the ship RFP. Lets build these planes in Canada at a reasonable cost.

Rev.Paperboy said...

jet fighters with no communication beyond line of sight? Those will be about as useful as an infantry company armed with flamethrowers and blindfolded.

Anonymous said...

That's why you get a trade and join a transport regiment. My hunk of metal (vrc 321) came attached to a SWB Rover which meant that it didn't matter if it worked or not as it didn't need packing on my back.

"Sunray" that's so yesterday along with "Bluebell" and all the other wonderfully flowery names given to the gods. But I do admit something was lost when call signs changed to a letter and two numbers. Skypilot is still a fun one to use though, but code renders the charm inappreciable to the casual listener

azawalli said...

Regardless of its faults, I'm impressed that Canada introduced the AN/PRC-77 in 1812 (see beginning of blog post).

Boris said...

A friend of mine trying to raise the 2ic a would use the callsign "Sunray-minor." You could be a little creative with those terms.

In retrospect I wish mine came attached to a vehicle. However, young light infantry are taught to fear vehicles of all kinds. Boarding them is usually considered a serious faux pas and an indication of moral failing. I still have a tendency to refuse rides and feel a little guilty when I accept them.

Oh yes. They've pulled musket balls out of some. Early form of armour they say. It's how we won that war.

Anonymous said...

Sunray and Sunray minor, it's all so public school, isn't it?
Here's a trip back in time

Boris said...

Ha! I used to keep a copy of that exact list in my kit because I'd rarely have to use anything beyond "Starlight". I'd forgotten a few. Never realised the 'minor' tag was proper, I just thought it was something we'd made up to distinguish between the positions.

ThinkingManNeil said...

Ahh, ye olde Prick. I was lucky enough to never have to hump that chunk o' crap (plus my own gear, FN, and ammo) around the boonies of Meaford but my heart always went out to the guys who did. NOT an easy job.

As for the F-35, don't get me started. The paws of the ticket punchers at DND HQ are become more hirsute than normal over this LockMart lemon but it's us rank and file Canadians who get screwed for their fantasies as per usual.


Mark, Ottawa said...

Lots more at the Canadian Defence & Foreign Affairs Institute's "3Ds Blog":

"Defence and Our Pathetic Politicians–Esp. the F-35"