Unlikely and backdoor procurements - China et al

Yokel

LE
You mean Krytron switches Mr Bond?
Yes he probably did. Anyway they are notable example of what I was talking about as versions of them have other industrial and commercial uses.

Maybe it was US Customs that seized them?

In the spirit of ARRSE, I wonder if any locally manufactured things produced at unit level could count? For example using commercially available things to improvise?
 

Sadurina

Old-Salt
Those switches did have a commercial use, switching lasers on/off very quickly indeed. Ater they bacame a problem, the circuits were redesigned to use a solid state device.
 

endure

GCM
Maybe not :)


Because it emits alpha particles, plutonium is most dangerous when inhaled. When plutonium particles are inhaled, they lodge in the lung tissue. The alpha particles can kill lung cells, which causes scarring of the lungs, leading to further lung disease and cancer. Plutonium can enter the blood stream from the lungs and travel to the kidneys, meaning that the blood and the kidneys will be exposed to alpha particles. Once plutonium circulates through the body, it concentrates in the bones, liver, and spleen, exposing these organs to alpha particles. Plutonium that is ingested from contaminated food or water does not pose a serious threat to humans because the stomach does not absorb plutonium easily and so it passes out of the body in the feces.


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It's weird stuff. You can pick a piece up that's sub critical and the hydrogen atoms in your skin will act as a moderator and make it go critical.
 

4(T)

LE
Rhodesians bought a load of Cessna Skymasters from France , civil types, went to a local airport and fitted them with long range tanks in the back seats. Pilots from Rhodesia with their French co pilots flew them on false papers , supposed to be going to Madagascar I think? Some of the French pilots, well maybe all of them knew what was going on. On arriving all were weponised and did sterling work.

Also bought a load of Aermacchi AL -60s from Italy, again on arrival fitted withmachine guns and weapon pods.

Late war they needed more helicopters. Trying to get them was difficult, even tried to do a deal with the Vatican to buy some , few weeks of paying for a couple of Cardinals on the piss in 4 star hotels put paid to that. In the end the managed to get some Bell UH-1s through a few dealers that were ex Israeli. The helicopters that was.

Turned out they were all mostly sheds , very sand damaged . Cost a fortune to bring over ex US Army Techs and pilots to strip them down and rebuild and fly them.

Also a lot of other Army kit from SA and other locations.

Living in Dar as a kid, I recall one day a cluster of expats helping a (white) Zambian farmer whom we saw from time to time load up his wagon for the epic drive back to his place. He'd turn up once a year or so to pick up agricultural machinery and bits shipped in via Mombasa or Dar ports.

Anyway, apart from loading this guy up with beer and sandwiches for his safari, the guys were helping him unbox and repack machinery parts so that they all fitted better into the limited load area he had. Some of the spares were destined for his brother in Bulawayo.

My father and I got a sack full of greasy packaging to take home and burn, which we did. Much later in life I twigged that this was because the packaging labels included vocab numbers and the name Hawker Siddeley - by gum I never knew they made tractor spares!
 

Yokel

LE
The Soviets nicked a Leopard 1 engine and sailed it home as the motor in a yacht.
That sounds like a cracking yarn, but was the diesel engine from an MBT really so sensitive? Getting their hands on the armour (also used by the British Challenger and the American Abbrams) would have been a massive coup for the Soviets.

By whatever means, a large percentage of Soviet systems contained technology stolen from the West. How did they do it? What can we learn from it?
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
That sounds like a cracking yarn, but was the diesel engine from an MBT really so sensitive? Getting their hands on the armour (also used by the British Challenger and the American Abbrams) would have been a massive coup for the Soviets.

By whatever means, a large percentage of Soviet systems contained technology stolen from the West. How did they do it? What can we learn from it?
Read it in a book, so it must be true. :)

Who knows? It was obviously back in the day and getting your hands on the opposition's technology - any of it - is always a bonus.

Anyway - want to buy a yacht? Runs well in the snow...
 

Truxx

LE
That sounds like a cracking yarn, but was the diesel engine from an MBT really so sensitive? Getting their hands on the armour (also used by the British Challenger and the American Abbrams) would have been a massive coup for the Soviets.

By whatever means, a large percentage of Soviet systems contained technology stolen from the West. How did they do it? What can we learn from it?
The thing about the MTU engine was its power to volume. Nothing like it. Smaller volume, less armour wrapped around it. Less armour, less tank weight. Less tank weight better mobility. That's the reason the Spams went gas turbine.
 

anglo

LE
Rolls Royce sold jet engines that were used in MIG-15 fighters that killed many US and UN personnel during Korean War. Apparently was a lost bet over a snooker game.

In 1946, the Soviets were invited to a Rolls-Royce factory. The delegation in attendance included Artem Mikoyan (the man who put the 'Mi' in 'MiG') himself. Mikoyan was then invited to visit the house of a Rolls-Royce executive, where they played billiards.

Artem Mikoyan was great at billiards. In fact, he may have used a textbook shark move, losing the first game and then raising the stakes on the second. Here's the bet he made: If the Russian wins, Rolls-Royce will have to sell jet engines to the Soviets.

Stalin himself was incredulous, reportedly saying, "what idiot would sell us their jet engines?"

The Russians agreed to use the acquired engines for non-military purposes exclusively, which they did... until they were able to make a Russian copy of the Rolls-Royce engines, then called the Klimov RD-45. The engine was fitted into the MiG-15 and was fully operational in time for the Korean War, taking to the skies with weaponry designed to take down B-29 Superfortress bombers.

The MIG-15 was the dominant fighter over Korea until the introduction of the American F-86 Sabre. The Sabre was more than a match for the new MiG, garnering a 10-to-1 combat victory ratio in the war. It was also the plane flown by all 39 United Nations fighter aces.

Sabres and MiG-15s would be at each other's throats for the duration of the Korean War. The last Sabre was retired from the U.S. military in 1956 whereas the MiG-15 saw service around the world throughout the 1960s. In fact, the plane is still flying with the North Korean People's Air Force to this day.
Retired

1971 (Royal Australian Air Force)
1982 (Indonesian Air Force)
 

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