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2012-07-30 Home Front: WoT
Pentagon sez defense contractors at the root of Palantir systems row
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Posted by Besoeker 2012-07-30 07:30|| E-Mail|| Front Page|| [6463 views ]  Top

#1 Let's remember the Army Tank Command of WWII which kept insisting the M4 Sherman did the job, which it did in '42-43 time frame but by '44 was out classed by the Mk V Panther. Meanwhile ATC sat on the M-26 a comparable tank arguing that it could ship two Shermans for every M-26. In France there were units that recovered killed Shermans, refitted them, repainted the interiors to cover the blood and guts of the prior crews, all in time to reissue the vehicle to another team. It would take the losses in the Bulge to finally get ATC to send the new tank to Europe. When you're in Washington the direct effects of the war don't effect decisions. Circle the wagons. Protect your bureaucratic empire.
Posted by Procopius2k 2012-07-30 10:35||   2012-07-30 10:35|| Front Page Top

#2 Distributed Common Ground System is an over-engineered, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink project that will never fly.

It is being shamed by a focused "good enough system that is saving lives now. This is a repeat of the MBT-70 vs M-1 Abrams episode.

In the Obama tradition, this must be stopped.
Posted by Frozen Al 2012-07-30 12:03||   2012-07-30 12:03|| Front Page Top

#3 You got it Frozen Al. Interesting to watch the Pentagon squirm and deny. Also interesting to note that the Marines were the one's that insisted upon Palantir, and told the Pentagon to shove DCGS up their collective asses. I still don't think the Army SOF community has stopped using Analst Notebook (AnB).
Posted by Besoeker 2012-07-30 12:50||   2012-07-30 12:50|| Front Page Top

#4 Partly true, Frozen Al. But Palantir is standalone whereas DCGS is C4ISR fusion oriented - a significant difference.

Yes, DCGS-A is a mess.

No, Palantir doesn't fulfill all or even most of the targeted capability of DCGS. What it does do, it does okay. But it relies on other systems for fusion and preprocessing.
Posted by lotp 2012-07-30 13:57||   2012-07-30 13:57|| Front Page Top

#5 I knew it was bad when I saw the Tolkein-theme name. Major nerd factor.
Posted by mojo 2012-07-30 13:57||   2012-07-30 13:57|| Front Page Top

#6 No, Palantir doesn't fulfill all or even most of the targeted capability of DCGS. What it does do, it does okay. But it relies on other systems for fusion and preprocessing.
Posted by lotp


Correct, DCGS is a cloud, a somewhat flat newwork, which permits access to various tools and sites. Palantir is simply a tool which permits you build "investigations" via key word or name tagging traffic. It links the tags, archives the traffic, and does a good job of it. Once the investigation is created, Palantir permits you to continue building your analysis whilst adding to the investigation(s) as needed. It's a good tool. DCGS is an out of control, software developers proprietary Valhalla. The Army got sucked in years ago and now can't (or refuses) to get out.

Posted by Besoeker 2012-07-30 14:44||   2012-07-30 14:44|| Front Page Top

#7 As a long time systems analyst (30+ years) I have significant experience in problems like this. If any of you have heard of SAP you will understand.

The best thing about SAP is that it is an integrated system. The worst thing about SAP is that it is an integrated system.

This is a truism of all large complex system environments. They are like battleships in that they can be, when properly crewed and used, devastatingly powerful. BUT, they are also like battleships in that they are inflexible and not maneuverable.

You need to be able to quickly modify the system and incorporate improvements (not synonomous with NEW stuff) while maintaining the integrity of the integration.

As one whose job was mostly doing the incorporating, this is hard to do and provided a pretty good living. The hardest thing to do was fight the political battles or those invested in the new and the old.
Posted by AlanC 2012-07-30 16:09||   2012-07-30 16:09|| Front Page Top

#8 SAP has been a PITA
Posted by Frank G 2012-07-30 18:58||   2012-07-30 18:58|| Front Page Top

#9 This argument is turning into a Ford vs Chevy thing, which IMHO is dumb. The argument the Army needs to have is about the right amount of features that an intelligence and fusion system needs to have.

The appetite for additional features will never be denied by a defense contractor, who gets paid more to do more, and is fiduciarily responsible to the stock holders to make more money. So, a wise government customer would work hard to stick with a clear vision of what is needed and get it done in a finite amount of time.
Posted by rammer 2012-07-30 20:09||   2012-07-30 20:09|| Front Page Top

#10 The Sherman's primary role was Bunker-Busting, a role which it did very well, not to take on German tanks in mano-a-mano direct or frontal combat where opposing tanks face each other "gun-on-gun" like an 18th or 19th century gentlemen's duel - destroying enemy tanks per se was the job or mission of the Tank-Destroyer corps [TD], and even they in most did not engage German tanks in direct or frontal combat, but via stealthy hunting + ambush in the German rear, flanks, + threads.

That being said, the Sherman's negative reputation on the MSM-Net vee the German Panther is not supported by Army, Allied or even captured German records. Properly handled, the Sherman knocked out many a Panther + Tiger.

* PANTHER = IMO not a Medium tank but a "LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT/TIGER", the BATTLECRUISER = LIGHT BATTLESHIP of the German "Tiger" heavy tank force.

The advent of the M26 Pershing symbolized the merging of the Sherman's bunker-busting + TD's predatory/hunter-killer missions - instead of two specialist or "niche" tanks, the US will have one to do both missions + more.
Posted by JosephMendiola 2012-07-30 20:14||   2012-07-30 20:14|| Front Page Top

#11 Also, I understand the "Firefly" version of the Sherman was a lot better than the standard Sherman.
Posted by Thing From Snowy Mountain 2012-07-30 20:22||   2012-07-30 20:22|| Front Page Top

#12 crewed by Browncoats?
Posted by Frank G 2012-07-30 20:27||   2012-07-30 20:27|| Front Page Top

#13 If they were, they'd have called the gun 'Vera.'
Posted by Thing From Snowy Mountain 2012-07-30 20:56||   2012-07-30 20:56|| Front Page Top

23:58 JosephMendiola
23:43 JosephMendiola
23:34 Thing From Snowy Mountain
23:30 mojo
23:29 Iblis
23:28 tipper
23:26 JosephMendiola
22:52 Iblis
22:46 Mullah Richard
22:18 Barbara
22:07 airandee
21:50 Besoeker
21:45 Mike Kozlowski
21:44 rammer
21:39 Frank G
21:33 swksvolFF
21:24 Pappy
20:56 Thing From Snowy Mountain
20:47 Thing From Snowy Mountain
20:43 JosephMendiola
20:41 Barbara
20:40 JosephMendiola
20:30 Barbara
20:27 Frank G
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