Sunday, July 24, 2011

I&A: Subscribing & Contents So Far

It seems that the subscription info for I&A manages to be one of the most-requested items around here, so here it is again for those interested:

-Send an email to with Subscribe PDF in the subject line.

That's it!

Every month you get a link to download the current PDF file through Google Documents, with additional links to download all of the previous issues for those who weren't among the initial group of subscribers.

Here's an overview of the major features published in the last six months, broken down by content area:

Air Defense
-China's Hybrid SAM Sites
-China's Strategic SAM Network
-Contact Line: Armenia/Azerbaijan
-Nagorno Karabakh
-The S-300P/S-400

Current Events
-Iranian Silos "Unveiled"
-The J-20 in Imagery
-Latakia Port Facility
-The Libyan Lesson
-Pakistan and Bin Laden
-PRC NAVAIR Developments

Facility Analysis
-Karachi Port Facility

Historical Perspective
-Analysis Over Time
-OTH-SW Deployment in China
-SAM Modernization in China
-SAM Site Analysis

-Facility Drawings in GIMP
-Google Earth

Strategic Warfare
-Iranian SSM Facilities
-Pakistani Nuclear Facilities
-Soviet/Russian ABM Systems
-Soviet/Russian BMEW
-War of the Weird

Tech Notes
-China's New AAM
-IADS Classification
-The J-20's Real Impact

Saturday, July 23, 2011

I&A's Six Month Review

It occurs to me that I&A has now existed as a PDF version for about six months! With that in mind, I set my brain to work and I came to a few decisions about some of the PDF topics earlier today.

First off, the August air defense feature will cover Taiwan's SAM network. This will be an updated and expanded version of what I did here a while back. I've got a few updates and new site locations, and will rehash the old information to expand it and clarify a few things.

Additionally, future nationwide air defense topics may or may not showcase an individual nation. There are some clusters of nations where SAM sites are few and far between, predominantly in Africa. I plan to do a lot of them at once in a large feature. Or, they may all technically be listed separately, but I'll do a bunch at once for a given issue.

I'm still looking for additional content areas. Air Defense, Strategic Warfare, Facility Analysis...all are great focus areas, but I can always use more. That'll enable me to broaden the scope of each issue. So, if you have any ideas, let me know. Or better yet, write one and send it in!

This brings me to my next point: contributors. I'm extremely grateful for the effort put forth by I&A's current contributors, and hope they will continue to sumbit articles in the future. That being said, I'm certainly open to incorporating new authors into the system. Articles don't even need to have an imagery theme; the current issue has an article describing the PLAAF's new BVR AAM, for example. As long as it relates to either a military theme, or an application of imagery technology or analysis, it's more than welcome. You can even take a stab at the Links or Reading List content areas if you wish. So, if you have any ideas, contact me and we'll get talking.

As it stands now, the PDF has survived the first six months, and speaking for myself I'm definitely pleased with the results. My only two major gripes at this juncture are that 1) I could really use a bit more graphic design brainpower to, I don't know, give it a decent cover (and maybe an official I&A logo?), and 2) I need to try and make things more consistent in terms of length. Adding more features or additional topics in a given content area like Facility Analysis will help that, and I'm working on it. I'm also working on number 1, but don't hold your breath on seeing results anytime soon. Frankly you guys are lucky I can generate profile views of weapon systems, actual serious graphic design is another beast altogether!

That about sums everything up. Hopefully you're as pleased with everything as I am to this point. And if you aren't, drop me a line. As I mention in each issue, comments are always welcome and encouraged!

Oh, you may have noticed that the SAM Site Overview actually got updated yesterday...don't worry, it's still an active project and will always remain so. It's just that fewer and fewer new sites are being found, making it less important to update it every month when only, say, ten new EW sites have been ID'ed.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

July/August PDF updates

The July I&A PDF is being finalized right now and will begin distribution tomorrow afternoon. I'm basically working through the issue adding placemarks to the supplementary KMZ file right now.

August topics in the works so far are as follows:

-Facility Analysis: the Tabriz silo complex (far more detailed than what was presented in March)
-Software Review: SpaceEye
-Historical Perspective: Former Warsaw Pact nation SAM Sites
-Air Defense: Taiwan, maybe? The DPRK? Any other ideas?

More will be added as the process continues, but apart from the Tabriz piece and maybe the AD piece don't expect a gigantic amount of content. The idea is to actually get back on the "release these around the 15th of the month" schedule.

I'm also planning ahead for October, which I've decided will be a Russian-themed issue. That one will have a Facility Analysis of Sary Shagan, the Russian SAM Network, and the RVSN all in one gigantoid issue. I will probably keep the Russian SAM Network in October, updating it each year, with a different significant Facility Analysis.