Friday, July 23, 2010

Even Better than C-17's

It was announced this week that the Canadian government was all set to buy a couple of wings worth of the almost new F35 Lightning 2. This marvel of aeronautical engineering and fighter for the vandouzieme century, has been a-borning since the 70's and, at last, it's almost ready for production. Being as since there are only a couple of other such "5th generation" hi-tech stealth aircraft on the market these days and having joined the developmental consortium a number of years, and millions of dollars ago, the F35 is really Canada's only choice. The US has a 'better' model - the F22 - but they're keeping that one for themselves and gallant l'il Israel - even though Obama thinks he's scrapped it. The Russkis have a similar (cheaper) machine in the works, but we don't do deals with terror, or commies,  the same way we missed buying all those Ruslans we still rent.

No, we're bound and bent to buy the Lightning 2 just like a US general said we were going to do some 12 years back. We don't get any choice - not if we don't want a whole shitload of trade problems. Never mind the fact that, given its comparatively short range, we'll have to be messing-up its vaunted stealth characteristics with a load of external fuel tanks. The single engine should provide better fuel economy than the double units in the CF18 and the F22, but zipping over the barren north won't be as worry-free, if that single mill goes out, there's only one other way down. But what the hell,  they make really good jet engines these days.

It was picturesque to see our 'civilian warrior', the devilishly handsome Minister of Defence, trying on the cockpit of one of the babies. I bet he never had the willies like that since his days in the video arcade. Sitting on all that raw power would be better than humping a Secretary of State or 'doing a circuit' on the star of the Stronach stable. We, in Canada, are fortunate to have a 'first soldier' who's cut to the rig of a Reinhard Heydrich, rather than someone who looks like Elmer Fudd and sounds like a relative of Porky Pig.

But don't let the photo-op fool anybody there's money to be spent here - 9 billion dollars (16 billion according to other sources) , the deal is pegged at. If you'll do some simple mathematics - by comparison to the 4 billion dollars we 'paid' for three C-17's, you'll realize what a real bargain the 65  Lightning 2's are, even without the maintenance part of the deal. Or what a real screwing somebody took for those 3 heavy lifters.

If you knew the anything about the untried and overrated Lightning 2, you might realize, as well, that somebody was 'assuming the position', again.

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