Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Shocking fighter jet interoperability! With the Russians!

The Conservatives, egged on by the defence industry, keep telling us we need to ignore that looming deficit and pressing social needs (such as family home care and pension reform) and instead drop $16 billion we don't have on sole-sourced stealth fighters because:

a) We need to keep ourselves safe from 50 year old turboprop Russian bombers, and

b) Only by buying the same jets that fewer and fewer of our allies are buying can we "interoperate," which is totally important.

A first-of-its-kind hijacking exercise involving the U.S., Canadian and Russian militaries went so well that a similar drill is planned for 2011, an American officer said.

Jet fighters from Russia and the North American Aerospace Defence Command pursued a small passenger jet playing the role of a hijacked jetliner across the Pacific and back during the August exercise. The aim: To practice handing off responsibility for a hijacked jet between Russia and NORAD, a joint U.S.-Canadian command that for decades devoted its efforts to tracking Soviet forces.

Officers reviewed the exercise in November at NORAD headquarters at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. The verdict: It "was pretty much carried on flawlessly," said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Lee Haefner, who was the lead planner.

NORAD and Russian officers will meet in Russia in February to begin planning a second exercise, Haefner said.
But how could this happen, you ask? (Happen again, actually) We're cooperating with the Rushkies? What about their ageing bombers and the red menace that Peter MacKay wants us to be scared of? Haven't they seen Red Dawn?

And we were able to hold this joint exercise with the American and the Russians, even though each country was operating different airplane types? But how could they interoperate, and what not? It's a miracle they didn't all fly into each other with those totally different types of airplanes they were flying. Didn't they know Stephen Harper says that's impossible!

Doesn't this example of a joint military exercise gaming exactly the sort of threat we expect our next-generation fighter interceptors to meet, and done cooperatively with our American allies flying different aircraft, and even with the Russians, pretty much negate the Conservative argument for why we need to drop $16 billion in this uncompetitive, un-tendered F-35 deal?

Only if you want to let facts enter into the debate, I suppose.

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1 comment:

ridenrain said...

Are you suggesting this sort of thing shouldn't be done?

Instead of the "experts" from lefty think tanks, why don't you ask folks who actually know something about fighters? Conservative MP Laurie Hawn or even Ex-Liberal Wajid Khan are/were both fighter pilots and have been pretty clear that this is a good choice.