Friday, July 30, 2010
Oooh, Russians Probing Canadian Airspace? Oooh, Scary!
The problem with probing anything with the Bear is the Bear itself. In service since 1955 it's old. It's old and huge. It has four enormous engines turning enormous, counter-rotating propellers. That's a total of 32-enormous steel propeller blades spinning about giving this beast the radar cross section of a battleship. When the Russkies designed the Bear, stealth was not a consideration.
In effect, the Bear announces its presence well before it gets anywhere near Canadian airspace. The Russians put in an appearance, check how long it takes for a Canadian fighter to intercept, and then head home. No matter how much Peter MacKay wants to hype the event, the Russkies are hardly probing our defences. If they wanted to do that they might fly a much different profile with a far better aircraft.