Saturday, November 20, 2010
The Tacs Stay - Bring On the F-35s
The Cold War in Europe is a thing of history but the deadliest weapons developed to fight it are still there. Hundreds of B-61 nuclear bombs will remain in Europe, stored at supposedly secure bunkers at NATO and US airbases, mainly in Germany.
The B-61 (shown above) is a really versatile weapon. It can withstand speeds of up to Mach 2, it can be dropped from as low as 50-feet, and it can be configured to deliver a nuclear blast of between 1 and 340-kilotons. There's even a 'bunker busting' version that might be just dandy for vaporizing some less-than-friendly country's underground nuclear installations.
This bomb was developed in the 60's but, thanks to the Americans' Operation Enduring Stockpile (no, I didn't make that up) they're still going strong. The Pentagon even has a planned 2-billion dollar update planned for the remaining stocks. But wait, there's more! The B-61 is also being modified to make it compatible with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the very ship we've signed on to buy.
Marry a nuclear bomb to the F-35's stealth technology and you've got quite a package - an intruder aircraft capable of getting into the enemy's backyard undetected to nuke the hell out of something before the other side even knows it's there.
You see, all this nonsense about the F-35 defending Canadian airspace is pablum for the gullible. As the Australians discovered, the F-35 is all but worthless as an air defence fighter. One mission and it's gone. BUT - as a bomb sled using stealth to penetrate the other guy's air defences, it seems to have some utility.
Is there some reason nobody on Parliament Hill is asking these questions.