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.


Anonymous said...

Bomb trucks are nice to have around. When you call for air support you get what is available ..and it's first come, first served. It would be nice to have some cdn pilots up there.

The Mound of Sound said...

Yes bomb trucks do serve a useful purpose. That said, it wasn't a lack of air support capability that kept Canadian pilots out of Afghanistan but our government's decision not to deploy F-18s there.

The F35, however, isn't just a strike fighter. It's a stealth strike fighter which compromises most flight parameters for the sake of stealth technology that may be readily defeatable.

The key deficiency, however, is in air superiority/air defence. Our politicians are selling the F35 as a suitable fighter to safeguard Canadian airspace and defend our sovereignty. It's anything but and there are a number of more suitable, less expensive alternatives that we won't even consider in this "single source" non-competitive contract.