Feeds

Aussie air zealot savages prêt-à-porter stealth fighter

Pulse-bomb prophet fears Russian tech dominance

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Any fighter you like, sir - choose an F-35 off the rack

But to be honest, to an outsider it looks as though this sector could really stand to shrink quite a lot. The militaries of the West, it appears, continue to plough far too much of their straitened funds into exotic combat jets designed for unlikely wars, and not nearly enough into bread-and-butter infantry, surveillance platforms, helicopters, transport planes and so on***. The British forces' present state of financial paralysis, for instance, is caused by the expense of the Eurofighter more than by any other single factor.

Perhaps the boutique world of beautiful bespoke fighter technology should indeed become a dull one-size-fits-all sausage machine: any fighter you like, sir, as long as it's an F-35. Choose your variant off the rack. If that's what it takes to get our actual real fighting people properly paid, housed, equipped and up to appropriate numbers, it could well be a price worth paying.

One thing's for sure, anyway. If anyone really wants to trash the F-35, they'll have to wheel out someone more credible than Dr Carlo "Semtex Pulse Bomb" Kopp. ®

Bootnotes

*A lesson the British "learned" from the Falklands, for instance, was that we should have a standing parachute brigade. As the Falklands lay well beyond the operational range of parachute transports from any available base this was a very curious conclusion to draw. It probably resulted mainly from the fact that the Parachute Regiment was the only Army (as opposed to Marine) unit to emerge from the campaign with much credit, no matter that they had travelled to the South Atlantic by ship. The UK has since admitted that it will in future conduct only "battalion level" parachute operations, if any. (The last real one was during the Suez conflict.)

**Who remembers the vaunted Mig-25 Foxbat, at one time the terror of the West? It was said to be able to fly at substantially better than Mach 3, handily beating almost any free-world jet. This actually was true in a sense - but a Foxbat has to have its engines scrapped after any such burst of speed. The Mig-25 didn't even come close to living up to the reputation that Western fearmongers had given it.

Another example of the oh-the-terrible-Russians mindset was the novel (and later, Clint Eastwood movie) Firefox, featuring the eponymous Russkie uberfighter - so potent that the technically outmatched West is forced to steal and copy it.

***There will also be those offering the traditional viewpoint that too much cash is ploughed into the military in general, and what about schools or hospitals etc. This is a rather old-fashioned notion, with the UK defence budget in modern times looking paltry compared to health, social protection etc.

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Super Cali signs a kill-switch, campaigners say it's atrocious
Remote-death button bad news for crooks, protesters – and great news for hackers?
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
Don't even THINK about copyright violation, says Indian state
Pre-emptive arrest for pirates in Karnataka
The police are WRONG: Watching YouTube videos is NOT illegal
And our man Corfield is pretty bloody cross about it
Felony charges? Harsh! Alleged Anon hackers plead guilty to misdemeanours
US judge questions harsh sentence sought by prosecutors
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Scale data protection with your virtual environment
To scale at the rate of virtualization growth, data protection solutions need to adopt new capabilities and simplify current features.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?