Feeds

Aussie air zealot savages prêt-à-porter stealth fighter

Pulse-bomb prophet fears Russian tech dominance

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
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?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.