Vladimir Putin is a clever lad, but I think he’s mistaking expenditures for relevancy:
Russian Navy plans to buy the first batch of MiG-29K fighters set to be deployed on an aircraft carrier later this year, said a Navy official on Friday.
“This year we are planning to buy the first batch of several machines,” the RIA Novosti news agency quoted the unnamed official as saying…
A total of 24 MiG-29Ks will be purchased by the Navy in the next three to four years with an estimated cost of one billion U.S. dollars, said the report.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said in late last September that one of the most import issues for the Russian Armed Forces was to recreate Navy in the coming decade.
Russia has always been a continental power, rather than a naval one, and Admiral Gorshkov’s imperial Soviet fleet has been something of a millstone hung around the Russian neck ever since the Cold War ended. A couple dozen Fulcrums will not change that.
Prestige navies are rarely affordable in the long term.
I have just about narrowed down my search for the airplane I will purchase when my lottery number hits. Which it is mathematically possible, or it would be if I played the lottery.
It will be a Mooney 252 TSE to get there quickly, economically (and compactly) without blowing the top off half way to major overhaul like a 231 might. Or else a Beech B36TC, to get there with friends. Or, perhaps a V35B to get there classically. Or a Super Decathlon to get there aerobatically. A Super Cub or a 200 HP Aviat Husky (I can not decide which) to get there slowly, but not have to much worry about where “there” is, so long as there are a few hundred feet of nice grass or a river bend. Or maybe a Vans RV-8 that I could build myself, if I could trust myself to build an actual airplane that I myself might fly. Safely.
The Flanker? Right out. Operating costs, you know.
So. I’ve got that going for me.
So, there you have it: Build me an IFR equipped, taildragging airplane that will cruise at 200+ kts for four hours on 9 gallons per hour, can clear the western mountains, carry four people plus a modicum of cargo and I’ll buy it.
Once, you know: The lottery hits.
Speaking of lottery odds, some in the GOP have convinced themselves that Ted Kennedy’s former Senate seat might actually be up for grabs. Which I’ll believe when I see it, and anyway they’ll only change the rules so there’s no use getting het up about it. Health care reform is to be a “signature achievement” or summat like that. For your own good.
So just shut up and take your medicine.
Heretofore, these pages have been silent on the peccadilloes of the world’s greatest golfer, because frankly we don’t think about other things when watching a masterful ball smiter smite the ball masterfully. But with the news that Eldrick Tont Woods is all set to go to a sex rehab clinic – in Mississippi, of all places – enquiring minds want to know: Is this one of those 12-step things, or is it done cold turkey? Because if it’s the latter, a Dachshund puppy is cheaper it at $800 or so.
I speak from experience.
The Fort Hood shootings: Mistakes were made.
Mr. Gates cited poor communications about internal threats to the security of personnel, as well as a weak supervision by commanders, as systemic problems with implications that go beyond the single case of Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the military psychiatrist accused of the shootings.
The formal report, released at noon by the Pentagon, found that “some medical officers failed to apply appropriate judgment and standards of officership” when dealing with Major Hasan, and that more attention should have been paid to his overall performance rather than just his academic record.
Round up the usual suspects, but for God’s sake, stop staring at that elephant in the room.
You’ll only radicalize it.
Air Venture 2009. I really have to try and make it one of these years.
Land on the Yellow Dot.
Well, it’s been a long week, so I’ll let you go now.
Have a great weekend.