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Combating Global Warming — Why Now?
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Combating Global Warming

If you think nuclear winter is a good idea. The Russian long range aviation and started flying Tu-95 strategic bomber missions over US bases again, starting with Guam. The Tu-95 Bear fills the same slot as the B-52, a long range strategic nuclear bomber. Very distinctive aircraft, you can’t miss them, or misidentify them.

Speaking of bombing, the Dow closed down 300 points for the day.


1 fallenmonk { 08.10.07 at 10:06 am }

When I was in the Navy and working for NSA/DIRNSA you used to be able to set your watch by the weekly Tu-95 flights that would leave Russia come down across Iceland to test the early warning there, then Greenland, Nova Scotia and then along the east coast to Cuba. Periodically they would swerve inside the line and we would scramble from various points along the coast. If I remember correctly every Tuesday from Russia to Cuba and then Friday they would do the reverse. Of course, we were doing the same to them on a pretty much weekly basis from Rota, Spain using the EC-121.

2 Bryan { 08.10.07 at 11:34 am }

We flew RC-130s out of Rota to annoy people in the Med.

These guys probably took off from Petropavlosk on the Kamkatka Peninsula to do Guam. They use to annoy the air defense guys at Galena and Tin City in Alaska by occasionally over-flying the North Slope.

Airborne bumper cars can cause problems.

The RC-135s out of Alaska, Nebraska, Britain, and Okinawa together with RC-130s from Japan did the same thing to them.

3 Badtux { 08.10.07 at 4:08 pm }

Tu-95’s are definitely interesting birds. The most interesting thing is that, unlike the B-52, they’ve never dropped a bomb in anger. All of the Soviets’ wars were either on their own territory (e.g. vs. the UPA in the Ukraine) or so close to their own territory (Afghanistan) that they could use light or medium bombers (and unlike us, the Soviets kept their medium bomber, the TU-22, as well as sold it to Iraq and Libya). Meanwhile the B-52 has carpet-bombed everything from Laos to Afghanistan to Iraq. Yeah, we Americans are a “peaceful” people, bwahahahah!

Anyhow, the Tu-95 is a perfect example of the principle that in the end, the only limit is physics. There has nothing ever been created that can do the Tu-95’s job as well as it does, albeit its job for the past 30 years has been to carry cruise missiles long distances and probe defenses while performing surveillance rather than actually bombing anything (unlike the B-52, which is an iron bomb dropper that can also carry cruise missiles). Even a B-52 would need a refueling at some point in journeys that the Tu-95 does entirely unsupported. Sometimes a design so perfectly matches the limits of what is scientifically possible that there is no possibility of ever replacing it, albeit minor improvements can (and have) been made. The Tu-95, as with the B-52, hits that bullseye and despite many attempts at replacing it over the decades was so successful that the Soviets actually re-opened the Tu-95 assembly line in the 1980’s and built another batch, which is the ones currently flying (yep, only 25 years old on average, as vs. older than most Americans for the B-52). If only Ronnie Ray-Gun had done the same with the B-52 rather than spending so many billions on the lemon B1B bomber, which takes twice as much time to turn around for sorties as compared to the B52 (talk about a hangar queen, albeit not as much as the B2!).

– Badtux the War Penguin

4 Bryan { 08.10.07 at 4:28 pm }

They are an amazing bird to see up close and personal. I dealt with the older Tu-16s, including one that did a photo recce run over my first aircraft incident on Shemya.

The Buff is still the most reliable bomb hauler around, and the Bone is a total waste of fuel and airspace. Yet, another aircraft built for politicians that serves no real purpose.

With today’s better materials and engine technology you could build new B-52s that would be more fuel efficient and easier to maintain while retaining all of the original’s strengths.

We need a new heavy lift helicopter, but nothing’s in the pipeline. We need a new rifle that is more suited to the environment in which people fight, because the M-16/M-4 is still too finicky. We need a lot of things that suffer from not being high-tech, high-profit solutions to problems we don’t have.

I will report that I still haven’t had a Osprey crash into my house, but there’s plenty of time and I live under the flight path to the low level range for the Special Ops guys.

5 Badtux { 08.10.07 at 5:13 pm }

And don’t even get me started on the new F22, Joint Strike Fighter and etc., yet another high tech, high profit solution to problems we don’t have. The F-16 is, and will be for the foreseeable future, the best fighter in the world — quick turnaround, a helluva dogfighter (F-22 does *not* look good in a dogfight with a F-16, it ain’t pretty!), carries a gigantic load longer distances than you’d think possible for such a tiny little fighter, cheap to build, cheap to maintain, don’t know anybody who hates them except Navy pukes who whine that an engine-out means a punch-out (probably a valid concern if you’re a hundred miles from land and a hundred miles from your carrier, otherwise a big yawn). Put a F-16 with the latest war-fighting gear into a dogfight with any fighter in the world and said other fighter is dead. But hey, punching out F-16’s for a measely $25M apiece has nowhere near the profit capability of punching out F-22’s at $200M apiece, nevermind that the F-16 whups the F-22’s behind in a dogfight…

6 Bryan { 08.10.07 at 7:26 pm }

The Army is trying to block the Soviets at the Fulda Gap.

The Marines want to land on Iwo again.

The Navy has gotten so damn advanced that they lose ships to World War I mines.

And my Air Force thinks they will fight the Romulans.

The US military is totally FUBAR.

How hard is it to figure out that the Air Force can eventually subdue any conventional army, but you need boots on the ground to hold it.

Combat assault troops are not suited to occupation or peace keeping, and are not trained for it. Too few troops always results in too much collateral damage, because they can’t protect themselves.

And the list goes on, and is covered in detail by too many military strategists to list.