Tuesday, October 31, 2017

America's so-called allies shouldn't use only American fighter aircraft - there are probably secret kill switches inside [COMPACTIDEA]

Good to see that aside from US-made fighter planes, both Spanish [permanent link] and Italian [permanent link] air forces also own and operate European-built fighter planes. Unlike the Canadians, whose fighter jets are all American [permanent link], the Europeans seem to be wary of depending fully on the [untrustworthy] Americans. The Italians, in addition to flying European-built jets, also operate such an exotic fighter plane as AMX International AMX. Great. In all likelihood, crooked Americans have incorporated covert kill switches into their machines, to be used to remotely and secretly disable the aircraft during times of war [perhaps with plausible deniability as well].

Update [6-Nov-19]: This NYT story from 2009 shows how Americans themselves look at everyone else with complete distrust, when it comes to incorporating foreign-made chips/microprocessors into US defence equipment. But the same Americans want their so-called allies to blindly trust American military gear, and not to inspect it or question it or ask for its source code.

"As advanced systems like aircraft, missiles and radars have become dependent on their computing capabilities, the specter of subversion causing weapons to fail in times of crisis, or secretly corrupting crucial data, has come to haunt military planners. The problem has grown more severe as most American semiconductor manufacturing plants have moved offshore."

"In the future, and possibly already hidden in existing weapons, clandestine additions to electronic circuitry could open secret back doors that would let the makers in when the users were depending on the technology to function. Hidden kill switches could be included to make it possible to disable computer-controlled military equipment from a distance. Such switches could be used by an adversary or as a safeguard if the technology fell into enemy hands."

"According to a former federal prosecutor, who declined to be identified because of his involvement in the operation, during the early ’80s the Justice Department, with the assistance of an American intelligence agency, also modified the hardware of a Digital Equipment Corporation computer to ensure that the machine — being shipped through Canada to Russia — would work erratically and could be disabled remotely."

So basically this NYT story says exactly what my blog posts have said.

Update [25-Apr-20]: Sensible decision by Germany to replace Tornado by buying a mixture of >2/3 of European Eurofighter jets and <l/3 US-made F-18 jets. Former will ensure European industrial base concerns + eliminate possibility of secret kill switches [plus transmission of mission data to USA], the latter will placate USA + continue Germany's nuclear deterrent capability.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Russia shouldn't support imperialist America's aircraft industry by giving it lucrative orders - instead, buy planes from America's rivals

Pobeda is a subsidiary of Aeroflot, and Aeroflot is sort of a state-owned Russian company. And Russia is being hurt and pricked by America in every possible way these days, based on ridiculously phony pretexts and a barrage of totally false allegations. Why then, should Russia give billions of its money to the right arm of the American military–industrial complex - Boeing? The same Boeing that works so hard behind the scenes to demonize Russia so as to sell and deploy weapons against it? It's better that Russian money goes to others and it's better that Russian money nurtures Boeing's rivals.

In my view, Pobeda should've initially leased planes to start operations, and these could've been any model - 737s, A320s, etc. However, purchase orders should've been placed only for the Bombardier CSeries CS300 and Embraer E-Jet E2 E195-E2 planes [assuming airline's route choices can be fulfilled by these planes]. Leased planes should've been used while the Bombardiers and Embraers arrived. If these two planes aren't fit for Pobeda's needs, Pobeda should've bought Airbus A320/A321 planes, but its purchase of Boeing planes isn't good for Russia in any way.

Of course, orders can also be placed for Russia's own Superjet and MC-21, but while the former has limited range and payload, the latter's delivery is still into the future.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Imagining a new Soviet Union, a new USSR, a separate, mini world in itself

West was extremely jealous of the Soviet Union in part because of its colossal size - an incredible >15% of the world's land area was under this single superpower. After the unfortunate breakup of the USSR, West is similarly very jealous of Russia's huge size, and the natural strategic advantages as well as a wealth of natural resources that come along with such size.

No one knows whether the Soviet Union will come back. One cannot say a definite yes, and one can't say a definitive no either. Poland might curse and blame Russia at the top of its voice today, but will this same Poland be a province of a future version of USSR one hundred years from now, no one can say this, just like it's hard to imagine today that the same Poland was central to the Warsaw Pact.

One thing that's certain, however, is that we can at least imagine a new Soviet Union. A new USSR that carries forward the good things from the previous USSR, but that's devoid of its shortcomings. That similarly has the best ingredients from the EU, but not those that make the EU bitter.

  1. A mammoth, common airline - like Aeroflot - that flies all across USSR and also globally, thus getting huge efficiencies because of its scale.
  2. A common air-defence/anti-missile system that benefits hugely from the vast global footprint - both land area and coastal length - of USSR.
    1. Due to the massive footprint and also deep land connections to various nations of Europe, Europe would've been kept in check by the missiles and nuclear weapons stationed all across the new USSR.
  3. A common currency that becomes a force in the world because of its use by the large cumulative population of USSR.
  4. Free trade, free movement of capital and free movement of labor among the 15 constituent nations.
  5. Despite the above commonalities, the USSR shouldn't have a central government - instead the 15 constituent nations should have their own governments so that the aspirations of these 15 groups of people are fulfilled.
  6. Also, having 15 separate nations increases the political/diplomatic power of the bloc because you get 15 votes instead of just 1. Also, wherever a selection has to be done by random ballot, you have 15 slips there instead of just 1, multiplying your probability of winning the seat.
  7. And so on.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Russia shouldn't have let Transaero airline die, and lessons for the future

Russia doesn't have too many large and/or famous brands, especially when it comes to consumer products. This allows the typical ignorant Western news reader [and also journalist] - who has no knowledge of Russia's sophisticated military equipment exports or its best-in-the-world space technologies or its aircraft-manufacturing capabilities - to sling insults such as "...doesn't produce anything that anybody wants to buy...".

This naturally implies that whichever small or large brands Russia does have, it should cherish and nurture and protect those dearly. Like Transaero. It operated for 25 years before going bankrupt, and unfortunately the Russian government didn't save it.

It should've saved it. Because apart from Aeroflot, it was Transaero that had a stellar reputation for safety. From Wikipedia:

"In its 25-year history, Transaero never had an accident resulting in loss of life or a hull loss. In 2014, JACDEC ranked Transaero as the 17th safest airline in the world and the safest airline in Russia."

This reputation, this 17th rank in the world, this zero fatality record, all of it took several years of painstaking work. Shouldn't have been let go just like that. Transaero was flying all across the world [permanent link]. It was spreading its own and Russia's name positively wherever it was flying, transporting customers safely and comfortably. An iconic, valuable and trusted name, built over several years, went down just like that. It's sad. It could've been and should've been prevented at all costs.