Climbing up on the top of Snoopy’s doghouse and flying over the Canadian Arctic to meet the Red Baron … sounds about right. (Creekside)
First things first. The Tu-95 (NATO codename Bear) (EnemyForces.net) has been in service with Soviet and Russian air forces since 1955. It’s their equivalent of the B-52: a BUF (big ugly expletive deleted) that is powered by four turboprop engines and eight giant propellers. It’s slow, cumbersome, and has the stealth characteristics of a KISS stadium concert. When they’re under water, American and British submarines can ‘see’ the Tu-95 coming through radar imagery, for the love of mud.
Secondly, this happens at least five or six times a year. Pearson and Trudeau didn’t make a big deal about it: neither did Mulroney, Clark or Paul Martin. Thirdly, this interceptions happen in international airspace.
And finally, it showed that the CF-18 was capable of doing the job, at least for now.
The Galloping Beaver post, done by a former military guy, is a good analysis, but if the Russian military uses the Tu-95 to tickle the hem of NORAD’s curtain, they may as well send an engraved invitation to the Canadian embassy in Moscow.
Canadian and American interceptors have been flying interception missions against this plane for more than 50 years. Back when Canada was using the subsonic CF-100 Canuck.
The biggest problem, however, is that Canadian reporters have either been browbeat or brainwashed into becoming little more than Conservative stenographers. Anybody who’s covered the defense beat for more than six months knows full well that McKay’s story is pure bull: what the hell is it doing as a prime story on the Globe and Mail?