In what some would call a shameless and ham-handed attempt to rebrand their product in Canada, Lockheed Martin has taken to advertising the F-35 on the sides of Ottawa city buses. The argument presented is essentially the same as one that Sir Humphrey (of the highly-regarded British sitcom Yes Prime Minister) advanced in favour of buying Trident missiles:
Sir Humphrey Appleby: Don’t you believe that Great Britain should have the best?
Jim Hacker: Yes, of course.
Sir Humphrey Appleby: Very well, if you walked into a nuclear missile showroom you would buy Trident – it’s lovely, it’s elegant, it’s beautiful. It is quite simply the best. And Britain should have the best. In the world of the nuclear missile it is the Saville Row suit, the Rolls Royce Corniche, the Château Lafitte 1945. It is the nuclear missile Harrods would sell you. What more can I say?
Jim Hacker: Only that it costs £15 billion and we don’t need it.
Sir Humphrey Appleby: Well, you can say that about anything at Harrods.
In other news, the son of a PLA general faces trial on charges of gang rape, continuing a series of crackdowns on official corruption which have already seen a high official executed for child molestation and others jailed for misconduct.
China’s recent order for Russian Su-35 fighter aircraft has been raised to 100 aircraft from 24. This is the latest operational model of the Flanker series, and, depending on the avionics fit, should give China a substantial technological boost, both in the air and in the production of its own Flanker variants. China has also ordered 4 Lada class submarines, suggesting that they see a need to improve their own line of air-independent conventional submarines, the Yuan class.
The US Naval War College Review’s Summer 2013 edition contains an interesting analysis of the problematic procurement history of the Royal Navy’s new Type 45 Destroyers, providing a window into issues that many services currently face in their procurement programs.