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Angus McLellan
Angus McLellan
December 11, 2013 9:15 pm

Ah, the Arctic. Always good for a defence-related scare if you’re the Canadian PM. And even the SNP have got in on the act, to bolster the case for NATO membership.

But back in the real world, what’s the UK defence interest in the frozen north? No nameless islands, no damselsallies in distress, not even a terrorist to be seen. So, scope creep gone mad, or perhaps they know something we don’t? Arctic Terror!

Hmm. Have I forgotten to take my tablets again?

tweckyspat
December 11, 2013 9:37 pm

Forget the High North.

Can we try and do a serious look at Alliances and Coalitions ? Not something arguably we have ever paid enough attention to…

IXION
December 11, 2013 11:40 pm

Likewise couldn’t give a monkeys about Arctic. No UK historical or modern interrest, nor economic or strategic interests.

Will loose zero sleep over the Canadians and ruskies squaring off. As I have asked before if the spam and the cannucks start shooting at each other who do we support?

Seriously TD your not joining the OMGSSIHSITWBSDWSODITLSAWIA* crowd are you?

Still I suppose we can look forward to explinations about how the Elephants will doubtless be perfect for the job…….

*The successor to WASAWPYK.

Stands for
Oh
My
God,
Some
Shit
Is
Happening
Somewhere
In
The
World.
Britain’s
Standing
Demands
We
Stick
Our
Dick
In
The
Light
socket
And
Waggle
It
About

Swimming Trunks
Swimming Trunks
December 12, 2013 10:02 am

But… but… what about Father Christmas? Won’t someone please think of the Children?!?!

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/10509980/Canada-vows-to-protect-Santa-Claus-from-Russian-troops-in-the-Arctic.html

Martin
Editor
December 12, 2013 11:10 am

@ Ixion

Very good :-)

x
x
December 12, 2013 1:02 pm

@ Swimming Trunks

Actually that is just a cover story. Canada want that damn Yank out of the Far North before he is used as an excuse to extend US influence in the area. We have been discussing it in the Open Thread.

Think it about. Guy with beard operating from a remote location, global network, remind you of anybody?

@ IXION

No historical interest? Really? Hudson Bay Company? Northwest Passage? Any of that ring a bell? Or do we leave Canada without help?

Angus McLellan
Angus McLellan
December 12, 2013 2:35 pm

@x: What help? It’s the Canadian PM Harper who is leading the charge to carve up the Arctic, the bastard: see this story in the Globe & Mail. Lots more on Canada and the Arctic at the Mark Collins’ 3Ds blog.

x
x
December 12, 2013 2:52 pm

@ Angus

I am not sure what you mean. The UK should always support Canada. If Canada want the North Pole “we” support it.

I mentioned Canadian moves towards the North Pole in the Open Thread. With it being Christmas I joked that the Canadians would send the Rangers, a part time reserve force that patrols the Canadian Arctic, to evict Santa. The modern Santa Claus is a product of a 1930s Coca Cola marketing campaign hence Santa is an American. One of the few areas where Canada and the US have troubles in their relationship is the Arctic.

This place is such hard work at times.

dave haine
dave haine
December 12, 2013 3:05 pm

@ x

Careful! The elves have a covert intel group too!

a
a
December 12, 2013 3:22 pm

“Guy with beard operating from a remote location, global network, remind you of anybody? ”

Ha. I’m sure I saw a Predator squadron patch once with the motto “WE SEE YOU WHEN YOU’RE SLEEPING, WE KNOW WHEN YOU’RE AWAKE, WE KNOW IF YOU’VE BEEN BAD OR GOOD SO BE GOOD FOR GOODNESS’ SAKE”.

JC
JC
December 12, 2013 3:45 pm

Shame they scrapped the Arrow…no way the sleigh-riding bearded guy would escape from that.
Interestingly the mini-series The Arrow could be found in the darkest recesses of freeview last night…good programme. One of the big “what if’s”…especially when you consider where the Avro engineers ended up (NASA, Boeing, Lockheed, Aerospatiale)….

x
x
December 12, 2013 4:13 pm

:)

x
x
December 12, 2013 4:24 pm

WiseApe
December 12, 2013 6:18 pm

“Still I suppose we can look forward to explinations (sic) about how the Elephants will doubtless be perfect for the job……” – They’ve got a ski jump.

Jeremy M H
December 12, 2013 6:27 pm

@JC

That mini-series on the Arrow takes a lot of liberties. I would say that most of the Canadian claims about the Arrow are really pure rubbish.

x
x
December 12, 2013 6:34 pm

A sincere, such as? All I have ever heard about the Arrow was that it was better than anything on this side of the Iron Curtain.

Like some others I have often wondered about Commonwealth air forces equipped with Arrow, TSR2 etc. A separate family of jet development not dependent on America, and so keeping some of the high tech’ work for ourselves

Jeremy M H
December 12, 2013 7:14 pm

@X

The fact of the matter is the Arrow was running fairly late and comfortably over budget. Most other aircraft of that type (heavy, fast interceptors) ended up getting cancelled in most nations because they simply were not necessary.

If you look at the date the thing was cancelled the Arrow had the following competitors, particularly considering the Arrow’s main strength was its Mach 2 speed. All of these aircraft were also Mach 2 capable.

The F-106 which was plenty fast enough and a significantly simpler design if anyone wanted a cheap interceptor.

The F-104 which was also plenty fast, cheaper and a better multi-role solution.

The F-4 which was plenty fast and worlds better as a multi-role platform and actually had a functional medium to long range (for the time) missile system.

Additionally the USAF would be, within 3 or so years, flight testing an interceptor that would be the basis for the SR-71.

The UK (and probably others) IIRC also had interceptors on the drawing board of roughly similar performance.

None of this is to knock the Arrow. It would have been a nice airplane. But in Canada it has been built up to be something that would have been cutting edge in the world at that time and that is just not really true. It would have been fast, but there were lots of fast planes. It could have been made to go faster (given enough money) but that is true of a lot of designs. But there is a reason that most every western plane since has not really emphasized the things the Arrow did. Turns out what they thought was important early in the 50’s was not wholly correct and everyone changed approaches a bit. Most of the biggest and fastest projected interceptors got scrapped.

Nice plane, but not the right plane. That is why it got cancelled. That mini-series attempts to sell people that some sort of vast political conspiracy both nationally and internationally did the Arrow in. That is not really true either.

x
x
December 12, 2013 7:32 pm

@ Jeremy M H

I see from where you are coming; yes the dates map out. Can’t argue about F-4. Interestingly for a US aircraft they didn’t build many F-106; but in the 60s there were so many different types of aircraft being made weren’t there? Never knew this,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornfield_Bomber

As much as the like the F-104 (who doesn’t?) didn’t it acquire its multi-role capable rep’ after it failed in its early intended role as an interceptor? Originally the USAF weren’t keen were they? And it became a bit of a fill-in/make up the numbers aircraft. Not bad for a little plane with not much wing space to hang things off. And we mustn’t forget its anti-grav drive was prone to failure………..

Jeremy M H
December 12, 2013 8:00 pm

@X

Agree regarding the F-104 but what it had going for it that would hurt something like the Arrow elsewhere is that it was cheap. The F-4 was just a better option for someone not 100% focused on Soviet bombers. The F-106 was in limited numbers for the same reason things like the F-108 and A-12 based interceptors got cancelled.

The 50’s were a tough time to be building aircraft if you were not in the USSR or US. Technology was moving ahead rapidly but you still needed to sell some volume to make a project work. The US could afford to buy over 1,000 F-102’s and F-101’s and turn around and buy a few hundred F-106’s and then decide that the F-4 was really a much better airplane for that job and eventually buy them instead.

If you look at how quickly each of the century series fighters went from well positioned to borderline obsolete you get a good idea of why the Arrow was in a bad spot. As it turns out planes would generally not get much faster than the Arrow, but mostly because it just was not worth it. The A-12(SR-71) clearly demonstrated that if you wanted to go faster you could.

The Arrow is fascinating but quite the myth as a super fighter in the same way the MIG-25 was viewed wrongly as a super fighter for sometime.

JC
JC
December 12, 2013 8:23 pm

@x @Jeremy M H
I meant good as in entertaining…did not mean to imply 100% historical accuracy… :-)
Never let the facts get in the way of a good story…devious Yanks, incompetent politicians, plucky indigenous designers & attractive red-headed engineers…

x
x
December 12, 2013 8:38 pm

@ JC

Yes it is a good show. But the more I look at the ‘plane the less attractive it becomes in performance terms. :(

IXION
December 13, 2013 2:20 am

X

Since Canada and US have a big dispute over the Arctic, are you quite happy to join Canada in a war (trade or otherwise) v US? Of course no one gives a shit about Greenlanders and the their views….

All that historical stuff is all Canada’s shit now not ours.

How about we sit this one out.

IXION
December 13, 2013 2:36 pm

Wiseape just spotted the ski jump gag -very good.