For months now, stories have been floating around the Internet and other meeja that Russian President Vladimir Putin is building up his country's armed forces in preparation for... hmmm... for what? That's the big question.
Having seen a little demonstration in Syria of what the Russian air force is capable of, NATO's defence preparedness "experts" tell us that we're falling behind in the arms race and had better start increasing our "assets" in Europe. I tend to take dire warnings of this kind cum grano salis, but must agree that it would be foolish to underestimate the capabilities and expertise of the Russkis.
What made me think of this was a one-minute video, just received from Agent 6 (to whom be many thanks) showing a Russian pilot putting his Sukhoi-30 jet fighter through some intricate solo dance steps... at ground level! If you think this is all done some kind of computer graphics trick, done with a model aircraft, suspend your disbelief until the last six seconds when you'll see the plane straighten out and fly right... and fast too!
What a plane, eh! And what a pilot! A couple of years ago the USAF went toe-to-toe with the Russians during war games in India. The US F15s had a tough time defeating the SU30s, although the F22s seemed to fare better. Let's hope our guys and our planes are never put to the test in real life.