September 30, 2016 by Chris Kite
There are many things Donald Trump doesn’t know, so this isn’t really a tremendous shock. At Monday night’s debate, Donald Trump once again disparaged the US Military. This time he talked about our old B-52 bombers and how much more modern Russian bombers are.
Trump said, “Well, I have to say for what Secretary Clinton was saying about nuclear with Russia, she’s very cavalier in the way she talks about various countries. But Russia’s been expanding. They have a much newer capability than we do. We have not been updating from the new standpoint I look the other night I was seeing B-52s there old enough that your father, your grandfather could be flying them.”
Trump is right that the B-52 is very old. But what he doesn’t seem to realized is how these planes have been modernized over the decades. In fact, they are going thru another modernization right now. And the Air Force says they will be good for service into the 2040s. That’s right. They’ll be almost 100 years old. But the reason they are still in service is that they are very effective as strategic and tactical bombers and can be used in multiple roles. They are flexible, reliable, and very powerful. Plus, bombers are kind of an old relic anyway in the age of Navy and Air Force launched cruise missiles.
Trump is also wrong in indicating that the Russians somehow have a more modern bomber force. The backbone of the Russian force is the TU-95, a propeller driven plane that, like the B-52, entered service in the early 1950s.
Trump also is completely missing the B-1B bomber, a supersonic, low level US bomber from the mid-1980s. We have about 60 B-1B bombers in service. The Russians have a similar plane, the TU-160, but only built 27 of them.
Then there is the stealth B-2 bomber. The only plane of its type in the world, it uses, as its name implies, stealth technology to allow it to penetrate deep into enemy territory without being detected by radar.
So once again, Trump has shown his lack of knowledge. It might be excusable to not be an expert on US military matters. But not if you’re going to pretend that you are an expert.
Donald Trump is unqualified to be President of the United States of America.