Apparently chomping at the bit for a major conflict with a nuclear-armed rival, America’s top arms dealer Lockheed Martin has released a promotional clip imagining a simulated first strike on Russian positions and weapons systems.
Boasting the superiority of US military tech – much of which appears only in concept and computer-generated graphics – the brief video was unveiled this week by Lockheed’s Advanced Development Program, also known as Skunk Works. The troublesome F-35 fighter jet seems to be the only system featured in the video to actually exist at present, however, the rest being prototypes in various stages of development.
While the video’s narrator makes no mention of Russia by name, about two-thirds into the clip, it’s clear who’s playing the role of villain in Lockheed’s simulation. The clip shows US strikes on Russia’s distinctive S-400 missile defense systems, as well as a Topol-M mobile intercontinental ballistic missile platform, exclusive to Russia’s armed forces.
The arms giant may stand to gain more than any other company in hyping up a future conflict with Russia, seeing its stock price soar in the wake of the 2016 presidential contest, as anti-Russian rhetoric hit a fever pitch amid a stream of breathless accusations about election-destabilizing cyber attacks and Kremlin-directed troll farms. The firm has also won historically massive contracts from the Pentagon in recent years, with the Trump administration shifting its strategic focus from counterterrorism to “near peer competitors” like Russia and China.
Though Lockheed appears to be salivating over the prospect of a shooting match with the Russians – what better way to hawk overpriced and underperforming aircraft? – the company’s dream could be a nightmare for much of the world, which would rather not see brinkmanship between the planet’s two largest nuclear arsenals.
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