about : no-fly zone
« Patrouille de France » These aircraft were in use before No-fly Zone entered the lexicon of modern conflict, systems primarily produced for, but never used in an actual 'hot war' in Europe, a nuclear war of mutually assured destruction — MAD. Billions of dollars were spent by Nato and The Warsaw Pact in producing and maintaining systems to fight a war which on many occasions seemed imminent, but was never likely to take place unless caused by human error or accident. In the 20th century it was clearer who the enemy was or could be, than it is in the 21st.
The « Nimrod » series features obsolete fighter aircraft from the Château de Savigny-lès-Beaune. The title is taken from Victor Hugo's epic poem of good versus evil, The End of Satan (La Fin de Satan) in which King Nimrod, the Biblical warrior and architect of The Tower of Babel, having conquered and laid waste the Earth — 6th century Mesopotamia — attempts to conquer the Heavens. Transported to the sky in a cage drawn by four eagles or vultures, he only found an infinity of blue and after letting loose an arrow, he was thrown back to Earth.
In a tragic twist of fate, in 1969 the Royal Air Force named its main maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft Nimrod. On 2 September 2006, Nimrod XV230 with a crew of 14 was on a routine patrol over Helmand province Afghanistan when it was destroyed in a mid-air explosion caused by a faulty fuel line. The Nimrod, a very capable aircraft, had remained in service long after it was supposed to be replaced by the MR4. However the MR4 was years behind schedule, technically flawed and the victim of the many cuts in the UKs defence budget. It was subsequently written-off at a cost to the British tax payer of at least £4bn, leaving the UKs maritime air defences without a suitable replacement and vulnerable to Russian submarines patrolling the coast of the British Isles.
Those responsible for naming the aircraft Nimrod obviously had no knowledge or understanding of the original Nimrod, or had an extremely dark, cruel sense of irony. In addition to 'mighty warrior', other attributes of King Nimrod are ruthlessness and lust for power, not characteristics one associates with the role of an aircraft primarily designed for defence.
In « The Future of War » Lawrence Friedman states 'history is made by people who do not know what is going to happen next'. Battlefields of the 21st century will inevitably include wars against rogue states and terrorists, cyber warfare, probably war in space (unlikely between humans and aliens!) asymmetrical warfare and actions not yet anticipated. Who do we need to protect ourselves from? In what manner? For how long and at what cost?