Microsoft's Paul Allen steps up military build-up

Former Microsoft boss Paul Allen has continued his military build up and at this rate might be subjected to a visit by UN weapons inspectors.

Allen, who has been building up his airforce, has just added a Russian-made fighter jet to his collection of vintage airplanes.

When we say “vintage” we are talking about a MiG-29 which was first used by the Soviet Air Force in 1983, and remains in use.  The Russian airforce had to ground lots of them because of the crashes which followed poor maintenance schedules.  However,  Allen, connected with the early days of Microsoft software,  is OK with a few crashes.

The armament for the MiG-29 includes a GSh-30-1 30 mm cannon in the port wing root and was designed to carry one Vympel R-27 medium-range air-to-air missile, or unguided bombs or rockets. It is not clear if the fighter is a variant that can carry a nuclear bomb on the port inboard station or if it is an upgraded models which can drop laser-guided and electro-optical bombs, as well as air-to-surface missiles. It can also carry AA-11 “Archer” dogfight missiles which are exactly what a software tycon needs when dealing with the media.

The jet had been restored by another Washington aviation enthusiast and is currently on display at Allen’s aviation museum at Paine Field in Everett.

However the manager of the Flying Heritage Collection says the jet is not expected to stay in Everett as it has other undisclosed work to do.

Allen has bought a number of military jets which makes him a lot better equipped for modern air warfare than the New Zealand Airforce which scrapped its six Skyhawks.

As yet Allen does not appear to have developed weapons of mass destruction, unless you count Windows 2.