Pentagon Confirms Plans for New Fighter

WASHINGTON – A spokesman for the Pentagon confirmed reports Thursday that a next-generation fighter aircraft is currently under development.

“With its fuel consumption dramatically lower than our current state-of-the-art, the JLRF will be capable of executing extended-range missions in locations where stable supply lines have yet to be established,” Anna Gemmara, deputy public relations secretary for the Pentagon, announced at a press conference on Thursday.

The key feature of the JLRF — or Joint Localized Rapture Fighter — will be its revolutionary propulsion system.

“Instead of relying on conventional propulsion techniques, the JLRF will produce a ‘localized rapture event’ in which the pilot will be able to spontaneously rise into the air,” explained Gammara during the press conference. By careful manipulation of the event, the pilot is expected to have control over his altitude and velocity.

The term “rapture” refers to the belief held by some branches of Christianity that the faithful will be lifted up into heaven shortly before the tribulation and end of the world.

Dean H. Stocfews, a theologian working on the JLRF project, dismisses fears that the localized rapture event could separate the pilot from the aircraft. “Of course I can’t get into the specifics of the design, but one of the features will be a specially reinforced harness to keep the pilot in his seat. The materials we’re considering for it will have a failure point far in excess of the aircraft’s weight.”

“Of course, without a need for an on-board fuel supply and engines, you can reduce that weight quite a bit, which makes things easier.”

But some question the feasibility of constructing a functional JLRF.

“It’s certainly an, ahem, interesting idea, but it’ll never get off the ground,” contests Aaron Mefson, senior aerospace engineer at Boeing. “The whole thing flies in the fact of well-established scientific principles of flight that date back all the way to the Wright brothers. Without any source of lift on board, gravity is going to be the dominant force.”

But Stocfews asserts that the underlying philosophy behind the JLRF is sound. “Scientific principles are what gave us the problems we’re trying to solve in the first place with [the JLRF]. Science says you can’t make something airborne without generating an upward force. Science says there’s a limit to the energy you can get out of a tank of fuel. Science says you can’t go faster than the speed of light.”

“I don’t know about the ivory-tower scientists, but we’re trying to defend America the best way we can, and their can’t-do attitude is getting us nowhere.”

“Remember, just as evolution is only a theory, thermodynamics is only a theory. Gravity is only a theory. After all, scientists still argue about how gravity is supposed to work, so how can we even be sure it exists in the first place? We’re exploring the alternatives.”

Stocfews also dismisses allegations that inherent design flaws in the JLRF will reveal themselves during testing. “Simply put, there won’t need to be any tests. The Bible teaches us that ‘with God, all things are possible’ and that ‘you shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test,’” adding that without the need for testing, development can be completed with a fraction of the budget that would otherwise be needed.

The JLRF is the first of what many analysts expect to be a series of projects motivated by President Bush’s call for a “Faith-Based Homeland Defense Initiative” in his State of the Union address in January.

Stocfews acknowledges that the JLRF project is still in its early stages, and many challenges remain, but is confident in its long-term potential. “We may not be ready just yet. For example, my team is currently studying the Gospels to determine how a short-range rapture can be produced without plunging the entire planet into the Apocalypse. But when the time comes, the JLRF will exceed our wildest expectations. We have faith.”

The Pentagon estimates that the first set of JLRF aircraft will be ready by early 2008.

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