In celebration of the People's Liberation Army Air Force's 65th birthday, and because they are seriously a powerful force now, China is supposedly releasing a free gaming application called Golden Helmet. Judging by its cover, in this game you triumphantly blow American F-15s to smithereens with your J-11 Flanker knock-off.
Golden Helmet is actually a real thing that's like Top Gun in real life. No, not the actual Topgun, as in the Navy's elite Fighter Weapon's School, but as in Top Gun, the '80s cult mega-hit where in the end the best crew gets that janky gold trophy that Iceman and Slider had such a hard-on for.
"Remember, there are TWO O's in Goose..."
Something like the William Tell fighter competitions of yesteryear, mixed with Red Flag and a hint of Top Gun and Topgun thrown in, Gold Helmet is a massive series of air combat exercises, where the pilot with the best score at the end wins... a golden helmet!
The whole Golden Helmet extravaganza has been extremely well publicized both inside and outside of China, with intense aerial footage edited with very fast cuts streaming out of the communist nation yearly. Some pilots even get propped up by the folks at the PLAAF propaganda ministry as heroes of the air, like this dude for instance.
With all this in mind, it is pretty much a no-brainer that China starts spreading ultra-nationalist values via teaching its youth about becoming a fighter pilot, and how it is akin to becoming a god that flies an iron pegasus that shoots radar guided missiles out of its eyes and shits laser guided bombs on their biggest peer-state competitor. Hey, it worked for us right?
There really is no better way of doing this than by giving away a free game where you fly all of the latest partially-stolen Chinese fighter designs against hapless American fighter icons like the F-15 Eagle.
I wonder if there will be levels where the mission is to go out and scare the living shit out of an American P-8 Poseidon crew flying deep into international airspace, some 150 miles off the cost of Hainan Island?
No matter how exactly the game's campaign goes down, I think one thing can be certain- this outstandingly bad, over-dramatic, Top Gun inspired Chinese Naval Aviation music video will surely be Golden Helmet's opening sequence.
Tyler Rogoway is a defense journalist and photographer who maintains the website Foxtrot Alpha for Jalopnik.com You can reach Tyler with story ideas or direct comments regarding this or any other defense topic via the email address Tyler@Jalopnik.com