US President Donald Trump held a joint news conference with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg yesterday at the White House. During the event, as reported by the Washington Post (via Vice), he enthused about the delivery of US F-52 fighter jets to Norway, a deal that he said was actually unfolding ahead of schedule.
"In November we started delivering the first F-52 and F-35 fighter jets. We have a total of 52, and they've delivered a number of them already, a little ahead of schedule," Trump said. "It's a $10 billion order. Norway also invests about one-third of its sovereign wealth fund in American businesses, supporting hundreds of thousands of American jobs. They're very big investors in our stock market, and therefore the Prime Minister thanked me very much."
There's only one problem with that statement: If you want to know anything about the F-52—speed, armaments, operational ceiling, that sort of thing—you have to hit up the Call of Duty Wiki, because it's not actually a real plane. It only exists in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, and in the minds of those who have played it.
Trump appears to be reading directly from a script when he talks about the deal for the non-existent fighter, so it's possible that he misread—although he clearly makes no effort to correct himself—or that the script itself was somehow wrong. I suppose it's also technically possible that the F-52 is such a super-secret new fighter that we've never heard of it before now, although I'm not convinced that Norway would be the number-one market for that kind of tech. Or maybe the claim was drive by something else entirely, perhaps somehow related to his overall competence and suitability for the job.
That said, he was partly right. Norway has ordered 40 of the much-troubled F-35 fighters and has another 12 lined up, and has so far taken delivery of ten of them. It's purely speculation, but I'd guess that that's the source of the flub: 52 fighters, F-52, they're practically the same thing anyway. Right?
This is what Norway's new fighters would look like in action, if, you know, they actually existed.