Elon Musk and girlfriend Claire “Grimes” Boucher have welcomed a new baby boy into the world and named him X Æ A-12, with the lattermost part referencing an aircraft that most gamers will remember from Call of Duty.
Many have wondered what the eclectic Musk and Grimes pairing would name their first child together. While this is Grimes’ first, Elon’s five other children have had relatively common names: Griffin, Xavier, Kai, Saxon and Damian.
But this baby is named X Æ A-12, which is…unique.
•X, the unknown variable ⚔️•Æ, my elven spelling of Ai (love &/or Artificial intelligence)•A-12 = precursor to SR-17 (our favorite aircraft). No weapons, no defenses, just speed. Great in battle, but non-violent ?+ (A=Archangel, my favorite song) (⚔️? metal rat)
— ꧁ ༒ Gℜiꪔ⃕es ༒꧂ ??? 小仙女 (@Grimezsz) May 6, 2020
To explain her son’s name, Grimes Tweeted that X references the unknown variable, Æ: her “elven spelling of Ai,” A-12: a precursor to the couple’s favorite aircraft and A: her favorite song, Archangel (by Burial).
While the recovering mother mistakenly referenced the S-17 jet, Musk corrected that it was the S-71—a plane that many of today’s FPS players will recall from Call of Duty: Black Ops.
While the Lockheed A-12 was only used in flying missions from 1967 to 1968, it is considered a direct predecessor of the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, a reconnaissance jet used by both the United States Air Force and NASA from 1966 to 1999.
In Black Ops, the SR-71 was an eight-kill killstreak that performed much like the Advanced UAV in today’s Modern Warfare—enabling players to see their opponents’ positions, even those with Ghost equipped, and the directions in which they are facing.
Unlike the Advanced UAV, the SR-71 showed players in real time, instead of periodically, and could not be shot down.
In real life and in-game, the A-12 and subsequent SR-71 are perfect fits for what Musk and Grimes proffer to admire in aircraft: “No weapons, no defenses, just speed. Great in battle, but non-violent.”
While the reconnaissance provided by said aircraft served principally violent ends, it is true that neither jet was ever modified for missile usage—despite different design iterations.
The A-12 was the 12th design for the Central Intelligence Agency’s “Archangel” project, and it was smaller, lighter and faster than the SR-71 (containing less fuel and just one seat).
Maybe Grimes and Musk will get even closer to Call of Duty and change X Æ A-12’s name to X Æ SR-71 Blackbird once their child hits their teenage years.