The US Air Force has sent six B-52 long-range bombers to the United Kingdom for a series of training activities over Europe.
The B-52 aircraft and over 450 airmen arrived at Royal Air Force Fairford on Thursday from Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana.

NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu welcomed the deployment, saying:

“This is a routine deployment, but it shows that the US nuclear umbrella protects Europe and demonstrates the unique capabilities the US could bring to Europe in a crisis. The B-52 deployment is yet another sign that the United States is strongly committed to NATO.”

The United States has deployed strategic bombers in Europe at least once a year since 2014. Since then, all three US bomber variants – the B-1, B-2 and B-52 bombers – have deployed to Fairford airbase for exercises with European NATO Allies, including to Exercise Baltops and Exercise Sabre Strike.

RAF Fairford has been an American standby base for bomber operations around Europe for decades.

The current deployment marks the largest deployment of the bombers to Europe since Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003.

It will test how the bombers can conduct missions out of Fairford and will familiarise aircrews with operations over Europe, including the Norwegian Sea, Baltic Sea and the Mediterranean.

The U.S. Strategic Command oversees the United States strategic and nuclear deterrent, including B-52 deployments. Forces assigned to the Command are on watch 24 hours a day, seven days a week to deter strategic attacks against the U.S. and NATO allies.

The B-52 has been in use with the US Air Force since the 1950s and can carry both conventional and nuclear weapons.

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Daniele Mandelli

We get rid of equipment as standard after a certain time and these have been flying for decades!

I assume much of the aircraft is renewed?

Could have kept a Vulcan squadron!

Mr Robert Marsden

It’s all about cost, B-52 is a you said decades old and gone through many sustainment and maintenance programs to keep them flying which cost a small fortune in there own right. They’re yet again talking about engine upgrades for the fuel guzzling monsters they currently use but again this is going to cost a small fortune and as a result the B1-B Lancer is getting the cop in favour of this beast. I would love to still have the Vulcan in the RAF service but it would run everything else around it into the ground if we did at… Read more »

Because Vulcan and Tornado unwent stress on the airframes due to low flying, something the B-52 doesnt do, the Valient was retired early when the RAF changed the V-Force to low level becuase cracks appeared in the wings.

Longtime

Exactly John the whole V force inc Vulcan suffered fatigue from low level flying Vulcan just absorbed it slightly better hence victor going to a refuelling roll.
Daniele a squadron of Vulcans would of been amazing to retain but now understanding the modifications made to 558 (lowest recorded airframe hours) to keep her in the air for just a few more years, it would’ve been a massive undertaking for an entire squadron.
If the US go down the route publicised for upgrades then it’ll give them 1 hell of a heavy bombing platform with efficiency and accuracy too.

Daniele Mandelli

John, Longtime, good point on low level.

Thanks.

shame the u.k can’t try to purchase the two B1B lancers in reserve for reactivation at the AMARG facility in arizona( google AMARG INVENTORY and see where the R.A.F might be better using their budget

Paul T

Imagine a Vulcan made today, Tornado”s Avionics,EJ200 Engines, modern construction techniques,I read that in service it wasn’t the easiest Aircraft to detect by Radar,so a bit of Stealth before it became known as widely as today,it would save the need to re-invent the wheel.

Longtime

Would be a lovely aircraft and like you say why reinvent the wheel but, surely best to use the F35 avionics and sensors if your building today, also I’d stick to the Olympus 300 engines from the late B2 variant which push out 20,000 lbf compared to EJ200s 17500 lbf seems silly to squeeze a different engine in when they aren’t as powerful without using reheat which the Vulcan never had and pretty sure it would kill the howl off and we can’t have that.

Mark Doane

We could have converted the concorde to a long rNge supersonic bomber

Julian1

The B52 is almost entirely rebuilt, and possibly not just once. Very limited to stand-off ( a very long way) I’d imagine

Nimrod might have given us an excellent stand-off capability…had it not been cancelled by Cameroon! Great decisions that guy made….including the shite we ae in now. A very good reason for not allowing schoolboys to become PM….Blair was just as useless!

Sean

Nimrod was a mess. Shouldn’t been cancelled when they realised all the airframes were different and that they couldn’t be fitted with new standard wings off a production line. Had they ditched the Nimrod for a new aircraft the project might well have succeeded and not over-run it’s budget so disasterously.

Sean

“Should’ve” not “Shouldn’t”…
Predictive text ?‍♂️

Indeed, had they gone for new airframes they wouldn’t have had the problems. How come BAE allowed the MOD Bean Counters to cut costs by utilising old airframes….you mean that nobody was aware that a hand-built aircraft was different from a CAD design. I believe the gaps were as much as 100mm in places. Does anyone actually talk to each other in the rarefied world of MOD procurement?

That is just the story the Tories put out. expert evidence to the House Of Commons Defence Committee illustrates both the rank dishonesty and shortsightedness of the cancellation:-

https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201012/cmselect/cmdfence/761/761vw15.htm

Part 3 is particularly interesting in terms of Nimrod’s ‘problems’ and its readiness to enter service.

Will

Bang on HF

Frank62

Pesky Cameroon scuppered the Nimrod fleet? Learnt something today, LOL.

Nick C

There is some good footage on YouTube of two of these arriving last week in what looks like quite a cross wind, interesting flying.
And yes Daniele, they are being continuously upgraded, current plans are to replace the radar and also to reengine the aircraft as well. Current engines at present are 1950’s technology so updating will give a huge change in fuel use and maintenance. And The last B52 pilot has not yet been born!

Rob

Aren’t the B52s a bit like Triggar’s broom? Air frame aside I bet most systems have been replaced.

Awesome, if not terrifying, sight.

Railway preservation societies are the best at this. If all you have is the engine’s whistle, it’s still a rebuild!

Nigel Collins

Upgrades underway for the B52
“USAF To Fly the B-52 into the 2050s with New Engines, Radars”
https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/defense/2018-04-13/usaf-fly-b-52-2050s-new-engines-radars

A 100 year old aircraft….still operational! Do you think that we could bring back WW1 Vickers tanks…..or the Sopwith Camel, RE 8 etc. That’s the timescale we are looking at here!

Rob

I looked up the age of these aircraft expecting it to say that the B52H was built in the 80s. They actually date to 1962! Hats off to the manufacturers for building such an enduring aircraft, They will be almost 90 if retired at 2050.

Yes Rob, but designed in the 1950s!

Anyway, I bet the USAF keeps the oldest one flying ops so that they can claim 100years for the B52. Sadly, I will not be around to see it….though some on this forum will be delighted! All I can say to them is….make sure that you vote for your Euro MP in the 2050’s!

Daniele Mandelli

We did. UKIP. They won the last Euro elections strangely!

By 2050 the EU will have split apart long before. It’s happening already but you won’t see it on the BBC!

Throwing insults and crazy comments about Brexit back and forth is not really going to help the current problems with our country. Whether your a remainer or Brexiteer!.. Let’s have sensible discussions about this issue. As a remainer myself l have been called a traitor, which is rather insulting considering I’m a proud Brit!.. Most of my family voted to stay in the EU Including members of my family that have served this country in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces. Worry’s me how split this country has become and how nasty the discussions are sometimes.

Daniele Mandelli

I quite agree.

I’ve said before here I wish the bloody vote never happened.

Yes, I agree, it was a huge and one that is probably going to cost us dearly….whatever the outcome!

worries*

excuse the spelling mistake.. nite all !!!

Nigel Collins

Its beginning to make a little more sense now!

“Boeing contracted to integrate LRSO cruise missile with the B-52H bomber”
https://www.janes.com/article/87248/boeing-contracted-to-integrate-lrso-cruise-missile-with-the-b-52h-bomber

Captain P Wash

Jeesus H Christ, (J.H.S.) i’ve yet to see a Thread on here with so many bloody Moaning L.O.S.E.R.S. !!! Just look at It, Turfing Toys from Prams with Gay abandon.

Daniele mate, You’re wasting your time trying to Educate this bunch of really sore Losers. looks like they only want to Ignore your intellegent Responses.

Bugger me I think I just saw Herodotus on the TV . He was wearing his Balls on his Head !!!!

Daniele Mandelli

Hi Captn

Sorry, just seen your late post.

Cheers.