A pair of B-52H Stratofortress bombers from the 5th Bomb Wing at Minot Air Force Base have returned to the UK after completing a 13-hour mission.

The two aircraft, identified as tails 61-0005 (Arc Light) and 60-0012 (Heavy Hauler), flew together as part of a Global Power Mission.

The mission included a coordinated effort with Royal Air Force Typhoons. The Typhoon jets, flying as JEDI flight, took off from RAF Akrotiri and conducted a friendly intercept of the two B-52s, affectionately known as BUFFs.

The bombers will now operate as the 69th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron under the banner of Bomber Task Force Europe 24-3. Throughout the deployment, U.S. Air Force Airmen and aircraft will integrate with NATO Allies and other international partners, including the RAF, to strengthen interoperability and enhance collective security.

The B-52 is a long-range, heavy bomber that can perform a variety of missions. The bomber is capable of flying at high subsonic speeds at altitudes up to 50,000 feet (15,166.6 meters). It can carry nuclear or precision-guided conventional ordnance with worldwide precision navigation capability.

In a conventional conflict, the B-52 can perform strategic attack, close-air support, air interdiction, offensive counter-air and maritime operations.

During Desert Storm, B-52s delivered 40 percent of all the weapons dropped by coalition forces. It is highly effective when used for ocean surveillance, and can assist the U.S. Navy in anti-ship and mine-laying operations. Two B-52s, in two hours, can monitor 140,000 square miles (364,000 square kilometers) of ocean surface.

All B-52s can be equipped with two electro-optical viewing sensors, a forward-looking infrared and advanced targeting pods to augment targeting, battle assessment, and flight safety, thus further improving its combat ability.

Pilots wear night vision goggles, or NVG, to enhance their vision during night operations. Night vision goggles provide greater safety during night operations by increasing the pilot’s ability to visually clear terrain, to increase the peacetime and combat situational awareness of the aircrew and visually acquire other aircraft.

B-52s are currently upgrading from the Litening Advanced Targeting Pod to the Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod.  Sniper pods provide improved long-range target detection/identification and continuous stabilized surveillance for all missions, including close air support of ground forces.  The pod’s advanced targeting and image processing technology significantly increases the combat effectiveness of the B-52 during day, night and under-the-weather conditions in the attack of ground targets with a variety of standoff weapons (i.e., laser-guided bombs, conventional bombs and GPS-guided weapons).

The use of aerial refuelling gives the B-52 a range limited only by crew endurance. It has an unrefueled combat range in excess of 8,800 miles (14,080 kilometres).

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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SailorBoy
SailorBoy (@guest_824671)
1 month ago

I wonder if the pilots have ever tried to push up to 15,167m rather than 15,166.6?

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_824695)
1 month ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

😁 No comment. 😉

Zephyr
Zephyr (@guest_824761)
1 month ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

Precision flying 🙂

SailorBoy
SailorBoy (@guest_824792)
1 month ago
Reply to  Zephyr

I hope they get the crew to lie down on the floor so that their heads don’t pass above 50,000ft. That would be catastrophic.

Big G
Big G (@guest_824837)
1 month ago
Reply to  Zephyr

That only means a computer flys the mission and the airmen sit and relax 🤣🤣

Rad Magnet
Rad Magnet (@guest_824829)
1 month ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

Above 15,166.6 m the crew is subject to nosebleeds.

Marked
Marked (@guest_824693)
1 month ago

Good luck using a b52 for close air support against anything more threatening than goat herders!

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_824697)
1 month ago
Reply to  Marked

CAS is a relative term when employing JDAMs.

Steve
Steve (@guest_824777)
1 month ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Hopefully we will never find out but I would think modern radars would be able to pick up such a big non stealthy slow moving target well before it is in range of firing JDAMs etc. They would need a fighter escorts which would significantly reduce its effective range (capped by the fighters range), plus if the enemy isn’t stupid it will bi-pass the fighters and go straight for the bomb truck.

Last edited 1 month ago by Steve
Patrick C
Patrick C (@guest_824787)
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

have you seen russian air defense performance lately? wouldn’t surprise me if one of these low level with its EW suite (or without for that matter) could overfly the kremlin without getting noticed 😂ukraine flew a cessna looking (same size) drone 600 miles into russia and slammed it into a drone factory lol. not to mention one of their wunderwaffe anti missile radars get struck 😂 since china’s AD is based on russian crap who needs a b-21? 😉

Steve
Steve (@guest_824789)
1 month ago
Reply to  Patrick C

Ukraine has been very clever in its approach. They have found gaps in radar coverage and expoited it and used the trick of launching drones close to reduce response times.

Would guess it would be harder against China as the approach would need to be across water and not land and so much easier for radar to cover the area.

Whether the defences can identify and take it out is anyone’s guess.

Spooker
Spooker (@guest_824913)
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

You mean just like during WW2.

Joey Z
Joey Z (@guest_825412)
1 month ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

And quite a few other means. A-10 ring abell?

Last edited 1 month ago by Joey Z
Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach (@guest_824722)
1 month ago

Surprised they spotted something that small….👀

HangGlider
HangGlider (@guest_824741)
1 month ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

Probably see the smoke from 20 miles away visual, even if ECM switched on

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach (@guest_827892)
1 month ago
Reply to  HangGlider

You’re right there my friend. No discussians about cvarbon when these babies were built. 😏

Andy
Andy (@guest_824833)
1 month ago

So if it was a JEDI flight, does that mean Obi Two was the flight leader?

Michael Larkin
Michael Larkin (@guest_824904)
1 month ago

I flew the B-47, was able to avoid the BUFF and got out in 1964! Spent 34 years at TWA!!.

Ian wildon
Ian wildon (@guest_824940)
1 month ago

So are you saying we have American heavy nuclear equipped bombers stationed on UK soil??
Out of interest do you not think that could escalate current issues in Europe and probably enrage the Russian population who only see news there leaders show them? Because in my view if the population of Russia are made to believe 100% that they are in the same boat as the Ukrainian people they may begin to fight as hard as they do then with there sheer numbers we are all fu@#ed.

Mike Hosgood
Mike Hosgood (@guest_824986)
1 month ago

The B52 does nothing that the Vulcan could not have done. This only shows how our governements have abdicated the defence of the UK in the hands of the Americans. Destroying our aircraft industry at the same time.

Lonpfrb
Lonpfrb (@guest_825175)
1 month ago

So B-52H Stratofortress has unrefueled combat range in excess of 8,800 miles (14,080 kilometres).

Just think how much further the B-52J Stratofortress with modern Rolls Royce jet engine upgrades will go before KC135 or KC46 tankers give them a refill…

Dan
Dan (@guest_825446)
1 month ago

What’s the B-52 going to do for us here at home when Russia from the Caribbean let’s lose with an EMP attack?

Last edited 1 month ago by Dan
Michael
Michael (@guest_825619)
1 month ago

Global power of this nature is a huge threat to other nations & peoples. Tne real term is “global war mission” & it should be outlawed. Nazi Germany did this & all the West is lacking is a speech on the 1,000’s of bombs they will be dropping.