Norway said that the exercise is “one of the largest of its kind, and several allied and partners trained along with the US B-1B”.

The Norwegian military says such joint flight missions are of high priority.

“Today we have conducted complex flight operations with advanced systems, both on the ground and in the air,” says Lieutenant Colonel Ståle Nymoen. He is the commander of the 332 squadron which operates the F-35s from Ørland airbase.

Norway, as one of NATO’s founding members, points to the United States as the most important ally for defending Norway in case of a crisis or conflict.

“The fact that we manage to operate together increases our ability to defend Norway together with our allies,” Lt. Col. Nymoen says.

You can read More at The Barent Observer.

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Rob
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Rob

More and more of these B1 exercises escorted by UK & other NATO allies. I think NATO are sending a message to Russia ‘keep off the grass’ in response to them probing around the northern flank. Likewise the recent UK/US naval group in the Barent’s Sea; sending the message ‘two can play at that game.’

Mark B
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Mark B

Yes. Perhaps we need spend some money bringing some of our assets back to life quicker (eg. Type 23s) otherwise we will be stretched!

Cam
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Cam

It would be great if the UK could buy and operate a handful of these birds, lovely aircraft and my favourite bomber, and they still look pretty modern.

Mark B
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Mark B

Perhaps we should look to build some of our own. Next generation naturally!

Cam
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Cam

Yeah 6th gen bombers, autonomous. Now that’s an idea, I’m sure USA are building a future bomber, wonder what that’ll look and perform like. Unfortunately there’s no hope the UK will operate expensive bombers again, we barely have enough fighter jets, drones and cruise missiles.

Steve R
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Steve R

To be honest if we were given a pot of money to spend on the RAF I’d rather spend it on either more Typhoon Tranche 3s (with AESA radar) or additional F35s, probably F35A if it’s additional on top of the supposed 138.

The only need for a heavy bomber that I can realistically envisage would be for long-range strikes, say if we did go to war with Russia at any point. Even then, for the cost of a single heavy bomber we could get 2-3 Typhoons.

Steve R
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Steve R

Correction on my last, sorry. B1b unit cost is $415million USD (£327million GBP) so for the cost of that we could get 4 Typhoons plus change, or 5 F35As/3F35Bs. But as I said, to my mind the only reasons we would need a heavy bomber would be for long-range strike missions. Which, to be honest, could be done by Typhoons or F35s using standoff missiles. Only 2 possible scenarios I can think of would be Falklands 2.0, if the Argentines actually captured the islands, or strikes deep into Russia were we ever to go to war with them. Not against… Read more »

Nigel Collins
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Nigel Collins

Don’t forget China! We’re heading down that way next year I believe?
https://edition.cnn.com/2020/06/07/asia/china-malaysia-indonesia-south-china-sea-intl-hnk/index.html

Steve R
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Steve R

True. Though any war against China is likely to be a naval affair in and around the South China Sea or Yellow Sea, with any strikes against mainland China itself would likely be focused on naval bases and air bases to the south and east of the country, all of which would be accessible (in terms of distance) by carrier-borne planes. Chances are, if we were involved, our Typhoons and F35s would have plenty of range, as they would be used either from carriers (F35s) or based in South Korea or Japan. Arm them with standoff missiles like Storm Shadow… Read more »

pkcasimir
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pkcasimir

The US is currently developing the B-21 with first flight anticipated in December 2021. Although most of the information about it is classified, it is expected to be capable of both manned and autonomous fight. The Air Force has released an artist’s sketch of the the B-21 and its a flying wing.

https://www.foxnews.com/tech/new-air-force-b-21-stealth-bomber-takes-key-technology-step-toward-war-readiness

dan
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dan

Brits don’t have enough stocks of PGM to justify a heavy bomber. They would have to invest many billions of pounds to build up a stock of JDAMS, guided cruise missiles, etc to make a heavy bomber worthwhile.

Nigel Collins
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Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
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Nigel Collins

Clearly we have the ability to field our own version, money permitting of course!

“Last March, the British and French governments promised to fund the nextphase of FCAS. This work would start next year, and aim to produce “operationally representative demonstrators” by 2025. There would be a technical review in 2020. Each nation will contribute about $1 billion.”

https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/aerospace/2016-07-07/taranis-flight-test-details-described

dan
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dan

Time will tell. Making a stealthy, high end fighter is a totally different ballgame than making a 4th gen fighter. Add each countries demands, ect and you have another JSF. At least they won’t be saddled with a STOVL version which ruined the JSF.

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

Ha. Just like in 88 with the B2. They hide the rear sections for as long as possible.

The first F117A photo released was even worse, deliberately chosen to confuse as to the planes wing configuration. Unfortunately for the USAF, unclassified shots had already been taken near Tonapah showing the true wing sweep.

Helions
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Helions

A pair of BOnes loaded to the gills with LRASMs would definitely ruin some hostile task force commander’s day…

https://www.navalnews.com/naval-news/2020/06/b-1b-train-lrasm-capability-during-usaf-bomber-mission-across-the-black-sea/

The BUFF is getting the same capability. Old platforms with lots of legs and carrying capacity partnered with state of the art ASMs make maximum use of what we got here and now. Not “Pie in the Sky”.

Cheers!

Branaboy
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Branaboy

Here is an idea for a UK designed an built inexpensive bomber. Essentially take Vulcan design reshape into semi stealth updates design (remove vertical tail) with 4 Eurojet engines buried in the wing, Typhoon avionics and adapted flight control systems, ordinance capacity of the Victor bomber and arm it with standoff weapons. Give it speed is d original Vulcan with range of the Victor and manner by 2 man crew with reclining rear cockpit seats for relief crew.

Frost
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Frost

The idea of redesigning the Vulcan…The US have already done that, it is called the B2. The closest the UK will ever get to a long range bomber is the P-8, an airliner armed with stand off missiles, but even that is unlikely. There simply isn’t the the political will to invest billions into a bomber in the UK sadly, not with the USAF based in the UK. A joint RAF/USAF wing makes sense to me though, increased Russia aggression is a good enough reason for this, along with Brexit. I think the UK should be getting closer to the… Read more »

Frost
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Frost

The idea of redesigning the Vulcan…The US have already done that, it is called the B2. The closest the UK will ever get to a long range bomber is the P-8, an airliner armed with stand off missiles, but even that is unlikely. There simply isn’t the the political will to invest billions into a bomber in the UK sadly, not with the USAF based in the UK. A joint RAF/USAF wing makes sense to me though, increased Russia aggression is a good enough reason for this, along with Brexit. I think the UK should be getting closer to the… Read more »