The following picture, released on Sept. 5, 2012 was taken on Aug. 14, 2007, at the end of exercise Valiant Shield 2007. It shows a B-52 leading a formation of four F-18E/F Super Hornet, four F-18C Legacy Hornet, four F-15s and four F-16s, a package made of combat planes belonging to the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps.
Those 17 aircraft (and the weapons they are able to carry) represent a small force capable to perform a wide variety of missions against the most modern enemy air defenses: although it may be a bit far-fetched, I’m quite sure some minor (if not middle-sized) European air forces would be able to assemble an aerial armada as effective as the one depicted in the photograph below.
Image credit: U.S. Navy
- U.S. Marine Corps F/A-18C crashes at NAS Fallon, Nevada. The last of a series of Hornet incidents (theaviationist.com)
- Video: Insane F/A-18 Hornet low level flight through the canyons of Northern California (theaviationist.com)
- “Air Force’s CV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft accident report is a total distortion of the facts” top aviation expert says. (theaviationist.com)
- Tony Scott, Hank Kleeman, Kara Hultgreen and the F-14 Tomcat: three (tragic) stories and a legendary plane (theaviationist.com)
- Two Russian Strategic Bombers to fly in the U.S. next year. And two B-52s to return the visit. (theaviationist.com)