Tag Archives: Boeing B-52 Stratofortress

Take a look at these jaw-dropping photos of a U.S. B-52, F-22s and French jets over Paris western suburbs

The 100th anniversary of the Lafayette Escadrille flyover from a different point of view.

As already explained, on Apr. 20, one B-52, four F-22 Raptor fighters (from their deployment base at RAF Lakenheath), three FAF Mirage 2000Ns and one FAF Rafale performed flyovers during the ceremony commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Lafayette Escadrille’s formation.

F-22 over Lafayette

The aircraft flew over the memorial in Marnes-la-Coquette, in the western suburbs of Paris, France, that celebrates all 269 American pilots who flew with the French Air Force as part of the larger Lafayette Flying Corps before and during WWI.

Here are some more interesting photographs released by the French Air Force.

French fighters over Lafayette

Two B-52 strategic bombers have just arrived in Qatar to start pounding ISIS

The “Buff” has arrived at Al Udeid airbase.

Two U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress aircraft from Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, have arrived at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, on Apr. 9, 2016.

The aircraft, using radio callsign Mighty 71 were monitored by several radiohams on HF frequencies during their flight from the U.S. to the Middle East.

The aircraft will operate in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, the air war against ISIS replacing the B-1 Lancers, the last of those returned stateside in January, after a 6-month deployment worth 3,800 munitions on 3,700 targets in 490 sorties. By the way, the B-1s could return to the Mideast this summer after they receive additional cockpit upgrades…

Although the B-52s are capable to perform round-trip missions directly from their homebase as demonstrated in May 2015, when two B-52Hs showed their ability to do on a range in Jordan (a 14,000 miles 30-hour trip to drop some 500-lb GBU-38 JDAM – Joint Direct Attack Munition – bombs in an old-fashioned carpet bombing mission) the about 60 years old “Buffs” (Big Ugly Fat Fellas) will be stationed at Al Udeid in Qatar, the first deployment of the Stratofortress in the region after the Gulf War.

Dealing with the type of mission the B-52s will carry out in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, it will probably be the same of the B-1s: Close Air Support and Air Interdiction delivering a wide variety of PGMs (Precision Guided Munitions), including JDAMs on ISIS positions.

Image credit: U.S. Air Force

These photos show two U.S. B-52 bombers performing a surprise low flyby over Gran Canaria island

Two U.S. Stratofortress bombers caught during a low passage at Gando airbase.

On Mar. 4, two of the U.S. Air Force B-52 bombers deployed to Spain performed a low flyby over Gran Canaria island, in the Atlantic Ocean off Western Sahara, during one of their missions out of Moron Air Base where they deployed at the end of February to take part in Ex. Cold Response and Serpentex.

B-52 low over Gando 3

The two B-52Hs, 60-0022/LA and 60-0062/LA “CAJUN FEAR” arrived over Gando airbase, at 17.15 where The Aviationist’s contributor Tony Lovelock was shooting aircraft taking part in DACT 2016, the annual air combat training exercise of the Spanish Air Force.

B-52 low over Gando 4

Here’s how Tony recalled the low passage in an email he sent us:

Word had it earlier in the afternoon that a B-52 was to overfly at 17:00. “Yeah, yeah, pigs might fly if they had wings”. 17:00 came and went, no B-52. “see what I mean”. 17:15. a great shout went up (in Spanish) not ONE, but TWO. !!!!!!!!!!!!!! The noise of the Shutters , click, click, click, became a crescendo as the Spanish spotters went wild with delight. They had of course, also been proved correct, it was not a rumour after all.

As the photos in this post show, the aircraft flew in loose formation, at low altitude, over the Spanish island in the Atlantic: a rather unusual sight!

B-52 low over Gando

Image credit: Tony Lovelock

Stunning view from inside the cockpit of a B-52 refueling during Ex. Cold Response

Anyone want to take a photo from a B-52’s jump seat?

The image in this post was taken during EUCOM’s Exercise Cold Response, currently underway in Norway.

It shows one of the three B-52 Stratofortress strategic bombers from Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, deployed to Moron airbase, Spain, refueling from a KC-135 during the large-scale NATO training exercise held in the central Trøndelag region of Norway.

The U.S. Air Force strategic bombers operate as part of the 2nd Expeditionary Bomb Group tasked with several different types of missions, including anti-ship: in June last year, two Stratofortress bombers deployed to RAF Fairford, UK, that deployed inert MK-62 Quick Strike Mines with MK-15 tail fins to stop a (simulated) naval invasion of Sweden during Baltops exercise.

Here below you can see a photo, again taken from the cockpit of the B-52, of the bomber flying over a fjord during the flyover that opened the drills.

B-52 fjord

Image credit: U.S. Air Force/ Barskdale AFB

 

Two U.S. B-52 skirt Chinese-controlled man-made island in the South China Sea sparking Chinese protest

Two American Stratofortress bombers flew within 12 miles of the disputed islands.

On Dec. 10, two U.S. Air Force B-52 strategic bombers on a routine long-range mission flew within 12 nautical miles (the standard boundary of the territorial waters) of one of the seven Chinese man-made islands in the South China Sea, sparking China’s protests.

Although Washington has not taken an official stance on sovereignty claims surrounding the islands it does maintain that China’s new islands do not enjoy the traditional 12NM territorial limit. However, according to the Pentagon, the aircraft were not flying a so-called “freedom of navigation” mission (a pre-planned navigation used to assert U.S. rights to “innocent passage” in or close to other nation’s territorial waters): one of the aircraft flew within 2 miles of an artificial island along unintentional route. Interesting, since “navigation errors” are a bit surprising on long-range bombers equipped with redundant GPS, INS systems that should make their navigation quite accurate.

Noteworthy, according to the Associated Press, the B-52 strategic bombers and that they issued radio warnings demanding the aircraft leave the area after the intrusion: last month, a Russian Su-24 bomber that allegedly ignored the radio warnings issued by a Turkish Air Force radar station was shot down by a TuAF F-16 after violating the Turkish airspace near the border with Syria.

China’s Defense Ministry considers the U.S. mission in the vicinity of the islands a serious military provocation and a deliberate attempt at raising tensions in the region.

U.S. B-52 and B-2 bombers routinely fly nuclear deterrence missions in the Asia-Pacific theater. In November 2013, a flight of two U.S. B-52 bombers departed from Guam airbase entered the new Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) over East China Sea close to the disputed islands without complying with any of the rules set by Beijing for the ADIZ. In that case, the mission intentionally skirted the disputed Diaoyu Islands (known as Senkaku islands in Japan).

Image credit: U.S. Air Force