Tag Archives: bombers

New Batch of Su-34 Front-Line Bombers Transferred to the Russian Air Force

By on Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Today the Sukhoi Company has transferred to the Russian Air Force the first batch of serial Su-34 front-line bombers under the 2014 State Defense Order. The aircraft took off the airfield of the Novosibirsk aircraft plant and headed to the place of their deployment.

The new bombers were delivered according to the 2012 State Contract for a large batch of Su-34s. The 5-year State Contract for Su-34s signed in 2008 was fulfilled last December.

The large government contracts for Su-34s were signed with the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation in 2008 and 2012. Those are the largest orders for combat aircraft under the State Armaments Program for the years 2011-2020.

Their fulfillment guarantees a stable work load of the Sukhoi Company and its partner-companies in the long run. The Su-34 aircraft currently in service with the Air Force demonstrate high performance.

The features of the new generation frontline bomber include, in particular, an increased up to 4000 km flight range, a maximum speed of up to 1900 km/h, 8 tons payload. The Su-34 has a new weapon system and an air refueling system.

Sukhoi is a United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) subsidiary.

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US deploys 2 B-2 bombers to Europe for exercises

By on Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

The US Air Force has deployed two nuclear-capable B-2 stealth bombers to a British air base for exercises with NATO allies, the Pentagon said Monday.

The deployment, which the Pentagon said was preplanned and short-term, comes against a backdrop of tension with Russia over unrest in Ukraine.

“It certainly is yet another demonstration of America’s ironclad commitment to the NATO alliance,” said Colonel Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman.

US military deployments have increased in recent weeks as Washington seeks to reassure Eastern European allies worried about Moscow’s moves in the region.

The two B-2 bombers arrived Sunday at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, England, where they joined three other B-52 strategic bombers that got there on June 4.

“These multi-role heavy bombers will conduct training flights in the US Eucom area of operation, providing opportunities for the air crews to sharpen their skills and increase interoperability,” Warren said.

Overseas deployments of the B-2 are rare, as the United States jealously guards the costly aircraft’s secrets. There are only 20 B-2s in existence.

A B-2 bomber overflew South Korea last year during an exercise amid tensions with the North.

Based at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri, the B-2 were designed to penetrate the world’s most formidable air defenses and drop dozens of precision, conventional or nuclear bombs.

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USAF Bombers Train On Long-Range Capabilities

Two B-52 Stratofortresses from Barksdale Air Force Base, La., and two B-2 Spirit bombers from Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., recently flew non-stop from their home stations to training ranges in Hawaii to exercise the president’s credible and flexible military options to meet national security obligations to the U.S. and its allies. Part of the mission was to conduct coordinated range operations amongst multiple airframes as well as test low approach training capabilities before returning to their bases.

“These long-duration, coordinated training missions allow our strategic bomber aircrews to execute synchronized global strike missions tailored to the needs of the combatant commander,” said Maj. Gen. Scott Vander Hamm, commander, 8th Air Force and Joint Functional Component Commander for Global Strike.

The mission, which spanned nearly 8,000 miles from home station to the drop site and back to the home installation, tested the ability for planners to coordinate operations between combatant commands and amongst multiple Air Force wings. The 20-plus hour training missions also demonstrated the U.S.’ capability to provide a flexible and always-ready force to respond to a variety of threats and situations within U.S. Strategic Command’s global strike and strategic deterrence missions.

During the training mission, bomber crews enhanced their operational proficiency and readiness by releasing their inert ordnance on Hawaii’s Pohakuloa military weapon range. They also honed their skills at operating during a long duration flight; an important element of U.S. Strategic Command’s enduring deterrence capability.

“These tailored exercises are vital to assuring our nation’s leaders and our allies that we have the right mix of aircraft and skill to strike at the time and place of our choosing,” General Vander Hamm said.

The Department of Defense routinely conducts training missions to ensure the U.S. has a credible capability to respond to a variety of levels of threats and to provide the President a variety of options he may need to protect the nation or its allies and partners.

“Most bomber missions are long duration like this. The experience gained from this kind of training mission is invaluable,” said Lt. Col. Ryan Link, 96th Bomb Squadron commander, Barksdale AFB. “We boost our coordination capabilities and flying skills, and our bomber force is better for it.”

The B-2 and B-52 are long-range, multi-role bombers capable of delivering both conventional and nuclear munitions. Both bombers can fly at high subsonic speeds at altitudes up to 50,000 feet.

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US flies B-52 bombers in China’s air defense zone

Two US B-52 bombers flew over a disputed area of the East China Sea without informing Beijing, US officials said Tuesday, challenging China’s bid to create an expanded “air defense zone.”

The unarmed aircraft took off from Guam on Monday and the flight was previously scheduled as part of a routine exercise in the area, the defense officials said.

“Last night we conducted a training exercise that was long-planned. It involved two aircraft flying from Guam and returning to Guam,” Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steven Warren told reporters.

No flight plan was submitted beforehand to the Chinese and the mission went ahead “without incident,” Warren said.

The two aircraft spent “less than an hour” in China’s unilaterally-declared Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) and did not encounter Chinese planes, he said.

A defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed to AFP the two US planes were B-52 bombers.

China announced the expanded air defense zone amid a mounting territorial dispute with Japan over an island chain in the East China Sea known as Senkaku in Japanese and Diaoyu in Chinese.

The area also includes waters claimed by Taiwan and South Korea, which also have both expressed their displeasure at Beijing’s move.

Under the rules declared by China, aircraft are expected to provide a flight plan, clearly mark their nationality and maintain two-way radio communication to allow them to respond to identification inquiries from Chinese authorities.

Japan, the United States and several other governments sharply criticized China’s announced air defense zone.

Australia summoned Beijing’s ambassador to express its opposition and Tokyo called on airlines to refuse to accept China’s demands to abide by new rules when flying into the zone.

Pentagon officials said the United States views the area as international air space and American military aircraft would operate in the zone as before without submitting flight plans to China in advance.

The territorial dispute over the islands has simmered for decades but in September 2012, Japan nationalized three of the islands, in what it portrayed as an attempt to avoid a more inflammatory step by a nationalist politician.

Beijing, however, accuses Tokyo of disturbing the status quo, and has sent ships and planes to the islands in a show of force.

In response, Japan has mobilized vessels and aircraft, raising fears the tensions could trigger an accidental clash.

Without taking sides in the territorial feud, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon meanwhile called on China and Japan to negotiate an end to their dispute.

Ban on Tuesday said tensions should be handled “amicably through dialogue and negotiations.”

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Long-Range Strike: A Comparative Analysis of Fighters, Bombers, and Missiles

By on Friday, June 21st, 2013

Crisis stability and the means of maintaining it, crisis management, were central concerns in the Cold War. They are becoming relevant again as nuclear proliferation and the reemergence of great power competitors make dangerous interstate confrontations increasingly likely.

When managing an international crisis, U.S. leaders will need to defuse the threat of war without compromising important political or military interests, and they will want to do so before tensions escalate to the point at which one or both sides resort to nuclear brandishing.

In such situations, the United States must balance its threats with restraint. It must posture forces in ways that deter aggression without implying that an attack is imminent, while limiting its own vulnerability to surprise attack.

These seemingly contradictory requirements put peculiar demands on force structure.

Long-range strike assets — strike fighters, bombers, ballistic missiles, and cruise missiles — play an important role in crisis management, but are any of these systems more conducive to crisis stability than others and, if so, why?

To answer these questions, a RAND study examined the potential effects of alternative long-range strike systems on crisis stability, with a particular focus on specific attributes: potency, ability to minimize U.S. vulnerability to surprise attack, flexibility, responsiveness, and ability to convey the desired message in the event of an international crisis.

Crisis Stability and Long-Range Strike: A Comparative Analysis of Fighters, Bombers, and Missiles (156)

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Washington Steps Up Warning: Sending Two Stealth Bombers over South Korea

Following North Korean escalating tension with the South,  Washington is stepping up warning. Today the Air Forces’ Strategic Command said it is sending two B-2 Spirit strategic bombers over the peninsula. Amid tensions over the North’s third nuclear test last month and ensuing United Nations sanctions, North Korea had already shut down Red Cross hot lines with South Korea and a communication line with the American military command in South Korea. Yesterday, Pyongyang terminated the last remaining link with the South, accusing the South’ new President Park Geun-hye of pursuing the same hard-line policy of her predecessor that the North blamed for a prolonged chill in inter-Korean relations. “Under the situation where a war may break out any moment, there is no need to keep North-South military communications,” the North said on Wednesday.

U.S. Strategic Command officials sent two B-2 Spirit bombers for a long-duration, round-trip training mission from Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., to South Korea March 28 as part of the ongoing bilateral Foal Eagle training exercise. The stealth bomber’s mission followed two deployment of B-52H missions over South Korea last week, which drew fierce response from North Korea. “The United States is steadfast in its alliance commitment to the defense of South Korea, to deterring aggression, and to ensuring peace and stability in the region. The B-2 bomber is an important element of America’s enduring and robust extended deterrence capability in the Asia-Pacific region.” United States Forces Korea communique responded.

This mission by two B-2 Spirit bombers assigned to 509th Bomb Wing, which demonstrates the United States’ ability to conduct long range, precision strikes quickly and at will, involved flying more than 6,500 miles to the Korean Peninsula, dropping inert munitions on the Jik Do Range, and returning to the continental U.S. in a single, continuous mission. ”Exercise Foal Eagle demonstrates the commitment of the United States and its capability to defend South Korea and to provide extended deterrence to our allies in the Asia-Pacific region.”

North Korea announced yesterday it is planning substantial military actions, including pre-emptive nuclear strikes against the United States and South Korea. Pyongyang also claimed it is targeting US territories in Guam and Hawaii, however, despite the clear threat, North Korea does not currently have the means to carry out such threat.

Northrop Grumman B-2B 'Spirit' stealth bomber operational with the US Air Force Strategic Command. Photo: US Air Force

Northrop Grumman B-2 ‘Spirit’ stealth bomber operational with the US Air Force Strategic Command. Photo: US Air Force

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US flies B-52 bombers over South Korea

By on Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

The United States said it was flying training missions of nuclear-capable B-52 bombers over South Korea, in a clear signal to North Korea at a time of escalating military tensions.

The flights — part of annual joint South Korea-US military exercises — should be seen as underscoring US commitment and capacity to defend Seoul against an attack from the North, Pentagon spokesman George Little said.

In response to UN sanctions imposed after its third nuclear test last month, North Korea has warned of a “second Korean war” and threatened pre-emptive nuclear strikes on the South and the United States.

Little said a B-52 from Andersen Air Force base in Guam, flew over South Korea on March 8 as part of a military exercise dubbed “Foal Eagle.”

“The B-52 Stratofortress can perform a variety of missions including carrying precision-guided conventional or nuclear ordnance,” he said Monday.

B-52s have taken part in annual exercises before, but Little said the Pentagon wanted to underline their use this time given the current, heightened tensions.

“We’re drawing attention to the fact that we have extended deterrence capabilities that we believe are important to demonstrate in the wake of recent North Korean rhetoric,” he said.

That message was echoed in Seoul on Monday by visiting Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, who promised to provide South Korea with every available military resource “offered by the US nuclear umbrella”.

Another B-52 training mission was carried out Tuesday, Yonhap cited a South Korean military official as saying.

“The bomber struck a simulated target in (eastern) Gangwon Province,” the official said.

In a major announcement on Friday, the United States unveiled plans to bolster its own missile defenses in direct response to the growing threat posed by North Korea.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced that 14 more interceptors would be stationed in Alaska, increasing by almost half the 30 already deployed along the California and Alaska coastlines.

Hagel said the defence upgrade was designed to “stay ahead of the threat” from North Korea, which is still believed to be years from having a missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead to the continental United States.

The US initiative did not go down well in Beijing, where the Chinese foreign ministry warned that any effort to increase military capacity would only serve to “intensify antagonism”.

China is North Korea’s sole major ally and main trading partner.

Although it backed the latest UN sanctions against Pyongyang, analysts say China’s main concern is to avoid sudden regime collapse in Pyongyang that might result in a US-allied, reunified Korea.

Despite its growing isolation and the stepped-up international pressure, North Korea insists its plan to develop a viable nuclear deterrent is “unshakeable” and non-negotiable.

On the first day of negotiations for a conventional weapons treaty at UN headquarters on Monday, the North’s deputy UN ambassador Ri Tong-Il proclaimed the North’s “very proud and powerful” position as the latest nuclear weapons state.

Ri also denounced what he termed a US policy of “nuclear blackmail” that he insisted would “in the long run give birth to more nuclear weapons states”.

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