Russian military sources claim that five U.S. Air Force’s B-52H Stratofortress bombers conducted a mock nuclear strike against targets in Russia, include Moscow and St. Saint Petersburg during training flights on 28 March.
The training flight of U.S. B-52H bombers with Norwegian F-16 fighter jets over the Norwegian Sea was one of the examples of dummy cruise missile attacks outside the detection zone by air-defense radars, as well as outside the combat radius of MiG-31supersonic interceptor aircraft, the source indicated.
The H model of B-52 bombers can carry up to 20 air-launched cruise missiles, as an AGM-158A/B JASSM/-ER и AGM-86С, D.
The B-52 cannot penetrate adversary air defenses, but cruise missiles with long-range able to penetrate emerging high-tech air defenses.
Russian officials, including the defense ministry, have expressed concerns of B-52 flight near country’s border.
NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in February said the alliance “have wide range of options – conventional and other options” to deal with what NATO calls a “Russian violation” of the INF-treaty.
Stoltenberg did not mention the American B-52 bombers, but the planes are indeed one way for NATO to show Moscow that nuclear weapons can be brought closer to the Russian border.
The Pentagon has announced that during training with NATO allies like Norway enhances the capabilities and readiness of the alliance.
The flights also allowed aircrews to conduct theater familiarization and to demonstrate U.S. commitment to allies and partners through the global employment of our military forces. U.S. Strategic Command regularly tests and evaluates the readiness of strategic assets to ensure we are able to honor our security commitments.
The B-52s, part of the Bomber Task Force currently deployed to the U.S. European Command area of responsibility, are from the 2nd Bomb Wing, Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. The aircraft arrived in theater on March 14-15 and are temporarily operating out of RAF Fairford.