The US has deployed several nuclear-capable strategic bombers to Britain for the first time as tensions with Russia continue to grow.
Two B-2 stealth bombers, which cost more than half a billion each three B-52H Stratofortress aircraft and three B-1B Lancers are currently stationed at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire.
A spokesman for the base said the aircraft are being used ‘in support of exercises BALTOPS (Baltic operations), Saber Strike and Arctic Challenge taking place in the U.S. European Command area of responsibility.’
He told the Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: ‘The deployment of strategic bombers strengthens the effectiveness of RAF Fairford as the U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa’s forward operating bomber location’ and the deployment of the bombers provide: ‘important integration and interaction with our joint partners, UK and NATO allies.’
Despite their use solely being for exercise purposes currently, the aircraft are capable of delivering a nuclear strike and have been used in Iraq and Afghanistan in the past.
The decision to deploy the bombers on UK soil comes as tensions are mounting with Russia as it adopts more a aggressive military front.
Russian Tupolev Tu-95 ‘Bear’ strategic bombers have repeatedly been intercepted in recent months by NATO aircraft, including RAF Typhoons. Continue reading.