TOKYO, JAPAN — A US Air Force bomber has been deployed to the Sea of Japan in a joint exercise with the Japan Self-Defense Force. This comes just two days after a boat assault group of the Russian Federation’s Pacific Fleet fired a P-270 Moskit supersonic anti-ship cruise missile at a conditional target. We remind you that the Russian missile hit a target 100 km away.
The joint exercise between the US and Japan has been deployed over part of the waters of the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea. Along with 12 F-15 fighters and four F-2 fighters, the American B-52 bomber joined the exercise.
The presence of the B-52 in the area, just two days after the Russian test, is not accidental. Washington sends such a bomber not only to “intimidate” its adversaries but also to conduct reconnaissance as much as possible with such a strategic aircraft. It can be said that sending B-52s to such areas [after conducting exercises] is a new pattern in the tactics of the US Air Force.
B-52 over Bulgaria
For example, the B-52 was previously sent on a joint exercise with South Korean partners just days after North Korea conducted another missile test. Military experts define the presence of a nuclear bomber in such exercises as significant. These aircraft can carry nuclear weapons and should have a deterrent effect.
Speaking of new tactics on the part of the US Air Force, we should note that the B-52 began to perform patrol missions as well, quite often as part of a NATO patrol group. This happens not only in the Asian regions but also in Europe. For example, in early March there were reports that two B-52 bombers had been circling over southeastern Bulgaria for two hours. It was a NATO patrol and the two bombers had taken off from Spain.
Su-35s intercepted B-52s
The presence of B-53s in various parts of the world is a signal that in those areas the US wants to establish an effective deterrent. Especially since the international political situation has sharply deteriorated since the invasion of Russian troops in Ukraine last February.
However, these bombers do not remain hidden. Just days ago, two B-52s were intercepted by the Russian Aerospace Forces [VKS] over the Baltic Sea. The interception was carried out with Su-35 Flanker-E fighters. The Kremlin announced that the bombers had approached the Russian border. Russia was forced to intercept the bombers and escort them out of the danger zone, the Russian Federation’s Defense Ministry said.
The presence of the B-52 in the area around the Sea of Japan not only ensures the security of America’s allies but also shows Russia, China, and North Korea that if tensions in the area escalate, the United States can respond.
An expert of EurAsian Times says that the reasons for sending bombers to conflict zones are always two: message and intelligence gathering. The second act takes place after a provocation by the bomber pilots.
I.e. heading to a restricted area the enemy is forced to send interception aircraft. As is the case with the Russian Su-35 over the Baltic Sea. In this way, radars, and different frequencies are activated, and the reaction of the enemy and his radar emissions are tracked. This is precisely the intelligence that B-52 pilots must gather. It is archived and becomes part of a countermeasure model in the future.
Soviet air defenses
The B-52 was developed for a potential nuclear strike in the Cold War era. But B-53s are highly vulnerable to Russian radars. This is more fact than statement if we look historically at the existence of the B-52.
For example, about 15 bombers were shot down by North Vietnam during the Vietnam War. The Vietnamese achieved this success using the Soviet S-75 Dvina air defense system. It is claimed that almost half of these 15 bombers were shot down in just one night.
If we recall the war in Iraq, which the US calls a “military operation” with the name “Desert Storm” in order not to repeat the mistakes of its ancestors in the Vietnam war, the US Air Force first destroyed the anti-aircraft system of Iraq, after which the bombers flew freely in the sky of the Iraqis. Iraq’s air defense system was built precisely from Soviet surface-to-air missile platforms and systems.
Today, for the B-52, things become more complicated, as Russia has the S-400 air defense system. It has a long-range and strong radar that can shoot down a bomber very quickly.
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