Let’s Have A Look At B-52’s Mission Over The Baltics And Close To Russia Yesterday



File picture of a B-52H assigned to the fifth Bomb Wing (U.S. Air Power picture by Workers Sgt. Nicholas Swift). In bins, NOBLE 61 route as seen on FR24 (Screenshots from flightradar24.com)

Throughout its sortie the B-52 acquired nearer to St. Petersburg and Kaliningrad than ever seen earlier than on flight monitoring web sites.

On Mar. 12, 2023, one of many 4 B-52 Stratofortress bombers assigned to fifth Bomb Wing from Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, deployed to Moron Air Base, Spain, to help the most recent Bomber Activity Power (BTF), carried out a fairly fascinating mission.

Utilizing callsign NOBLE 61, the B-52 #60-0026, first flew in direction of Norway, then headed south, overflew Denmark and as soon as over Poland, it was refueled by a KC-135, after which headed northeast.  Flying over the Baltic Sea in direction of the Gulf of Finland, the bomber, at all times monitoring on-line on Flightradar24.com and different flight monitoring apps, flew off Kaliningrad Oblast, then turned east pointing kind of in direction of Saint Petersburg.

Whereas remaining in worldwide airspace, the BUFF entered Saint Petersburg’s FIR (Flight Info Area) in direction of the Russian island of Gogland, then turned south, overflew Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

As soon as over Lithuania, the strategic bomber turned once more in direction of the Baltic Sea and, on a westerly heading, flew north of the border with Kaliningrad Oblast.

Whereas we now have noticed different U.S. bomber missions within the Baltic area, to our reminiscence, this was probably the most “in depth” into the Gulf of Finland we may monitor on-line.

One other B-52 mission fairly near the Russian airspace that may very well be watched stay on flight monitoring apps dates again to September 2020, when three Stratofortress bombers operated over Ukraine’s Sea of Azov coast, not removed from Crimea.

Anyway, lengthy vary deterrence missions, carried out by B-52, B-2 or B-1 bombers have turn out to be virtually routine in Europe, as they’re a strategy to improve cooperation, reassure native allies and flex muscular tissues towards Russia. Since B-52s not at all times depart their Mode-S transponders turned on throughout their missions throughout Europe and the remainder of the world, the truth that NOBLE 61 was monitoring on-line throughout its all-around-Scandinavia and Baltics sortie proves they wished to be seen.

The “present of power” despatched social networks on a frenzy: some individuals thought the B-52 had intruded into the Russian airspace. Nonetheless, as defined a number of instances right here, the border of an FIR doesn’t coincide with the border of a nationwide airspace, as the primary is normally a lot bigger and consists of worldwide airspace.

David Cenciotti is a journalist based mostly in Rome, Italy. He’s the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of many world’s most well-known and browse army aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for main worldwide magazines, together with Air Forces Month-to-month, Fight Plane, and lots of others, masking aviation, protection, warfare, business, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown a number of fight planes with totally different air forces. He’s a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Power, a personal pilot and a graduate in Laptop Engineering. He has written 5 books and contributed to many extra ones.


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