Giant B-52 bomber comes to Norway for the first time
When Europe’s largest Air Force ‘Arctic Challenge’ Military Exercise begins in northern Scandinavia next week, for the first time, the USA’s giant B-52 bomber will be on Norwegian soil.
Over 100 military aircraft from eleven nations, with over a thousand military personnel, will participate in the Arctic Challenge Exercise (ACE) in northern Norway, Sweden and Finland.
The exercise, which begins on Monday, and lasts until the 2nd of June, also took place in 2013 and 2015. This year, for the first time, there will also be between one and three US B-52H bombers in Norway, writes Teknisk Ukeblad magazine.
‘It won’t land at any of the bases, but will participate in an air mission at the end of the exercise,’ stated the Armed Forces(Forsvaret). The bomber has eight engines, a distinctive wing profile, and can carry close to 32 tons of bombs, including 20 cruise missiles.
There are 744 of the planes, called ‘Stratofortress’, under US command. Today, the USA have 76 operative B-52H models flying out of the Barksdale aircraft bases in Louisiana and Minot, in North Dakota.
The aircraft were produced as early as 1961 and 1962, but have since been upgraded numerous times.
ACE is not a NATO exercise, but part of Nordic Defense Cooperation (NORDEFCO), which is a collaboration between Finland,Norway and Sweden.
The multinational exercise will be commanded from Finland.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today