London – Three of the B-2 Stealth Bombers, known as the most advanced strategic bombers capable of carrying nuclear warheads, arrived at a UK airbase on Tuesday night. The UK media claimed that the planes had arrived for a ‘Secret Mission’ in Europe. On the contrary, military spokespersons of the UK and the US have said that the bombers arrived in the UK as part of a NATO training exercise. The US Air Force has approximately 20 B-2 bombers, and each one of them has the capacity of delivering a nuclear payload of 20 tonnes.
Both the United States and Russia, have withdrawn from the INF Treaty, a crucial agreement that was signed between them on the use of nuclear weapons. After that, both countries have adopted an aggressive stance and begun testing advanced missiles. Following the US missile tests on 19th August, Russia conducted two successive missile tests including ones with nuclear warheads. At the same time, the Russian defence forces have even initiated comprehensive war exercises in the Arctic, Black Sea and Baltic Sea regions simultaneously. Therefore, the tensions in the region appear to be intensifying.
On the sidelines of the developments, the US nuclear-capable bombers arriving in the United Kingdom assumes much significance. The European Command (USEUCOM) of the US Air Force, issued a statement on the deployment. According to the statement, the B-2 stealth bombers were sent for training exercises alongside the NATO member countries and to enhance the ability to perform rotations in Europe. However, the statement does not inform about the period for which the bombers would be deployed.
The B-2 stealth bombers are said to have flown to Iceland on the very next day after its arrival at the UK airbase on Tuesday night. Also, the planes had taken a halt at the Keflavik Airport in Iceland for nearly two hours. During the stopover, hot pit refuelling technique was reportedly practised for training. It was the first visit of the US B-2 stealth bombers to Iceland. Furthermore, the B-2 stealth bombers trained with the British F-35B fighter jets for a short while as well.
No information was disclosed on the countries the bombers would next visit or the NATO training exercise they would be participating in afterwards. The UK media have asserted that the B-2 bombers were on a ‘Secret Mission’ in Europe.
The B-2 stealth bombers, inducted in the US Air Force two decades ago are known as the most lethal aircraft. The aircraft is undetectable on radars and capable of carrying nuclear bombs as well as advanced cruise missiles and costs nearly $2.1 billion. The plane with speeds up to 1010 Kilometres per hour and a range of 11,000 kilometres, were previously used in the Kosovo, Afghanistan and Syrian military campaigns.