A US Air Force B-52 bomber has crashed in Guam in the Indian Ocean on Thursday 19 May, US authorities confirmed. All seven crewmembers escaped, but the aircraft was consumed by fire.
The crash happened as the aircraft took off from Guam’s 12,000 feet runway. According to a base official, the bomber only carried inert munitions when things went wrong. The aircraft’s homebase in the US was Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota.
Guam has been a long time deployment airfield for US bombers operating over Asia.
Germany will disband its Tornado training unit at Holloman Air Force Base in the US in 2019. Berlin has decided to move training to Schleswig-Jagel in northern Germany. Holloman AFB in New Mexico has been home to German Air Force fighter jet training since 1992, using both the F-4 Phantom and Panavia Tornado.
The announcement doesn’t come as a surprise, given the reduced number of Tornados still in German operation. A total of 85 of the fighter-bomber jets still fly, with roughly 70 based at two airbases in Germany. The remainder are at Holloman and will return to Germany by 2019, heading to Schleswig-Jagel.
During the eighties and especially during the nineties, the Tornado was the most numerous fighter aircraft flown by the German Air Force. The type was in use as fighter bomber, recce and SEAD platform and also served as an air-to-air refueller. The German Navy used the jet for anti-shipping warfare.
Russia is on track and partly even ahead of schedule in restarting production of the Tu-160 Blackjack strategic bomber, vice-secretary of Defense Yury Borisov stated on Wednesday 6 April in Russian media. The new version of the Blackjack, designated Tu-160M2, should first fly in 2019.
Russia says it wants to order 50 new Tu-160M2 for its air force, pushing back the design and production of the totally new next-generation strategic bomber known as PAK-DA. That new design has been in development since 2009 but will likely not fly before 2023.
Moscow instead choose to restart production of a revamped Tu-160 Blackjack. Sixteen older models are already in service and represent the strong arm of Russia’s strategic bomber force. The type was also used of Syria recently.
We already served you a nice dish of images of the big NATO & partners exercise Cold Response earlier, but the military photographers and the Norwegian military audiovisual unit have given us some more nice stuff! Press play and see more of the aircraft and helicopters that supported the 15,000 troops strong exercise in Northern and Central Norway, with even the Norwegian crown prince Haakon deployed, earning his tactical special operations parajump certification with the Norwegian Special Operations Command.
About 15,000 troops, including 2,000 of non-NATO member Sweden, 40 aircraft and helicopters, about a thousand vehicles and several ships and boats are currently kicking a** in Northern and Central Norway. Exercise Cold Response included the taking of the normally peaceful village of Namsos, situated on the shores of beautiful fjords.
The 7th edition of the multinational winter war exercise hosted by Norway brings units from mainly NATO countries together, to show what they can as “bad” and “good” force against each other. To train for a possible real war scenario and to show NATO’s current strange “friend” Russia that the North American-European alliance still can.