EF-18M of the 12th Wing of the Spanish Air Force flew with USAF aircraft

Fighters from Spain and other allied countries escort B-52 bombers over Europe

On May 22, four B-52H Stratofortress bombers of the US Air Force (USAF) arrived at RAF Fairford, England.

The icy deployment of the Spanish EF-18 and A400M planes under the snow in Lithuania
The visit of the Civil Guard to the B-52H 'Wise Guy' bomber on its deployment in Spain

As reported by NATO Air Command (AIRCOM), this deployment is part of the Bomber Task Force (BTF) Europe 24-3, and its mission is to integrate with NATO allies and others international partners "to synchronize capabilities and assure security commitments across the U.S. European Command area of responsibility."

AIRCOM adds: "bombers provide strategic predictability and assurance for Allies and partners while contributing to deterrence by introducing greater operational unpredictability for potential adversaries." All this in a scenario of instability in Europe due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and Russian threats and provocations against allied countries.

The BFT 24-3 is generated by the 69th Expeditionary Bombardment Squadron "Knighthawks", based at Minot AFB, North Dakota. Yesterday, the US Armed Forces multimedia site DVIDShub.net published a series of photos taken by Staff Sergeant Emily Farnsworth that show the flight of these B-52s over several countries in Europe in the company of fighters from several allied countries, among them Spanish EF-18M. You can see them below.

The two EF-18M fighters of the 12th Wing of the Air Force that flew alongside the B-52H. They are the C.15-44 (12-02) and the C.15-50 (12-08). As we see in the image, both carried AN/AAQ-28(V) LITENING designators on their ventral supports and AIM-2000 IRIS-T medium-range air-to-air missiles on the marginal supports of their wings, in addition to AIM-120 AMRAAM medium-range air-to-air missiles on its fuselage supports and external fuel tanks under the wings.

Another photo of the two Spanish EF-18Ms. The USAF has not indicated the places where these photos were taken, but they are surely the Spanish EF-18M deployed in Šiauliai, Lithuania, on a NATO Baltic Air Police (BAP) mission. Wing 12 is based in Torrejón de Ardoz, in the Community of Madrid. These photos of the EF-18M were taken on May 28.

The two Spanish EF-18Ms in an image in which we see the starboard engines of a B-52H. These old and effective bombers, already with many years of service, have the best operational index of the USAF strategic bomber fleet, surpassing the more modern B-1B Lancer and B-2 Spirit. For this reason, the B-52H fleet is being updated to the B-52J version, with new Rolls Royce F130 engines, an improved radar and more modern communications equipment.

A MiG-29 from the 41st Tactical Aviation Squadron (41.ELT) of the Polish Air Force escorting the B-52s on May 28. The 41.ELT is based in Malbork, in the Pomeranian Voivodeship (northern Poland). The Polish MiG-29s are in the process of being replaced by FA-50 Golden Eagle light fighters manufactured in South Korea.

Two F-35As from the USAF 48th Fighter Wing during a joint flight with B-52Hs on May 29. These American fighters are based at RAF Lakenheath, England.

Two photos released by the Luftwaffe showing German Eurofighters escorting B-52Hs over Lithuania on May 28. These German aircraft are currently deployed in Lielvārde, Latvia, on a BAP mission. The aircraft are assigned to Jagdgeschwader 74 (JG 74, 74th Tactical Fighter Wing), based in Neuburg, Bavaria.


Photos: U.S. Air Force / Luftwaffe.

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