Military Review

Will the Pentagon put B-52 planes on duty around the clock?

30
The basis of the distant aviation The U.S. Air Force is still comprised of Boeing B-52H Stratofortress bombers. For several decades, these aircraft have retained the role of one of the main components of strategic nuclear forces. In recent days, several new reports have appeared in the foreign press regarding the further use of such equipment and plans for its use in the strategic containment system.


Bombers will return to the clock readiness

22 in October, the American edition of Defense One published an article entitled “EXCLUSIVE: US Preparing to Put Nuclear Bombers Back on 24-Hour Alert” (“Exclusive: The US is preparing to return nuclear bombers to round-the-clock readiness”) by Markus Weisgerber. As noted in the subtitle, the planned methods of organizing the duty of the B-52 aircraft have not been used by American aircraft since the Cold War.

According to the publication Defense One, in the very near future, the United States Air Force will return long-range bombers to combat duty with constant readiness for combat operations. Thus, on the long sections near the ends of the runways, for marking up those called “Christmas trees”, planes with special ammunition will reappear, ready to take off as soon as possible and head towards their targets.

Will the Pentagon put B-52 planes on duty around the clock?


On plans to change the order of service of B-52 bombers M. Weisgerberu was told by the Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force, General David Goldfein. According to him, such plans are another measure for the army to be ready for a possible war. The general does not consider the planned preparation of the Air Force in the context of specific armed conflicts, but the general deterioration of the international situation calls for certain measures to be taken.

According to Defense One, D. Goldfein and a number of other military leaders argue that there has not yet been an order for changes in the long-range duty duty. However, several structures are already waiting for his appearance. The final decision should be made by the head of the Strategic Command, General John Heithen, and the head of the Northern Command, General Lori Robinson.

According to M. Weisberger, the planned transfer of aircraft to permanent readiness is only one of the answers to the emerging challenges. The situation on the Korean Peninsula is worsening, Washington and Pyongyang exchange aggressive statements. In the meantime, Russia is building up the capacity of its armed forces.

Against the background of these events, D. Goldfein called on the command of the US armed forces to explore new strategies, including the use of nuclear weapons in the field of deterrence. In addition, he does not exclude the possibility of using such weapons in a hypothetical conflict. He recalls: "The world is a dangerous place, and there are already people who are directly talking about the possible use of nuclear weapons." According to the general, now the world is not bipolar, and there are not only the United States and the USSR. There are several other nuclear powers that place special demands on the US military.

As part of his recent speech, D. Goldfein pointed out that pilots need to get rid of the Cold War clichés, in which intercontinental missiles, nuclear bombers and cruise missiles played a special role. He invited the Air Force Global Strike Command to consider several critical issues. It is necessary to establish exactly how a conventional conflict with limited use of nuclear weapons will look like? How should the United States react to such events? How can events develop? Finally, how should deterrence be performed in such conditions?

D. Goldfein was asked about the prospects of the B-52 aircraft in the context of deterrence. Will they be able to solve the problem in the same way as it was several decades ago? The general could not answer unequivocally. In his opinion, the results of the implementation of new plans depend on how exactly the bombers will be used, and moreover, on the conditional adversary’s attention to the status of US aircraft.

M. Weisgerber notes that, despite the absence of an order to transfer the bombers to the new duty regime, some measures are already being taken to prepare for this. Thus, at the Barksdale air base - one of the key strategic aviation facilities - the restoration of the required infrastructure has begun. Next to the runway of this base is the so-called. The Alert Center is a building with space for pilots where they can wait for an order to fly out. Now this object, actually abandoned in the past, is being repaired.

In the rooms of the restored building will be placed residential and domestic premises, capable of providing duty over 100 pilots - in accordance with the capabilities of the airfield in the context of the simultaneous duty of the aircraft. Pilots will have a lounge with a TV, pool table, etc. On the main staircase of the building, hang up the symbols of local squadrons.

Along with the B-52H, other planes will be on duty at the Christmas tree. According to M. Weisgerber, from time to time there will be air command posts E-4B Nightwatch and E-6B Mercury on the runway. In the event of the outbreak of an armed conflict, they will become the jobs of the Minister of Defense and the head of the Strategic Command. One of the tasks of the aircraft will be the issuance of orders to parts of strategic nuclear forces.

No permanent duty, but the infrastructure is updated

The article in the publication Defense One naturally attracted attention. In addition, it was the reason for the appearance of clarifying articles. So, the day after it was published, Breaking Defense released a publication by Colin Clarke on the title “No Nuke Bombers On Call 24 / 7, But Alert Centers Being Upgraded” (“No bombers on permanent duty, but alert centers will be updated”) . As is clear from its name, the previous material from M. Weisgerber was far from fully consistent with the real state of affairs.

At the beginning of his article, C. Clark recalled the essence of the previous publication in Defense One. After reviewing the information from Marcus Weisgerber, the author of the publication Breaking Defense decided to clarify it, and sent a few questions to the US Strategic Command. This structure determines the methods of deploying a nuclear weapon, and it is she, and not the Air Force headquarters, who should decide on the deployment of bomber on duty of one kind or another.

According to Captain Brooke DeWolt, a representative of the head of the Strategic Command, General J. Haiten, who answered C. Clarke, the question of changing the alert status of B-52 aircraft is not currently being considered.

The representative of the Strategic Command noted that plans for the withdrawal of aircraft on permanent duty are not currently available. The issue of such a deployment of technology is also not being considered. At the same time, Captain DeWolt recalled that such issues are within the competence of the US Strategic Command and that it should solve them.

Despite the lack of plans for round-the-clock combat duty of the bombers, the command continues to conduct personnel training. The necessary training is carried out and the necessary equipment is supplied. All this is necessary to ensure combat readiness that meets the requirements of strategic deterrence in the 21st century.

Such a response from the official representative of the leadership of the Strategic Command does not quite agree with D. Goldfein’s comments. However, according to C. Clark, the statements of the Chief of Staff of the Air Force can say that this structure is still preparing to receive the relevant order.

In an interview for Defense One, General D. Goldfein said that putting the aircraft on permanent duty is another step in ensuring the readiness of the air force. In addition, he noted that such plans are not associated with a specific potential adversary, but with a change in the strategic situation in the world. Thus, the order to put the aircraft on alert has not yet arrived, but the prerequisites for its appearance already exist.

However, the only commander authorized to approve such plans, according to his official representative, does not plan to sign a new order. In other words, information about the speedy transfer of bombers to 24-hour readiness is currently not true.

Author Breaking Defense believes that initially история on duty, B-52 contained some hints about the possibility of changing the strategy or the desire of the air force to influence its development. However, in actual fact everything turned out differently. Another fact was added to one fact, and the result was less interesting than it seemed from the very beginning. The same applies to the Barksdale base facilities, which are currently undergoing repairs and modernization.

K. Clark reminds that on this base one of the buildings is actually being renovated. However, the Alert Center is not updated with the aim of ensuring the round-the-clock duty of strategic aviation pilots. This object is used by the crews of various aircraft from the various structures of the Pentagon. Due to the gradual deterioration of the infrastructure in need of repair.

The renovation of the building on the Barksdale base, accompanied by the installation of new equipment, started in August last year. In accordance with the existing contract worth 3,5 million dollars, the contractor will have to restore various internal systems of the facility. The second contract worth 136 thousand dollars, concluded by the Strategic Command, stipulates the purchase of funds for comfortable rest of the pilots, and also affects the exterior of the building.

***

As we see, in the field of strategic aviation of the United States there is a rather interesting situation. The head of one structure of the Pentagon speaks about the imminent restructuring of the aircraft’s duty system, the purpose of which is to ensure the possibility of take-off at any time of the day with a full load. Soon after, a representative of another structure responsible for the combat use of long-range bombers indicates the absence of such plans and the unwillingness of the Strategic Command to change the existing system.

This situation looks very strange, because it demonstrates some difficulties in the interaction of the two most important organizations involved in ensuring strategic security. Some problems are always present when large structures work together, but in this case they can be a serious cause for concern, and not only for the Pentagon.

Despite all the problems of the US military, recent publications in the foreign press may be grounds for optimism. Marcus Weischerber's article "EXCLUSIVE: US Preparing to Put Nuclear Bombers Back on 24-Hour Alert" immediately attracted the attention of specialists from different countries and caused concern. It would hardly be possible to imagine a different reaction to plans for the return of the round-the-clock continuous duty of strategic bombers. However, the very next day it became known that General David Golfein did not announce the most accurate information. As it turned out, the Strategic Command has no such plans. As for the repair of one of the objects of the Barksdale base, mentioned by M. Weisgerber, it is carried out in a planned manner and is not related to the duty of B-52H aircraft. Permanent combat duty of bombers, however, is not assumed.

And yet there are certain reasons for concern. As General D. Golfein rightly noted, the situation in the world is changing and the United States has to react to this. How exactly Washington and the Pentagon intend to respond to changes in the strategic situation, and how such an answer will affect it is not yet completely clear. At the same time, it is safe to predict a certain deterioration of the situation in some regions.


Article "EXCLUSIVE: US Preparing to Put Nuclear Bombers Back on 24-Hour Alert":
http://www.defenseone.com/threats/2017/10/exclusive-us-preparing-put-nuclear-bombers-back-24-hour-alert/141957/

Article "No Nuke Bombers On Call 24 / 7, But Alert Centers Being Upgraded":
https://breakingdefense.com/2017/10/no-nuke-bombers-on-call-247-but-alert-centers-being-upgraded/
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  1. Gray brother
    Gray brother 25 October 2017 07: 57 New
    +1
    Spare parts in the trash end. What kind of duty can there be?
    1. SMP
      SMP 25 October 2017 13: 29 New
      +1
      Spare parts in the trash end. What kind of duty can there be?


      Duty? recent news here on VO
      https://topwar.ru/127892-vvs-ssha-vozvraschayut-n
      a-sluzhbu-pensionerov.html

      US Air Force returns to retirees
      The US Department of Defense found an opportunity to resolve the "silent crisis" in the ranks of the Air Force. According to the portal businessinsider.com, US President Donald Trump has signed amendments to the executive order, which will allow about a thousand pilots to return to the service.


      That is, just the same to restore this garbage in the photo.

      In general, why not wait, it is necessary to resume production MiG-31

      And he would create a couple of super-fighter interceptors based on the T-160, as once created Long-range barrage fighter-interceptor Tu-128.
      https://topwar.ru/25628-dalniy-barrazhiruyuschiy-
      istrebitel-perehvatchik-tu-128-chast-3-ekspluatac
      iya-i-primenenie.html



      A supersonic interceptor based on the Tu-160 is capable of shooting down the B-52 as in a dash,
      more than 10 hours to hang beyond the North Pole not accessible to fighters, in the area of ​​the possible launch of B-52 and B-1 cruise missiles.
      The dismantling of the bomb compartments allows the installation of additional fuel tanks in their place and the creation of a small compartment for 10-20 air-to-air missiles of the R-37 type on the MiG-31. The need for such machines has matured, but only for the Arctic.
      1. a.sirin
        a.sirin 25 October 2017 14: 42 New
        +4
        Do you have any money?
        1. SMP
          SMP 25 October 2017 17: 54 New
          0
          Have you accidentally made a mistake on the site?
          1. a.sirin
            a.sirin 30 October 2017 17: 54 New
            +1
            Where I want - there I am present
  2. FID
    FID 25 October 2017 09: 12 New
    +7
    Let one of our "experts" announce the verdict on the "obsolescence" of the B-52 ... Well, at least someone, please ...
    1. Gray brother
      Gray brother 25 October 2017 10: 16 New
      0
      Quote: SSI
      Let one of our "experts" announce the verdict on the "obsolescence" of the B-52 ...

      I can announce the physical. Is it necessary?
      The American strategic bomber B-52 lost one of its engines during a training flight in the northern United States. This was reported by the information portal Defense News with reference to the military.

      According to the publication, the incident occurred in the vicinity of the Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota. The aircraft with a crew of five landed safely, as it is equipped with eight TF33-P-3/103 turbo engines. Immediately after the accident, the military sent a reconnaissance helicopter in search of engine wreckage. After some time, they were discovered 40 kilometers northeast of the base.
      1. FID
        FID 25 October 2017 11: 07 New
        +8
        Is it obsolescence or sloppiness ??? Physical obsolescence, for military (civilian) aircraft, it IS NOT TO BE! The plane either flies, or it is written off! But when the cry of morality begins .... I don’t understand this and REFUSE to understand! The B-737 was developed in the "shaggy" years of the last century, and many of our "experts" fly on these "morally" obsolete, but God forbid mentioning the Tu-204 or IL-96 ... - they will mix it with the guano !!!
        1. exo
          exo 25 October 2017 12: 20 New
          0
          You can also recall the S-130.
        2. Gray brother
          Gray brother 25 October 2017 14: 39 New
          +1
          Quote: SSI
          Physical obsolescence, for military (civilian) aircraft, it IS NOT TO BE!

          Yeah, the heretics came up with the word "resource".
          1. FID
            FID 25 October 2017 15: 23 New
            +4
            Quote: Gray Brother
            Yeah, the heretics came up with the word "resource".

            Read it carefully - or it’s being written off ... This is the resource.
        3. Mih1974
          Mih1974 25 October 2017 20: 01 New
          0
          Even as there is a "moral obsolescence." The simplest example is piston fighter / jet fighters. The same goes for bombers or passenger. You do not consider the "morally modern" Tu-104? So here, each etoch "morally" limits the technique used. Yes - you can fly to the Pe-2, but personally, you would prefer at least "sesna" (that would just not freeze) good
    2. 73bor
      73bor 25 October 2017 10: 18 New
      0
      There is not obsolescence, but physical obsolescence; the last aircraft were released more than 40 years ago!
      1. Amurets
        Amurets 25 October 2017 11: 31 New
        0
        Quote: 73bor
        There is not obsolescence, but physical obsolescence; the last aircraft were released more than 40 years ago!

        N. Yakubovich in his book Stratospheric Fortresses B-52, M-4 and Tu-95 You can download it here
        https://armyman.info/books/id-11407.html
        gives such data: it will be withdrawn from service no earlier than 2045. Resource glider 37500 hours. Engine life of turbofan engines TF-33 before the cancellation of the aircraft.
        Requires updating communications and electronic equipment.
      2. Nikolaevich I
        Nikolaevich I 25 October 2017 14: 34 New
        +1
        Quote: 73bor
        There is not obsolescence, but physical obsolescence; the last aircraft were released more than 40 years ago

        So ...... they are iron! That is, luminescent ..... sour can not! What will happen to them when stored properly? And summer tires for winter can always be changed!
  3. Old26
    Old26 25 October 2017 11: 28 New
    +5
    Quote: Gray Brother
    Spare parts in the trash end. What kind of duty can there be?

    Incidentally, one should not again engage in "hatred". “Davis-Montin” storage base - yes, this is a storage base, the machines of which can be disposed of, replacing individual spare parts with drill-down ones. But do not discount the fact that about 80 cars, if necessary, they can be returned to service within 1 or 2 months of EMNIP. This is about 13 B-52H bombers, about 51 B-52G bombers and up to 16 B-1B bombers. That is, to strike at the same North Korea, the Americans can use the order of a bunch of bombers of the old modification G (without ALCM). And how many cars, if necessary, can we restore from storage bases? Here is the question

    Quote: 73bor
    There is not obsolescence, but physical obsolescence; the last aircraft were released more than 40 years ago!

    Nevertheless, the Americans plan to use the B-52 for another 20 years, that is, almost until 2040. So there are still opportunities
    1. Gray brother
      Gray brother 25 October 2017 14: 42 New
      0
      Quote: Old26
      But do not discount the fact that about 80 cars, if necessary, they can be returned to service within 1 or 2 months of EMNIP. This is about 13 B-52H bombers, about 51 B-52G bombers and up to 16 B-1B bombers.

      Every year this quantity decreases, because spare parts at the landfill will not be born. And all sorts of rubber bands and wiring can be thrown out there for a long time.
      1. exo
        exo 25 October 2017 16: 34 New
        0
        And who said that it is not possible to produce these parts on existing equipment? . Or are they not interchangeable with components for civilian aircraft? Especially when it comes to rubber seals. Often, they are interchangeable.
        An order for a fleet for 80 cars + in service is large. And subcontractors will gladly take up it.
        1. Gray brother
          Gray brother 25 October 2017 17: 11 New
          +2
          Quote: exo
          . Or are they not interchangeable with components for civilian aircraft?

          These engines are not produced at all, respectively, and spare parts for them, too. There is nothing interchangeable there - half a century to an airplane, you can only remove it from the old ones and the materials age.
          Quote: exo
          And subcontractors will gladly take up it.

          While they will be taken, “necessity” will disappear for objective reasons.
        2. Mih1974
          Mih1974 25 October 2017 20: 05 New
          0
          I get hysteria from you laughing , I suppose there’s a car too - go to the auto parts store and try to buy a “rubber band” suitable for your swallow, for example, from a Kamaz truck or a completely different car !! As a minimum, they will look at you as an idiot. fool , and conscientious sellers "on the fingers" to explain that "this will not suit you."
          1. exo
            exo 25 October 2017 21: 41 New
            +1
            Well, so that you won’t be hysterical: the water filters on the Airbus 319/320 and Boeing 737 are the same. The same can be said about some sealing profiles. I think the P / N of these products is unlikely to be told. Similarly, some electronic components can be installed from a Boeing 737-500 to a Boeing 767-300. Moreover, this is officially authorized by the manufacturer.
  4. Nikolaevich I
    Nikolaevich I 25 October 2017 12: 46 New
    +3
    Zin, where did the Pentagon get the money? request After all, all the time they have been complaining lately about the shortage of green Tugriks about the modernization of the Ovsky army and its weapons? crying And then ... all of a sudden! angry Maybe they decided to check, who has a point ahead will flinch? what
  5. Old26
    Old26 25 October 2017 13: 24 New
    +2
    Quote: Nikolaevich I
    Zin, where did the Pentagon get the money? request After all, all the time they have been complaining lately about the shortage of green Tugriks about the modernization of the Ovsky army and its weapons? crying And then ... all of a sudden! angry Maybe they decided to check, who has a point ahead will flinch? what

    They will always find money. And complaints about the lack of money for modernization and so on is such a national American general game.
    When something urgently needs to be "knocked out" of Congress, lamentations begin to lag behind in something from someone. Often, the USSR acted as the reason for the lag.
    For example, at one of the parades of the early 50s, we decided to show our strength to the military attache gathered at the parade. Either 4 Myasishchev and Tupolev bomber were supposed to participate in the parade, or 6-8 each (I don’t remember, I read it a long time ago). The factory workers tightened up and handed these planes to the parade. But letting out 8 aircraft to the parade is really very little for such a grand air parade. Our way out is simple. Cars walked in circles, passing several times over Red Square. Western attaches, including the Americans were in shock. They, of course, understood that the Russians had some small number of bombers. But if there are so many in the parade, how many are there in parts ????
    In short. Shock and panic. And as a result, a report on the US lag in strategic long-range bombers lies on the table for the US president and Congress. Result. They built about 700-800 only the B-52, and we still had about 150-200, and it remained.
    The second time the same thing happened with missiles. "Missile lag" of the United States from the USSR. And now - well, now God himself ordered. Tension in the area of ​​the Korean Peninsula - why is there no way to get a little bit of money out of Congress ??? Americans are smart enough about money. His will not be missed.
    Here, by the way, about the very base (or as Comrade Gray brother said about the garbage). Americans for 1 dollar invested in this storage base receive about 11-12 dollars in profit. Indeed, almost from scratch ....
    1. Nikolaevich I
      Nikolaevich I 25 October 2017 14: 49 New
      +2
      Quote: Old26
      They will always find money. And complaints about the lack of money for modernization and so on is such a national American general game.
      When something urgently needs to be "knocked out" of Congress, lamentations begin to lag behind in something from someone. .

      That's for sure ! How can I disagree here? yes

      Quote: Old26
      Americans on 1 dollars invested in this storage base receive approximately 11-12 dollars of profit. It’s almost empty

      Well, spruce trees! Still would ! "700-800 is only B-52 ..."! All the service staff had enough (well, there ... all kinds of microcircuits ... color.met / drag.met ....) and there was left for sale, and a stash for repair in the future .. fellow . And for "we have 150-200" ... that said! request Now it’s clear what happened to the MiG-27 after a couple of years of storage ..... recourse
  6. polpot
    polpot 25 October 2017 13: 54 New
    +2
    Banal corruption will terrify citizens with money from the budget and joyfully steal them well done keep it up
  7. Sidor the Fierce
    Sidor the Fierce 25 October 2017 14: 46 New
    0
    urgently need to start a machine for printing green toilet paper, but here's a reason
  8. Old26
    Old26 25 October 2017 15: 23 New
    +4
    Quote: Nikolaevich I
    Well, spruce trees! Still would ! "700-800 only B-52 ..."! All the service staff had enough (well, there ... all kinds of microcircuits ... color.met / drag.met ....) and there was left for sale, and a stash for repair in the future .. fellow. And we have 150-200 "... that said! request Now it’s clear what happened to the MiG-27 after a couple of years of storage ..

    Jokes, jokes, but the base works in the "self-sufficiency" mode. Moreover, the whole process is built very accurately and professionally. There are generally four storage categories for aircraft:
    • Long Term - Aircraft are kept intact for future use.
    • Parts Reclamation - Aircraft are stored, selected and used for spare parts. That is, donor aircraft
    • Short-term storage (Flying Hold) - Aircraft are stored unchanged for a shorter stay than Long Term
    • Excess of DoD needs - Aircraft sold in whole or in part
    Here, according to the latest storage option, the main profit is obtained. Not only did the machine fly off its term in the US Air Force, but after preventive measures it was also “pushed” to some “poor” allies or those who needed to be tied to themselves.
    Of course, microcircuits and other things are not “pulled apart,” because when storing for storage according to any of the storage options, the aircraft must be suitable for use. But when it comes to recycling or donation, of course they go either for sale or for disposal. In particular, airplanes and helicopters that are designed for disposal - their remains are sold after all valuable items and parts are removed go to steel mills, where their remains are melted.
  9. Old26
    Old26 25 October 2017 15: 25 New
    +3
    Quote: polpot
    Banal corruption will terrify citizens with money from the budget and joyfully steal them well done keep it up

    Are you sure everyone is going to steal? They also have corruption and a cut, but so since we, when we managed to steal 160 from the 16 billion allocated to the cosmodrome, are far from Americans. In any case, even if a part is sawn, the rest goes into action. Not like that. as sometimes with us. And drank, and did not do
  10. Old26
    Old26 25 October 2017 22: 50 New
    +1
    Quote: Gray Brother
    Every year this quantity decreases, because spare parts at the landfill will not be born. And all sorts of rubber bands and wiring can be thrown out there for a long time.

    This is the data for 2016. so it’s unlikely that the amount has decreased over this time. And if on January 15, 2014 in storage (namely in storage) there were 110 V-52 versions of G, then recovering from them 51 series G and 13 series H is not difficult
  11. Sergey-8848
    Sergey-8848 26 January 2018 18: 41 New
    0
    To simply plaster the barracks at the air base, no contractors were found. More precisely, the rollback for the "star" generals was not enough. Then the topic with horror stories about the organization of the Stratofortress watch on a full schedule was brought up, and this idea found money for plaster, mattresses for pilots, and a pool for a retiree who lobbied for this idea.