TOKYO, JAPAN – A US Air Force bomber has been deployed to the Sea of Japan in a joint exercise with the Japan Self-Defense Force.
This comes just two days after a Russian Federation Pacific Fleet ship assault group fired a P-270 Moskit anti-ship supersonic cruise missile at a conditional target. We recall that the Russian missile hit a target 100 km away.
The joint US-Japan exercise has been deployed over part of the waters of the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea. Along with 12 F-15 fighters and four F-2 fighters, the American B-52 bomber joined the exercise.
The presence of the B-52 in the area, just two days after the Russian test, is not accidental. Washington sends such a bomber to “intimidate” its adversaries and to carry out reconnaissance to the extent possible with such a strategic aircraft. It can be said that sending B-52s to these areas [after conducting exercises] is a new pattern in US Air Force tactics.
B-52 over Bulgaria
For example, the B-52 was previously sent on a joint exercise with South Korean partners just days after North Korea conducted another missile test. Military experts define the presence of a nuclear bomber in such exercises as significant. These planes can carry nuclear weapons and should have a deterrent effect.
This occurs not only in regions of Asia but also in Europe. At the beginning of March, it was reported that two B-52 bombers had flown over the southeast region of Bulgaria for two hours. The two aircraft had departed from Spain as part of a NATO patrol.
Su-35s intercepted B-52s
The deployment of B-52 bombers shows that the United States is serious about establishing a deterrent presence around the world. Especially bearing in mind how the worldwide political situation has worsened dramatically since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February.
Yet these bombers don’t stay under the radar. Over the Baltic Sea, Russian Aerospace Forces [VKS] recently intercepted two B-52s. Su-35 Flanker-E fighters were used to perform the interception.
The Kremlin reported that the terrorists had neared the Russian border. According to the Russian Federation’s Defense Ministry, Russia was compelled to intercept and guide the bombers out of the danger zone.
B-52s patrolling the area near the Sea of Japan protect US allies. It sends a message to Russia, China, and North Korea that the US has a response ready in case tensions rise.
A EurAsian Times expert says there are always two reasons for sending bombers to conflict zones: the message and intelligence gathering. The second takes place after a provocation by the bomber pilots.
In other words, the enemy is forced to send interception planes when going to a restricted area. As is the case of the Russian Su-35 over the Baltic Sea. In this way, the radars and the different frequencies are activated, and the enemy’s reaction and their radar emissions are tracked. This is precisely the intelligence that B-52 pilots must gather. It is archived and becomes part of a countermeasure model in the future.
Soviet air defenses
The B-52 was developed for a possible nuclear attack in the Cold War era. But the B-52s are very vulnerable to Russian radars. This is more of a fact than a statement if you look historically at the existence of the B-52.
For example, about 15 bombers were shot down by North Vietnam during the Vietnam War. The Vietnamese achieved this success by using the Soviet S-75 Dvina air defense system. It is claimed that almost half of these 15 bombers were shot down in a single night.
If we remember the war in Iraq, which the United States calls a “military operation” under the name “Desert Storm” so as not to repeat the mistakes of its ancestors in the Vietnam War, the US Air Force first destroyed Iraq’s anti-aircraft system, whereupon the bombers flew freely through the skies of the Iraqis. Iraq’s air defense system was built precisely based on Soviet surface-to-air missile systems and platforms.
Today, for the B-52, things are complicated since Russia has the S-400 anti-aircraft defense system. It has a powerful, long-range radar that can quickly shoot down a bomber.