Six US Air Force B-52 Stratofortresses based out of the Dakotas made a non-stop tour of every NATO countries in a single day last week- and even trolled the Russians into intercepting them.
No NATO partner was left without attention as the bombers partook in a carefully-planned intelligence-gathering operation surrounding the Black Sea.
In the case of the BUFFs, the 52’s were essentially the bait, acting as an incentive for Russia to show off their air defense capabilities.
Moving at around 400 MPH at over 20,000 feet, the B-52s were escorted by a multitude of NATO partners, ranging from British Typhoons to Bulgarian MiG-29s and Italian F-35s.
Eventually, one of the B-52s attracted the attention of Russian Su-27s, who flew so close to the bomber that it rocked the bomber.
According to Forbes, the US once again denounced the sloppy airmanship of the Russians.
“Actions like these increase the potential for midair collisions, are unnecessary and inconsistent with good airmanship and international flight rules,” said Gen. Jeff Harrigian, US Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa commander.
In the end, though, the Russians took the bait, and plenty of data was gathered by two USAF RC-135V/W Rivet Joints nearby, which listened in and documented enemy radars and other sensors.
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