B-52 Bomber in Action Over Italy: What Happens in the Mediterranean Skies

From the Cold War, the B-52 bombers reappear. In recent days, aircraft symbolizing US military power have once again flown over the skies of Italy, from Sicily to the Alps, and over Bulgaria and Romania. An article in “La Repubblica” signed by Gianluca Di Feo explains the high symbolic value of their presence in the Old Continent: “They are displayed to alert opponents and reassure allies. And this was exactly the task of the B-52 bombers that flew over Bulgaria and Romania, remaining in circulation for several hours over the Black Sea countries most exposed to the Kremlin’s designs”.

The mission is the Biden government’s indirect response to the Russian missile offensive against Kiev, Kharkiv and Odessa on March 9: “The bomber duo – the article reads – kept their position transmitters on, which usually military aircraft do not: a choice that allowed everyone to follow their movements towards the conflict area (…) Since the beginning of the Russian invasion, there have been at least two other ‘visible’ bomber missions: on that occasion they were joined by fighters from NATO countries. Yesterday’s was a solitary expedition, a circumstance that suggests a last-minute decision in response to the Russian offensive”.

But what is a B-52 Stratofortress? It is a strategic bomber whose first projects date back to the 1940s and is the first large aircraft of its kind equipped with turbojet engines. It was built in 744 examples and was the most used of the USAF during the Cold War. Until today without a successor, the B-52 will remain in service until 2040. The various versions of the B-52 have always been equipped with complex and expensive electronic warfare systems, which are partly classified.

As for armaments, these “flying fortresses” (as Di Feo called them) use a wide variety of armaments, including unguided free-fall “iron” bombs, cluster bombs, and precision munitions. In the 1970s, a B-52 also carried a nuclear missile.

Source: IL Tempo