U.S. Air Force (USAF) B-52H Stratofortress strategic bombers conducted training in Estonian airspace on Wednesday. The American aircraft were accompanied by several British, French and Romanian jets, the Ministry of Defense said.
The U.S. conducts similar exercises regularly to assess its readiness and, if necessary, to fulfill its security responsibilities, the Estonian ministry said in a press release. These exercises help improve the level of training of NATO allies, which is crucial for responding to potential crises worldwide.
During Wednesday's exercise, the American B-52s were escorted by British Royal Air Force (RAF) Eurofighter Typhoons out of Ämari Air Base alongside French Rafale and Romanian F-16s serving on the Baltic Air Policing mission out of Šiauliai, Lithuania.
The allied fighter jets refueled from a French A330 tanker as well.
The B-52H Stratofortress is a long-range heavy bomber that can perform a variety of missions. It is capable of flying at high subsonic speeds at altitudes of up to 50,000 feet, or nearly 15,200 meters.
The aircraft is capable of carrying nuclear or precision guided conventional ordnance with worldwide precision navigation capability. In a conventional conflict, the B-52 can perform strategic attack, close-air support, air interdiction, offensive counter-air as well as maritime operations.
Editor: Aili Vahtla