June 18 (UPI) — B-2 Spirit stealth bombers conducted integration and interoperability training with Norwegian F-35s during a strategic bomber mission north of the Arctic Circle Thursday.
“NATO’s 5th-gen(eration) capability and integration is critical for air superiority and enables precision engagement in the most highly contested environments,” said Gen. Jeff Harrigian, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa commander. “Operations and engagements with our allies and partners, in the Arctic region and elsewhere, demonstrate and strengthen our shared commitment to global security and stability.”
The aircraft were fueled by a KC-135 Stratotanker from the British Royal Air Force’s 100th Air Refueling Wing.
This week’s mission is one of at least five joint missions between Norwegian fighter jets and U.S. strategic bombers in the Arctic over the last seven months.
In May two USAF B1-B Lancer bombers were escorted by British, Swedish and Norwegian fighter planes on a training exercise in Europe, and in March two U.S. Air Force B-2A bombers flew with three Norwegian F-35 fighter jets over Iceland and the North Atlantic.
The B-2 Spirit, first flown 30 years ago, is designed for penetrating dense anti-aircraft defenses which can deploy both conventional and thermonuclear weapons, including up to 80 500-pound class Global Positioning System-guided bombs, or 16 2,400-pound B83 nuclear bombs.