In light of North Korea’s recent allegations that it detonated a hydrogen nuclear bomb the U.S. Air Force flew a nuclear capable Boeing B-52 bomber aircraft over the Korean Peninsula on January 10.
The Boeing B-52 Stratofortress flew non-stop from Andersen Air Force Base which is located on the island of Guam approximately 1,900 miles south of the Korean Peninsula. This aircraft was flown on a low-level pass in the vicinity of Osan, South Korea and was escorted by two F-15 and two F-16 fighter aircrafts. Osan is home to one of the main U.S. Air Force bases in South Korea and home to F-16C and A-10 jets. Despite it not being known if this bomber was armed during the flyover, Admiral Harry B Harris Jr. Head of US Pacific Command stated that the flyover was
“A demonstration of the ironclad U.S. commitment to our allies in South Korea, in Japan and to the defense of the American homeland," North Korea went on to respond by calling the United States "stupid" and promising it would "take on nuclear threats with a nuclear response."
The B-52 is a heavy strategic bomber capable of being deployed on both nuclear and conventional missions. It can carry a crew of five passengers, comes fully armed and has a take-off weight of nearly five hundred thousand pounds. The current B-52H model used by the US air force can carry a wide variety and amount of conventional weapons, for example it can carry up to fifty-one 500 pound unguided bombs, eight Harpoon anti-ship missiles or 10 laser guided bombs. Nuclear bomb wise the B-52- H can carry up to twelve AGM-86 air launched cruise missiles with each of these missiles having a variable yield of 5 to 150 kilotons.
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