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pallidin

B-52 bombers on 24-hour alert status.

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http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/10/22/air-force-preparing-b-52-bombers-for-24-hour-alert-status-official-says.html

 

The U.S. Air Force is preparing to place its fleet of nuclear-armed B-52 bombers on 24-hour alert for the first time since 1991 amid escalating tensions with North Korea, the military branch's chief of staff said in a report Sunday.

 

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I wonder what's going to happen. It's such a bad situation for anyone involved (which is pretty much everyone). Whether they're affected directly or by the potential trillions of dollars this conflict will cost the world economy.

I also wonder if the NK general public know or have much intuition as to what's really happening and why they're starving. Or if they are blinded by all of the propaganda and have no real sense of what's going on.

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The Fox News story, as written, is utter rubbish.

The USA is most certainly NOT going to put NUCLEAR ARMED bombers on 24 hour alert, as the article suggests. The B52 is NOT a "nuclear bomber" until nuclear bombs are loaded on board, and to load them with nukes would require special presidential authority (with oversight from Congressional committees).

Fox News is either (a) extremely sloppy and unprofessional with its reporting, or (b) deliberately trying to "sex up" the story, or (c) both.

It's also worth noting that - nuclear or otherwise -  ZERO bombers are going onto "24 hour alert". Apparently the air force are just reviewing the plans just in case the President asks them to do it.

Nothingburger ?

Edited by RoofGardener
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Are B52's still nuke capable? seems a bit redundant when a stealth bomber or a sub-based cruise missile will do. How many nukes do you think it would take to halt NK aggression? 

 

Saber rattling methinks.

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34 minutes ago, RoofGardener said:

The B52 is NOT a "nuclear bomber" until nuclear bombs are loaded on board, and to load them with nukes would require special presidential authority (with oversight from Congressional committees).

 

You'll have to cite a source for the bolded, it goes contrary to what I understand about the National Command Authority and Presidential powers.  I believe that General officers can order the movement of such weapons by air - or other means.  The ultimate order to arm and deliver such weapons on an enemy is the SOLE purview of the U.S. president.  There is a two-man rule that includes the SecDef but it seems to be a kind of rubber-stamp window dressing since he can approve of the use but cannot legally VETO it.  It's quite possible that I'm mistaken but here's a well-written piece on the history of this topic from the WaPo, of all sources :huh:  The info in the piece correlates well to a well-known book on the history of U.S. nuclear weapons handling and accidents called COMMAND AND CONTROL.  It's an excellent book - I highly recommend it.  It has a dual track explaining the history of how the weapons evolved over the years, including the decisions about ultimate control over their use as well as some great anecdotes about near misses with nukes involved in crashes and silo misadventures.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2016/12/01/no-one-can-stop-president-trump-from-using-nuclear-weapons-thats-by-design/?utm_term=.3c1a12e81d8c

Note that this piece was written about a month before Trump was inaugurated.  There is some not-so-subtle fearmongering in the tone of the article.

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52 minutes ago, RoofGardener said:

The B52 is NOT a "nuclear bomber" until nuclear bombs are loaded on board,

Nothingburger ?

 

Plus, you can't just load a nuke on any old aircraft, it has to have the special weapons wiring installed, tested and up to date.

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15 minutes ago, seanjo said:

Are B52's still nuke capable? seems a bit redundant when a stealth bomber or a sub-based cruise missile will do. How many nukes do you think it would take to halt NK aggression? 

 

Saber rattling methinks.

They can carry precision-guided nukes or nuclear cruise missiles, yes.  Whether they're the best means of delivery is doubtful but they can carry a larger load than any of the newer, stealthier bombers.  If a decision was taken to stop an imminent launch of nukes against Japan, SK, Guam or the U.S., I suspect we'd need many low-yield cruise missile-deliverable nukes to serve as bunker-busters and to saturate the artillery nearest Seoul that could rain down chem/bio shells on 20 million citizens.  I don't believe we would ever use nukes first, again.  I honestly think that a president would allow the Norks to launch a nuke-tipped ICBM at us before he'd use nukes in return.

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1 hour ago, seanjo said:

Plus, you can't just load a nuke on any old aircraft, it has to have the special weapons wiring installed, tested and up to date.

While the B-52 is indeed an old aircraft, the age of an aircraft have nothing to do with its capabilities. The electronics on the B-52 have been upgraded throughout their life and are quite up to date. Pretty much the only part of the plane that haven't been upgraded are the engines.

During the cold war the US had B-52's ready to fly in minutes and a few were allways in the air at any time, so 24 hours doesn't seem like that much. Its not exactly a secret around here, because one of those alert planes crashed on our territory with four thermonuclear bombs onboard.

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the B52 most certainly CAN delivery nuclear weapons; it is still part of the SIOP. (though - as And Then has pointed out, it would be more efficient to use a B1 Lancer for Nuclear missions. HOWEVER.. I believe that the B52 fleet can deliver a slightly wider range of munitions than the B1 ? ).

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Well, back in August it was being reported that B1 bombers were being sent to Guam: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/north-korea/b-1-bombers-key-u-s-plan-strike-north-korean-n791221

Two senior military officials — and two senior retired officers — told NBC News that key to the plan would be a B-1B heavy bomber attack originating from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam.

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As a platform for nuclear and non nuclear precision-guided munitions, it's capabilities are state-of -the-art.  From Wikipedia:

The ability to carry up to 20 AGM-69 SRAM nuclear missiles was added to G and H models, starting in 1971.[106] To further improve its offensive ability, air-launched cruise missiles (ALCMs) were fitted.[107] After testing of both the Air Force-backed Boeing AGM-86 and the Navy-backed General Dynamics AGM-109 Tomahawk, the AGM-86B was selected for operation by the B-52 (and ultimately by the B-1 Lancer).[108] A total of 194 B-52Gs and Hs were modified to carry AGM-86s, carrying 12 missiles on underwing pylons, with 82 B-52Hs further modified to carry another eight missiles on a rotary launcher fitted in the bomb-bay. To conform with SALT II Treaty requirements that cruise missile-capable aircraft be readily identifiable by reconnaissance satellites, the cruise missile armed B-52Gs were modified with a distinctive wing root fairing. As all B-52Hs were assumed modified, no visual modification of these aircraft was required.[109] In 1990, the stealthy AGM-129 ACM cruise missile entered service; although intended to replace the AGM-86, a high cost and the Cold War's end led to only 450 being produced; unlike the AGM-86, no conventional (non-nuclear) version was built.[110] The B-52 was to have been modified to utilize Northrop Grumman's AGM-137 TSSAM weapon; however, the missile was canceled due to development costs.[111]

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I'm thinking if Kimmy decides to nuke anyone, it will be his last decision.

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Even if armed only with conventional weapons there will be nothing but destruction under B52's range. Total amount of loaded bombs and rockets is crazy, no other word to describe it.

As for nuclear attack, it could be done with oldest and slowest fighter jet serving in USAF.

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Yep, that sounds about how I thought things were gonna go.

Edited by ChaosRose

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On 10/23/2017 at 3:52 AM, RoofGardener said:

The Fox News story, as written, is utter rubbish.

Fox News is either (a) extremely sloppy and unprofessional with its reporting, or (b) deliberately trying to "sex up" the story, or (c) both.

 

 Fox News is the worst form of trash!

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Air Force denies report it is preparing B-52 bombers for 24-hour alert status

The U.S. Air Force is shooting down reports it has been preparing to place its fleet of nuclear-armed B-52 bombers on 24-hour alert for the first time since 1991 amid escalating tensions with North Korea.

Defense officials denied to Fox News that bombers were ordered to go on round-the-clock alert, first reported by Defense One.

--------------------

Well, so much for my topic...

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1 hour ago, pallidin said:

Air Force denies report it is preparing B-52 bombers for 24-hour alert status

The U.S. Air Force is shooting down reports it has been preparing to place its fleet of nuclear-armed B-52 bombers on 24-hour alert for the first time since 1991 amid escalating tensions with North Korea.

Defense officials denied to Fox News that bombers were ordered to go on round-the-clock alert, first reported by Defense One.

--------------------

Well, so much for my topic...

Yeah... your topic just bombed :P

Actually, it's an interesting quote. If you recall, the original Fooxx News report was that one particular base was PREPARING for the POSSIBILITY that it may need to place its bombers on 24 hours alert. In other words, it wasn't actually PUTTING them on alert, but just getting ready to do so, should they be ordered to. Which could be as simple as just dusting off the instruction manuals and topping up the vending machines. And it was just ONE Air Force base commander who made this statement, not the department of defense.

So Fooxx news might - technically - be correct. (except for the bit about nuclear-armed bombers). So your original opening post is still valid, Pallidin ! :)

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