Facts about the U.S. B-52 long-range bomber, which flew over South Korea on Sunday in response to North Korea's fourth nuclear test last week:
Facts about the U.S. B-52 long-range bomber, which flew over South Korea on Sunday in response to North Korea’s fourth nuclear test last week:
B-52s were one arm of the nuclear deterrent force during the Cold War and were used in the carpet-bombings of North Vietnam. During the 1991 Gulf War, they dropped 40 percent of the ordnance on Iraq. With airborne refueling, the planes – now fitted to launch cruise missiles as well as drop bombs – can fly around the world. During the first Gulf War, B-52s took off from Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, fired missiles at Iraq, and returned home in a marathon 35-hour mission. They were also used in the 1999 air campaign against Yugoslavia and pounded al-Qaida and Taliban positions in Afghanistan in 2001 and 2002. The B-52 also played a role in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
First deployed: 1955
Length: 159 feet, 4 inches (47.8 meters)
Wingspan: 185 feet (55.5 meters)
Speed: 650 mph (1,045.85 kph)
Range: 8,800 miles (14,159 kilometers) without refueling
Armaments: 70,000 pounds (31,500 kilograms) of ordnance, which can include bombs, mines and missiles
Inventory: 58 active, 18 reserve.
Cost: US$84 million
Source: U.S. Air Force