TechNATO's aerial showcase over Stockholm highlights military might

NATO's aerial showcase over Stockholm highlights military might

Low flyover of NATO planes over Sweden
Low flyover of NATO planes over Sweden
Images source: © X | @Henrik64
1:22 PM EST, March 8, 2024
But what specific aircraft graced the skies over Stockholm? Among the many videos shared on the platform X, viewers were primarily treated to the sight of two JAS 39 Gripen fighters. Accompanying these fighters were the less commonly seen B-1B Lancer and B-52 Stratofortress bombers.
The JAS 39 Gripens were the smallest aircraft visible that day. These multi-role fighters, in production by SAAB since the late 1980s, are known for their unique 'canard configuration' and delta wing design, allowing for impressive agility and speed. With top speeds reaching 2 Mach (or 1324 mph), these fighters are designed for efficiency, capable of taking off and landing on remarkably short runways—their takeoff run is about 1312 feet, and they can land within approximately 1640 feet.
As for armament, the Gripen is equipped to handle a variety of missions. It can carry AIM-9 Sidewinder or IRIS-T missiles on up to six external stations, along with four AIM-120 AMRAAM, MICA, or Meteor missiles, four GBU-12 bombs or AGM-65 Maverick missiles, two RBS-15F missiles, and eight Mk 82 bombs.
Joining the fighters in the sky were the long-range B-1B Lancer bombers, known for being some of the loudest aircraft globally, producing noise levels around 140 dB. The Lancers feature variable geometry wings, which enhance their aerodynamic efficiency, thus improving speed and range. Capable of reaching speeds up to 1.25 Mach and operational altitudes of 59,055 feet, their maximum range extends to 7,456 miles.
The iconic B-52 Stratofortress bomber also made an appearance alongside the Gripens and the Lancer. Having commenced production in 1952, experts predict its continued operation nearly a century post-modernization. Equipped with eight Pratt & Whitney TG33-P-3/103 turbofan engines, the B-52 can achieve speeds exceeding 621 mph.
This historic aircraft can carry an impressive 68,343 lbs of ammunition, setting a high standard in combat capabilities. As highlighted, the Stratofortress is not only a formidable force in warfare but, as noted by Karolina Modzelewska, it's also a cost-effective and reliable asset for the military.
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