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Bomber Basing Question

Tue Mar 25, 2003 6:02 am

Why does the US base its strategic bombers so far from their targets? I understand the need for distance to protect these huge aircraft, but why so far? Bombers are flying out of Fairford in the UK to hit targets in Iraq, and return to the same place. Why not just put them in someplace like Italy or Spain, which seems closer but still makes the bombers unreachable?
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RE: Bomber Basing Question

Tue Mar 25, 2003 7:00 am

The infastructure and support are already in place at Fairford and Diego Garcia, large bombers like the B-52 needs lots of infastructure to support.

Building brand new bomber support bases are not cheap, Fairford and Diego Garcia were designated B-52 bases many years ago during the Cold war.
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RE: Bomber Basing Question

Tue Mar 25, 2003 11:27 am

"If it isn't broken, why fix it?" -relevant cliche

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RE: Bomber Basing Question

Tue Mar 25, 2003 11:51 am

The other problem is that because of the outriggers, the B-52 requires a base with wider then standard taxiways.

If you look at the AFD's for some of the airforce bases, you will see that some bases or some location on base airports are banned from B-52 operations.
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RE: Bomber Basing Question

Tue Mar 25, 2003 12:12 pm

I believe another relevant issue is the capability of the paved surfaces to support the weight footprint of the aircraft. If I'm not mistaken, a fully-loaded B-52 carries one of the most significant footprints.

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