Two US strategic B-2 Spirit bombers have been deployed to the RAF Fairford Air Force Base in England for a "short-term deployment" three hours from Russia, according to The Washington Times.
The article “Signs that the US is planning a nuclear attack against Russia” (OpEdNews.com) immediately appeared. In which the transfer of these aircraft was tied to a possible escalation of the confrontation between Russia and the United States right up to the start of a nuclear conflict. Should we seriously fear this gesture from America, and are the two B-2s really the harbingers of a nuclear apocalypse?
To begin with, consider the use of this aircraft in a classic nuclear conflict, how this application was planned, and what changes have occurred over time.
Before the collapse of the Soviet Union, V-2s were planned to destroy stationary objects with previously known location coordinates. However, with the appearance and deployment of the Topol PGTRK in 1985, it was proposed to make adjustments to the B-2 program. So, it was supposed to use this bomber as the "Topol Lumberjack".
Brief essence of the plan. In orbit, it was supposed to deploy a constellation of satellites such as KN-11 and KN-12 with the ability to detect small objects in a time mode close to real. This constellation of satellites would be used for reconnaissance in the interests of the B-2 operating over the territory of Russia, searching for targets and transmitting coordinates in real time. And the subsequent destruction of the Topols would guarantee America's relative security in the event of a nuclear conflict.
However, during the implementation of the project and with the subsequent passage of time, the following problems arose. So, back in 1980, an analytical assessment of the prospects for the development of Soviet air defense showed the possibility of confident detection and destruction of aircraft with EPR of the ATV project by means of air defense missile systems and fighter-interceptors of the MiG-31 type. Actually, therefore, for the B-2 provided the possibility of making long-term low-altitude "throws". The end of the "cold war" made adjustments to the implementation of this scenario for the use of B-2. So, the number of B-2s themselves is significantly less than originally planned. Therefore, a strike on the "Topols" loses its meaning, since the destruction of a certain number of "Topols" will inevitably scare away the rest. Thus, a unilateral nuclear strike is ruled out even if stationary missiles and other components of the Russian nuclear triad are destroyed.
In addition, the orbital constellation of KN-11 satellites is only two satellites. This number of satellites makes it possible to process only 1/60 of the territory where the Topol ICBMs are deployed in accordance with the START-1 treaty. The escalation of the confrontation will naturally expand the areas where our missiles are based.
The use of B-2 in Yugoslavia showed problems with target identification. The processing time of information about targets and the response to it by the B-2 was also very long. While the B-2 went into the given area, the targets in the form of columns with equipment managed to leave it. Misidentification was frequent. Thus, in the event of a nuclear conflict, B-2 will be used to destroy stationary objects; it will not be able to solve other problems due to the weak technical support of the space constellation of satellites and due to the small number of aircraft themselves.
However, there is no reason to expect that the B-2 will be able to fly freely in areas saturated with air defense, relying on its invisibility. Which, in fact, is confirmed by the combat use of the B-2. Each B-2 sorties were supported by E-3, E-8, EA-6B and F-15 AWACS aircraft, which contradicts the concept of using stealth aircraft.
The use of the B-2 as a strike aircraft was considered. So, in the 2000s, the use of B-2 to destroy enemy tank groupings was considered. It was assumed that the B-2 would be able to destroy up to 350 enemy tanks in a sortie using the SDB-class UPAB. Such an application on the front line is very dangerous for a bomber due to the high probability of becoming the prey of either front-line fighters or being shot down by an air defense system. The cost of the lost B-2 will exceed the cost of the entire destroyed tank armada. Even if there are the latest T-90 samples.
It is also possible to use B-2 together with B-1B as a leader for the latter. "Spirit" will cut through the "clearing" in the air defense for the latter with the help of AMG-88 missiles. "Lancers" will hit the main targets with conventional ammunition. The use of B-52 veterans instead of "Lancers" is fraught with major troubles for the latter due to the lack of multimode. The combined use of B-2 and F-22 is hampered by the small range of the latter. The use of tanker aircraft for the F-22 will be a good marker for air defense, evidence of the presence of "invisible". The use of a large number of escort and support aircraft during combat operations indicates that the B-2 will continue to be used as a classic bomber. The refusal of the US Air Force to purchase additional B-2s at a reduced price also indicates that the US Air Force ultimately received at its disposal not quite what it hoped for. In addition, considering the S-300PMU2 and S-400 complexes as the main opponents when designing a replacement for the V-2, we can assume that the given S-300 bar has not been overcome by the current generation of "invisibles".
Thus, the qualitative and quantitative grouping V-2 is in no way evidence of the preparation of a nuclear strike against Russia. The real evidence of the preparation of the B-2 strikes will be precisely the build-up of the grouping of support and cover aircraft. If they will be applied, it will only be according to the “Yugoslavian” scenario within the southeast of Ukraine. However, even this option is fraught with excessive risk. Thus, we are dealing with the usual "unfriendly" show of force by the United States.