AVIATION CRISIS: Pentagon grounds half of strategic planes

Scherbakov notes that US strategic aviation is undergoing a general crisis

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WASHINGTON DC – As a result of the investigation into the recent incident with the B-1B Lancer bomber, the US Air Force has decided to temporarily suspend all flights of these strategic aircraft for security reasons.

On May 1, the crew of a B-1B Lancer experienced an emergency situation and made the decision to leave the aircraft, but failed to do so due to a failure in the ejection system, so the plane made an emergency landing in Midland, in the US state of Texas.

Given the potential danger to the pilots, it was decided to suspend all B-1B Lancer flights from June 7.
However, it was not specified when American bombers would enter the skies again.

“It seems that it is not worth waiting for them to participate in the near future of the various attacks that the Pentagon carries out around the world ‘in the name of democracy.’ ‘Therefore, Syrian city dwellers can sleep in peace. The USA has only the B-1Bs temporarily suspended from flying,” writes Vladimir Scherbakov, writer at Nezavisimoe Voennoe Obozrenie.

At the same time, Scherbakov notes that US strategic aviation is undergoing a general crisis.

He said the United States also has the B-52H and B-2A, but “the former are too old and too slow, while the latter are too expensive to be used in operations where the existence of the US as an independent state is not in danger“.

In short, the US must ‘right-size’ its operations and obligations based upon it’s actual economic standing in the world.

The analyst also points out that the B-2A runs the risk of “suffering an accident like in 2008,” where the aircraft combusted shortly after taking off.

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According to Scherbakov, this is an alarming trend, both for the safety of the US Air Force flights (during the last five years, the number of accidents increased by 39% and exceeded 5,500), as well as for the psychological preparation of pilots.

However, US Air Force sources assured CNN that suspending flights will not affect military operations in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan.

The B-1B Lancer strategic bombers were put into service in 1986 and are capable of carrying the highest load of all US military aircraft.

For the US Air Force, this is the main aircraft in its fleet of long range bombers. These aircraft also participated in the attacks on military and scientific facilities in Syria that the United States, together with the United Kingdom and France, carried out in April this year.

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