Across the frozen Arctic north, Russia and the West are squaring up in a new confrontation as they seek to control the region’s natural resources and vital sea routes. Tim Ripley looks at how rival air forces are at the centre of events in this strategically important area.
The USAF’s B-2A stealth bomber is the ultimate symbol of American military might. The batwing jet attracts headlines wherever it goes, so when an example landed at Iceland’s Keflavik Air Base last August it received extensive coverage from local and international media. After its refuelling stop in Iceland, the bomber headed to RAF Fairford, Gloucestershire, to continue its new Arctic mission. A few days later, the B-2 ventured into new territory when it headed north towards the Arctic Circle, flying around the top of Norway’s North Cape. Within hours of the B-2 returning to its forward operating location in the UK, the US Air Forces in Europe had posted images of the Arctic flight online.