Three US Air Force (USAF) 509th Bomb Wing (BW) B-2 Spirit aircraft have arrived at Lajes Field in Portugal.

The bombers are set to take part in the upcoming Bomber Task Force (BTF) missions that will enable crews to maintain high readiness levels.

BTF missions demonstrate the commitment of the US to collective Nato defence while proving USAF Global Strike Command’s capabilities.

Before the aircraft take off for the BTF missions, airmen from the 509th BW will conduct a ‘hot-pit refuel’ of the B-2 bombers and ‘a crew swap with engines running’.

US Air Forces Europe-Air Forces Africa commander-general Jeff Harrigian said: “These missions will add even more depth to this already historic Bomber Task Force iteration.

“B-2s joining the B-1s in theatre offers unique opportunities to advance our readiness as we continue to work with and learn from our allies.”

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According to the USAF, the B-2s will perform several BTF sorties and depend on Lajes Field due to its strategic location to carry out crucial mission tasks.

The B-2 is a low-observable, strategic, long-range, heavy bomber that can penetrate sophisticated and dense air-defence shields.

It is capable of all-altitude attack missions up to 50,000ft, with a range of more than 6,000nm unrefuelled and over 10,000nm with one refuelling, giving it the ability to fly to any point in the world within hours.