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Secret NATO drills: German Air Force trains in the event of nuclear war?

Author : Bild German newspaper

Source : Bild.de

The German air force is currently working with NATO partners to work out the defense of the alliance's territory using nuclear weapons
13:00, 19 October 2020

Tornado fighter of the 33rd Luftwaffe Squadron from Büchel in Rhineland-Palatinate
AP photo

If the situation would follow the most appalling scenario, and it comes to a nuclear war, we must be ready for this. The German air force is currently working with NATO partners to work out the defense of the alliance's territory using nuclear weapons.

Related: Russia, USA agree to negotiate on nuclear weaponry

According to the DPA news agency, a secret Alliance exercise called Steadfast Noon began this week. At the same time, the operations of fighter-bombers, capable of carrying nuclear weapons are being practiced.

The venue for the maneuvers this year was the Nørvenich airbase in North Rhine-Westphalia. Presumably, it is there that the American tactical atomic bombs B61 will be placed, according to unofficial data, stored at the base in Büchel (Rhineland-Palatinate).

At the same time, the Resilient Guard exercise continues in Büchel, where the Air Force is practicing defense of the airbase there. According to the Bundeswehr, operations with the use of Patriot missile systems are also being practiced there.

Related: The hypersonic hype and Russia’s diminished nuclear threshold

The B61 hydrogen bombs located in Büchel, if necessary, can take on board, in particular, the German Tornado aircraft, in order to take hostile forces out of the game. American nuclear weapons are also stored in Belgium, Turkey, and the Netherlands.

Combat aircraft of the Air Forces of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Italy are also participating in the current exercises.

According to military experts, during the Persistent Noon maneuvers, which traditionally take place in October, the safe delivery of American nuclear weapons from underground storage facilities to aircraft and their placement there is being worked out. However, during the exercise, flights will be carried out without bombs. Information on a specific exercise scenario has not yet been released.

Today, the danger of war, during which nuclear weapons may be used, has grown significantly in comparison with the past 30 years. The reason is the termination of the INF Treaty. The United States, with the approval of NATO partners, withdrew from it in the summer of 2019, arguing that Russia has been developing medium-range missiles called 9M729 (NATO classification: SSC-8) for several years, thereby violating the agreement.

Will a new arms race start?

Military experts do not rule out that the world is on the verge of a new arms race. The United States is already working on a new mobile ground-based missile system, which was illegal during the INF Treaty. According to current plans, they should be equipped exclusively with conventional (that is, non-nuclear) warheads. But it is possible that the plans will be further adjusted.

Related: If START with Russia is not extended, U.S. alerts nuclear weapons, - mass media

In addition, the last major nuclear arms control agreement between the United States and Russia, the START III Treaty, expires on February 5, 2021. The parties are now negotiating its extension, but Moscow has recently made it clear that it will hardly be possible to reach an agreement with Washington under President Donald Trump.

Read the original text at Bild

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