Secret locations of US nuclear weapons hidden in Europe are revealed
Secret locations of US nuclear weapons hidden in Europe are revealed in NATO document
- The accidentally released list says the US has 150 H-bombs in Europe and Turkey
- They are deployed at bases in Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Turkey
- The information appears to come from a Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists paper
- The locations are an ‘open secret’ but Belgian MP demanded end to ‘hypocrisy’
The secret locations of US nuclear weapons hidden in Europe have been revealed in a NATO document.
A draft report for the NATO parliamentary assembly’s defence and security committee seen by AFP gave details of six air bases in Europe and Turkey where it said the US stores 150 nuclear weapons, specifically B-61 gravity bombs.
The news comes amid fears of a new nuclear arms race in Europe, as a landmark Cold War treaty between Moscow and Washington is on the brink of collapse.
This map shows the location of US B-61 free-fall thermonuclear bombs in five NATO countries
The accidental publication prompted Belgian MPs to demand answers from Prime Minister Charles Michel’s government.
Green MP Samuel Cogolati said the report confirmed the ‘open secret’ that US nuclear weapons were stationed at the Kleine-Brogel air base in northern Belgium.
‘We demand a fully transparent debate – we must stop this lying and put an end to this hypocrisy,’ he told AFP.
A US B-61 free-fall thermonuclear bomb. An accidentally-published document revealed the locations of 150 of the weapons in other NATO countries
A section of the draft report by Canadian senator Joseph Day, refers to a total of ‘approximately 150 nuclear weapons’ stored at Kleine-Brogel in Belgium, Buechel in Germany, Aviano and Ghedi-Torre in Italy, Volkel in the Netherlands and Incirlik in Turkey.
The report, titled ‘A New Era for Nuclear Deterrence? Modernisation, Arms Control, and Allied Nuclear Forces’ was written in April and then amended last week to remove the detailed references to the air bases.
The information appears to come from an annual paper on US nuclear forces in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, which gives details of the reported locations of all American nuclear warheads.
The F-35 Lightning II stealth strike fighter can carry the B-61 free-fall nuclear bomb, which
The United States is one of three atomic powers in NATO, along with Britain and France, and although the nulcear threat is a key part of its deterrence strategy, the alliance routinely refuses to discuss it in detail.
The alliance distanced itself from the report, with an official stressing that it was ‘not an official NATO document’.
An official said the alliance would not comment on nuclear matters.
‘The document quoted is a draft report by parliamentarians of NATO countries, who come together under the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.’
A spokesman for Belgian Defence Minister Didier Reynders refused to comment.
In the late 1980s a Belgian minister acknowledged the presence of US nuclear weapons at Kleine-Brogel, which lies some 90 km (55 miles) northwest of Brussels, near the Dutch border.
But no details have been given before of the number of warheads or how they could be used.
Britain’s Eurofighter Typhoons can also carry the 700-lb B-61 thermonuclear gravity bombs deployed by the US in Europe and Turkey
The report says the B-61 bombs can be carried by ‘both US and Allied dual-capable aircraft’, though they can only be used with the authority of the US president.
NATO’s ‘nuclear sharing’ policy has long been controversial. Critics say it breaches the 1970 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
The B-61, produced from 1968, is a ‘dial-a-bomb’ with a variable yield of between 0.3 and 340 kilotons.
Weighing just 700lbs (320kg) in its basic configuration, it can be carried by any NATO bomber or strike fighter, including the F-15, F-16, Eurofighter Typhoon, F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II.
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