Tactical Nukes Out of Germany

Well, not all of them.

Hans Kristensen has a “great post”:http://www.fas.org/blog/ssp/2007/07/united_states_removes_nuclear.php#more up about the US removal of B-61 gravity bombs from “Ramstein Air Base.”:http://www.ramstein.af.mil/

Hans explains that his claim is based on the USAF’s recent removal of Ramstein from

bq. a list of installations that receive periodic nuclear weapons inspections, *indicating that nuclear weapons previously stored at the base may have been removed and withdrawn to the United States.*

Ramstein had been on the list as recently as 2005.

According to “this NRDC report,”:http://www.nukestrat.com/us/afn/nato.htm 130 nukes were based at Ramstein; 20 are still at the Buchel base. That leaves about 350 B-61s in Europe, says Hans.

p=. *Future of TNWs*

About a year ago, Oliver Meier wrote a “piece”:http://www.armscontrol.org/act/2006_07-08/NewsAnalysis.asp for _ACT_ about the possibility that the European NNWS currently particiapting in nuclear-sharing agreements (Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Turkey) may stop doing so.

One of the main reasons is that, in the future, they may not have the planes to deliver the bombs. As Oliver put it,

bq. Public statements from and interviews with government officials and experts in Europe indicate that *European governments may not be willing to make the investments in a new generation of nuclear-capable aircraft or participate in relevant technology sharing* that would be needed to sustain the policy.

Different countries, of course, have different policies. In Germany’s case, Berlin is planning to retire the “Tornado PA-200”:http://www.militaryaircraft.de/pictures/military/aircraft/Tornado-PA200/Tornado-PA200.html, the aircraft currently assigned to carry the B-61. Germany is planning to replace those planes with the “Eurofighter.”:http://www.eurofighter.com/ But according to Oliver,

bq. …the German government in July 2004 told parliament…that it *does not intend to certify the Eurofighter to carry nuclear weapons*. Such certification would require Germany and its partners to grant the United States access to Eurofighter technology, which Europeans are reluctant to do because they fear the loss of commercial proprietary information.

Now, Berlin has said that it “might keep some Tornados beyond the expected end of their service life in 2020,” but that’s obviously a temporary fix.

Anyway, read the “whole thing.”:http://www.armscontrol.org/act/2006_07-08/NewsAnalysis.asp

4 thoughts on “Tactical Nukes Out of Germany

  1. Matt

    Yikes; where are my glasses? I definitely missed that whole NNWS in Europe thing. Guess that’s what I get for skimming.


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