US will send new nuclear bombs to Germany, Russia claims
MOSCOW, (BM) – The Pentagon plans to upgrade its nuclear arsenal in Germany, replacing obsolete bombs with modern ones. Now the US Air Force nuclear bombs that have remained in Germany since the Cold War are at the Luftwaffe airbase in Büchel.
“I feel like a potential target,” said Elke Koller, 77. Her words are quoted by Deutsche Welle. The pensioner lives in the immediate vicinity of the Bundeswehr airbase in Büchel in the federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate: Tornado fighters constantly fly over her house with noise.
However, this worries Koller far less than the fact that the base still stores the last American atomic bombs left in Germany since the Cold War.
According to experts, Buchel currently has from 15 to 20 nuclear charges. Officially, however, this is not confirmed.
During the Cold War, the United States – in order to deter the USSR from attack – deployed a significant number of nuclear warheads in Western Europe. After 1991, most of them were taken out, but about 150 bombs still remain on the continent and are stored in different countries: Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Turkey.
A few years ago, Washington decided to modernize its nuclear arsenal in Europe, allocating several billion dollars for these purposes. For years, the B61 bombs stored in Germany in the near future should be replaced with new digitally-guided bombs.
As former first deputy chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, chairman of the expert council of the defense committee of the State Duma, Lieutenant General Alexander Burutin, told Gazeta.ru, “the fact of improving nuclear weapons should not surprise anyone.”
“However, it should be alarming that the US administration takes such a decision on the eve of the expiration of the Treaty between the Russian Federation and the United States of America on measures to further reduce and limit strategic offensive arms (START-3),” said Burutin.
“Does this mean that the Americans do not plan under any circumstances to continue the parity reduction of strategic offensive arms on a par with Russia? Or is it just a political game that should force the Russian Federation to be more accommodating in the upcoming talks? ” – the general asks questions.
Among other things, Alexander Burutin draws attention, nuclear munitions, if it is not a detonation and blocking system or other electronics, but the nuclear charge itself, cannot be taken into service unless it is subjected to full-scale tests. And for this, the United States will have to leave the moratorium on nuclear tests, which they introduced in 1992.
Büchel, Deutsche Welle writes, was not chosen by chance as the storage location for American atomic bombs: the base of the 33rd tactical squadron of the German Air Force is located here. If necessary, German pilots on Tornado aircraft could deliver bombs to the target and drop them. At the same time, the tasks are clearly distributed: only the Americans have codes for activating nuclear warheads, but the Germans would have to reset them.
In NATO, this is called a strategy for the joint use of nuclear weapons: as a member of the alliance, Germany is obliged to participate in its nuclear program. This guarantees Berlin the right to vote in planning or conducting NATO nuclear operations.
In exchange, Germany undertakes to provide aircraft capable of carrying atomic weapons and to store nuclear weapons on its territory.
“The German government believes that this gives them the opportunity to influence the US position on the use of atomic weapons. But this is pure fantasy, ” DW quoted Hans Christensen, representative of the Federation of American Scientists and one of the world’s leading experts on nuclear weapons. He had never heard that Pentagon representatives, when developing their strategy, took into account the views of Berlin.
As for the features of the use of nuclear weapons, as previously reported by Gazeta.Ru, only the US president gives permission to use nuclear weapons and it is he who transmits a code signal to unlock nuclear warheads. The launch of intercontinental ballistic missiles and ballistic missiles of submarines, as well as strategic cruise missiles with nuclear warheads, is carried out independently by appropriate combat calculations. But before that, with the help of code-blocking devices, the so-called blocking is removed from the warheads of missiles (including aircraft bombs, shells for barreled artillery, nuclear ammunition of engineering troops, etc.).
That is, the combat crews, having received a certain code combination from the head of state, get out of special safes and open their packages with five wax seals. And there is written its own code combination. The commanders, comparing the information from the president and the data of their package, perform the necessary cryptographic operations and receive a code to unlock it. The combat crew enters the data into the carrier, after which the banners “Lock is released” and “Start allowed” light up.
The first persons in Germany will never be allowed to resolve these issues, according to Russian experts in the field of planning the operation of strategic nuclear forces interviewed by Gazeta.Ru.
Regarding specific plans for modernizing the nuclear arsenal in Germany, Washington plans to replace obsolete ammunition at the Buchel base with modern B61-12 bombs. In total, the United States is ready to spend about $ 10 billion on modernization.
The B61 bomb itself is a 1960s nuclear warhead. Despite its considerable age, the bomb today is the main weapon of the US strategic nuclear forces.
Over the past few decades, the ammunition has been upgraded 12 times – just the last modification of this bomb was named B61-12. The fundamental differences between the B61-12 type nuclear bomb and all previous modifications are that
if earlier B61 bombs were free-fall aviation munitions, then the next modernization of this munition turned it into a guided high-precision weapon.
Now the B61-12 bomb consists of two parts – the actual nuclear munition and a set of equipment based on GPS technology that converts a free-falling bomb into an all-weather corrected munition like JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition).
JDAM is a combination of a tail unit with controlled plumage, allowing the bomb to carry out the necessary maneuvers in the guidance process, and a computer with navigation equipment.
Bombs equipped with the JDAM kit are sent to the target with an integrated inertial guidance system paired with an improved GPS receiver, providing them with a range of up to 30 km from the drop point. The value of the quadratic probable deviation in this case is within 10 m.
That is, by and large, this kit converts a conventional B61 nuclear bomb into a high-precision munition.
Among other things, the combat use of JDAM bombs does not depend on weather conditions. This compares favorably with ammunition with laser and infrared guidance, which require a certain transparency of the atmosphere.
The B61-12 bomb’s military equipment was developed by one of the Sandia National Laboratories in collaboration with the Los Alamos National Laboratory and was manufactured at US Nuclear Security Enterprises.
Boeing Corp. has developed the B61-12’s tail guided munition under a contract with the U.S. Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center.
The arrival of the first nuclear bombs of type B-61-12 is expected in the US Air Force no earlier than 2020. The carriers of this special ammunition will be the strategic bombers V-2 Spirit and V-21 Raider. Also, the B61-12 bomb will go to equip the 5th generation fighter F-35. In 2015, he already made test flights with this type of ammunition, which was located in the internal weapons compartment of the aircraft.
According to the U.S. military, the new B61-12 guided aerial bomb is fully consistent with their understanding of reduced power nuclear warheads, which some analysts believe are unlikely to exceed 5 kilotons of TNT.
However, in combination with high pointing accuracy, this will make the B61-12 bomb a very formidable weapon. First of all, experts suggest, such ammunition will be used against buried and underground points of the highest military and state administration of potential US opponents.
It is possible that B61-12 air bombs will be used in the foreseeable future during local military conflicts against non-nuclear rivals in the United States. That is, Washington and the Pentagon plan to use nuclear weapons, knowingly not expecting a retaliatory strike.
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Editorial team / Original source: Gazeta