Up to 60 aircraft will take part in NATO maneuvers this year to defend the European alliance area with nuclear weapons.
As the defense alliance announced on Friday, these include modern fighter jets, but also surveillance and tanker aircraft. As in previous years, long-range bombers of the B-52 type would come from the USA. They would take off from Minot Air Base in North Dakota, it said.
According to information from the German Press Agency, the Bundeswehr will take part in the exercise, which begins on Monday, with tornado jets, among other things “Steadfast Noon” participate. According to NATO, 14 countries are participating. According to the information, the scene of the maneuvers will be in particular the Airspace over Belgium, Great Britain and the North Sea be.
the NATO stressed that Steadfast Noon was not a reaction to Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine and that no real weapons would be used. “The exercise, which runs until October 30, is a routine, recurring training measure that is unrelated to current world events,” the alliance said. NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said, “This exercise helps ensure the Alliance’s nuclear deterrent remains secure and efficient.”
NATO did not provide any information on the exercise scenario and details. According to military experts, during the maneuvers that take place regularly in October, among other things, they practice how to safely transport US nuclear weapons from underground magazines to the aircraft and mount them under the fighter jets. However, the practice flights are then flown without bombs. According to unconfirmed information, US nuclear weapons are said to be stored in northern Italy, Belgium, Turkey, the Netherlands and Büchel in Rhineland-Palatinate.
The illegal annexation of four occupied Ukrainian territories recently fueled new concerns about a possible Russian use of nuclear weapons against Ukraine. Kremlin boss Vladimir Putin, among others, then announced that they would defend them with all available means.