The US is planning to station nuclear weapons in the UK in response to growing threats from Russia, The Telegraph reported, citing classified Pentagon documents.
An undisclosed number of B61-12 gravity bombs, which are three times as powerful as the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima in 1945, would reportedly be based at RAF Lakenheath in eastern England.
They will be part of an anticipated “nuclear mission” to take place “imminently,” according to the report.
Coinciding with the planned deployment, the US is preparing to build a new nuclear weapons facility at the base, with procurement contracts already in place for equipment that will protect “high-value assets.”
A British Ministry of Defence spokesperson neither confirmed nor denied the report, saying it “remains a long-standing UK and NATO policy” to not share critical information about the presence of nuclear weapons at a given location.
The last time Washington stationed nukes in Britain was in 2008.
Preparing for War
Washington’s alleged plan to send nuclear weapons to the UK comes after a leaked German military document that outlined a worst-case scenario of the Ukraine war, in which Moscow wins and then goes to war with NATO.
The UK is a key member of the alliance and is also the second biggest contributor of military aid to Kyiv behind the US.
Earlier this month, NATO military official Adml. Rob Bauer told members of the alliance to prepare their citizens for a potential all-out war with Moscow in the next 20 years.
A ‘Step Towards Escalation’
In September 2023, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova warned that Moscow would view any deployment of US weapons on British soil as a “step towards escalation.”
She described it as a destabilizing development, which should be met with “compensating countermeasures.”
“If this step is ever made, we will view it as escalation, as a step toward escalation that would take things to a direction that is quite opposite to addressing the pressing issue of pulling all nuclear weapons out of European countries,” she told WION.