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WASHINGTON, September 24. /TASS/. The United States is not going to place its new nuclear bombs - B61-12 in Germany this year, Shelley Laver, deputy director of the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) public affairs told TASS on Wednesday, commenting on the corresponding German media reports.
She confirmed that in accordance with Washington’s previously announced plans, "The B61-12 won't reach full production until FY20." According to her, "The articles implying deployment to Europe by the end of the calendar year would be inaccurate."
Germany’s ZDF television reported on its website previously that the preparation for the deployment of new American nuclear bombs was beginning at Bundeswehr’s Buchel airbase (Rheinland-Pfalz federal land). Journalists obtained this information based on analysis of the US government's budget documents for the current year. They allegedly say that starting from the third quarter of 2015 the allocation of funds will begin to the US Air Force for equipping Germany’s Tornado jet fighter bombers with new nuclear weapons’ system.
Meanwhile, Hans Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists, said that the German media meant that "the Tornados were now in the first phase of a two year integration program." It's "more like a status update, that the Tornados (are) now in the integration program."
"All of these things have been in the books for years. The [US] Air Force has reported about the timelines for when these upgrades of the aircraft were going to be made and NNSA and many other agencies, of course, reported about the plans for the bomb itself," Kristensen said.
Referring to the American tactical nuclear weapons deployed in Europe, he said that "Now the estimate is closer to a hundred and eighty," despite his previous estimates of 2011 when it was believed that the United States had 150-200 tactical nuclear weapons in Europe.