NATO Holds Annual Nuclear War Exercise, B-52 Bombers To Join Deployment

NATO Holds Annual Nuclear War Exercise, B-52 Bombers To Join Deployment
B-52 Bombers Deploy in NATO's Annual Nuclear War Exercise

International Military - NATO said on Friday (14/10/2022), that it will launch the annual nuclear drill "Steadfast Noon" on Monday (16/10/2022). It is estimated that around 60 aircraft took part in the training flights over Belgium, the North Sea and the UK. As reported by Reuters, this exercise is to practice the use of the United States (US) nuclear bombs based in Europe.

The nuclear drills, which did not involve live bombs, come amid heightened tensions after Russia repeatedly threatened a nuclear strike on Ukraine following a major military setback on the battlefield there.

"Steadfast Noon" likely coincides with Moscow's own annual nuclear drills, dubbed "Grom", which usually take place in late October. During the exercise, Russia frequently tests its nuclear-capable bombers, submarines and missiles. Nato itself said the drills they would carry out were not prompted by recent tensions with Russia.

Read Also: NATO Prepares for Nuclear Exercises Amid Concerns About Russia Threat

"The exercise, which runs until October 30, is a recurring routine training activity and is unrelated to current world events," the NATO statement said. Also added, that no direct weapons will be used. "This exercise helps ensure that the alliance's nuclear deterrent remains safe, secure and effective," said NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu.

Belgium is hosting the exercise that will involve 14 countries and up to 60 aircraft, including the most advanced fighter jets on the market and the US long-range B-52 bomber that will fly from Minot Air Base in North Dakota.

On Tuesday, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg made it clear that the alliance would continue its exercises despite the tense international situation. "Cancelling the drills because of the war in Ukraine would send "a very wrong signal", he told reporters. According to him, NATO's military strength is the best way to prevent further escalation of tensions.

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