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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

US to modernize nuclear weapons arsenal in Europe: report

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Berlin, May 29, IRNA -- The United States is to refurbish its nuclear weapons stockpile in Europe, the Hamburg-based weekly Der Spiegel said Saturday.

The Pentagon is planning a massive modernization of its atomic weapons arsenal, among them also bombs deployed in Europe, the paper added.

A newly built bomb, labeled B61-12, will be constructed on the basis of the older version, B61-4.

Experts estimate that between 10 and 20 of these new bombs will be based at a German air force base in the southwestern city of Buechel.

The technical developments of such bombs will start in the coming year and are expected to be completed by 2017 when the serial production of the bombs begin.

According to Der Spiegel, the US has consulted with 'specific NATO allies' on the modernization program and reached 'an agreement on the military characteristics' of the new weapons.

Although the center-right government of Chancellor Angela Merkel wants to portray itself as the vanguard in spearheading a global nuke-free campaign, Berlin is still supporting NATO's controversial nuclear deterrence as some 20 US nuclear weapons are still stockpiled in Buechel.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 30407560

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