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Chatham House Editor Wants U.K. To Be Able To Drop Nukes from the Air

March 11, 2024 (EIRNS)—Professor Andrew Dorman, Chatham House’s international affairs editor, is calling for Britain to acquire the capability to deliver nuclear weapons by air. According to The Telegraph, the recent failure of the test flight of a British Trident ballistic missile from a Royal Navy submarine has highlighted the risk of operating only one nuclear delivery mechanism. The Telegraph points to the recent certification of the F-35A stealth fighter to carry the B61-12 nuclear bomb as raising the possibility that the Royal Air Force could take up the air delivery of nuclear weapons, providing a backup to the Royal Navy. The Brits, however, are only buying the F-35B, vertical takeoff version of the F-35, which is not included in the nuclear certification.

“An air-launched system would be the obvious choice for a second delivery mechanism and would bolster NATO’s deterrence forces,” The Telegraph quotes Dorman as saying. “The F-35A would be the best aircraft. Typhoon could carry nuclear weapons, but it would take some integration work. The easiest way [for Britain] to get an air-launched nuclear weapon would be for the RAF to get F-35A.”