World News

US ‘nuke sniffer’ plane spotted in Britain as fears of war with Russia rise

An American military "nuke sniffer" plane has been reportedly spotted at a UK air base as war fears intensify.

The United States Air Force WC-135W Constant Phoenix returned to Britain on Tuesday evening after completing a mission over the Baltic Sea, according to UK Defence Journal writer George Allison.

As the world's eyes are locked on Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the use of an aircraft designed to identify radioactivity has raised eyebrows.

Mr Allison says the plane patrolling as far as the Belarusian border, is the same type which was deployed following the Chernobyl disaster and Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant explosion.

On the aircraft's way back to the UK is declared an emergency after what Mr Allison claims to have been hit by a hydraulic failure.

He took to Twitter on Wednesday morning saying: "An American aircraft designed to 'sniff' radioactivity associated with nuclear material, a WC-135 'Constant Phoenix', declared an emergency whilst returning to the UK after a patrol over the Baltic Sea yesterday evening.

"Despite suffering hydraulic failure, the WC-135 'Constant Phoenix', landed safely at RAF Mildenhall in the UK."

Mr Allison added that a British aircraft was also sent on Tuesday to monitor forces in Belarus.

  • Woman horrified after spotting scary 'spider legs' emerging from shower

He said: "A British RC-135 was deployed to monitor the border of Belarus yesterday. The aircraft didn't enter Ukraine and appeared to focus on monitoring forces in Belarus, something unusual for this kind of deployment in recent times as such aircraft often orbit over western Ukraine too."

The 'nuke sniffer' has previously been on air sampling missions around almost every corner of the world including the Far East, Indian Ocean and the Polar regions.

According to the US Air Force, it is used to gather samples from the atmosphere to detect onboard nuclear explosions.

With the aircraft tending to fly back to the US soon after deployment, the Constant Pheonix's visit to the UK is considered a rarity.

There was an emergency meeting on Tuesday of the Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) made up of the UK, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.

Defence Ministers issued a joint statement condemning Russia's actions and outlining the JEF's response.

They said: "We call on Russia to de-escalate and encourage them to engage in transparent dialogue, including through the OSCE and the NATO-Russia Council, in order to reduce tensions."

For more shocking stories from the Daily Star, make sure you sign up to one of our newsletters here.

The statement continued: "We have reviewed the progress we have made in the development of the JEF as an agile, capable, and ready force, and today agreed to undertake a series of integrated military activities across our part of northern Europe – at sea, on land and in the air.

"For example, we will shortly conduct an exercise demonstrating JEF nations’ freedom of movement in the Baltic Sea.

"These and subsequent activities will remain preventative and proportionate."

Source: Read Full Article