US to store nuclear weapons in UK's RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk, reports suggest

F15 take off from RAF Lakenheath to take part in a training mission with Nato Forces in Spain and Portgual. 2003
A plane taking off from RAF Lakenheath, Suffolk, for a training mission with NATO forces in 2003 Credit: PA

The US is planning to store nuclear weapons in the UK for the first time in 15 years due to the rising threat from Russia, reports suggest.

Weapons three times as strong as the Hiroshima bomb could be at RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk, The Telegraph reported.

The US had last stored nuclear missiles at the airbase during the Cold War, and removed them in 2008.

But the newspaper said it has seen Pentagon documents that reveal contracts for a new facility at the RAF site.

The Ministry of Defence said it "remains a longstanding UK and NATO policy to neither confirm nor deny the presence of nuclear weapons at a given location".

It comes as senior figures called for the UK to be prepared in case of a war between NATO forces and Russia.

Earlier this week, the outgoing head of the British Army General Sir Patrick Sanders said its 74,000-strong force will need at least 45,000 more reserve soldiers and citizens to be ready for a possible conflict.

Downing Street ruled out talks of conscription.

US navy secretary Carlos Del Toro urged the UK to “reassess” the size of its armed forces given “the threats that exist today”.

Downing Street defended the UK government’s spending on defence, saying Britain has been Washington’s “partner of choice” in its strikes against Houthi rebels in the Red Sea because of its “military strength”.

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