Nuclear Disarmament Germany

NATO Non-Nuclear Weapon State
Sharing US Nuclear Weapons

Estimate Arsenal Size

  • 10-20 U.S. non-strategic gravity B-61 warheads at the Büchel Air Base [1]
  • Reliable documents indicate that an estimated 130 U.S. nuclear weapons at the Ramstein Air Base were removed between 2001 and 2005. [2]

Two German PA-200 Tornados,

Weapons System

  • Non-strategic warheads: B-61-3, B-61-4 [3]
  • Delivery Aircraft: German PA-200 Tornados


  • The U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) is currently modernizing the non-strategic warheads deployed in Europe. NNSA is refurbishing and replacing components of the aging B-61-3 and B-61-4 warheads, converting them into the updated B61-12 model. Under NNSA’s B61-12 Life Extension Plan, the updated warheads will enter full production in 2020 and be deployed by 2024. [4]

Destructive Power

  • B-61-3: maximum yield of 170 kilotons
  • B-61-4: 45 kilotons [5]

Nuclear Weapons Policies

  • In the 2018 Brussels Summit, NATO reaffirmed that the fundamental purpose of NATO’s nuclear forces is deterrence, and that as long as nuclear weapons exist, NATO will remain a nuclear alliance. [6]
  • Germany is a member of the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative (NPDI), a group of non-nuclear weapon states dedicated to disarmament, nonproliferation and peaceful nuclear activities as outlined in the NPT and the 2010 NPT Review Conference. [7]
  • Germany, as a NATO country that hosts U.S. nuclear weapons, does not support the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). It believes U.S. nuclear weapons are vital to Germany’s security. [8]

Treaty Commitments

[1] Hans M. Kristensen, "Non-Strategic Nuclear Weapons, Special Report No 3," Federation of American Scientists, May 2012, M. Kristensen, "Status of U.S. Nuclear Weapons in Europe 2010," Federation of American Scientists, 12 February 2010,
[2] "Nonstrategic Nuclear Weapons," Report by Specialist in Nuclear Weapons Policy Amy F. Woolf, Congressional Research Service, 23 February 2015,
[3] Hans M. Kristensen, "Non-Strategic Nuclear Weapons, Special Report No 3," Federation of American Scientists, May 2012,, Robert S. Norris and Hans M. Kristensen, "Worldwide Deployments of Nuclear Weapons 2009," Nuclear Notebook, Natural Resources Defense Council, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, November/December 2009, pp 86-98.
[4] United States Government Accountability Office, NNSA Has a New Approach to Managing the B-61-12 Life Extension, but a Constrained Schedule and Other Risks Remain, GAO-16-218, February 2016, pp. 10-25,
[5] Hans M. Kristensen, "U.S. Nuclear Weapons in Europe," Natural Resources Defense Council, February 2005, p. 9,
[6] "NATO Summit Guide, Brussels 2018," NATO, 11 July 2018,
[7] "NPDI Statement for 2015 NPT Review Conference," Statement by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, 2015 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, 27 April 2015,
[8] "Positions on the treaty" International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, 7 July 2017,
[9] Inventory of International Nonproliferation Organizations & Regimes,; Reaching Critical Will, accessed 29 June 2015,

January 2, 2019
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The Nuclear Disarmament Resource Collection contains information and analysis of nuclear weapons disarmament proposals and progress worldwide, including detailed coverage of disarmament progress in countries who either possess or host other countries' nuclear weapons on their territories.


This material is produced independently for NTI by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of and has not been independently verified by NTI or its directors, officers, employees, or agents. Copyright 2019.