Aircraft

Special US 'Nuke Sniffer' aircraft in the UK for rare visit

The US Air Force says its mission is to collect samples from the atmosphere for the purpose of detecting and identifying nuclear explosions.

A US Air Force aircraft designed to 'sniff out' radioactivity associated with the use of nuclear weapons has arrived in the UK.

WC-135W Constant Phoenix landed at RAF Mildenhall for a rare visit on British soil – with the 'sniffer' only visiting Europe twice in the last decade, once in 2017, and again in 2020.

The special-purpose aircraft is tasked with testing the atmosphere for evidence of nuclear explosions. It does this using its onboard atmospheric collection suite, which allows the mission crew to detect radioactive 'clouds' in real-time.