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President Joe Biden is sending radiation-sniffing planes to the frontline amid growing fears Vladimir Putin will nuke Ukraine.

Pentagon chiefs believe Mad Vlad may launch a “limited strike” with a tactical nuclear weapon to end the war quickly and send a message to the West.

The US has spent millions converting three 50-year-old aerial refuelling tankers into “covert nuclear reconnaissance” aircraft.

READ MORE: Putin worried after Ukraine’s new long-distance Kamikaze drones cause chaos

The planes are packed with sensors which sample air quality to ensure any release of radiation is detected.

A senior source said the top-secret jets – which ­operate under the codename WC-135W Constant Phoenix – were “very important assets”.

They added: “We are living in an age of great instability, if the recent Russian attack at Chernobyl had caused a release of contamination these aircraft would have spotted it.

“If Putin was to try and test a chemical weapon in Siberia and the gas escaped into the atmosphere these planes would pick it up in their sampling.”

On-board specialists can also identify use of chemical and biological weapons, which the Russians also have the ability to use in Ukraine.

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Looming nuclear threats from countries like Russia, China, Iran and North Korea have been at the forefront of geopolitical tensions for decades

But the war in Ukraine and the ongoing challenge to counter Putin’s war of words to nuke the West has given additional importance to get the Constant Phoenix aircraft in the air.


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  • United States
  • Joe Biden
  • Vladimir Putin
  • Russia
  • Ukraine
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