MAD to Go: Will Trident be Replaced

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by Nutty, Mar 24, 2009.

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  1. It looks like they are already Laying the ground to dispose of our Nuclear Deterrent. Not that the Navy or MOD will gain any of monies saved. Discussion starts in The Times of London today.


  2. Purple_twiglet

    Purple_twiglet War Hero Moderator

    Doubtful - the timelines for replacement are such that we need to commit to expenditure in Sept to make things happen in time (new reactor / missile compartment). Land based options were looked at and rejected a few years ago as being useless against 1st strike capability.

    I've no doubt that people in Whitehall are talking about whether we need it, but they aren't the people that will make the decisions. Trident is sacrosanct whilst we want to have an "enhanced" relationship with the US. Namely Trident gives us access to certain areas, definitely not discussed here, that losing it will jeapoardise. If we lose Trident, we need to consider our US relationship as well.
  3. My thoughts (unshakeable) is this is all about 'how much we can save'. It has nothing whatsoever to do with getting rid of nuc weapons or in fact anything at all.
    Money, money, money. The public purse has been so abused and robbed that there is no other thing to do than get rid of the Navy and the RAF. They can't do the same with the army at present as they are busy.

    This has to be the biggest areshole of a mismanaging government this country has 'ever' known.
  4. I think there is a valid question as to whether having the deterent actuially does us any good and whether or not we can gain any benefit from dropping out of the game. Certainly todays threats are even more unstable than the FSU and thus very unlikely to be that worried about retaliation, there would just be a big demand on virgins that day.

    To be honest I don't really think that either our or the Frogs little piles have really had much impact in the classic struggle, and I really don't think that the like of Imadinnerjacket ot Kim Il Jung realy worry about what come back. It is certainly a wothwhile debate to have.
  5. surely the terrorist threats to the UK [and the west in general] are "as well as" and not "instead of " the existing threats.
  6. The current world makes Nuclear Deterrent needed more than ever.
    Rogue terror sponsoring states, Russia lauching a massive rearming effort and China a possible future threat.
    Add that to the loss of status as a major world player, and I cant see us giving it up any time soon.
  7. That article is so full of speculation it's untrue; "it is likely that at least some serving members of the top brass agree". I'm sure they're queuing up to for CND as we speak. There are so few facts that it's terrible and the concluding question, however rhetorical it may mean to be, is frankly ignorant and hugely demeaning of the threat and deterrence of nuclear weapons. "... the ultimate boy's toy"?! They're hardly 'just an ace up the CDS' sleeve' to whip out when things go tits up.
  8. Levers_Aligned

    Levers_Aligned War Hero Moderator

    So, with the world a hideously dangerous ball of fire and rougue states/terrorist groups threatening us with hell and damnation, what palliative difference will us keeping nuclear weapons have at all? It's got nowt to do with strategic deterrent with you guys has it? It's more of a cock waving exercise at gigantic expense. Think about it. The Type 45 ballooned out of all context in expense, so much so we had to cut the programme in half. The vaunted carriers - however much they quote will be disgustingly expensive to build and bring on line. Future escorts, patrol vessels, transport aircraft and fighters are already way, way above what we thought they'd be. And now three, probably not even four ballistic missile submarines, just (and only just) to stay in some mystical 'club' and threaten vanishingly elusive enemies.

    Let's say a terrorist group manages to hijack a ex-Soviet nuclear missile and launches it at London. Even a 25kt device would cause so much widespread devastation and chaos, your possession of SSBNs would be rendered irrelevant. These groups won't refrain from doing it because they are afraid of retaliation. They'll do it out of principle. They'll do it because their belief systems says so. They'll do it because ******* like Bush and Blair and Brown have rendered their homelands a smouldering mess. So us spending billions ... over the lives of the subs possibly tens of billions ... will be a pure folly. Finland don't feel particularly threatened. They are next to Russia. Likewise Turkey. And Canada. If it is kudos on the world stage we are seeking, I can think of better ways of doing it than trying to play soome sort of daft game which drains so much from public expenditure at the cost of conventional forces, schooling, healthcare and making our country secure from within.

  9. Levers is right…

    The replacement nuclear phallus will cost us @ £20 Billion to buy and over it's life a total of @ £65 Billion.

    £2 Billion a year buys you a huge amount of extra, and far more usable conventional clout.
  10. Oil

    You are correct that Levers is spot bon but the chance of any of the savings coming MOD's way is nil. Maybe a small saving on training and manpower.


  11. IIRC, Lord Mountbatten warned that becoming responsible for the nuclear detergent would cripple the Navy and cost it it's carriers…

    "we have made no bid for Polaris because we cannot afford this weapon out of navy votes. If opinion swings towards putting the deterrent to sea, we want the money for Polaris to be found from the overall defence vote.|

    The money wasn't, and he was right.
  12. Excluding Royal of course as he is also very busy.

  13. Next Defence Review will probably roll him up into the Army to save money…
  14. I doubt it unless of course they want a mass exodus and why would they want that when they are the very best of the best.

  15. Marines and Paras could be rolled up into a new rapid reaction force.

  16. Gash.
    Yes we are still vunerable to crazy extremists and rogue regimes that dont give a shit and just want the world to burn, theres no way to beat this kind of enemy except react at the time.The thing is, the deterrent gives us a last resort capability to defend from any conventional attack or even, dare I say, invasion.
    You dont put your guard down...that leads to getting sucker punched.You have to guard against the threats you can see..and deal with others as they happen.

  17. Who the **** is going to invade us? The Martians?
  18. Nukes can't fight terrorism, pending some form of radiation that kills only those with "evil terrorist thoughts". Neither can most conventional weapons.

    The US is currently fielding ICBM destroying aircraft (Jumbo Jets with lasers). In 10 years, with any luck, this technology looks to make the long and medium range ballistic missile obsolete.

    It won’t be hard for the UK and indeed other advanced nations to develop their own variants once the general designs of the laser are known. Catch a missile (from several hundred miles out) in its boost phase, and the missile may end up doing the host nation harm. Added to the current anti-ballistic missile technologies (US missile shield or similar foreign variant), this would severely limit the range a nuke can be fired from.

    This means that our SLBM subs who “hide†out in the remote areas of the Atlantic cannot reasonably reach far off destinations. Subs would have to launch within reach of a coast, necessitating a pre-emptive deployment to the target area, where laser jumbos and ASW units would also patrol. No longer a general deterrent.

    Therefore from a technical point of view, SLBM’s have limited shelf life as a deterrent. I will assume that the US perfects the laser jumbo jet in the near future and other advanced nations are successful in copying the anti-nuke concepts (as they have done with many other tech advances)

    However, I would still opt for some nuclear capability. A nuclear tipped cruise missile, or a future variant of Trident, delivered from our Astute fleet (read let’s build some more). This gives the flexibility of using our nuclear capacity to deter a known aggressor (sneak up the coast and lob one in) as well as save significant amounts of cash from the design of a new class of boat.

    If there appears to be a conflict on the horizon, we put an Astute to sea with a nuclear payload and instructions to loiter in the vicinity of country X. If someone wipes us out before we can do that... lets hope our friends remember to avenge us.
  19. History has shown new threats can and will emerge and as such we need to stay strong, not weaken our defences.

  20. Channel Islands then?

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