The Trident debate?

#1
Hey guys, I have looked everywhere for the Trident debate and what its about. Can't seem to find it anywhere. Would appreciate it if someone could give me a brief overview of what its about.
Thanks
 

x4nd

Lantern Swinger
#4
SB146564 said:
Hey guys, I have looked everywhere for the Trident debate and what its about. Can't seem to find it anywhere. Would appreciate it if someone could give me a brief overview of what its about.
Thanks
You’ll have to give us a bit more of a clue.

:dwarf:
 

x4nd

Lantern Swinger
#7
letthecatoutofthebag said:
bigwhiteshark said:
What is going to happen to our existing four Trident class Submarines when the new UK bombers are built? Will they be just laid up or will our four old bombers be converted from Trident to Tomahawk carrying submarines like the US is doing with their first four OHIO class boats?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:OHIOSSGNCONVERSION.JPG
Err... decomissioned as the fuel will be spent and they will be passed their useful lives?
Much the same as happened to the Polaris boats I should imagine, unless you can find a BIG pot of money for a refit and a new box of manpower to crew them?

:dwarf:
 

x4nd

Lantern Swinger
#8
letthecatoutofthebag said:
It's estimated the Trident D5 Life Extension programme will take 17 years to complete - call it 20 for government work. So the first "new" Trident missile will not be ready until 2028. By this time VANGUARD will be 35 years old. She (and the rest of the class) will not be fit for anything by this point other than decomissioning.
Some might argue that this point has already been reached (not the 35 years old point).

:dwarf:
 
#9
letthecatoutofthebag said:
x4nd said:
It's estimated the Trident D5 Life Extension programme will take 17 years to complete - call it 20 for government work. So the first "new" Trident missile will not be ready until 2028. By this time VANGUARD will be 35 years old. She (and the rest of the class) will not be fit for anything by this point other than decomissioning.
The first four Ohio class Trident boats are nearly 30 years old, and the US government believes they are fit to be converted for another use.
Surely such old submarines dont need to dive to the greater depths of new submarines to carry out a conventional role of launching tomahawk missiles?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ohio_class_submarine
 
#10
They will be more prone to breaking down and hence not being available for operations. Much like the SSBN's and SSN's of today, it's always been so. The older a boat gets the more maintenance and tlc it needs just to keep them in a reasonably safe operational condition.

If an old BN were to be used as an SSGN then at some stage it would have to go in harms way. With the third world able to aquire cheap and reliable SSk's the need for a very quiet submarine would be paramount to get the missiles to where they need to be. 'Go early and quietly then, you say' yep and each boat would be propelled by hindsight and wishful thinking.

How many Tommahawks would it take to do some convincing. Build more Astutes? They appear big enough and ugly enough to carry Tommahawks in quantity. The FOSSBN will most probably be a stretched Astute anyway and using a proven (as yet not) design will save loads of Goverment funds (taxpayers money) for them to waste on hand outs to whichever country is flavour of that month. Probably the same country we're about to re landscape.
 

x4nd

Lantern Swinger
#11
bigwhiteshark said:
The first four Ohio class Trident boats are nearly 30 years old, and the US government believes they are fit to be converted for another use.
My answer as before, where are we going to get the manpower and where is the money to covert/refit the hulls going to come from? Perhaps you envisage finding both by building less SSNs?

bigwhiteshark said:
Surely such old submarines dont need to dive to the greater depths of new submarines to carry out a conventional role of launching tomahawk missiles?
You’re not a submariner are you? Look beyond the fact that a vessel is a weapons platform, think about the tactical picture. In order to launch whatever weapon you carry, you must survive in the oceans. Hiding below various bathymetric layers is still one of the best methods of escaping detection.

:dwarf:
 
#12
x4nd said:
You’re not a submariner are you? Look beyond the fact that a vessel is a weapons platform, think about the tactical picture. In order to launch whatever weapon you carry, you must survive in the oceans. Hiding below various bathymetric layers is still one of the best methods of escaping detection. :dwarf:
No I am not a submariner today, but I served in boats in the 1950/60's. My own interest in TLAM's began at the 1999 Submariners Association reunion at Gosport when FOSM informed us at the reunion dinner speech he had just heard that HMS/M Splendid fired the Royal Navy's first TLAM during the Korsovo Balkan crisis. The US had already fired their first TLAM's from two submarines in the 1991 Gulf War. The use of these type of missiles in conventional war by submarines has come a long way in the last decade.
It is well known that diesel boats did not have the deeper diving capability of either their first test dive, or of modern day nuclear submarines. The Admiralty however did not scrap them or keep them in harbour because they could not hide beneath various bathymetric layers to escape detetion. In the med it was possible to see a boat with the naked eye at 700 ft from an aeroplane.

Recent Developments
'As of 1995 the Navy was studying an extension from 30 to 40 years for the SSBN-726 class submarines. While 30 years was long the standard number for submarine operating lifetime, the SSBNs would seem to have a rather more benign operating history than the SSNs. They typically operate at somewhat shallower depths, they do not experience nearly as many excursions from their normal operating depth, and they would not operate below their test depth with any degree of freqency. Consequently, it would be expected that they could have a longer operating life than attack submarines [just as fighters wear out so much faster than bombers or transports]. As of late 1998 Navy cost and planning factors assumed that the Ohio-class submarines would have an expected operating lifetime of at least 42 years: two 20-year operating cycles separated by a two-year refueling overhaul.'
http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/usa/slbm/ssbn-726.htm

As has already been mentioned the UK can build more Astute class boats to carry Tomahawk's. Four are on order with a possible three more. But the Tomahawk missile carrying capacity of the new UK Astute boats will still be less than 50% of a converted US Trident boat's 154 Tomahawk missiles.

The conversion of the four OHIO class built in the 1970's is a cost cutting exercise that a submarine can be built for two roles, first Trident and second Tomahawk, only time will tell if its successful.
 
#13
bigwhiteshark said:
My own interest in TLAM's began at the 1999 Submariners Association reunion at Gosport when FOSM informed us at the reunion dinner speech he had just heard that HMS/M Splendid fired the Royal Navy's first TLAM during the Korsovo Balkan crisis.
I'm surprised FOSM chose to boast about that given the results of that particular TLAM firing!!!!! :censored:

As far as converting the current SSBNs, I would suggest that their replacement will leave the RN with only enough cash to maintain 2 x CVF, 3 x SSBN and a VERY small surface force. Any thoughts of retaining the current bombers for other purposes are therefore unrealistic.

The situation is even more worrying when it is considered that Scotland will almost certainly gain independence during the timescale of D5, let alone its replacement. That will result in one of 2 things: England paying extortionate rent to maintain Faslane or England having to pay to develop a new SSBN support facility down south (please note that I'm not Scottish).

In short, the replacement for Trident is utterly unaffordable for the RN. I don't doubt that an SSBN based deterrent is the most survivable form of deterrence. But I wonder if we should be looking at other options such as TLAM-N or ALCM-N to ensure that the wider capability of the RN is not slashed.

Of course, in a perfect world the Treasury would acknowledge that retaining nukes is as much a political issue as it is military and cough up some extra cash. However, we all know this won't happen and I really fear for the future of your Service when the costs for replacing Trident are considered. =(

Regards,
MM
 
#15
My ex Buccaneer, Jag and Tornado GR1 mates who held the 'nuclear Q' ticket in RAFG are all unanimous in their hatred for the role!! It should be noted that the current CAS and CDS also fell into that category.

But hopefully you see my point.

If I was going to opt for any 'sub-SSBN' capability (no pun intended) I'd opt for TLAM-N on SSNs and/or T45.

Regards,
MM
 
#16
Magic_Mushroom said:
bigwhiteshark said:
My own interest in TLAM's began at the 1999 Submariners Association reunion at Gosport when FOSM informed us at the reunion dinner speech he had just heard that HMS/M Splendid fired the Royal Navy's first TLAM during the Korsovo Balkan crisis.
I'm surprised FOSM chose to boast about that given the results of that particular TLAM firing!!!!! :censored:

As far as converting the current SSBNs, I would suggest that their replacement will leave the RN with only enough cash to maintain 2 x CVF, 3 x SSBN and a VERY small surface force. Ay thoughts of retaining the current bombers for other purposes are therefore unrealistic.

The situation is even more worrying when it is considered that Scotland will almost certainly gain independence during the timescale of D5, let alone its replacement. That will result in one of 2 things: England paying extortionate rent to maintain Faslane or England having to pay to develop a new SSBN support facility down south (please note that I'm not Scottish).

In short, the replacement for Trident is utterly unaffordable for the RN. I don't doubt that an SSBN based deterrent is the most survivable form of deterrence. But I wonder if we should be looking at other options such as TLAM-N or ALCM-N to ensure that the wider capability of the RN is not slashed.

Of course, in a perfect world the Treasury would acknowledge that retaining nukes is as much a political issue as it is military and cough up some extra cash. However, we all know this won't happen and I really fear for the future of your Service when the costs for replacing Trident are considered. =(

Regards,
MM
Well said! Even if the SNP does not gain win a referendum for independance then they could still make life very awkward for Faslane.

Are there any other options for basing in England? I would have thought that Milford Haven would have been good, but what if the Welsh followed the Scots lead?
 
#17
The biggie is Coulport (and Crombie and the other munitions facilities for the Navy as a whole) and ease of access to patrol areas.

There are a number of issues with both that aren't appropriate here. As far as shiplift facilities go, there is one at Barrow although whether that has all the appropriate certifications is another story......
 
#18
With a rational government I would expect that the issues of the SNP and Faslane would have been addressed before devolution. Was it?? I sincerely doubt it.

I read in a newspaper several years ago that when Faslane was chosen they had also considered Falmouth! Now that would have been a more popular draft!
 
#19
Falmouth makes soooo much sense...very deep natural harbour and access to deep water once past the continental shelf.
Problem is....too many PJ's in Government from all sides!
 
#20
SELJUK said:
Falmouth makes soooo much sense...very deep natural harbour and access to deep water once past the continental shelf.
Problem is....too many PJ's in Government from all sides!
Is there any other sort of water past the continental shelf?! :biggrin:
 
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