What is a "Warhead"?

Discussion in 'Submariners' started by AlisonB2011, Jun 29, 2011.

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  1. Hi all,

    forgive me if this is a silly question with an obvious answer, but I'd rather be 100% sure than learn something that's not correct.

    I have my AIB coming up, got just under two weeks to go. I was just reading through the most recent articles on the MOD website and came across this.

    Ministry of Defence | Defence News | Defence Policy and Business | Reduction in UK nuclear warheads begins

    Sooo I was just wondering - what is a "Warhead" and how come the numbers don't correspond with the info on submarines on the Royal Navy website?

    I probably don't need to know about this in a great amount of detail but I don't want to come out with something ridiculous and make myself look like an idiot all because I didn't fully research it. :p

    Any info would be greatly appreciated!

    Alison. :)
  2. You bit.

    I hope.
  3. Thank you eallan, I pretty much understand all of that now (hasn't been long since we did Nuclear Fusion/Fission at school, thankfully!) but I still don't understand why the numbers don't match up? :S and guzzler... pardon? :p
  4. UK Trident programme

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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    A Trident missile armed Vanguard class ballistic missile submarine leaving its base in the Firth of Clyde.

    The UK Trident programme is the United Kingdom's Trident missile-based nuclear weapons programme. Under the programme, the Royal Navy operates 58 nuclear-armed Trident II D-5 submarine-launched ballistic missiles and around 200 nuclear warheads on 4 Vanguard-class ballistic missile submarines from Clyde Naval Base on Scotland's west coast. At least one of these submarines is always on patrol as a continuous at-sea deterrent, armed with up to 16 Trident missiles and around 48 nuclear warheads (an average of three warheads per missile), although each submarine can carry up to 192 nuclear warheads with 12 warheads per missile. This is to be reduced to 8 missiles per boat, with a total of 40 warheads per boat, as a result of the 2010 Strategic Defence Review [1]
  5. Ah, my apologies - think I see what you meant now.

    I believe that missiles carry multiple warheads but I'm afraid I'm out of my depth already (no pun intended). Sure one of the great unwashed (or probably almost anyone else) can clarify.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. I think Topstop has already answered the question
  7. I'm not a Submariner but I did pass AIB to become one so I suppose know a little bit about it. Each Vanguard-class Submarine is capable of carrying a certain number of Trident Missiles. Each one of these missiles is capable of carrying multiple warheads (I'm unsure of the exact amount). Some of the missiles will be carrying less than their maximum load of Nuclear Warheads in accordance with governmental policy, some will be carrying non-Nuclear Warheads, some carrying nothing whatsoever.

    As for the numbers not matching up, the RN website is really quite bad for up-to-date information on the service. For my AIB I gleaned only the very basics from it, nothing more.
  8. Didn't see Topstops response, apologies.
  9. I say again, and Topstop was a submariner
  10. Didn't see eallan's apology, apologies
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Warhead? It be what Worzel puts on when he be in a tizzy innit my luvver?
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Sorry to hear that.
  13. Thanks for the info everyone, very helpful. :)

    eallan, you say you gleaned only the basics from the RN website for your AIB - did you acquire more detailed info from another source or were the basics sufficient for the AIB? I do have the most recent RN handbook (August 2003) but that isn't really up-to-date information either.

  14. janner

    janner War Hero Book Reviewer

    AlisonB2011, there is loads of information on this site if you use the search button try AIB for a start.

    However you need to be very careful, some of the stuff is MoD smoke and mirrors, for example, having visited the Alliance recently I can tell you that Submarines do not carry Missiles!
  15. Thanks Janner, I've read through loads of the "AIB. All about Admiralty Interview Board - Officer Selection" thread already (not managed all of it yet though... it's rather long!) and I've found it really useful.

    Oh dear, so where does that leave me? Do you think it would be best to learn what it says in the handbook and on the RN website rather than telling them I know their secrets and potentially digging myself a hole? Unless, of course, what you said is common knowledge and I'm just missing something.

    Thanks again.
  16. I think you only need a general over view now, dont get bogged down with too much detail. Things change due to requirements and detailed knowlage was way above my pay scale and will be above yours for a fair few years yet, OPSEC. etc, best wishes and good luck.
  17. Thanks Topstop :) I've had a break from service knowledge this morning and done a fair bit on current affairs and RN news - do you know if they ask for your opinion on the current affairs or is more of a "tell me what's been going on in ___ recently" sort of question?
  18. Fresh fish, fresh fish.

    Where's Jonno when you need him?
  19. So, a TLAM is what then??????

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