Independent nuclear deterrent

Discussion in 'Strategic Defence & Spending Review (SDSR)' started by Tazzers, Oct 15, 2010.

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  1. Am I right in thinking that because Trident missiles were purchased from the USA that they are anything but independent?

    I don't advocate having no nuclear deterrent, for what it is worth I think that we need one because we have made an awful lot of enemies over the years. Some of them ain't quite the full potato when it comes to moderation and a good few are and have developed nuclear weapons of their own with more aspiring to the same.

    So if we need a nuclear deterrent and the one we have is a very expensive compromise, why not think about a cheaper compromise? We could consider a nuclear tipped sub-launched Tomahawk. It isn't a strategic weapon in the same sense as an ICBM and because the Tomahawk is an American weapon it would be no more independent than a Trident but still a whole lot cheaper. Then of course is the closest thing to a real independent nuclear deterrent we could probably get, a nuclear tipped Storm Shadow.

    The French use a version of it called the SCALP (I think) and although MBDA, the company that makes it is Anglo/French (mostly French these days apparently) I think we have full operational and development independence. Again, it won't have the range of an ICBM, it is a little more dangerous and difficult to deploy but considering it is a deterrent and not intended for use, surely the knowledge that it exists achieves its intended goal.

    I have heard that the RAF, rightly or wrongly are going to bear the brunt of SDSR but if on the whole a decision with regard to the defence budget could be deferred for a while, the RAF could build a case for keeping its fast jet fleet intact using this argument for deterrence as a counter.

    Just a thought. I'll get me coat.
  2. This has come up before, TLAM with a nuclear warhead does not a deterant make. The point is we have a submarine hiding somewhere in the (realy large) atlantic Ocean that can drop rather a lot of instant sunshine almost anywhere on earth with 30 minutes (with flight time) notice.
  3. Depends what you mean by independent. If the PM (or the Sub captain) decide tomorrow to launch then the US can do nothing to stop it. What the US could do is stop servicing the missile bodies & thus in x months(years?) when they reach their service interval they may not work as advertised unless we implement a crash program to develop our own maintainance facility
  4. No such thing as a nuclear armed Tomahawk, they were banned in 1988 as part of the INF treaty so a nuclear tipped version is a complete non starter.

    ETA: fixed date.
  5. I get your point but think about this scenario, unlikely as it might be.

    The Brits and the baddies (because we can't possibly be the baddies) 'have a go' and the baddies launch nukes at us but not at our buddies across the pond. They say to the Americans that it is between them and us (the Brits), if you stay out of it and do not give the Brits authority to launch nukes at us then things stay nice and peachy between the Yanks and our enemy whilst we, the Brits, get blown back to the stone age without any chance to retaliate.

    Yes I know it is not likely, I have already said that. In fact I can't think of a sillier, more unlikely scenario but you make the point, a good one as well, that a nuclear tipped Tomahawk does not make a good deterrent. My point is that when it gets right down to it, neither does Trident. Not an independent one at any rate.
  6. Okay. So there is no requirement for the Americans to release some kind of code before the order to launch can be given?
  7. Okay, so what about nuke tipped Storm Shadow/SCALP?
  8. The united states of america has no control of our nuclear weapons release authority. We want too we can.

    Its already been said in this thread.
  9. Like I said.

    I'll get my coat.

    Thankyou and goodnight.
  10. I believe it involves nuclear tipped cruise missiles in general.

  11. TLAM-N, BGM-109A, was deactivated by the USN as a nuclear weapons system in 1991

    "The "BGM-109A" strategic nuclear variant, also known as the "Tomahawk Land Attack Missile Nuclear (TLAM-N)". The BGM-109A was introduced into US Navy service in 1984, and the last of them was delivered in 1992. However, in accordance with US President George Bush's unilateral nuclear arms limitation measures in 1991, the BGM-109A was withdrawn from active service in 1991 and stockpiled. Some of the stockpiled missiles may have been converted to other Tomahawk variants."

    [4.0] ALCM & SLCM
  12. Oxygen Thief status or not, this particular piece of garbage is worth a bite... (see bold and underline)

    Even your own quotes show your stupidity... :)

    So, where does it say they no longer exist and cannot be returned to active service?

    Remember your words...
    Pleased that you use such an authoritive source.

    I suggest you read this ather more authoritive source from May last year that indicates they will remain in existence until at least 2013:

    Page 26. :wink:
  13. Wouldn't bringing in a new delivery system as opposed to replacing the existing system breach proliferation deals?
  14. I DID edit the typo.

    The missiles are no longer nuclear, all the wearheads were removed. some were converted to conventional weapons.

    All utterly academic as nuclear tipped Tomahawks are specifically banned from Europe under the INF treat so they Yanks will NOT be rebuilding some new TLAM-N for our benefit… and being as how we don't have the ability to develop a small nuclear warhead to fit in a Storm Shadow, (The much vaunted 'British' warheads in Trident are an American design), it's Trident or nothing.

  15. Japan ♥ TLAM/N
    BY JEFFREY | 8 MAY 2009 | 4 COMMENTS
    The Strategic Posture Commission Report contains at least one outright howler — the claim that the deployment of nuclear-armed cruise missiles is essential to extended deterrence in Asia:

    In Asia, extended deterrence relies heavily on the deployment of nuclear cruise missiles on some Los Angeles class attack submarines—the Tomahawk Land Attack Missile/Nuclear (TLAM/N). This capability will be retired in 2013 unless steps are taken to maintain it. U.S. allies in Asia are not integrated in the same way into nuclear planning and have not been asked to make commitments to delivery systems. In our work as a Commission it has become clear to us that some U.S. allies in Asia would be very concerned by TLAM/N retirement.

    Let’s be very, very clear that “as a result of the President’s 1991 Nuclear Initiatives, all TLAM/N nuclear weapons have been removed from U.S. Navy vessels.”

    So, if extended deterrence to Japan relied heavily on the deployment of nuclear cruise missiles on some Los Angeles-class attack submarines, we would be hosed.

    Look, I really don’t care if we store some TLAM/Ns at SWFPAC to make the Japanese feel better. Hell, I’d even let DOD commission some bizarre TLAM/N anime, like Rocket Girls (below), if I thought it would ease anxiety in Tokyo. Whatever floats your boat; just leave me out of it.

    But let’s not pretend these useless relics of the Cold War sitting in a climate-controlled warehouse are all that stand between us and nuclear-armed Japan. Because they aren’t.

    Jeffrey Lewis • Japan