Nuclear Weapons?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by patchemup, Feb 19, 2005.

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  1. Before reading this please be aware of the following:

    1.I'm not a journo.
    2.I'm not a member of CND/New Labour.
    3.I believe if everyone else has them so should we.

    Just had a long and boring evening with my father in law. He is as unmilitary as they come, wasn't even in the cadets, and can best be described as a Daily Mail reader. This is my problem.

    Last week in said rag there was an article, I saw it and it had a lovely picture, about the desision Hoon and Blair must make shortly (if they win the next election) about this countries nuclear deterant or even if we should have one.

    Trident's shelf life runs out in 2015 so a decision must be made by 2010 if we are going to keep a nuclear weapons capability. If we don't the only European country that will have them is France which is reason enough to keep them in my opinion!!!

    So because of this the following ideas are floating round my head ( very scary thought in itself):

    1. Should this country have a nuclear weapons system in any form.
    If you decide YES please continue....if NO don't bother.

    2. If yes should it be submarine based as it is at present, even though
    this places a huge burden on an already stretched budget. Trident must be replaced either with a new missle or Trident II or III or whatever the americans will sell us.( The sailors can go to the new aircraft carriers which the navy doesn't have enough sailors for if you think it shouldn't be submarine based, so no job losses).

    3. If not submarine based, what? Would the RAF do it is as they did before Polaris/Trident with the new Typhoon. Would this be a practicle delivery system for Blair/Bush's new world order?
    Or how about, God forbid, giving it to the Army and in particular, the Royal Artillery( no offense meant). I believe AS90 was designed to fire a nuclear 155mm shell for 'tactical' puposes if there is such a thing but for cost effectivenes it is a present and viable system. We would just need the shells!!!!

    4. Would the Army/RA want to take on that level of responsibility? What systems would have to be implimented to make it a reality or is it just a hair brained idea.

    I'm trying to put together what I believe are coherent ideas/theories and if they rant/babble on I apologies.(Sorry for any spelling mistakes too.)

    Personnaly I believe Blair will keep the bomb in a submarine based weapons platform at it just means an upgrading of the missle itself not the platform or the weapon itself but the arguement I put across did not convince me at times so help. This is a case of closing the door after the horse has gone but would make me feel better.

    Cheers Patch.
  2. 8O

    I will accept your assertions that you are neither a journalist, CND member or New Labour spin doctor at face value. I am a bit confused about the reference to a chat with your father-in-law; what did you discuss? Why do you mention him and then go on to try to discover what people think about nukes?

    As for my thoughts, in order to punch above our weight as we have done for many years, we need a robust and simple to deploy nuclear weapon. It does not really matter how we do it, as long as:

    The launch platform can not be neutralised by the enemy (ie found)

    It can be targeted where required (ie not a 155mm shell)

    Mark my words, we will keep nuclear capability, I believe we have more than we let on about anyway!
  3. Although an air or ground based delivery platform may be cheaper than the sub surface alternative they are also targetable.

    Having a least one armed submarine at sea at any time is a real way of providing successive governments with a means to retaliate in the event of nuclear attack.
  4. Sorry Hellfyyr

    Apologies for not making myself clearer.My father in law is one of those people who has an opinion in everything without the info to back it up unless it comes from the paper. Litterally a case of a cup of tea follwed by 'so what do you think of this nuclear weapons problem?' Good way to start the evening i don't think.

    Unfortunately he's also a magistrate so he thinks he knows the law too!!!
  5. I'll start by admitting no real expertise or knowledge!

    Yes we should maintain it. Hopefully as a destination for the fuel created by Fast breader reactors in 4th generation power plants so making us self sufficient and efficient. And to annoy the French and bin digging Green peace-alikes :lol:

    The weapons system will have to be sub based as that is cheapest & as you said the platform exists.

    RAF systems were air delivered from Vulcan & Victor and relied on a lot of stuff that has since been defeated and was not unlike a guided bomb (Cue CNN video).

    Future air lauched from stand off weapons would be the most likely option for LR/MR when the subs are life expired. Developemnt of current capable systems (Tomahawk, MLRS TGM etc) may be adaptable for platform and different tactical range.

    Army systems are unlikely, remembering the halcyon days of 50 Miserable and Lance, or the abandoned Long Tom and Blue streak projects. (Lance was a US piece of kit similar to V2 and horrible) :?

    Artillery delivered systems are unpopular with the firers due to limited range! AS90 is not really suitable due to the comparatively small projectile. In the 50s the US had a 298mm system with nuclear capabilty but it was never fully developed. The US also tried to develop a nuclear HAND GRENADE! No real need to discuss that!!!!!! 8O

    Tony B Liar is not about to make this decision, there is time for an election and an election is not the time to tell all your trustee labour supporters you will keep nukes to please Big Bruv Gay George W. :twisted:

    Whatever the decision it will be expensive late and crap!
  6. Bin trident, it costs a bomb, and we'll never use it. that cash could be used to buy decent kit for our forces!
    Put nukes on Tomahawk (if its ever needed), and buy an AC platform to launch it. (Along with the subs)

  7. I think we still need trident as a back up plan (so that it cant be located and neutralised) but think we should look into crusie missile delivery systems. Does anyone know if stormshadow is nuke capable?

  8. Maybe because we've not needed to use it, justifies it's cost? A bit like an expensive life insurance policy.
  9. well trident was designed to kill the kremlin even if they took to the air.
    we don't seem to be facing that level of threat anymore so maybe some improved version of tomahawk would at least allow us to launch with out waiting for the Spams permission
    maybe we should go for a euro nuke
    that would upset the germans and the spams at the same time result (':twisted:')
    Twisted Evil
  10. To those that say we should dump our deterrent, you seem to have a very short memory. Fifteen years ago & the USSR was still a threat. A lot has changed between then and now, and who's to say that another nuclear threat will not emerge, or Russia will not re-emerge as a nuclear threat?

    Making the decision to remove our nuclear capability is a one way street, and once it's gone we'll have to rely on the Spams, or, heaven forbid, the French for nuclear protection.
  11. Yes - we should have our own nuclear weaponary.
    Land based seems difficult - launch sites easily accessible to demonstrators. The idea of suicide bombers in vehicles is something we have not faced in this connection.
    Any new weapon should be deliverable with what we have without need for specialised launch platforms.
  12. On the other hand, it costs about #200m a year in maintenance to service the Vanguard boats and their hardware, about the equivalent of running eight to 10 infantry btns, depending on role. There must be a cheaper alternative, especially at a time when there are too few matelots to man the dwindling number of ships they still have.
  13. Land-based: not a good idea at all, would mean either buying in or developing an ICBM! That's before you get to the cost of making them survivable (really, really massive fortification), an especially big problem in the UK because we do not have the strategic depth to hide them - worse still, very difficult to spread out the launch sites and not put them close to population centres. Another point; they would have to be of global range, because only fools would assume that the future threat is necessarily Russia. The survivability problem can be reduced by going Launch-on-Warning rather than Launch-under-Attack: a political and strategic no-no as it tends to reduce rather than increase deterrent stability. This is why we shitcanned Blue Streak back in the 60s. The neighbours, by the way, used to maintain a number of IRBMs based in the deep south of Frogistan but decided to get rid in favour of a mix of sub-based and air based weapons.

    Air-based: the problem is first of all whether they will penetrate air defences. Experience suggests that perhaps SAM systems aren't as formidable as previously thought, but it would be a poor do to assume that what worked vs. Iraq or Yugoslavia would work over the dusty fields of Manchuria on the nuclear run to Beijing. Some kind of standoff weapon is a must - perhaps Stormshadow will do it? Another issue is range - what if The Threat is China? Forward basing, air-air refuelling or carrier basing offer bits of the answer. Part of the question is whether we expect to have to maintain a QRA or whether aircraft could be forward deployed in the event of a crisis. Survivability comes up, of course, but this is perhaps easier to achieve than with a land system - aircraft can be scrambled but not committed on warning or kept on airborne alert (at great cost), dispersed to numerous airfields or stationed on aircraft carriers. But if the CVF has to carry part of the deterrent, we lose flexibility as it will presumably have to patrol somewhere near the presumed threat.

    Submarine-based: really survivable, command/control easier as (like aircraft) you don't need to launch on warning, can wait for a bang before taking The Decision. Comms a problem though. Worldwide coverage possible; missiles have long range and the sub can be placed as required. Problem: it's REALLY expensive! A nuclear-armed cruise weapon might cut this back as it could share the fleet-attack subs rather than requiring a class of SSBNs.

    Or we could can the lot.
  14. Correct sir, however the cold war is over, the threat has changed. What the current threat is, well you'd better ask the Int people. Failed nations last time I heard, and possiblly the Spams :p
  15. Not anti nuclear as such - but........

    If you write to your MP protesting about cuts in ships, aircraft, artillery, armour etc the response from the MOD will be "...........these days most of our operations take place along side allies blah blah blah.........usually the US etc". Yet we're far more likely to need these things than nuclear weapons....

    Anyway, these links may be of some interest...