The only official comment on the matter came from George Robertson in 1998, answering a parliamentary written question, where he said that the UK has 'some flexibility in the choice of yield for the warhead on its Trident missile.' (HC Deb 19 March 1998 vol 308 c724W)Perhaps; but I can find no official sources defining what yields are available.
Good to know that our exports to the US are not limited to @LJONESY indulging in Mince Pies and Jaffa Cakes. There were other British companies that supply systems for US Submarines are are considered important.Without them the nuclear reactors of all US SSBNs, SSNs and CVNs cannot be operated though... They could replace them with a home developed version but it would take years (and $billions) to adequately replicate the methods and technology. Same for the American bits of the delivery system but more complicated. Its cheaper for both of our nations to cooperate.
I think that the information is out there somewhere in the public domain.MM
Do you know if the U.K. will or does have a low yield warhead for your Tridents?
I imagine you folks do, but digging through google is fun.Good to know that our exports to the US are not limited to @LJONESY indulging in Mince Pies and Jaffa Cakes. There were other British companies that supply systems for US Submarines are are considered important.
I think that the information is out there somewhere in the public domain.
I don't see any reason I shouldn't speculate on it, I'm retired and clearly haven't a clue of the real answer. You on the other hand may be advised not speculate on a matter about which you might have classified knowledge.However, unless something like this is placed in the public forum by an official source such as the MoD or RN, it shouldn’t be speculated on.
The House of Commons Defence Select Committee, which seems like a reasonably official source to me, had this to sayYou have less than two hundred warheads and a max of 40 on any SSBN at any given time with about 8 Missiles per boat. I would imagine that you do have the ability to dial a yield on a few, since they are the only nuclear warheads the UK posses. Maintaining parity with the Russians is also important and options are great.
Select Committee on Defence: Eighth Report said:A Minimum Nuclear Deterrent Force: The SDR prescribed further limitations on the maximum number of warheads to be deployed on each of the UK's Vanguard-class submarines. Although each Trident II D5 missile is capable of carrying up to 12 warheads, the SDR stipulated that no more than 3 warheads would be fitted to each missile. Some missiles are believed to carry a single warhead and the warheads themselves are believed to be of variable yields. The precise number of warheads carried on patrol at any given time remains classified information.
The Low yield weapons would more than likely be placed as a single weapon on one or two missiles. The high yield warheads will be on the remaining 5-6 birds. I dunno about only capping each Trident at 3 MIRV's, kinda of a waste of missile unless you folks have some decoys to place on the suckers.The House of Commons Defence Select Committee, which seems like a reasonably official source to me, had this to say
Agree. My father was present at one of the Christmas Island H Bomb tests as a young sailor. The dozy fool looked at the rising mushroom cloud and thought it a thing of beauty.
According to estimates, mind you, this is not official:
Sorry meant to reference the W76-2, which are going on American Boats as a means to match the Russians.According to estimates, mind you, this is not official:
"Most British weapons have a yield of 80 to 100 kilotons – seven or eight times the destructive power dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But some are much smaller – 10 to 15 kilotons. "