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Trident Cuts?

#1
With recent reports suggesting that Bliar intends to continue with the Trident programme, but possibly cutting the force from 4 to 3 subs and a proportionate reduction in the warhead stockpile; and the opposition (Lib Dems) suggesting a further reduction (possibly to 2), could someone in the know please answer the following:

1. How will this affect retention in the Trident Fleet? Surely by reducing the force you are in effect increasing the workload on those who remain....?

2. If reports on Scottish Independence are to be believed (good luck to them.....they won't last a year!), where would the Trident force move to (seems unlikey that the English Govt would leave them in the hands of the Porridge Monkeys!)?


Alternatively, in the absence of any experts, let the informed (?) debate begin..... :)
 

Bouillabaisse

LE
Book Reviewer
#3
Informed(ish) answer:

1. the boats operate a 2 crew system so that the boat can be deployed with a different crew. The question of 3 or 2 boats affects whether we can keep one at sea all the time or not. I should think with reduced maintenance requirements it would be possible.

2. You can get a V boat into Plymouth, although what the Independent Republic of Cornwall will say in 2040 is anybody's guess.
 
#4
2nd Informed(ish) Opinion

With the introduction of LSA, the chances of getting enough people to man the new generation of Bombers are highly unlikely considering that Bomber crews will now be lucky to get 81 days of LSA a year. 3 boats, 4 boats, it makes no difference. However, go down to 2 boats and you're stretching capability very finely.

Bear in mind before people start going off on one about no need for a replacement that this is for 18 years in the future.

Could you have imagined what the current political climate would be in 2006 in 1988?

Hardly an incentive to go on bombers when I know of one patrol that went out where 2 guys onboard lost their wives in one RTA and didn't find out until about 9 weeks later the day before returing off patrol when the CO told them in his cabin....
 

Bouillabaisse

LE
Book Reviewer
#5
the_matelot said:
, the chances of getting enough people to man the new generation of Bombers are highly unlikely .
"Ah,AB Smith, are you a volunteer for subs?"

"Who? Me Chief? No Chief. Never Chief."

"Good. You have been jobbed"

:x

(Courtesy of Tugg)
 
#6
Bouillabaisse said:
the_matelot said:
, the chances of getting enough people to man the new generation of Bombers are highly unlikely .
"Ah,AB Smith, are you a volunteer for subs?"
"Who? Me Chief? No Chief. Never Chief."
"Good. You have been jobbed"
:x
(Courtesy of Tugg)
Valid point however I'm sure if someone was desperate enough to avoid bombers and suddenly found an Irish granny, there are means and ways of avoiding them (bombers that is, not your granny)..... :wink:
 
#7
Just be glad that there seems to be a chance that some of it is left in a workable state.....

The majority of the cabinet are/were members of CND and actively campaigned for full and total nuclear disarmarment in the pat, another classic U-turn by the New labour government.

S_R
 
#8
I believe that the talk about reducing to three boats is for the replacement to the Vanguard class. This could make sense because they will be different to the current generation of nuclear boats. The problem with the current boats is that every few years they have to be refuelled. This means cutting a big hole in the side of the hull and the nuclear reactor. These are both major jobs and take a boat out of commission for a year or two (I believe). The new Astute attack boats being built are of a different design which will have enough nuclear fuel onboard when built to never need refuelling, therefore if the new missile boats are of a similar design then you wouldn't need to plan for one being out of service for refuelling.
 
#9
Also, a decision does need to be made now, because if it had been decided to design our own type of missile then it might take that long (20 years!) to get it right...especially if we used BAE...
 
#11
I can't see any reason for not building replacement Trident to the existing pattern. They could be built under licence. There's hardly a need for anything more technolgically advanced.

I can believe that there are advances in sub design but the missiles themselves shouldn't need to be any different.

Ex STAB
 
#12
The navy's procurement policy at the moment is geared to platforms with a reduced workload required to keep them at sea by making them easier to upgrade and increasing their automation. 3 boats will most likely be enough to keep one at sea at all times on paper, but the execution of this policy has yet to be examined as the CVFs, D-class and the A-boats which were all designed to this policy have yet to actually (bar Daring) touch water.

Nice idea in principal, but with the skimping on quality and the bizarre idiosyncracies of defence procurement to contend with, we'll most likely end up paying Cunard to store the missiles on the QM2 somewhere near the cabaret theatre.
 
#14
Williams attacks Blair plans for Trident fleet

Seems that the Primate of All England doesn't agree with BLiar's plans. Also on The World At One today, the Baby-Eating Bishop of Bath and Wells had his say, standing shoulder to shoulder with his boss. However much you respect them as individuals (and I do), there is always the memory that countless governments in the past have abandoned our defence against the war that will never happen again, only to find that it did.

As a RN Cdre (didn't catch his name) alluded to, the mere fact that North Korea has just tested a nuclear weapon, however unsuccessfully, must mean that we can't abandon this part of our arsenal in a fit of "the Cold War is over now, what happened to our Peace Dividend?"

If you want a laugh, go to Trident Ploughshares, and I don't mean they're floating our IND on the stock market.
 
#15
lanky said:
The problem with the current boats is that every few years they have to be refuelled. The new Astute attack boats being built are of a different design which will have enough nuclear fuel onboard when built to never need refuelling.
I'm not sure I understand this greater time between refuelling. How will increasing the fuel mass resolve the reactor poisoning by fission products?
 
#16
I can't belive we are thinking of reduction to only 160 warheads. I don't think a submarine system should be the only one used, a combination of the tri-services with the RAF having air launched devices and the army possibly something like nuclear artilery shells like in the good old days.

If the burden was spread out it might reduce costs.
 

Bouillabaisse

LE
Book Reviewer
#17
The point is secrecy and security for the launch mechanisms which is why the RAF lost their strategic role. Anyway, 160 warheads is more than enough to make a big noise. Its not the ability to totally wipe out the enemy we need, just enough to make it extremely painful if they strike first.

editted for mong spelling
 
#19
jimmys_best_mate said:
dan_man said:
I can't belive we are thinking of reduction to only 160 warheads.
Realistically though, how many times do we really need to wipe the world out?
I'd say twice.

I'll be damned if I'm going to let the 'roaches have it. Nuke it once, wait for the smug and satisfied post-apocalyptic party and then leave our firmly entrenched overlords to hit the six-legged little buggers right between the the antennae with a few thousand kilo-tons of sunshine.
 
#20
Hmmm... £20-£75bn?

What's it really buying?

Prestige? Membership of US 'special club'? Britain's position at top tables?

What could it acquire?

US nuclear top cover at reduced rate? Re-investment in industrial base? Expanded conventional forces? Smaller class sizes?

The question is 'best value'. Not a factor that often features in defence spending.
 

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