Trident

Discussion in 'Royal Navy' started by muhandis89, Sep 17, 2010.

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  1. If the leaks prove correct,it allows for a hole in the defence Budget-at least for the next 5 years-to be partially filled.There may well be additional maintenance meanwhile,on the existing sub fleet,to extend life,as well as warheads?

    Come 2015,we will have had time to look at alternatives,new built subs etc.It may be that buying US built subs,complete with reactors and other base kit,may prove a good alternative.UK kit could then be fitted.This happened,after all,during the Apache heli programme.This option may well be cheaper than the UK going it alone,but would have consequences for our sub building capacity,in the future.After all we buy a good deal of US kit.can we afford to go it alone,in the long term?
     
    • Excellent Topic Excellent Topic x 1
  2. You have to bear in mind that buying US kit will probably come with a lot of unwanted conditions, and, as you say, we will loose expertise.

    I am of the opinion that our nuclear deterrant should be just that- our nuclear deterrant. The less we are tied to the US the better. 'Special relationships' a joke.
     
  3. Special relationship (if any) aside, we need to be independent and not tied to US politics, IMNSHO.
     
  4. The warheads are in a continuous maintenance programme and, IIRC, one sub of four at a time is in extended maintenance. They don't need the same full refits as the Polaris boats did because they were designed not to need reactor core changes.

    Well, we have a sub building programme and both of the last two times we've dropped the US missile into the middle (admittedly the V-boats are a comprehensive design not an extended T-boat unlike the R-boats which were Valiants with added bangy-bits) and fitted our warheads. I suspect that's what will happen again ...

    What's the last large guided weapon we produced independently? Seaslug as opposed to Blue Streak? Both in the 1960s IIRC.

    I don't think we ever managed to deploy a UK-designed rocket with a bucket of instant sunshine on the end?
     
  5. Perhaps we could buy from France? Then again, we would have to wait while they designed a downgraded export version.

    Or perhaps we should be thinking out of the box here. If we can't weaponise BT's communications satellites because of international agreements, then we should be looking at future aircraft, anti gravity platforms, and robots programmed for revenge in case we all get wiped out.
     
  6. seaweed

    seaweed LE Book Reviewer

    The County Class Seaslug GMDs had a 'Special Weapons' store but it was used for the Ship's Company beer storage (Jack being both thirsty and crafty and this compartment being reasonably secure).

    Sea Dart, SeaCat and SeaWolf were/are all home brew.
     
  7. It's not as if we really have a choice. If the septics decide in the morning that they're going to upgrade/replace D5 we either follow suit or we've about 18 months/2 years until we no longer have a functioning deterrent force.

    Wonder what the timescale on working up our own launch vehicles would be?
     
  8. seaweed

    seaweed LE Book Reviewer

    It's not just about keping level on the missile. Submarines don't last forever (quite apart from obsolecence in a military sense) and a political decision to string out the V boats could leave us with a gap some years down the line. As it is it is a racing certainty that whatever timescale is planned for the replacement boats, one way and another their delivery will be years late anyway. One day your children will be able to read what fun it was keeping the Rs going.
     
  9. But none of these, nor Swingfire or Rapier, are realistically "large". Slug, on the other hand, was fecking enormous!
     
  10. Allowing that we like the idea of an independent nuclear deterrent, just because we want a big stick not MAD.

    I remain to be convinced that we need MIRV/ICBMs and submarine launch platforms on continuous patrol.

    It is not the eye watering expense of the Trident fleet and their successors with which I have reservations.

    I do not accept the arguments which require us to maintain such a sophisticated system.

    The threat may be even more tangible today, but it is not of a massive launch against multiple British strategic targets.

    A more realistic strike or response capability is likely to be more credible and therefore a more effective deterrent.

    Something along the lines of nuclear armed cruise missiles with the variety of launch platforms currently available.

    Oh, and of course it would be more affordable. So we can maintain the teeth arms which guarantee our national interest.

    B
     
  11. I don't believe anything other than an SLBM system is a credible deterrent.

    It's effectively unstoppable & effectively unusable.

    The perfect nuclear weapon.
     
  12. US has decommisioned all their Sub launched Tomahawks, so we would be forced to build our own.

    You then move onto things like you cant stop a 13,000 MPH Trident missile easily, you can stop a 600MPH cruise missile if you are in the right place.

    They are not going to be cheap, and they are of debatable effectiveness!
     
  13. As any nuclear strike against us will be delivered in a suitcase, who are we going to point trident at... ? Baggage handlers?
     
  14. I don't believe they have, and we've got a fair few lying around.
     
  15. No TLAM-N left though.