UK to Replace Independent Nuke Warheads

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by AndyPipkin, Jul 25, 2008.

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  1. The nukes and the warhead 'bus' that guides them are British, all be it built to a US design - if they weren't we wouldn't need Aldermasters. The vauge assersion that:

    "Documents obtained from the libraries of successive US presidents show that the US has not only supplied Britain with nuclear weapons designs but also with some of the nuclear explosive materials at the heart of the warheads."

    Could mean anything - and even if it did indicate that the shaped explosives used in the primary plutonium implosion was US-sourced it wouldn't matter: that stuff lasts forever.

    The missiles themselves are good for up to 18 months without US support, but in reality the date is I suspect more generous than that, and if needs be anything but replacing the core components on the missile body or the fire control system (also American) could be 'improvised'. All jokes aside we retain one of the most advanced defence industries on Earth, and quiet plans will have been made for such an eventualty. Sub-contracting just means we don't have to maintain a fully-fledged support infrastructure.
  2. Nicely put. However, I can't help but think of the justifications put forward in the 1930s.

    I do hope you are right.
  3. The difference between then and now is that there are only three reasons I can see the UK needing nuke or the threat of their use:

    1. If we were attacked by WMD's from another state. That would most likely be a bolt from the blue, and so the issue of the US withdrawing support for our missiles wouldn't be an issue. In any case, the US knows that anyone trying to exterminate us will also ultimately have the US is its sights.

    2. A conventional invasion we had no chance of stopping - zero prospect to an extent not seen in over 2000 years

    3. A threat from beyond Earth - laugh but if you want to think of EVERYTHING, this must be covered. That would either be a case of being shafted from day one, or, in the case of point one, not a problem we'd be left to deal with ourselves.
  4. You have greater confidence in the European Soviet Union than I do! It's late, I'll be pleased to come back to this.
  5. we do not even have the capability to produce the explosives used in the warheads since labour allowed BAe to close our last explosives plant.
  6. That's inaccurate, Ski. We still have several concerns that produce explosives in this country.

    Problem is that the anti-terrorist boys keep closing them down....
  7. Brill .........................if it stays under UK Command
    Tony Blair and NEW LABOUR have already signed up to the EU defence plan that states ''UK Nuke Subs, Armed Forces Etc will come under EU COMMAND'' in due course.

  8. I wonder what will happen 2 years hence, Cons control England, SNP control SWcotland, not much room for Trident in sunny Faslane.

    Fact is our 'independent' deterrent would last about 5 minutes without US support - how 'independent' is that? Is it worth the cost to maintain a fiction nobody in the rest of the world is convinced by? We're only fooling ourselves...
  9. So by your own argument then we either need to cancel the whole lot or invest much more money into it and make it a wholly national effort. At present I generally support the current option but if it came down to one of the two options I'd probably pick the latter simply because we have no idea what the world will look like in ten or twenty years.
  10. Brick - yes.
  11. When are you going to Canada? By Qantas by chance?
  12. Read. Learn.
  13. anybody know what's stopping us doing the same as France - is it can't afford or won't afford? They don't seem to suffer for it and their aircraft are all "in house"

    btw I see the bloke's got to get his dig in "working for a nuclear-free world as an already, essentially, non-nuclear state." - the unilateral option/CND view together with a word of support for Obama...
  14. Hello,

    I believe we have had a team of young engineers designing our new warheads for sometime.
    Their work was said to be more advanced than the American's new warhead.

    Given the nature of the upgraded Trident missile we are likely to be getting,the submarines and warheads are likely to make up the bulk of the cost and they will be made here.


    Edited to add that even developing nations which are recipients of British aid can afford to develop their own warheads and delivery systems.
    We could certainly afford it if we wished to go it alone and were prepared to finance it.
    However,we do save a great deal of money by using the Trident system.
    I have never been a fan multinational defence procurement projects,they have a very poor record,but given the high cost spread over a small number of missiles it would make sense for the British,Americans and French to develop a new missile between them.