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New Us/uk Nuclear Trident Warhead


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Thanks for posting this up Dawes, I meant to do it the other day and forgot about it.

 

Its barely been discussed here. Defence just doesn't seem to interest the media, and doesnt really seem to be a votewinner, so its barely touched on.

 

I personally have great misgivings about this, not because I think they wont work (I believe the Americans when they say they have computer systems sophisticated enough to ensure it doesnt need to be detonated), I just think we have an independent deterrent for a reason. As soon as we start piggy backing on the American one, no matter how many of our bits we bolt on it, it stops being independent. And at that point, you have to question why we have it at all, but its going to remain hostage to a Presidents whim. It was bad enough that we were dependent on the US for delivery systems. Soon we may lack the ability to design even our own warheads, which to be honest, I think in this decade may reemerge as a necessity as more people develop nuclear warheads.

 

Its the lazy choice, which is pretty much what I would expect from British defence thinking these days.

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I am skeptical that these nuclear warheads, which have not been tested in decades or in the case of the new ones will never be tested, will actually work.

This doesn't count?

"Britain is also spending billions of pounds building infrastructure to support the Atomic Weapons Establishment’s development, building and testing of a new warhead at sites in southern England and Valduc, France, where Britain is cooperating in hydrodynamic experiments with the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission as part of a wider nuclear agreement."

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Yeah, we are joined at the hip in lots of ways with the Americans. We are designing the common missile compartment (ours has a lower capacity than theirs, I think ours has 2 theirs has 4, or something like that. But its otherwise identical) and the Americans had a BIG role in helping to redesign the Astute class boats. They have to take a lot of the credit for what fine boats they are. Presumably they will be playing a similar role with the Dreadnoughts.

 

I just think this ought to be different. Assume for example we decide 10 years hence we need a tactical air-launched weapon mated to a stormshadow body (im not saying we will, just we might). If we dont maintain an independent capablity, we may have to go to the Americans to help us with it, and if they are not interested, go to the French. Which as far as cost effectiveness makes sense, as far as independent capability it really doesn't.

 

Im probably very old fashioned. :)

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It seems that both countries will be using the Trident II D-5 (or some variation thereof) in their new subs. I'm guessing that a clean-sheet-of-paper design was way out of the question, both financially and timetable-wise.

Edited by Dawes
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