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UK Nuclear deterrent already scrapped...

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UK Nuclear deterrent already scrapped...

Old 19th Jul 2016, 09:42
  #21 (permalink)  
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Have nuclear tipped SLCMs been considered for example? If you want to talk economics, how many of those could you get for the same money?

If you could get say ten times as many, is that a more viable/versatile option even after you factor in it's presumed greater vulnerability to air defences?
For the deterrent to be meaningful, you need to pretty much guarantee some of your warheads will get through, which is effectively impossible when using cruise missiles against a well-defended target.
ICBM warheads are very difficult and expensive to intercept; for a flavour of some of the measures used to ensure a target is reached, have a look at the Wikipedia page for Chevaline.

As for using submarines - any land-based system puts a premium on a first strike, because you have to use it before you lose it. Not only do you want a submarine-based system, so that you can threaten to use it in retaliation; you also want your nuclear-armed adversary to have a submarine-based system. If they feel their system is invulnerable, they won't feel pressured into a first strike.
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Old 19th Jul 2016, 09:47
  #22 (permalink)  
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the LP will be keen to do the same, in order to provide a credible opposition.

I personally think this Labour experiment has gone far enough now.
The PLP may be keen to get rid. Unfortunately, (or hilariously depending on your PoV), the actual members of the labour party are diametrically opposed to the PLP and are engaged in a social-media fest reinforcing their own prejudices. I have a number of long-standing friends who I would usually describe as intelligent, rational etc, despite having the unfortunate tendency of being Labour inclined. They are all (without exception) supporters of the messiah - some form of collective moonhowling lunacy appears to be afoot in the country.
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Old 19th Jul 2016, 09:59
  #23 (permalink)  
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Good call - SLBMs buy time to confirm a strike is inbound and if it is, to negotiate from a position of (relative....) strength after the first exchanges by ICBMs/IRBMs have been completed...if, of course, anyone is left. The First Strike strategy, e.g. Counter-force, Counter-value or Decapitation can be analysed and an appropriate response ordered - assuming links are available. If, however, the aggressor has achieved decapitation he must reckon that, at some stage in the near future, SLBMs will start launching. This is the key role for the SLBM, that of assured penetration vice SLCMs, and is why Deterrent has worked for so long; SLBM MIRVs cannot be reliably attrited by any defence mechanism yet deployed. DEW based defence systems may well spell the end for the SSBN/SLBM combination but that's probably 30 years away yet....As already mentioned, basing your deterrent on SLCMs or air launched Storm Shadow provides as much potential for mis-ID and miscalculation as would using a Trident D-5 to deliver a hyper velocity conventional kinetic weapon......"it's not a nuke, honest guv"
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Old 19th Jul 2016, 10:28
  #24 (permalink)  
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Like them or not, the SNP are the de facto Opposition
And that is in itself a farce, when they polled less than the total UKIP received, for a solitary MP.
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Old 19th Jul 2016, 10:55
  #25 (permalink)  
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Trident is a marvelous achievement. We thank you for the opportunity to appreciate it but now it's someone else's turn. Notting Hill Gate?

Nutloose, an old argument. The SNP stood in Scotland, pop. approx 5m. UKIP stood in, mainly, England, pop. 60m. Apples and oranges.
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Old 19th Jul 2016, 11:33
  #26 (permalink)  
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I was rather impressed at the PM's answer to the question, particularly as the responsibility is probably only just sinking in and the ink is barely dry on the last resort letters:

May: Yes I would push nuclear button - BBC News
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Old 19th Jul 2016, 11:40
  #27 (permalink)  
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The idiot Corbyn should remember that it was a Labour government, under Clement Attlee, which decided in 1947 that the 'manufacture of a British bomb was essential to our defence'.

Even though it was just beginning to show promise when cancelled, the lack of flexibility inherent in the air-launched Skybolt ALBM, plus the vulnerability of Blue Streak and Thor, meant that Polaris was a far more credible strategic deterrent. Blue Steel was really only a stand-off weapon, whereas Skybolt was a 1000 mile range strategic nuclear missile.

One proposal would have seen a 'Phase 6' Vulcan, with a MAUW some 70% greater than that of the Vulcan B2, carrying up to 6 Skybolts. But at least it would have had ejector seats for the rear crew, plus an off-duty rest section.

All came to nought though, for in 1968 the national deterrent responsibility was transferred to the Polaris submarine fleet and subsequently to Trident.

I thought Mrs May spoke well yesterday, although to emphasise that one reason for Trident's successor was to support workers in the defence industry, particularly around Rossyth, was a bit disproportionate - a bit like saying that we should have retained capital punishment in order to protect the livelihoods of rope makers and hangmen.
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Old 19th Jul 2016, 11:46
  #28 (permalink)  
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Having a Trident replacement is a national 'insurance policy'. Just like any insurance policy, its overly expensive, you never use it.....until that one time you might do....or at least be happy its there.....

The GBP have not a lot of strategic inclination, and most I would think wouldn't have a clue about the capabilities of any potential enemy. I wonder how many of them realise that Russia has stand off nuclear capable ALCM's that could turn the UK into a smoking hole before QRA got anywhere near them (as I understand it anyway).....

The fact they won't do it (well one of the considerations I'm sure) is that big boat underneath the North Atlantic somewhere with our own deterrent on board.....MAD....

On a separate note, RE The Labour Party, the biggest mistake they ever made was electing the wrong Milliband-its all gone REALLY pear shaped since-and its still heading South with JC.
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Old 19th Jul 2016, 12:05
  #29 (permalink)  
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There is an old saying. If you press the button first, you're mad. If you press it second, the deterrent has failed.
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Old 19th Jul 2016, 12:12
  #30 (permalink)  
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On a separate note, RE The Labour Party, the biggest mistake they ever made was electing the wrong Milliband-its all gone REALLY pear shaped since

Never really seen the logic behind the beatification of Millipede senior, personally. Not a good look really and that photo isn't going away any time soon......

The entire family appears congenitally incapable of proximity to food items without making d1cks of themselves.
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Old 19th Jul 2016, 12:51
  #31 (permalink)  
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I agree. My only justification is that some years ago a company in his constituency asked him to intercede when they discovered they were embroiled in an unfair competition. (MoD had visited a competitor to brief them on how to win, handing them the answer to the exam question). At first he was all for going into bat, but perhaps it was the fact a Director of that favoured company was a Defence Minister that made him step back. MoD paid 8 times the going rate. The company lodged a complaint, but DG Commercial told them to withdraw, or be blacklisted. They walked away from MoD business, and still we pay over the odds. .....I suppose I'm arguing that he should immediately be made Defence Minister. He has all the necessary attributes.
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Old 19th Jul 2016, 13:22
  #32 (permalink)  
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Wonder if they'll build the new boats on the Clyde - when the SNP don't want to home them...
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Old 19th Jul 2016, 13:30
  #33 (permalink)  
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He's not as bananas as the current incumbent as Leader of The Labour Party though.....
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Old 19th Jul 2016, 13:34
  #34 (permalink)  
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wee jimmie krankie needs to be reminded that the nuclear option is a UK decision, as is the location of the UK bases, and that her compatriots voted to remain part of the UK.

It might be worth pointing out that, at the present moment Scotland is NOT a "nation" (they even admit that in the words to their chosen anthem .. "Flower of Scotland"..

"neck..wind in" would be a reasonable answer to all her whinging, especially given the amount of UK money she gets to spend ...
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Old 19th Jul 2016, 13:47
  #35 (permalink)  
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JagRigger: Given that the only yard which can (realistically) build 'em is Barrow, the answer is a very straightforward no.

Personally, and for the added flexibility / redundancy it would confer, I'd like to see some sort of 'mini triad' option - this, however, is clearly not on the table - for many reasons, not least of which cost. Given that this is a non - starter, any argument for systems other than SLBM is wholly specious.


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Old 19th Jul 2016, 13:53
  #36 (permalink)  
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Actually the only thing you hear the Dwarf talk about is Independence and referendum on the same.............

The SNP has gone very quiet on all other policy matters - this referendum thing has given them a good opportunity to keep all that stuff (like education, finance, healthcare, policing etc.) well under the radar..........

Thus not exposing them for the insubstantial '1 trick ponies' that they really are............

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Old 19th Jul 2016, 15:00
  #37 (permalink)  
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I heard someone on the radio putting forward the possibility of creating a sovereign base area around Faslane, should Scotland ever go independent. In that way they could rest content that no nuclear weapons were on Scottish territory. Not quite as bizarre as it seems, SBAs have existed in Cyprus, which is an independent nation for around 50 years, and the system seems to work quite well. No need for it to be too big, workers could still travel in from Helensburgh, etc, in the same way that civilian workers at Akrotiri travel in from Limassol outside the SBA. We could even pay Scotland some rent - by that time it will be so skint when it discovers the reality of going it alone that it will be glad of a few quid.
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Old 19th Jul 2016, 15:07
  #38 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by tucumseh View Post
but perhaps it was the fact a Director of that favoured company was a Defence Minister that made him step back.
I'd love to see some authoritative sources for that, given that Ministers are not allowed to be company directors while in office (and indeed must hand their personal investment finances to trustees).

As one who is in the defence industry, and has been for the entire time that Milliband has been an MP, the whole tale sounds extremely unlikely to me even for a UOR procurement.

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Old 19th Jul 2016, 17:48
  #39 (permalink)  
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I can only assume that the Scots Nat's would be more than happy to see the removal of the Trident fleet and all of its servicing capacity to South of their boarder.

I believe at one time Milford Haven was considered as an alternative to Faslane. I am sure that the 2000 jobs that that would bring to West Wales would be very welcome.

Any one else like to bang that drum?

Last edited by DODGYOLDFART; 19th Jul 2016 at 17:49. Reason: Addition
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Old 19th Jul 2016, 18:09
  #40 (permalink)  
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Being Devils Advocate:

The UK is perhaps the worlds leading light in Chemical and Biological warfare. Easily delivered by both short and long range manned and remote platforms.
Comrade Corbyn suggested yesterday that the Trident replacement could cost in excess of 200billion. I dont think we need the expense of Trident although I do believe that Battlefield tactical nuclear weapons and depth charges have their place.
We have seen that the globe is an unpredicable place and my 'what if' is that a need for nuclear reponse is hypothetically in the northern hemisphere whilst the 'Duty boat' is parked off Buenos Aires second guessing a perceived threat. I will say though; WTF do most of the residents of the Commons know about military matters.
In summ: The argument against Trident could have been served with something a little more substantial then it was; the caveat being that it was not UK Nuclear Response being discussed, rather one specific delivery mechanism.
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