Friday, May 22, 2009

Trident faces review... again

With the defence budget to come under increasing strain because of the financial Armageddon all major projects are again under review and one project that is very tempting to look at for reductions is the £20 billion Trident nuclear submarine replacement. The MOD are looking to see if they could make do with 3 boats instead of the 4 which has been maintained since the days of Polaris (though of course the original plan back in the 60s was for 5 SSBNs). The possibility of extending the lives of the Vanguard class submarines into the 2030s is also being examined (which means the replacement can be delayed until the 2020s).

Land or air based delivery systems will also be looked at as well as getting rid of nuclear weapons altogether. Which is the most unlikely outcome. The UK (and French) nuclear weapons are a major part of national (and EU) international clout, sovereignty and deterrence so they won't be going anywhere. Three boats is probably a most likely solution (but whether that will actually save that much money is moot).

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