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Do we need a like-for-like replacement of Trident? Watch

  • View Poll Results: Should we replace Trident?
    No
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    Yes, but with a cheaper alternative (e.g. nuclear tipped tomahawks)
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    (Original post by MatureStudent36)
    There's no such thing as cheap air launched. Read up in the history of the v force
    Compared to Polaris and Trident, air deployment is pocket change. Allowing for inflation, Rapier was much more costly than RAF nukes.
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    (Original post by Clip)
    Compared to Polaris and Trident, air deployment is pocket change. Allowing for inflation, Rapier was much more costly than RAF nukes.

    Not quite. The RAF is rationalising its footprint at the moment. Basically it's shutting down a load of airfields. You need lots of disperal airfields for aircraft. Factor in aircraft, both bombers and refuellers, wage cost. It's always the wages and the fact the ICBMs not only have a greater range, but are less likely to get intercepted and you're on to a winner with ICBMs. For increased survivability you need SLBM. Just read up on the complexity of the black buck raids. Thirteen aircraft needed to get one aircraft on target.
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    (Original post by Arbolus)
    Is there any cheaper alternative? We want nukes as a deterrent, not as an offensive weapon, and that means being able to strike anywhere in the world at a moments notice. Tomahawks, like other cruise missiles, have a maximum range of around 1,500 miles or so, so they'd be basically useless for that purpose if we didn't have weeks of warning to get them into position.

    No, if we only want one set of nuclear weapons then they have to be submarine-launched ballistic missiles like Trident or nothing.
    I'm sure other Stand-off weapons like Air-Launch capable Storm Shadows that were used in Libya by RAF Typhoons and Tornado GTR can be converted into Nuclear capable second strike deterrent.
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    The Storm Shadow can covertable for SLBM use in fast attack Nuclear Submarines like the Astute Class, or the older Vanguard class Sub.
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    (Original post by Clip)
    Compared to Polaris and Trident, air deployment is pocket change. Allowing for inflation, Rapier was much more costly than RAF nukes.
    :lolwut: Are you sure about that. I'm pretty sure the Rapier is an Short Range AA/AAD missile for infantry/Armored division. You probably confused it with the PAC-3 Pariot ABM.
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    (Original post by Hal.E.Lujah)
    It's the same debate we have every year over snow grit. If there's no snow, 'Omg why did they waste so much money on grit when it didn't snow', and if there is snow, 'Omg why does our country shut down when it snows'.


    Eventually we just started getting the grit and accepting the risk that it may not snow.
    OK valid argument but playing devils advocate here. Let's say it snows pretty much every year, so it makes sense to have grit

    We don't have a nuclear war every year...
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    (Original post by de_monies)
    OK valid argument but playing devils advocate here. Let's say it snows pretty much every year, so it makes sense to have grit

    We don't have a nuclear war every year...
    Electric-Magnetic Pulse FTW!
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    (Original post by Thomas2)
    David Cameron cites the unfolding events in North Korea as an example of why it would be folly to abandon out nuclear deterrent capability, but is it really worth the money and how much of a deterrent actually is it?

    People often cite as an example the fact that Britain's nuclear capability did not deter Argentina from invading the Falklands because they knew such an act would not justify using them in the eyes of the international community. So what would? Presumably only a nuclear attack on the UK mainland by another nation. But what if it were carried out by terrorists not affiliated to a state?
    however the RNs subs and the Black Buck Missions kept Argentine Military resources on the mainland



    Also, unlike the Force de Frappe, it is not completely independent from the U.S. As I understand it, to fire the missiles accurately still requires codes from the U.S. to access their guidance satellites.
    the UKs Nukes are independent of the US, we can use them how the Sub's Captain XO and WEO please, The Navigation is Intertial and 'Star sighted'

    there is no requirement for a GPS signal and UK trident is not linked to 'the football' . the UK has no equivalent of the 'The football' instead placing control of firing with the captain, XO and WEO on the sub following orders from the PM via Northwood or the 'letter of last resort'
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    (Original post by de_monies)
    OK valid argument but playing devils advocate here. Let's say it snows pretty much every year, so it makes sense to have grit

    We don't have a nuclear war every year...
    Another argument. You don't plan on getting into a car crash/house fire/robbed etc. But you still pay the insurance policies for those risks.

    Tridents like that. An incredibly cheap, cost effective insurance policy. It's kept the peace in the Northern Hemisphere for 70 odd years with the exception of those savages in the Balkans which was a localised issue.
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    (Original post by zippyRN)
    however the RNs subs and the Black Buck Missions kept Argentine Military resources on the mainland




    the UKs Nukes are independent of the US, we can use them how the Sub's Captain XO and WEO please, The Navigation is Intertial and 'Star sighted'

    there is no requirement for a GPS signal and UK trident is not linked to 'the football' . the UK has no equivalent of the 'The football' instead placing control of firing with the captain, XO and WEO on the sub following orders from the PM via Northwood or the 'letter of last resort'
    Pardon my obvious ignorance but what is the "football"?
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    (Original post by Thomas2)
    Pardon my obvious ignorance but what is the "football"?
    The football is the American name for a suitcase which gives teh Amrican President the launch codes, It's a form of Permissive Active Link System. It stops a Submarine Captain going crazy and launching by himself.

    We don't have a similar system as we have a different Nuclear Stance to the US who will do pre emptive nuclear strikes. Our detterent is just that. It'll ruin your day once you've vapourised us and as such there is no need for the PALS system other than the XO and a burley Chief Petty Officer.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permissive_Action_Link
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    I got this from a Military Chatroom forum.

    The issue is that there are several components to the Deterrent which need replacement over time.

    Firstly the submarines themselves - these need replacing in the 2025 timeframe as they will be too old to continue and be certain of availability to meet the needs of the deterrent patrol schedule. This is the primary requirement to replace.

    Secondly you need to update the warheads to ensure they are safe when not required, and can deliver an instant dose of sunshine when needed. This is ridiculously complex and requires a range of rocket scientists who have more letters after their name than Jarrod's had lovers. This process is an ongoing one, but will take a lot of time and money to keep going. The problem is if you mothball it then suddenly restarting it proves problematic. One thing AWE has done well recently is recruit young grads - the US hasn't and they have recently woken up to the fact their rocket scientists are very old and do you really want someone who can't remember what he had for breakfast fiddling about with a nuclear weapon?

    Thirdly, you need to maintain the delivery mechanism - this is about ensuring Trident is fit for purpose. Trident as the rocket will continue till the 2040s - we will then buy and help develop whatever the US goes for as a replacement system then. This needs perhaps the least amount of updating. The problem is that people think Trident, and assume we're buying new rockets too.

    Finally you need to maintain the security and assurance of the Nuclear Firing Chain. Essentially we need to invest in the command, control and communications networks necessary to ensure that we know where the bomber is, that we know where the threats to the bomber may be lurking and have adequate means to deal with them. We then need to have the ability to ensure that when the PM requests a nuclear strike, and CDS orders it (important distinction there), that the Nuclear Firing Chain is able to communicate the message in appropriate length of time to the bomber who can in turn deliver the package. Again, this is expensive and ongoing and often forgotten about. One reason why we are investing in Hydrography, MCMV, ASW frigates and SSNs is in part to ensure the surety of the Nuclear Firing Chain.

    One other point - I will scream loudly the next time someone suggests 'why don't we just use cruise missiles'. The simple reason above all else is that there are no nuclear tipped TLAMs in use anymore and we'd have to develop a new miniaturised warhead to merge with the technology. We'd then need an entirely new set of warheads, C2 measures and also other requirements. The cost would be vastly more than just keeping Trident.

    One very final point - I will also scream very loudly if someone tells me that we cannot fire without US permission. As I (and others) have hinted at in the past here - the system can work and will work without the US. I have yet to meet anyone who has worked on and briefed on how the NFC really works who would post such garbage. Those who suggest we cannot fire it are not properly briefed and do not know what they are talking about.
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    (Original post by james1211)
    I've heard of this! Is it something to do with why there's now a starbucks in every street in my home city now?
    LOL

    the FdF is the french Nuclear capability ...
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    Of course we need our own deterrent. We can't rely on allies for the purposes of deterrence; that's not how MAD works. If we're nuked, then as sad as our allies will be they will have NO real incentive to make themselves the next target for a nuclear attack by retaliating for us. Any foreign body recognising that will see us as a big juicy target; nice and symbolic of the West, but with no real defensive capabilities against nukes.
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    (Original post by Thomas2)
    Also, unlike the Force de Frappe, it is not completely independent from the U.S. As I understand it, to fire the missiles accurately still requires codes from the U.S. to access their guidance satellites.
    The Commons Select Committee on Defence concluded that the UK nuclear deterrant was not acquisitionally independent from the US (insofar as they supplied vital components) but that it was operationally independent and completely able to function without US support.
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    (Original post by Thomas2)
    Pardon my obvious ignorance but what is the "football"?
    I don't think you are helping your self in providing a valid and credible opinion are you

    1. you believe that ICBMs are GPS guided

    2.a. you are unaware that the US systems require permissive action links and

    2.b . the UK systems do not not have any form of permissive action link beyond requiring a number of keys to arm the system on the Sub ( held by the captain ,XO and WEO)

    3. You are unaware of ' The Football' and it's role in the US permissive action link system.

    4. you also implied that the UK system requires US permission to deploy and launch missiles.
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    (Original post by zippyRN)
    I don't think you are helping your self in providing a valid and credible opinion are you

    1. you believe that ICBMs are GPS guided

    2.a. you are unaware that the US systems require permissive action links and

    2.b . the UK systems do not not have any form of permissive action link beyond requiring a number of keys to arm the system on the Sub ( held by the captain ,XO and WEO)

    3. You are unaware of ' The Football' and it's role in the US permissive action link system.

    4. you also implied that the UK system requires US permission to deploy and launch missiles.
    I was not trying to argue we should get rid of it but rather trying to stimulate a debate about this issue and, at least to that extent, I think I have had some success.

    Unlike many people on this site, I am happy to stand corrected if and when I have been misinformed about my facts... What I wrote I had actually read in the transcripts to an enquiry I found on the internet a while back. However it was quite an old enquiry and may in fact have been referring to the retired Polaris fleet, or it may have been someone BSing.
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    (Original post by Type 052D)
    :lolwut: Are you sure about that. I'm pretty sure the Rapier is an Short Range AA/AAD missile for infantry/Armored division. You probably confused it with the PAC-3 Pariot ABM.
    No. When Rapier was developed, it was the second most costly defence project ever, behind Trident. I don't know if it's been overtaken by Typhoon, but I certainly don't have it confused with Patriot (which logically, would have no development costs for us).

    Don't forget Rapier has been through 5 variants from FSA to FSC plus the ill-fated Tracked Rapier, which we ended up taking because of the Iranian Revolution - and they all add up to a lot of money. At the time, we were planning for a war in Northern Europe, and anticipated thousands of Soviet aircraft in the skies above.
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    (Original post by Clip)
    No. When Rapier was developed, it was the second most costly defence project ever, behind Trident. I don't know if it's been overtaken by Typhoon, but I certainly don't have it confused with Patriot (which logically, would have no development costs for us).

    Don't forget Rapier has been through 5 variants from FSA to FSC plus the ill-fated Tracked Rapier, which we ended up taking because of the Iranian Revolution - and they all add up to a lot of money. At the time, we were planning for a war in Northern Europe, and anticipated thousands of Soviet aircraft in the skies above.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rapier_%28missile%29

    I think you may be wrong on Rapier as it was only a 10 year development programme as a private venture.

    You may be thinking of possibly bluestreak or skybolt.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Streak_%28missile%29
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GAM-87_Skybolt

    Or maybe even the Nimrod AEW.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British...ce_Nimrod_AEW3
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    Skybolt was a US project

    blue streak as a MRBM found itself becoming obsolete even as it was developed given you had SKybolt, SSBNs with their ICBM and the potential of nuclear tipped cruise missiles

    the AEW nimrod was a **** up of colossal proportions.

    rapier is a relatively 'cheap' system
 
 
 
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