Britain could possibly reduce Nuclear Fleet

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posted on Dec, 1 2006 @ 10:47 PM
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Prime Minister Tony Blair is prepared to concede on cuts to Britain's nuclear deterrent when his government publishes plans on the ageing missile system's future, the Financial Times said Saturday.

But he will say that the number of Royal Navy Vanguard-class submarines that carry the missiles could be reduced from the current four to three and that Britain will cut the 200 nuclear warheads stockpiled.

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Is this the right move for Britain at a time like this? Now, I don't want to sound like I'm fearmongering but with Russia commissioning more new SSBN's and developing new ICBM's it does not sound like a good move. Add to that the fact that the Chinese are developing their ICBM force as well. Would the UK's nuclear strategic deterrence still be viable against a major power with just three subs?




posted on Dec, 2 2006 @ 12:01 AM
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Of course!

they can pretty much conquer the entire world using 3 subs combine with their UKness!

just joking.

but i think that's enough if UK is not preparing to go into some major conflicts in the future.

China's doing it only to prepare to fight with US force in a possible future regional conflict over taiwan issue; US's doing it cuz it need all that to destroy any nation that are not willing to play along with the US' rules.

Russia, appearant they don't really need those, perhaps they are upgrading SSBNs for the sake of restoring their old "all mighty soviet union" image.

so don't worry about UK, beside, the britz have the entire EU standing behind, who dares to touch them????

[edit on 12/2/2006 by warset]



posted on Dec, 2 2006 @ 12:27 AM
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Not a bad thing. Save your money, you've got the backing of the rest of the EU and the USA if y'all need help.



posted on Dec, 2 2006 @ 02:27 AM
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Ye who toutch us UK'ers, or we get our Muslim immirgent's to do Jihad's on you all!



posted on Dec, 2 2006 @ 07:54 AM
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isn't the new 'atsute' class subs going to be nuclear?

and from everything i've read, they say if we go ahead and upgrade our nuclear deterrent a new generation of subs will be built.

but i'm not sure how reliable that website is and how good it is for using it for a genuine source.



posted on Dec, 2 2006 @ 08:37 AM
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Originally posted by st3ve_o
isn't the new 'atsute' class subs going to be nuclear?

and from everything i've read, they say if we go ahead and upgrade our nuclear deterrent a new generation of subs will be built.

but i'm not sure how reliable that website is and how good it is for using it for a genuine source.


There is a difference between a nuclear sub and a sub armed with nuclear missiles.

But yes, the Astute will be nuclear. It is an Attack sub though, not an SSBN.



posted on Dec, 3 2006 @ 02:48 PM
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Originally posted by stumasonThere is a difference between a nuclear sub and a sub armed with nuclear missiles.

But yes, the Astute will be nuclear. It is an Attack sub though, not an SSBN.


And there is a difference between nuclear missiles and ballistic missiles.

The Astute can carry and launch nuclear armed Tomahawk missiles.



posted on Dec, 4 2006 @ 05:26 AM
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The war with China will be fought in economic terms and possible on battlefield. The only way to prevent a war with China is deterrent. Unless the Nuclear weapons are replaced with a weapon system that would prove more effective against the Chinese military then getting rid of them isn't a very smart idea.

IMO a blow torch needs to be placed under the NZ government and a sufficient military build needs to place in the Pacific and other regions to deter Chinese aggression. Bear in mind that even if nukes aren't used by the allies a war they may deter the enemy from using them.



posted on Dec, 4 2006 @ 08:04 AM
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Originally posted by Retseh

Originally posted by stumasonThere is a difference between a nuclear sub and a sub armed with nuclear missiles.

But yes, the Astute will be nuclear. It is an Attack sub though, not an SSBN.


And there is a difference between nuclear missiles and ballistic missiles.

The Astute can carry and launch nuclear armed Tomahawk missiles.


True...

But from what I read into the post I was replying to was he thought Astute was an SSBN..



posted on Dec, 4 2006 @ 08:16 AM
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I was under the impression a few years ago that the UK had disarmed ALL nuclear weapons (it was quoted before the Iraq invasion).

In fact, I distinctly remember most of media using it as an excuse for the UK to assist with the invasion on the grounds that the UK haven't got any so Iraq shouldn't be allowed any....



posted on Dec, 4 2006 @ 08:20 AM
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Originally posted by morgansolutions
I was under the impression a few years ago that the UK had disarmed ALL nuclear weapons (it was quoted before the Iraq invasion).

In fact, I distinctly remember most of media using it as an excuse for the UK to assist with the invasion on the grounds that the UK haven't got any so Iraq shouldn't be allowed any....



I think you must have dreamt that bit, as I dont remember anything like that. Britain most certainly has nukes.



posted on Dec, 4 2006 @ 08:21 AM
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Originally posted by xpert11
The war with China will be fought in economic terms and possible on battlefield. The only way to prevent a war with China is deterrent. Unless the Nuclear weapons are replaced with a weapon system that would prove more effective against the Chinese military then getting rid of them isn't a very smart idea.

IMO a blow torch needs to be placed under the NZ government and a sufficient military build needs to place in the Pacific and other regions to deter Chinese aggression. Bear in mind that even if nukes aren't used by the allies a war they may deter the enemy from using them.



Do you know how many from NZ were killed in action during WW1? From my recollection it is something like 1 in 10. Thats not 1 in 10 from the battalions, that's 1 in 10 of the population.

Do you honestly think that NZ would ever want to be involved in a war after the huge loss they suffered? Why NZ in particular? Why not Japan / Australia / Russia / US ??



posted on Dec, 4 2006 @ 08:23 AM
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Originally posted by morgansolutions
I was under the impression a few years ago that the UK had disarmed ALL nuclear weapons (it was quoted before the Iraq invasion).

In fact, I distinctly remember most of media using it as an excuse for the UK to assist with the invasion on the grounds that the UK haven't got any so Iraq shouldn't be allowed any....



i know we dismantled a lot in 1998, we dismantled from 700 to 200 (still present number) after the threat of the cold war passed.

200 is still more than enough though, to say it only took 2 to make japan surrender in WW2 (and the atom is 15 times more powerful than that now).

but if you ask me, i'm on the fence whether we should upgrade and spend £billions£ or not - we have better things to spend the money on, but if we upgrade niceone.

[edit on 4-12-2006 by st3ve_o]



posted on Dec, 4 2006 @ 08:32 AM
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All the sources say 200 warheads.

Re the new force levels please bear in mind these are just Govt leaks of a proposal; the boats will need replacing in 2024, the missile system could go on until 2040+. This is just posturing to appease the 'no-nukes' element of the Labour party.

The final decision on the number of boats will be determined by operational matters - if 4 are needed now to keep one permanently out ready then I imagine we'll replace 4 with 4.

As an aside the reliance on just one deployed boat seems crazy to me - if that's found and destroyed then you have no capability. Do we really just have one out there or is it spin and there's actually 2 active (with another 1 on crew changeover and 1 on refit/rearming)?



posted on Dec, 4 2006 @ 08:33 AM
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Originally posted by st3ve_o

Originally posted by morgansolutions
I was under the impression a few years ago that the UK had disarmed ALL nuclear weapons (it was quoted before the Iraq invasion).

In fact, I distinctly remember most of media using it as an excuse for the UK to assist with the invasion on the grounds that the UK haven't got any so Iraq shouldn't be allowed any....



i know we dismantled a lot in 1998, we dismantled from 700 to 200 (still present number) after the threat of the cold war passed.

[edit on 4-12-2006 by st3ve_o]


0 / 200 - whats the difference between friends!

The media must have made it 'look' like we'd gotten rid of all of them - and I was gullible enough to believe them (it was 7-8 years ago and I was very naive!)



posted on Dec, 4 2006 @ 11:18 AM
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I for one, do not really care.

Well actually, I do. Not about the deterrent, but the platform our deterrent takes.

To cut one nuclear powered and armed submarine out of commission is, if you'll excuse the pun, a drop in the ocean.

Forget what the press said 7 - 10 years ago, after the Cold War ended. Always remember that what the press has told you, was probably leaked by the government of the dat, and bears no relationship to the truth or reality!

We still have nuclear armed cruise missiles, free flight nuclear bombs and several hundred Trident warheads.

Apparently, one of the options the government is looking at, is a submarine launched missile weapon whose range is approximately 15,000 kilometers or 8,500 miles - about the given range of the next generation cruise missiles.

The weapon system in question, is supposed to be available within the next five years and should be ready for deployment in 10 years, but only if the submarines are re-fitted in those 10 years.

The other option being considered is the next generation of Trident ICBM with new nuclear powered submarines.

This was reported by BBC Radio's Channel 5 Live this morning at about 0710 hours who also reported that it was the submarines that were out of date and not the Trident missiles.

One enraged listener texted the programme and asked;

'What is the difference between our deterrent and weapons of mass destruction?


I think you'll agree, in view of Labour's original manifesto, that this is hardly nuclear disarmament!



posted on Dec, 4 2006 @ 11:56 AM
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Fritz that's just plain wrong - we have but one nuclear capability; Trident SSBN

www.mod.uk...

Why do you persist in this fantasy that we retain nuclear free-fall bombs? - we dont!

As to what Blair actually said (as opposed to pre-release spin) he said the number of boats MAY be reduced to 3 and that the number of warheads WILL be reduced by 20% (200-160).

news.bbc.co.uk...

www.mod.uk...

This latter statement is probably just confirming what we already know - some missiles have been reduced to just one low-yield warhead to counter the 'rogue state' threat. Thus there were already spare warheads not deployed in active boats once we moved away from the 'fully-loaded' Cold War establishment.

This mirrors the French move (and the US?)



posted on Dec, 4 2006 @ 12:21 PM
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Maybe the poster who thought they'd heard that the UK had got rid of its nuclear weapons is confused about the fact that the RAF has got rid of all of its WE177 nuclear bombs and now possesses no nuclear weapons at all?

As has been said, Trident is the only nuclear weapon in the UK armoury. As to Westy's fear about the reduction, 160 warheads should be enough to deter anybody. If it isn't then it doesn't matter how many you've got, does it?



posted on Dec, 4 2006 @ 12:54 PM
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Originally posted by waynos
As has been said, Trident is the only nuclear weapon in the UK armoury. As to Westy's fear about the reduction, 160 warheads should be enough to deter anybody. If it isn't then it doesn't matter how many you've got, does it?


Waynos in a shooting war whether you have 160 warheads in reserve or 16,000 is irrelevant, your docks, ship yards, nuclear storage facilities etc... would be the first to be taken out. What matters then is how many warheads and ships you have deployed and on active duty, which is why the number of SSBN's is much more important. If the UK has only three SSNB's then I will assume at least one would be out on patrol at all times and that another one can be put out on short notice, however the third will be on maintenance and refit. If everything goes well (and you don't lose a sub) that leaves you with two SSNB's, thirty-two missiles and a total of ninety-six warheads (the UK only fits three per missile). Does that sound reassuring against a nuclear power?


Originally posted by fritz
Apparently, one of the options the government is looking at, is a submarine launched missile weapon whose range is approximately 15,000 kilometers or 8,500 miles - about the given range of the next generation cruise missiles.


Umm... what cruise missile are you referring to? Can you post some more information about it because I have trouble seeing a supersonic cruise missile traveling 15K with a significant nuclear payload.



posted on Dec, 4 2006 @ 01:11 PM
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But thats just it Westy, that lone sub at sea and its sister ready to put to sea immediately are the deterrent, if it comes to a shooting war then the deterrent has failed and its all over anyway, it matters not a jot how many other subs you might have, everybody is dead.

Like why we were happy to invade Iraq for "freedom" but dare not tackle N Korea because they just might have a bomb to lob at us. Deterrence works





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