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British nukes were protected by bike locks

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posted on Nov, 15 2007 @ 03:12 PM
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Anyone got a bike Key to arm a Nuke


news.bbc.co.uk

Newsnight has discovered that until the early days of the Blair government the RAF's nuclear bombs were armed by turning a bicycle lock key.

There was no other security on the Bomb itself.

While American and Russian weapons were protected by tamper-proof combination locks which could only be released if the correct code was transmitted, Britain relied on a simpler technology.

The Dr Strangelove scenario

The British military resisted Whitehall proposal
(visit the link for the full news article)

[edit on 15-11-2007 by bodrul]

Mod Edit - Headline: Please use the original story headline from your source.

[edit on 11/15/2007 by Gools]




posted on Nov, 15 2007 @ 03:12 PM
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wow we have a had the most secure nukes in the world
while the russians and americans used tamper proof locks
we went one step further and used what looks like bike locks
to protect our nukes.



news.bbc.co.uk
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Nov, 15 2007 @ 03:24 PM
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Makes you think how countries like India, Pakistan, France protect theirs.

I think is almost inevitable that one day one rogue group get their hands in one these bombs.



posted on Nov, 15 2007 @ 03:36 PM
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I just read this on the BBC news site and was going to post it. Zeitgeist or what?

Somehow, and I'm not sure how, I take comfort from the fact that for 40+ years of this system being in operation nothing bad happened. It kind of restores a bit of my faith in humanity.

Other than that, its jaw droppingly stupid when you think about it.

Its a crazy world.



posted on Nov, 15 2007 @ 03:37 PM
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Oh my.. I can see it now.

We're under attack, arm the nuclear weapons!
Right! Anyone got a bike key?
Err.. no.. sorry.
What about a hairclip?
Well.. I could nip home and ask me Mum.
Good lad, off you go then.
OH NO!
What's the matter man?
Somebody's stole me BIKE!
My God... the devils have outsmarted us!



Hey, at least they didn't strap a half dozen nukes under a plane and fly it to buttpimple Nebraska or wherever.



posted on Nov, 15 2007 @ 03:43 PM
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And people wonder why we complain about lack of military spending...?

Come on! We couldnt afford the ammunition for the eurofighters gun!!!



posted on Nov, 15 2007 @ 03:50 PM
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reply to post by devilwasp
 


I think this one takes economy to the extreme ...
One individual could not only arm a WE177 freefall bomb but change its yield too ... with little more than an Allen key ?
Absolutely bizarre.

I'll be keeping an eye on BBC Newsnight in 45 mins.



posted on Nov, 15 2007 @ 03:51 PM
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It makes you proud to be British in a perverse kind of way.

I particularly liked the bit...


The Royal Navy argued that officers of the Royal Navy as the Senior Service could be trusted:

"It would be invidious to suggest... that Senior Service officers may, in difficult circumstances, act in defiance of their clear orders".


The clear implication being that you obviously shouldn't be trusting those complete arses in the Army or the RAF with that sort of responsibility.

Priceless.



posted on Nov, 15 2007 @ 03:57 PM
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Originally posted by timeless test
It makes you proud to be British in a perverse kind of way.

I particularly liked the bit...


The Royal Navy argued that officers of the Royal Navy as the Senior Service could be trusted:

"It would be invidious to suggest... that Senior Service officers may, in difficult circumstances, act in defiance of their clear orders".


The clear implication being that you obviously shouldn't be trusting those complete arses in the Army or the RAF with that sort of responsibility.

Priceless.

Well its true!

Have you ever tried picking a lock at several hundred feet inside a submarine?



posted on Nov, 15 2007 @ 04:01 PM
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Were they then using the nuke locks to protect their bikes?


It's only a matter of time until they start using those twisty things you seal your garbage bags with, to save some money.



posted on Nov, 15 2007 @ 04:14 PM
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Loving the responses


This is a uniquely British thing guys. Celebrate it for its sheer audacity



posted on Nov, 15 2007 @ 04:24 PM
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I remember once hearing a story that one of the final checks a British Trident submarine Captain makes ... before he launches a nuclear strike against Russia and as the UK burns ... is to check to see whether BBC Radio 4 is still broadcasting the Today programme. And if that's off the air he can reasonably assume all civilisation has come to an end and make up his own mind whether to launch a retaliation or sail off to Australia.

How quaint. How terribly British



posted on Nov, 15 2007 @ 04:33 PM
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reply to post by Niall197
 


Their was a weekly satirical TV comedy show in the UK called "The End" in the early 80's.

I don't remember too much about it apart from one sketch that played on the BBC's annoying habit of broadcasting programmes at different times and on different days from its Scottish Transmitters.

The sketch started with the interruption of a programme and went something like this

"It is with grave regret that the Government informs you that, as of this moment in time, we are at war with the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact. British forces have engaged in hostilities and nuclear missiles have been launched at this country, with initial impacts expected in approximately four minutes - thats all except for viewers in Scotland who can expect their Apocalypse on Thursday at 11.00pm. God Save the Queen!"



posted on Nov, 15 2007 @ 04:39 PM
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Originally posted by neformore
Loving the responses


This is a uniquely British thing guys. Celebrate it for its sheer audacity

Dry humour is the best. Wouldn't have it any other way.

If they were U-Locks you could steal a nuke with a BiC Pen.

Seriously, lately there has been talk in America and now Britain about nuke safety. Perhaps both looking for some cash to be directed towards nuclear programs?



posted on Nov, 15 2007 @ 04:40 PM
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Good Lord !! The MOD can't afford to keep it's nuke secure? Incredible. Especially when i've watched Spooks on BBC1 with all the high tech gadgets but to safeguard the nukes all they have to do is nip into the nearest bike shops and buy a few locks !!
But as others have said it is nice that for the last 40 years or so no security breach or attempt (that we are aware of) has been made to pcik a bike lock and nick a nuke. The Government today announced stepped up security measures at British airports etc to protect us from attack. i hope they now review securing the nukes !!



posted on Nov, 15 2007 @ 04:42 PM
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reply to post by Niall197
 


So John Humphrys is the last man that can stop the chain of command to launch ...maybe we should give him the keys to the bike lock too



posted on Nov, 15 2007 @ 04:55 PM
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Originally posted by neformore
Loving the responses


This is a uniquely British thing guys. Celebrate it for its sheer audacity


But of course, and it shouldn't be done any other way...with the exception of 'The Archers' being the last bastion of Britishness that is

RAF Nimrods fixed with galley teapots, nukes secured with bike-chains...and Oh!, what I wouldn't give to have the Cold-War days back as well, when you could leave the front-door to your military installation unlocked...

...anyone for tea?



posted on Nov, 15 2007 @ 05:09 PM
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posted on Nov, 15 2007 @ 05:13 PM
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True Britannia

In fairness to the Royal Navy and Air Force, the character of their officers has indeed been proven by virtue of the fact that no incidents have occurred:


"It would be invidious to suggest... that Senior Service officers may, in difficult circumstances, act in defiance of their clear orders".

Just so.



posted on Nov, 15 2007 @ 05:14 PM
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reply to post by neformore
 


LOL love it


Can't find a reference to the Today programme anywhere online so I've dug a book out of the cupboard, "The Secret State" by Prof. Peter Hennessy. In this part of the book "Conclusion" (page 189 onwards) Hennessy is discussing surprise nuclear attacks against the UK ... and how submarine commanders would react. The following words are Hennessy's.

"Tony Blair, like John Major before him, had to place his instructions in a set of envelopes - one for each boat - with only Sir Robin Butler, the Secretary of the Cabinet, involved. Butler did not see what either of them wrote and neither Blair nor Major have divulged what they decided. According to a senior figure familiar with the ultimate choice for several years, it came down to four options and one prior question, if 'the unthinkable had happened and the bulk of the UK was reduced to a cinder.'

The prior question was: 'How could the submarine Commander persuade himself that an attack had happened' ?

He can scour the airwaves for anything being broadcast but cannor radio out seeking instructions for fear of giving their position away to enemy hunter killer submarines. How could he be sure that the UK had suffered a catastrophic nuclear assault without an authenticated message from a bunker-protected premier or designated deputy ? One of the very last tests - over several days - is that the BBC Radio 4's Today programme has been silenced (a pleasing touch of national identity, in every sense, I have always thought).

Today no more, the drill is for the Trident commander and his executive officer to go to the safe, retrieve and open the prime Minister's envelope. It can instruct one of four things:

1. Put yourself under the command of the United States, if it is still there.
2. Make your way to Australia, if it is still there.
3 Get on with it and take out Moscow (or the capital of whichever country has initiated the attack).
4. Use your own judgement."


One of the interesting things too about the American system of permissive action links is that until 1977 they were all set to "00000000" anyway - this was done by the Air Force without the knowledge or consent of various Defense Secretaries from Robert McNamara onwards :

www.cdi.org...

Anyway, I much prefer the British system. It has that certain bizarre element to it which makes me proud to be British, bicycle locks n'all.



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