Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 57 total)
  • Nuclear Squib
  • mahowlett
    Free Member

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-68355395

    If we haven’t managed to successfully test a trident launch in 12 years, and it’s the only nuclear weapon system the country operates. How long before we can stop pretending we are a nuclear equipped country and when can we stop spending 3 billion quid a year on it and spend it on something useful instead?  At what point does it cease to be a deterrent to any would be invader? Though given the current state of the country that’s possibly a moot point 🙂

    sharkbait
    Free Member

    We still have nukes…. it’s just a question of how they get to the target.

    spend it on something useful instead?

    What, like Russian lessons comrade?

    martinhutch
    Full Member

    This headline briefly got my hopes up though:

    andrewh
    Free Member

    when can we stop spending 3 billion quid a year

    Surely it’s an argument in favour of replacing it? Assuming it’s an inherent problem or age related or something and not just a one-off (well, two-off) in which case it almost certainly needs money spending on repairs or upgrades.

    TBH whether it works or not is a moot point, what matters is that Mr Putin thinks it works and thinks that we might actually use it if push came to shove. If it’s ever fired in anger it’s failed, but it has to be credible and this test undermines that.

    With Trump in charge can we rely on the US to be that credible threat? I don’t think so. It’s just us and the French .

    I may be in a minority on here but I see having a working, and just as importantly seen to be working, nuclear capability as extremely important, and nothing which has happened since 2014 has changed my mind.

    Ukraine got rid of theirs in the early 1990s, in exchange for security guarantees from us, America, and Russia. We let them down badly in 2014, the US is dithering now. What is stopping Russia going even further? NATO’s nuclear capability and the possibility that it might be used. They almost certainly couldn’t win a conventional war against NATO but take our nuclear capability out of the equation and they could do what they liked, where they liked.

    argee
    Full Member

    Failures occur, that’s why trials occur, for a war type of scenario they’d just spin up another one and fire it.

    Worth noting that this isn’t two in a row for failures of Trident, it’s just two in a row for UK subs, the US have trialled a few since 2016 without incident.

    fasgadh
    Free Member

    “Comrade”?

    Wishing you well in adjusting to life in 2024.

    Are the missiles maintained, or even leased from the US?  Also how has technology affected the security of the submarines – can you still hide a missile boat and if so for how much longer?

    munrobiker
    Free Member

    what matters is that Mr Putin thinks it works

    Oh yeah, I remember now, Russia has invaded all the countries in the world except the 9 with nuclear weapons. It would be really stupid to get rid of nuclear missiles given that’s happened, even if they don’t work properly.

    Of course, Russia with its 6,000 warheads is only not invading us because we have 200 of them ready to strike back.

    Akers
    Full Member

    Maybe we need to dust off the Vulcan? 😂

    andrewh
    Free Member

    I can tell you are being sarcastic, but seriously, why would he not invade Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Germany… Where would he stop? He isn’t restraining himself because it’s a not a nice thing to do.

    He is picking on Ukraine, Georgia, Chechnya, Dagestan, etc because they are weaker and don’t have the backing of a major alliance. Do the people of Belarus or Kazakhstan like the Russian military presence? We don’t know, they don’t really have a say🤷

    Why can’t we remove Russia from Ukraine like we removed Iraq from Kuwait?

    Like it or not nuclear weapons affect wars just by their very existence.

    But I agree that 200, 2,000 or 6,000. Once you have enough to guarantee that some will get through the rest is just posturing. North Korea only has a dozen or so but we aren’t proposing regime change there…

    Caher
    Full Member

    Bring back the trebuchet.

    dakuan
    Free Member

    Maybe we need to dust off the Vulcan? 😂

    bring back those mad thunderbirds style bombers that never quite got built!

    this sort of thing:

    thols2
    Full Member

    what matters is that Mr Putin thinks it works and thinks that we might actually use it if push came to shove.

    Exactly. Each Trident missiles carries up to eight nuclear warheads. Each sub carries eight missiles. That’s 64 warheads per sub, times 4 subs, so 320 warheads. If only 10% make it to the target, that’s 32 nukes, which would devastate Russia or China. If 50% make it, every major Russian city would be incinerated five times over. And that’s just from U.K. subs. This doesn’t make any difference to the calculus of deterrence – Russia knows that launching an attack on NATO would lead to devastating consequences.

    Klunk
    Free Member

    given that it’s solid fuel (I guess a mix of  aluminium powder and ammonia nitrate) you’d think there isn’t much to go wrong. damp fuse perhaps ? 😉

    the-muffin-man
    Full Member

    Sub Captain… “That Grant Shapps is on board today – now just make it plop in the sea a few hundred yards away. Then I can show him how underfunded we are and tap him up for more coin!” 🙂

    dazh
    Full Member

    I remember when Corbyn was roundly ridiculed after saying we could have missiles that are not armed. Well it would appear we actually have missiles that can’t fly so I fail to see the difference. Corbyn was probably closer to the truth than many realised at the time.

    Bruce
    Full Member

    Dam, I thought this was about a radioactive giant squid, disapointed now. 🙁

    nickc
    Full Member

    I remember when Corbyn was roundly ridiculed after saying we could have missiles that are not armed.

    Because his stated position [of many many years] is complete disarmament and every one knows it, and his suggestion of weapon-less defence (which isn’t in of itself a bad policy, it’s largely worked for India all these years) was solely to placate the unions who’s members both build and repair the nuclear subs that the missiles go into, and even then it didn’t work, as both Unite and GMB said at the time that they thought it wasn’t a good idea and they wouldn’t support it. Then he also said that he’d support nuclear powered subs, not nuclear armed subs, but then they’d only get used in the sorts of conflicts that he’s steadfastly opposed to anyway…

    The whole thing was a bit of a mess. Carolyn Lucas just says she’s against nuclear weapons and leaves it at that. I think Corbyn would have got a more serious response if he’d have just stuck to that as well.

    argee
    Full Member

    given that it’s solid fuel (I guess a mix of  aluminium powder and ammonia nitrate) you’d think there isn’t much to go wrong. damp fuse perhaps ? 😉

    Yeah, it’s not rocket science.

    tazzymtb
    Full Member

    Spend the money on the NHS, schools and helping folks.

    We should have a “trident in need” night on the telly where the british public can phone in a fiver of they want,  Or do sponsored “we love a nuke walk”, or “muffins for nuclear obliteration” lunch

    Soon see how popular the the whole nuke thing is.

    dakuan
    Free Member

    Soon see how popular the the whole nuke thing is.

    soon as Trump quits nato and the world police thing they’ll be super popular – every country going with troublesome neighbours will be getting them

    HarryTuttle
    Full Member

    I think I read somwhere that the cause of this failure was likely a failure of the test telemetry that caused the missile to abort the ignition.  That telemetry is specific to a test shot and is there for safety etc.  A real launch wouldn’t undergo that type of failure.  Not sure how reliable that info is though.

    daverhp
    Full Member

    He is picking on Ukraine, Georgia, Chechnya, Dagestan, etc because they are weaker and don’t have the backing of a major alliance.

    I did read that there was a NATO alliance with Ukraine from when they gave the Soviet missiles back to Russia – NATO committed to defending Ukraine but then failed to deliver on that. I’m not sure what point that actually makes; Russia ignored that NATO (nuclear equipped) might wade in to defend Ukraine which suggests deterrent doesn’t work, but then NATO maybe didn’t wade in because Russia is nuclear armed (proving the contrary).

    If Trident isn’t reliable it’s effectiveness as a deterrent is presumably reduced. And of course Putin* is clearly deranged so logic may not apply.  * Equally applies to Trump

    squirrelking
    Free Member

    Are the missiles maintained, or even leased from the US?

    The missiles are a common pool, the warheads are not.

    I think I read somwhere that the cause of this failure was likely a failure of the test telemetry that caused the missile to abort the ignition. That telemetry is specific to a test shot and is there for safety etc. A real launch wouldn’t undergo that type of failure. Not sure how reliable that info is though.

    I’ve heard of that happening in the C&I world before so it’s at least plausible.

    poly
    Free Member

    Of course, Russia with its 6,000 warheads is only not invading us because we have 200 of them ready to strike back.

    I’m not a fan of nuclear weapons, but I think its a gross simplification to suggest that its just Russia that is a concern.  Iran, N Korea, China, Israel are all a bit too unhinged and capable of nuclear attack.  (The US is also not entirely on my non-unhinged list – its saying something when India and Pakistan are closer to sensible!). I’d much rather we all found a way to get on rather than flex our muscles.

    We only really need half a dozen likely to hit their target and we have a credible counter threat.  If someone in NATO is going to have them – I’d rather it wasn’t just the Americans.

    They are however a ridiculous waste of money – especially if they can’t actually reach their target.

    And that’s just from U.K. subs

    But I think I am right in saying that is OUR entire nuclear deterent?  We have no other way to launch them?  So IF there is a fundamental flaw we have no actual deterant; therefore we would be better doing something useful with the money.

    Also how has technology affected the security of the submarines – can you still hide a missile boat and if so for how much longer?

    I think so – it appears you can hide conventional weapons well enough on land that the UK/US are unable to eliminate the risk in the red sea coming from Yemen.

    Failures occur, that’s why trials occur, for a war type of scenario they’d just spin up another one and fire it.

    Worth noting that this isn’t two in a row for failures of Trident, it’s just two in a row for UK subs, the US have trialled a few since 2016 without incident.

    Did they just supply us with all the duds?  Trials are supposed to happen BEFORE the system is deployed live.

    Sub Captain… “That Grant Shapps is on board today – now just make it plop in the sea a few hundred yards away. Then I can show him how underfunded we are and tap him up for more coin!” 🙂

    Well presumably the trial was classified so someone let it slip to the Sun!

    P20
    Full Member

    Sounds familiar……

    finephilly
    Free Member

    Don’t panic Captain Mainwaring!!!

    squirrelking
    Free Member

    Did they just supply us with all the duds? Trials are supposed to happen BEFORE the system is deployed live.

    It’s random selection apparently, it was also empty of warheads so exactly your definition of a trial.

    poly
    Free Member

    I did read that there was a NATO alliance with Ukraine from when they gave the Soviet missiles back to Russia – NATO committed to defending Ukraine but then failed to deliver on that.

    That was not the commitment and it was not NATO that made it.  The deal was “we will give up our* nukes so long as (some) other countries with nukes promise not to attack us and to protect us if we come under nuclear attack”.  The agreement was made between UK, USA, Russia, Ukraine.  France and China made some similar vague commitments.

    *the were never really Ukraine’s nukes – they were soviet nukes left behind when the USSR collapsed; they probably didn’t have the ability to actually launch them without the Kremlin!

    poly
    Free Member

    It’s random selection apparently, it was also empty of warheads so exactly your definition of a trial.

    No, live does not mean with a warhead it means the system is actually in use supposedly ready to launch at the behest of Rishi and his commanders.  I’m not saying you shouldn’t be able to test systems after they are deployed in the field, but at that point you are not expecting a 100% misfire rate.  Now these might indeed have been caused by some fail safe when its in test mode but you’d hope that we might have sorted that before doing it again…  …its almost like the sort of thing that should have been tested before the customer (MOD) accepted them into service.

    dyna-ti
    Full Member

    Bring back the trebuchet.

    No need.

    I remember reading something about Germany during the cold war had buried 10kt devices in the area where a Russian land invasion would most likely go through. Probably find a similar scenario for the south coast of England.

    Brighton etc parts of the Kent coast etc would have nuclear devices buried in the earth to surprise any landing parties.

    Ewan
    Free Member

    Launch tube is the US design, missiles are from a shared us/UK stockpile. Likely to be either test set up or just unlucky. British bit is the warhead which won’t have been on it.

    airvent
    Free Member

    Brighton etc parts of the Kent coast etc would have nuclear devices buried in the earth to surprise any landing parties.

    What would that supposedly achieve? Kill the first landing party plus all of your own defenses then leave it wide open for all the subsequent waves of amphibious landings?

    Missile fires, missile flops. On looking inside the launch tube you see it’s ****.

    Carry out the IA PR drill.

    jrawarren
    Full Member

    Given the obsessive secrecy around our nuclear deterrent my nasty suspicious mind is wondering just why this is in the press? Surely its not in our interest to disclose any such failure, after all a deterrent doesn’t need to actually work as long as everyone believes it will. Buttering us up for a large order about to be placed with the US, one that will throw the spanner into Kiers first-term spending plans perhaps?

    argee
    Full Member

    The US tend to be pretty open on this stuff and usually release mishap reports, you do trials and testing and sometimes it goes wrong, it’s why we do it so that when it’s actually needed, there’s confidence in it

    Poopscoop
    Full Member

    I see the test took place off the coast of Florida. 😁

    I’m guessing the locals will be out with their AR15’s shooting up anything that remotely looks like a submarine over the next few days. Lol

    ‘Merica!!

    dazh
    Full Member

    one that will throw the spanner into Kiers first-term spending plans perhaps?

    The only policy area where the govt is honest about their ability to spend money is the procurement of weapons and the execution of war. Like every PM before him Starmer will have no problem paying for Trident and other military assets.

    Northwind
    Full Member

    dyna-ti
    Full Member

    I remember reading something about Germany during the cold war had buried 10kt devices in the area where a Russian land invasion would most likely go through. Probably find a similar scenario for the south coast of England.

    Blue Peacock… Was never actually built or deployed, it was a british weapon designed mostly for area denial. Nuclear warfare theory at its absolute worst really. On the other hand, they did propose heating the detonator systems with live chickens.

    thols2
    Full Member

    weapon-less defence (which isn’t in of itself a bad policy, it’s largely worked for India all these years)

    LMAO. According to Wikipedia, India has the second largest number of military personnel in the world and has fought numerous wars and border skirmishes over the last 75 years. Their military budget is 4th largest in the world. They have a nuclear triad, with an estimated 150 or so nuclear warheads.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_Armed_Forces

    Murray
    Full Member

    Surely its not in our interest to disclose any such failure

    The test is declared in advance – the sea downrange needs to be clear just like for a SpaceX launch.

    The Russians and Chinese would have been monitoring the launch – the UK and USA had the capability to monitor Soviet launches in the 1960s with radar pulses sent from Japan and received in the UK – a friend of mine worked on it from the UK end at the time.

    So the Russians and Chinese already knew it hadn’t launched. The stupid thing is not being more open – the USN are more open about disclosing what’s going on. As long as there are no details it’s best to get  the news out early and in the way you want rather than reacting to a leak.

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