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UK’s new Trident nuclear missiles likely to be postponed – forever

Postponing most of the investment until after the next general election—due by 2015—would make it easier for an incoming government to ditch Trident or, more likely, prevaricate for so long that it amounts to the same thing. That prospect pleases Lib Dems but dismays many Tory MPs,

(UK) The nuclear deterrent Gunning for Trident, The Economist, 1 Oct 10, The coalition government is divided over whether and to what extent Britain should remain a nuclear powerSep 30th 2010 “…

….Among the bitterest fights is one that Mr Cameron had hoped to avoid—over Britain’s nuclear deterrent. He originally exempted the deterrent, based on the American-designed, submarine-launched Trident ballistic missile, from discussion.

The Trident-armed submarines are expected to need replacing in the early 2020s; the system is due to be renewed, at a cost of £20 billion ($32 billion). But his Liberal Democrat coalition partners—who say they are against a “like-for-like” replacement for Trident, but would quite like Britain to ditch its nukes altogether—won the right to examine the cost-effectiveness of the plan. There is talk of delaying the order for new submarines or finding a cheaper alternative……..

……..Critics of Trident who cite its cost are more convincing, not least because renewing it might mean sacrificing conventional kit, such as army helicopters or frigates for the navy. At the least, they argue, a decision can be postponed by a few years, because the Vanguard-class submarines now fitted with Trident missiles can actually be kept going until 2025—or even longer……

Postponing most of the investment until after the next general election—due by 2015—would make it easier for an incoming government to ditch Trident or, more likely, prevaricate for so long that it amounts to the same thing. That prospect pleases Lib Dems but dismays many Tory MPs,

The nuclear deterrent: Gunning for Trident | The Economist

October 1, 2010 - Posted by | UK, weapons and war | , , , , ,

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