Will Trident Still Work in the Future?

Vanguard at Faslane

Developments in anti-submarine warfare could be decisive

Emerging developments in technology that are transforming our lives and already revolutionising the battle-space in air and on land could ensure that submarines will no longer be stealthy in the foreseeable future, however silent they are. This is undeniable, and claims that these risks are minimal to Trident’s future are patently false. The judgement comes in assessing this risk and when it becomes operational, based upon the speed of technology development today, and what countermeasures that could be developed. This briefing outlines the risk and its consequences to the programme.

A Policy Proposal for the UK Government: Prevent a Nuclear Catastrophe

Paul Ingram, BASIC's Executive Director, was one of the judges in the recent Young Student Pugwash competition. Participants were asked to write a blog in response to the below challenge. The winner is Caroline Leroy. We reproduce her blog post here.
The Challenge: “Imagine you are advising the UK government about ways to decrease the globalthreat of Weapons of Mass Destruction. In approximately 1000 words, explain a policy, technique or approach that can reduce the threat(s) and make the world, at least a bit, safer.”

Monday's Trident Debate: What was mentioned, what was left out?

On Monday night, MPs voted 472 to 117 to replace UK’s Trident nuclear weapons system, following a five and half hour Parliamentary debate. The atmosphere was tense; the united SNP benches made an impassioned case against Trident from across the room, while the Conservatives all voted in favour, but for the Chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee who voted against the motion. Many arguments were aired both for and against Trident. But what kind of arguments did the MPs make?

CASD: Options for Trident Patrolling

The third of BASIC's 2016 Parliamentary Briefing series relating to the Trident debate focuses on the issue of continuous-at-sea-deterrence (CASD).

David Cameron announced at the NATO summit in Warsaw on Saturday, “a parliamentary vote [to be held] on July 18 to confirm MP's support for the renewal of four nuclear submarines capable of providing around the clock cover”. Theresa May is expected to follow through with this decision.

Trident: A Done Deal?

Trident is in the news again, and will continue to generate heat in the run up to a parliamentary debate promised later this year on the programme and patrolling posture. But the outcome is clear, pre-determined in the minds of the political elite and to some extent in contractual and diplomatic commitments. For now. Could the equation change in the next parliament? The momentum behind the project appears unstoppable, but beware unexpected shocks before coming to a firm conclusion.

Trident: the need for a comprehensive risk assessment

HMS Victorious

The Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR), planned for publication on 23 November 2015, is expected to include an update on the Trident renewal project and financial estimates. Main Gate decision is likely to be put to Parliament early 2016. Like every major government project, MoD procurement officials will have conducted a detailed confidential risk analysis for the construction, but this project requires a far broader, comprehensive risk analysis over a set of areas, as listed in this briefing.

UK Nuclear Policy Now: Questions Remain

The Conservatives fought the election with a clear policy of like-for-like renewal of the Trident nuclear weapon system, and now have a majority in Parliament and fully control the government. The Labour Party also contested the election on a similar policy. If there was any doubt prior to the election that Trident renewal would go ahead, it is surely answered unequivocally now.


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