Tag Archives: successor

UK – First glimpse of new nuclear subs

Defence bosses have revealed the first glimpse at the  future  of Britain’s nuclear deterrent today, publishing the first artist’s impression  of the submarines due to replace the Vanguard-class boats which carry Trident  missiles.

The image was included on the cover of the second annual report to MPs about  developments in the Successor Submarine programme.

 ​DEFENCETrident

 

The boats are designed to be amongst the stealthiest in the world and the  image, created by the design  team  working on the new vessels, shows a submarine built with sweeping curves.

In the report to MPs, the Ministry of Defence announced it had agreed two  contracts worth a total of £79 million to BAE Systems Maritime-Submarines for  initial work on the new  vessels, which are due to be in service by 2028.

The items include structural fittings, electrical equipment, castings and  forgings which must be ordered now, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said.

Mr Hammond said: “The Successor programme is supporting around 2,000 jobs and  up to 850 British businesses could benefit from the supply chain as we exploit  the most modern technologies, and employ a significant portion of the UK’s  engineers, project  managers  and technicians over the coming years.”

Admiral Sir George Zambellas, First Sea Lord, said: “The Royal Navy has been  operating continuous at-sea deterrent patrols for more than 40 years and the  Successor submarines will allow us to do so with cutting-edge equipment well  into the future.”

Both contracts, one of £47 million and another of £32 million, will be filled  by workers in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria.

The Ministry of Defence said the total number of MoD and industrial staff  currently working on the Successor programme is around 2,000, with more than  half working as engineers  and designers.

More than 850 potential UK suppliers have so far been identified as  benefiting from investment in the programme and as many as 6,000 people will be  involved by the time that the construction reaches a peak.

Source – Western Morning News

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UK – Vernon Coaker to visit yards building Trident’s replacement submarines

Shadow defence secretary to show Labour remains committed to new nuclear deterrent with visit to Barrow’s Vanguard site

Vernon Coaker

Vernon Coaker replaced Jim Murphy in the shadow cabinet reshuffle last week.

The new shadow defence secretary Vernon Coaker will display his personal commitment to Labour retaining an independent nuclear deterrent on Wednesday when he visits the yards building the Vanguard replacement submarines that will be the successors to the current Trident programme.

Coaker replaced Jim Murphy in the shadow cabinet reshuffle last week and will travel to Barrow to show that Labour remains committed to a new nuclear deterrent.

In advance Coaker said: “In an uncertain and unpredictable world in which other nations possess nuclear weapons and nuclear proliferation remains a deep concern, Labour believes it is right that the United Kingdom retains the minimum credible independent nuclear deterrent.

“We will continue to look at ways in which the Successor programme can be delivered efficiently, through the strategic defence and security and zero based spending reviews we have pledged to conduct under a Labour government.”

The local Labour MP John Woodcock, MP for Barrow and Furness, said “Vernon’s decision to come here first signals the strength of Labour’s support for the UK’s submarine programme and the value a future Labour government will place in the extraordinary manufacturing expertise it sustains in Furness and across the country. ”

Source – The Guardian

Trident: Does Britain need a submarine-based nuclear missile system that will cost £100 billion?

Ministers argue that having nuclear submarines permanently patrolling our waters has “served us well”

So, the Lib Dems’ long-awaited review of alternatives to Trident is Here.

Having pledged to “say no to the like-for-like replacement” in their election manifesto in 2010, then being forced to cede ground in order to enter into power, the review was always going to represent something of a fudge. Essentially it outlines a slimmed down version of the current system, which would deliver a bit less firepower and very little in the way of savings to the taxpayer.  It’s done little to paper over the cracks in the Coalition with the Defence Secretary condemning the plans as “reckless”, and the Prime Minister flatly rejecting them.

Most importantly the review fails to address the blindingly obvious question of whether Britain, decades after the Cold War and in the grip of austerity, actually needs a submarine-based nuclear missile system that will cost an estimated £100 billion over the next 30 years. I’ll be raising this point in a debate in Parliament today.

In any case, what the Lib Dems think seems to be of little relevance.

The Government, regardless of the views of its coalition partners, Parliament, or the public has been ploughing money into a replacement.

In response to a parliamentary question I tabled in 2010, the MoD revealed it was already spending billions on enriched uranium components and high explosives.

Ministers argue that having nuclear submarines permanently patrolling our waters has “served us well”.  But has our security really been greater than other nations that have chosen not to spend billions on a permanent flotilla of nuclear submarines?  Do we sleep safer in our beds than the Germans or the Japanese?

The fact is that the Liberal Democrats, like the Conservatives and like Labour, refuse to accept the major strategic and economic benefits that non-renewal would offer.  These include improved national security (with flexibility to spend elsewhere on the armed forces) and improved global security.  Britain’s moral authority in global multilateral disarmament initiatives depends on its own behaviour.  How can we dictate to Iran or other nations seeking to join the nuclear club while we remain wedded to Trident?

This is a time when growing numbers of our citizens are relying on food banks. When public sector workers are having their pay frozen.  When vital services that the most vulnerable in our society depend on are being cut daily. And when the armed forces themselves are under strain.

It’s not lefty-pacifist propaganda to ask whether we should be refusing to move on from a past era of warfare. Four former senior military commanders have voiced concerns  that “replacing Trident will be one of the most expensive weapons programmes this country has seen” and highlighted concerns about its impact on  defence equipment budget.

You might reasonably ask, like the former Prime Minister John Major: “In what circumstances, and upon whom, is Trident likely to be used?” The Government’s own National Security Strategy has downgraded the threat of state on state nuclear warfare, while highlighting the emergence of new 21st Century threats – including climate change, pandemics, organised crime and cyber warfare – as well as terrorism, the threat of which is arguably heightened by the kind of posturing that Trident represents.

But instead of facing up to the real threats of the modern world, the Government sadly seems determined to lock the UK into the costly technologies of the past.

Source – The Independent