Trident missiles make UK major world power with ability “to devastate” Russia and China | UK | News (Reports)

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World War 3: Vision 2020 outlines plans for ‘full dominance’

Trident is a key component of the UK’s nuclear weapons system and was acquired by the Thatcher government in the early 1980s as a replacement for the Polaris missile system. The missiles are transported on four Vanguard-class submarines which are based at HM Naval Base Clyde on Scotland’s west coast. Each Trident has a range of up to 12,000km, meaning that the UK has the ability to hit targets anywhere in Russia and China, or in fact almost anywhere else in the world.

In total Britain possesses 215 nuclear weapons, of which 120 are operationally available at any one time.

Under Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet Union attempted to negotiate an arms treaty that would have forced the UK to give up its nuclear deterrent.

However, the US President Ronald Reagan refused to concede to this demand, pushing talks to the brink of collapse.

Gorbachev eventually backed down, allowing the USA and the Soviet Union to sign a historic arms treaty known as the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty in 1987.

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Trident missiles make the UK a global military superpower (Image: Getty)

Trident

The missiles are transported on four Vanguard-class submarines (Image: Getty)

According to the terms of the deal, all land-based missiles ranged from 500 to 5,500 km range were banned.

The agreement, though, did not include the deployment of intermediate missiles launched from air or sea, thereby ensuring the continuation of the UK’s nuclear fleet.

In 2016 the House of Commons voted overwhelmingly to renew Britain’s Trident system.

The cost of upgrading the nuclear deterrent is estimated to cost over GBP 30 billion.

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Trident

At the time, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon defended the cost (Image: Getty)

At the time, then Defence Secretary Michael Fallon defended the cost, saying that to abandon the Trident programme would be to “gamble the long-term security of our citizens”.

“Nuclear weapons are here, they are not going to disappear,” he said.

“It is the role of government to make sure we can defend ourselves against them.”

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Critics claim that the money would be better spent on health, education and social welfare.

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Trident

SNP Nicola Sturgeon said she was in favour of scrapping Trident. (Image: Getty)

Trident

Protestors against Trident (Image: Getty)

In an interview with Sky’s Sophie Ridge prior to the General Election in December 2019, the leader of the SNP Nicola Sturgeon said she was in favour of scrapping Trident.

She explained: “I have a moral objection to weapons of mass destruction.

“I wouldn’t be prepared to press a nuclear button that would kill potentially millions, tens of millions, of people.”

She added: “But there’s also the opportunity costs of Trident – the billions, tens of billions, that are required to renew Trident in my view are better spent on stronger, conventional defence that is more effective to protect our country but also hospitals and schools and better social security provision.

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“And these are the choices that we should be thinking very carefully about.”

World War 3: Vision 2020 outlines plans for ‘full dominance’

The British government is currently developing a new nuclear warhead for its nuclear submarines.

The new warhead is based on the US W93 model and will replace the existing Trident Holbrook.

The news was inadvertently leaked to the media earlier last year by Admiral Charles Richard, commander of U.S. Strategic Command, and Alan Shaffer, the Pentagon’s deputy undersecretary of defence for acquisition and sustainment,

In response to the leak, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace was forced to issue a clarification in February.

In his stamens Mr Wallace said: “To ensure the Government maintains an effective deterrent throughout the commission of the Dreadnought Class ballistic missile submarine we are replacing our existing nuclear warhead to respond to future threats and the security environment.”

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