July 17, 2016

UK vote on Trident Replacement due tomorrow, Monday July 18, 2016

Drawing from The Guardian's July 16, 2016 article by  and "Trident: what you need to know before the parliamentary vote".

The UK Parliament (in the House of Commons) is due to vote whether the UK squadron of 4 SSBNs, that carry Trident missiles, should be replaced. The vote may be around

-  London time - 4pm Monday July 18, 2016 and
-  Australian Eastern time - 1am, Tuesday, July 19, 2016
   (see the BBC report on ABC TV Channel 24).

See the whole excellent Guardian article. Elements of article below:

The Vanguard-class UK SSBNs operate out of the deep-water naval base at Faslane on the Clyde, abive Glasgow, Scotland, UK. But the UK SSBNs also makes use of the US navy’s base at Kings Bay in Georgia. Lockheed Martin Space Systems manufactures the Trident missiles at its factory in Sunnyvale, California. BAE Systems, Babcock International and Rolls-Royce are the main industrial partners in the Successor-class project.

The UK MoD states that maintaining and sustaining Trident supports more than 30,000 UK jobs. Approximately 2,200 people across the MoD and all three companies are currently working on the (SSBN replacement) Successor programme, of whom more than 50% are engineers and designers. Jobs are expected to peak at 6,000 during the build phase and involve an estimated 850 British companies in the supply chain. Four Vanguard-class nuclear submarines carry the US-made Trident ballistic missiles that give the weapons system its collective name and which each have the capacity to deliver up to 12 thermonuclear warheads.
The UK has the smallest stockpile of nuclear warheads. The UK is one of five legal nuclear weapon (P5) countries under the "first pillar" concept of the NNP Treaty (NNPT). Among these countries, the UK is also unique in relying on a single nuclear weapons system – Trident. There are nine known nuclear powers, chief among them the US and Russia, which retain formidable stockpiles despite substantial disarmament programmes. Pakistan, India, Israel and North Korea are not legal nuclear weapon countries under the NNPT.


Nicky K.D Chaleunphone said...

Hi pete
This may interest u from Janes defense weekly

Images show possible new variant of China's Type 094 SSBN

Peter Coates said...

Thanks Nicky

What caught my eye are later paragraph's in the Janes' article: http://www.janes.com/article/62282/images-show-possible-new-variant-of-china-s-type-094-ssbn

"There is also speculation on Chinese online forums that this is the fourth Type 094 SSBN that has been produced. Since 2008 the Pentagon's annual China military reports have estimated that up to five Type 094s could be produced.

China has great incentive to improve what are believed to be 'noisy' SSBNs. In 2009 the US Office of Naval Intelligence produced a chart showing that the Type 094, first launched in 2004, was noisier than the Soviet-era Project 667BDR (Delta III) SSBN, first launched in 1976.

Modifications to the Type 093 and Type 094 point to China's continued effort to improve its nuclear submarine force, which the Pentagon notes will lead to the third generation Type 095 SSN and Type 096 SSBN in the 2020s.

The latest Pentagon report on China's military also notes that a new JL-3 submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) may be under development for the Type 096 SSBN."


China appears to be still at the stage of slowly improving its SSBNs-SLBMs (JL-3s) and SSNs without settling on designs for major production - yet.



Nicky K.D Chaleunphone said...

Hi Pete,
It seems like for China, their SSN and SSBN's are on par with the Soviet/Russian Navy of the 1970's era. Though their SSK's are on par with the Modern Kilo class SSK.

Peter Coates said...

Hi Nicky

Its difficult to say.

There are so many parameters-points of comparision we would need to compare Russian and Chinese subs of all classes.

Many comparisons are not obvious as they are inside the subs - including sensors, combat systems and weapons. The quality-performance of crews is also a point of comparision.

Most comparative data is highly classified.

Large US intel institutions would be the main authorities - such as the CIA Intelligence Directorate and US Naval Intelligence. But they won't be talking to you or me.