Questions & Answers

Trident Nuclear Weapon System Capability?

Is UK independent of the US?

Can UK afford Trident?

What does International Law say about nuclear weapons?

The atom bombs marked the end of WWII but were they the real reason that Japan surrendered?

Is Trident invulnerable?

By the time the Dreadnought class are operational (2030s) there will have been roughly 45 generations of development of anti-submarine warfare technology. Deep-sea drones and other new means of detection will have been added to sonar and satellite borne technology. Cyber warfare is also rapidly expanding so communications are vulnerable. It is heroic, to say the least, to suggest that 45 generations later submarines will remain undetectable.

Is there a Trident conventional war head?

Yes. The US revealed in 2006 that they had developed a warhead which utilises the enormous amount of kinetic energy that a mass of tungsten steel rods arriving at super-sonic speed from the stratosphere would have. Delivered to pin point accuracy such a warhead could penetrate deep bunkers. Follow up cruise or air launched missiles could exploit the damage initially caused by what one might call 'the shock and awe' of an unexpected first strike attack.

Is maintaining employment a moral justification for keepingTrident ?

Much has been made of the fact that the Trident system employs thousands of people who will be put of a job. I personally find it unacceptably immoral to consider retaining a nuclear capability just to avoid unemployment. The fact is, that with the money saved, jobs could be created elsewhere - and still have some left over for social welfare budgets.

What happens if Scotland becomes independent?

The Faslane Naval Base can continue to be a major naval facility for ships and nuclear powered submarines armed with conventional weapons and Scotland would develope the base as its own support facility for its fishery and offshore patrol vessels.

Professor William Walker of St Andrews University lucidly summarised the relationship between Scottish Independence and the basing of Trident submarines in Scotland in a paper he wrote in 2015 prior to the UK Government's Gateway decision to proceed with Trident replacement.