Talk:Successor-class submarine

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Merge proposal[edit]

Could this not be covered at Nuclear weapons and the United Kingdom? Mark83 14:38, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

It could, although I thought the politics of the replacement was not in keeping with the technical theme of Nuclear weapons and the United Kingdom. There is potential for this to expand further with the parliamentary debate and so on in 2007. However, if people still think otherwise (eg expand the NWUK Parliament and civil society section to cover historical public opposition) then it doesn't matter either way. Clue 04:13, 9 December 2006 (UTC)
It is certainly worth keeping the debate in a separate article, especially now that the White Paper has been published. === Vernon White (talk) 23:16, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
While "Trident" (even "Trident system") may be its popular name it's Trident D5 missiles based on Vanguard class SSBNs, would another name like the "4th generation British nuclear deterrent" be more appropriate? Pickle 20:16, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
I agree, the title is misleading. Clue 20:35, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
I agree also, particularly as the plans as I understand them will initially see a new submarine class carrying Trident missiles which have gone through the D5 Life Extension. i.e. they will still be "Trident subs" Not sure if I like the "4th generation" bit of the proposed title though. Mark83 20:55, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
I don't pretned to be good at making up titles, so that was a bit of guess work based upon the generational phase as used by Andrew J Pierre in "Nuclear Politics", one of the key books on the history of the british nucelar weapons project when reffering to the V-bobmers as the first generation, and Polaris as the second and third as "ULMS" (obvisouly latter renamed to Tridents on Ohio boats). Pickle 22:08, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
As it stands, the heading is a misnomer. If a more ideal one cannot be found, a possible solution would be to focus on the Commons vote and rename as such. Another would be to merge into the British Trident system. Clue 07:36, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
How about something along the lines of Technical refresh of the UK Nuclear Deterrent?ALR 09:06, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
As i udnerstand the current debate it will be new subs, and maybe rebuilt warheads (something is happening/going to at Aldermarston). The new subs are planned for the current Trident D5 missiles - is that a "Technical refresh" ... ??? Pickle
The capability is CASD, the method of providing that capability is currently the four V boats armed with the Trident delivery vehicle. The white paper recommends new boats to carry the delivery vehicles. In that sense it is a tech refresh of the capability.ALR 13:53, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
I am inclined to merge into the parent Trident article. The replacement was created as a standalone, which is now a fallacy given the redundancies between the two. Clue 22:57, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

US Involvement[edit]

Are Trident missiles sans warheads supplied by the US or did Thatcher effect a technology transfer in the 80s? (I thought we couldn't build our own rockets any more) It would be interesting to know how much of the projected budget will be spent in the UK and how much will have to go on importing material from the United States. What is the process by which this would occur? Has there been a sucessor to the Polaris agreement? --Mr impossible 15:52, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

The UK paid 5% of the Trident R&D budget. I don't know if another payment was made per missile or whether the missiles contain any significant British content? The current submarines themselves are a significant part of the cost and they are largely British designed and built. The Polaris Sales Agreement article answers your question -- it was modified for Trident. Hence the "Polaris Sales Agreement" provides the framework for the supply of Trident missiles as it did for Polaris. There was never a "Trident Sales Agreement". Mark83 16:38, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
The real quaetsion that IMHO everoyne missed (check the Ohio class talk page where i've our American cousins for their views) is why the Americans aren't really thinking about theirs yet - their (older) Ohio class boats will continue in service till the 2040s and so will the Trident D5 missiles (both with mid life upgrades). The eventual next generation SSBN isn't really being considered / though about. Pickle 18:34, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

Timeframe for replacement[edit]

Initially, parts of the existing Trident system will be refitted to some extent to prolong their lives. However, the relatively short (five years) life extension potential of the Vanguard class means a new class of SSBNs will replace it in the early 2020s. There are suggestions that the SSBN fleet may be cut to three hulls if the design could maintain the Continuous at Sea Deterrence principle at that number. The first SSBN would probably take 17 years to be designed and built, making a five year life extension of the Vanguard class necessary. On this basis, a refitted Vanguard class could still shrink by at least one vessel for a period of time before the first replacement SSBN enters service.

The articles I've read have suggested a number of people, e.g. the Liberal Democrats believe the decision can and should be delayed until 2012 or 2015 later (the article only mentions someone saying 15 years longer and I haven't heard anything about that). The info on the article (17 years to design and build vs early 2020s for extended Vanguard life span) suggest this isn't possible since the replacament will only be ready by 2029 which isn't early 2020s. Either they think it's possible to build and design the replacemebt in a shorter timeframe or they claim it's possible to extend the life of the Vanguard further.

Also, the article in general doesn't mention the politics much like the large number of rebel Labour members Nil Einne 16:00, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

From what I can tell, the Liberal Democrat timetable for the SSBN class is largely unchanged; they are just arguing for a debate closer to the order of the submarines in 2014. It now seems they are going to get it. Clue 22:57, 15 March 2007 (UTC)


There is no part of this article that shows support for the Nuclear detterent. The latter part of the article clearly shows the side of the anit-nuclear camp, but there is NO part of this article that shows or expresses in anyway the view of the pro-nuclear camp. Why? Surely this is contradictory to Wikipedia's point of view standards. (Though the more time I read Wikipedia articles, the more liberal I find them to be). 16:11, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

OK so this article is NPOV, how do suggest we improve it? I'm not known for being anti nuclear either, and am about to embark upon my dissertation on the subject so ... Pickle 17:01, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
There is an issue with POV, mainly because representation rather simplifies quite a lot of the complexities to make it digestible for the uninformed reader. Although I'd disagree with the view that objecting to the tech refresh is an inherently liberal perspective (probably a US reader using their definition of liberal).
The difficulty as I see it is that the published material on the debate is predominantly anti-tech refresh, or predicated around the barking idea that a decision can be deferred. None of the real substance around the benefits of renewal are released as yet, most of the OA done in MOD getting to this stage will be classified.
ALR 18:54, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
Beyond the anti nuclear fringe there has been some minor coment about why now, eg an opionon peice in yesterday's telegraph "Have we the skills to replace Trident?" by Lord Chalfont (ex BAE and a foregin office minister ) - note the line "In fact, there is no reason why the Vanguard submarine should not have a life expectancy of 45 years". The Guardian also ran a story (no link to hand, but BBC also ran it -, citing the visit by US Prof Richard Garvin, "decision to replace the Trident subs is 'highly premature'".
What i think is that the subs could be made to last longer (like Ohio's) but to keep the UK in the submarine business we need to do this now. ie keep BAE in Cumbria busy after Astute or we lose the ability to build submarines full stop. Pickle 20:28, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
I'd agree that the maintenance of an effective industrial base is, and should be, a factor in defence acquisition decisions. I'm not convinced that much beyond the 5 year extension to boat life, already proposed, is viable. I'd note that US environmental regulations are somewhat weaker than in the UK, which does influence the life extension issue, do we really want to be sending people to sea in vessels which don't meet the legislation?
But I think the issue here is, it's all very well to have an informed discussion it here on the talk page, but there is a dearth of reliable sources to support the discussion in the article. Almost everything to do with the kettle is classified, and that's really the key element of any life extension. The combat system is intimately tied to the vehicle launch aspect, and any sensors can be upgraded outwith a hull life extension project, although much of the material about the CS and associated sensors is also going to be classified.
ALR 21:07, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree with ALR that there is a content problem when writing about silent agreement with existing policy. Clue 22:57, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
You've hit the nail on the head. The key details will be classified for decades and all we have to work with is commentators on either side, yet the issue is vital about key expenditure, etc. Quite what the answer is, is the real challenge. Pickle 13:40, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

Continuous at sea deterrent (TM)[edit]

The phrase "Continuous at sea deterrent" is used far too frequently in the article. Why is it that other countries have nuclear weapons but only the UK has a nuclear "deterrent" ? (talk) 14:45, 24 December 2015 (UTC)

Article name[edit]

Why is the word 'British' at the front? Is it not redundant? Dmn Դմն 23:31, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

No. As yet (to my knowledge) the US has yet to announce its intention for a sub-based deterrent post-Trident. Come to think of it so has the UK! Am I wrong? The vote yesterday was about new subs and in the longer term possibly new warheads? The new subs will still carry Trident for a time. So yes, given that I'm pretty sure I read that the "Polaris Sales Agreement (as modified for Trident)" says that the UK will automatically have access to Trident's successor this should be a page regarding the UK AND US intentions post Trident. Mark83 23:38, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
Wouldn't a better title be Replacement of the British Trident system then? It's just irking me having British next to replacement as if the act of replacement itself is somehow British. Dmn Դմն 07:59, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
a) the Americans aren't even contemplating replacing their sub based nuclear deterrent (Trident D5 missiles, Ohio SSBNs, and W76 and W88 warheads). i asked over the Ohio talk page what the US is thinking, and they aren't really, so it's fundamental that we keep the two separate or explain the differences between the UK and US stances
b) the reason partly behind this article is that the editors at the time wanted to spit i) the missile info (which is how Americans perceive it ii) from the submarine based nuclear deterrent (which is how we in the UK call it - ie trident is more than "just" missiles to us). So it all depends on what the phrase "trident" means to you, hence the "trident system"
c) as to the placement of Britain in the title, IMHO its Britain who is doing the replacing rather than the system being British as such, but I'm not overtly upset if someone wants to hold a move vote to establish consensus.
Pickle 13:37, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

Massive redundancy[edit]

We now have

am I alone in thinking this is ludicrous? Especially given the massive redundancy in several articles. I propose the following:

Its a fair comment. However ;
Trident missile is for both sides of the pond, and to the the Americans "trident" doesn't mean to them what it does to us.
Yes "British replacement of the Trident system" should really be "XXXX class submarine" (ie the Vanguard replacement), but a) to Joe public over here they want to see trident and b) it hasn't got a name yet!
IMHO the "British Trident system" provides the overview (bear in mind we have no page on the UK warheads) of the current system, and thus "British replacement of the Trident system" is a logical consequence (if the page "British Trident system" is long enough). Pickle 17:07, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
I'll confess to being confused by what you have said, sorry. I agree Trident missile is for both sides of the pond, that's why I said "keep as is". Do you disagree then that Vanguard class submarine and British Trident system should be merged? I don't see why they shouldn't. I know some have said "Trident" in the UK refers to whole system, but there is no reason that that page cannot describe the submarines, missile (UK specific info) and warheads. At present there is so much duplication. And by the way I think too much is being made of 'Trident means something different over here' - I think that's wrong. (Not being American I'm not sure) but I think they use the word in the same sense as us, i.e. "a Trident submarine" to refer to the Ohios as an entire system. Mark83 17:45, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
Why is this article even titled this way? "British replacement of the Trident system" is plain wrong. As envisaged the UK will buy new submarines to carry Trident missiles. The title suggests Trident is on its way out with the Vanguards, which is wrong. Mark83 17:47, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
Sorry for the confusion. I do disagree that Vanguard class submarine and British Trident system shouldn't be merged. Vanguard is just the sub, "British Trident system" gives the overview.
The US has Ohio's that are now cruise missile sub SSGNs, and their trident were of two versions (C4s and D5s). The reason we went away from Trident was the US editors found we were cluttering up the article with unnecessary fluff (eg the very large tract on the legality of UK nuclear weapons, etc). Thus we Brits can edit away with out troubling our transatlantic colleagues.
Pickle 18:46, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
I'm not talking about moving anything to Trident missile as I have made clear in my comments. My point is what reason is there that British Trident system cannot redirect to Vanguard class submarine and discuss the whole system there? With a properly written info there is zero chance of confusion. I stress my point here is the massive redundancy of three pages containing much of the same informtion.
I don't follow your logic about the Ohio SSGN conversion and the C4/D5 having anything to do with the titles of the British pages. The SSGN conversion is well covered at Ohio class submarine and the C4/D5 is covered at Trident missile. They could have had four or five different Trident versions and another variant of the sub and that still has no bearing on the British pages. Mark83 19:09, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
They should be kept seperate as this is a very "political" topic. I have observed that the "military" editors often object when "military" articles are overwhelmed by the politics of the procurement decision, so the article is no longer a concise description of the system; and the polical editors don't care for detail of the sub like "single shaft pump jet propulsor" or "two periscopes". They are best kept seperate. Rwendland 21:39, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
I think Rwendland has been more elequant that i have. The problem before was poltics was making the trident page to big, and US military editors wanted consitency across all rocket pages, and copius note aboutt he legality of trident were giving them "issues", so "British Trident system" allows us silly Brits to argue about it, and keep the Americans happy! Pickle 22:51, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
Since two people now seem to be misunderstanding me I'm beginning to think it's me who is not expressing himself very well. So let me be as clear as I can. (I thought) I had made it very clear that I don't want to touch Trident missile as evidenced by my 16:41 contribtion, "keep as is". My point is the British articles, British replacement of the Trident system, British Trident system, Vanguard class submarine. My thinking is
  1. British replacement of the Trident system is wholly wrong as a title - we aren't seeking to replace Trident, we are seeking to procure new submarines to carry Trident missiles and possibly what comes after Trident. Hence this article should largely be about the submarine class which follows the Vanguard class.
  2. I don't care what title is used, but British Trident system and Vanguard class submarine should be merged due to the fact that they are analogous. While I accept that "Trident" is used to refer to the subs and the system as a whole, an article could easily incorporate both. Mark83 23:09, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
I think a merge between British replacement of the Trident system and British Trident system would be the best, because as you've said the former is slightly wrong - when I was looking through sources to suggest this for ITN there were something like four or five articles to update with pretty much the same information. RHB Talk - Edits 00:02, 17 March 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure the former is wrong; if it is we are in the fine company of the House of Commons Library whose research paper[1] on this topic states "A replacement would, therefore, need to enter service in the mid-2020s" (summary page), and notes the Minister of Defence wrote of "a decision taken to acquire a successor system" (page 32). The Foreign Secretary in the recent debate said "further decisions will in any case be needed ... on whether to renew or replace the warhead, and on whether to participate in any American programme to develop a successor to the D5 missile".[2] In 2005 the Defence Secretary announced "Decisions on any replacement of the United Kingdom's nuclear deterrent are likely to be necessary in the lifetime of the current Parliament".[3] "Trident replacement" is the common parlance for this whole updating process, though maybe "Trident D5 replacement" is more precise. Rwendland 03:20, 17 March 2007 (UTC)
If we go down that road as such then we are actually just talking about Vanguard replacement ie just the SSBN component of our "trident system", rather than replacement of the whole system, as the other two components are staying the same. Pickle 14:21, 17 March 2007 (UTC)
Rwendland your references are authoritative, however they explain the timetable for potential replacement of the whole system. As currently envisaged the UK is only procuring new submarines. Am I alone in being frustrated in the redundancy in the articles I have highlighted? Mark83 15:46, 17 March 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps we could remove the duplicated info if we got one of those fancy side tables to guide users through "UK and nuclear weapons" ??? But fundamentally i don't see how we can eliminate any of the pages. Pickle 15:58, 17 March 2007 (UTC)
We're going to have to agree to disagree then, and given that I won't be merging any of the pages in question. I may try to make the articles more role specific and less repition of the general history and policy. However as ever I'm happy to discuss changes. Mark83 16:09, 17 March 2007 (UTC)
I'm in favour of that ;) Pickle 16:39, 17 March 2007 (UTC)


The way I understand it the controversy began and got it's early funding and organizational assistance from Soviet spies. This doesn't change the reality or the validity of the controversy, but it should be mentioned. Djfeldman 14:10, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

No evidence is given as to how the last editor acquired this understanding so it "Moscow Gold" allegations should not be included. == Vernon White (talk) 14:39, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
I know it was rumoured, but without reliable sources its best not mentioned Pickle 18:12, 19 March 2007 (UTC)


There have recently been some changes and reversions concerning the use of "Nuclear Deterrent" and "Nuclear Weapon" in this article. In view of the reasonable and unanswered criticism of Deterrence theory, I hope we shall stick with "Nuclear Weapon". Vernon White . . . Talk 00:35, 15 March 2008 (UTC)

I'd disagree. The policy is deterrence, the military task is Continuous At Sea Deterrence, the system is referred to as the deterrent etc, etc...
The fact that we can never know if it is successful or not is neither here nor there on this page. The cold war finished, the existence of the deterrent may have contributed to that.
If the discussion related to tactical nuclear devices then the position would be different, but the strategic system is solely based around the deterrence concept.
ALR (talk) 12:09, 15 March 2008 (UTC)
Government References to the nuclear weapons themselves, weapon systems and their active deployment in a condition ready for use,may use deterrent as an official euphemism for these things. wikipedia should not endorse this kind of political language but should refer to the actualities as plainly as is tasteful. Any debate about deterrence as a policy or moral issue is really a different subject from whether nuclear weapons should be referred to as such, or in terms of the justification that is attempted for their possession and use.Benny the wayfarer (talk) 16:00, 15 March 2008 (UTC)
I agree. 'Nuclear weapon' is unambiguous. 'Nuclear weapons of mass destruction' is also unnecessary. The effect of nuclear weapons is discussed elsewhere. In the text I have replace 'arsenal of nuclear weapons of mass destruction ' with 'number of warheads' which is more specific and shorter. - Crosbiesmith (talk) 17:25, 15 March 2008 (UTC)
Replacing neutral, if diplomatic, terminology with emotive language does nothing to aid the debate. Given that the capability and the objectives of the deployment is much more than just the devices themselves it's more accurate to use the correct terminology.
ALR (talk) 11:23, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
in what way is calling a nuclear weapon a nuclear weapon emotive language please. do not insult my intelligence!Benny the wayfarer (talk) 12:15, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
Fearsome arsenal of nuclear bombs, nuclear weapons of mass destruction?? Both of those are pretty emotive. In any case the deterrent is much more than just the devices, it's the boats, the targeting cycle and system, the nuclear firing chain etc. Dumbing down the terminology is deceptive.
ALR (talk) 12:24, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
I have to agree with ALR here, Nuclear Deterrent is a pretty common name for the entire system which, as ALR says, includes more than just multiple warhead nuclear missiles. Narson (talk) 14:39, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps you could review my original point: "Deterrence theory" is a propagandistic term, an unproven hypothesis and, now, severely criticised as an interpretation of world events and the psychology of fear. Use of the term "Nuclear Deterrent" euphemises what may be properly described as "Nuclear weapon delivery systems" or, "Nuclear weapons", for short. Vernon White . . . Talk 18:24, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
Your view is certainly not neutral, and is itself disputed by many observers of human nature. As the term "deterrence" is used frequently in the source materials, changing it to your "neutral" terms misrepresents what the original sources are saying, and in some cases completely changes the meaning of the quotes or summaries of the reports, thus falsifying the content reported here. This article is not the place to argue "deterrence theory", or to push your own POV. A link to the Deterrence theory article should suffice to provied context on the term, perhaps with a footnote in this article noting the term is not accepted by everyone. - BillCJ (talk) 19:07, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
I have already linked the Section to the Deterrence theory article. Don't you think insistence on using a euphemism is a POV? A spade is a spade. A Nuclear Weapons System is not a discredited Cold War strategy. Vernon White . . . Talk 21:04, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Actually, I don't accept it as a euphimism, which is my point here. Calling it a "discredited Cold War strategy", and then attempting to belittle me reveals your own biases for all to see. Neutrality in WP recognizes that people, and governments, have the right to their beliefs, and presents them in a balanced manner, without giving undue weight to competing theories. Obviously your own biases are so strong that no compromise is possible here. I'll just wait till someone with some extra time takes to issue to RFC or Arbcom, and comment then. - BillCJ (talk) 00:27, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
I'd suggest that calling the system what HMG calls it is entirely reasonable, and not to do so is unreasonably biased in it's own right. If you feel that the use of the term is sufficiently disputed to create a credible section in the article then feel free to do so. I'd suggest that it's more intellectually robust to identify that you, personally, dispute the usage of the term across a host of documents in HMG.
ALR (talk) 21:26, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
I am sure that HM Opposition would not agree with you that HMG is entirely unbiased. "Nuclear weapon delivery systems" or, "Nuclear weapons", are neutral terms, although they do not express support for re-tooling HM Navy and enriching the directors shareholders of BAE Systems. Vernon White . . . Talk 22:03, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
HMG on HMGs policy is about the only authoritative source, whether they are biased or not is immaterial.
Nuclear weapons etc may, in your opinion, be neutral, however in the context of HMGs Foreign Policy and the Military Tasks of the RN oversimplify the issue.
The position of the opposition is also largely immaterial in the context of this article, unless of course you can find something published by them that dumbs down the description to the extent you wish. As I recall neither of the two main opposition parties objected to the requirement to tech refresh, merely the timing.
ALR (talk) 22:11, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
This is more than just the missiles. It is about the submarines, continuing the policy of being able to 'strike from beyond the grave'....more than just the puny warheads. Felt this needed restating as Vernon appears to have forgotten. Narson (talk) 22:15, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for reminding me that we haven't updated the Astute class submarine article to include the promise of seven new subs (Hansard Commons 3 Mar 2008 : Column 1452 Bob Ainsworth, responding to Dr. Julian Lewis. And also of the cheering novel and film: On the beach. Vernon White . . . Talk 23:37, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
That article already mentions the 7 planned Astute class subs, as well as the possibility of a new design of a stretched Astute designed to replace the SSBNs. Narson (talk) 01:35, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

Howsoever the government of the UK may refer to its nuclear weapons is immaterial for the purposes of deciding what language a wikipedia article should use. Neither does it seem to be self-evidently true that the only reliable sources are neccessarily published by governments. The argument that governments are not political organizatiohs and therefore their choice of terms is neutral beggars belief.Words of this article which name nuclear weaponry should do so in plain English. Referring to the systems of nuclear weaponry as "the deterrent" is plainly evasive and euphemistic and should not continue on this site.Benny the wayfarer (talk) 16:51, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

HMG has also favoured the term "Weapons of Mass Destruction", but has not applied it to its own baroque arsenal. Perhaps out of evenhandedness, we might alternate the euphemistic and the dysphemistic terms. Vernon White . . . Talk 23:44, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
I thought HMG preferred "Weapons of Mass Effect", which actually is a better description of chemical and biological weapons.
Nevertheless, deterrence theory, along with more specialized concepts such as compellence theory, is a well-recognized part of the academic and military literature on strategic weapons. I do not use strategic weapon as a euphemism for nuclear weapon, as an appropriate SAS operation, an airstrike with PGMs, etc., are all "strategic" in that a specific operation may have an independent major impact on a conflict.
Now, I would like to see a clearer statement, not necessarily in this article but at least linked to it, of what HMG sees as the threat to be deterred. No Guards Tank Armies are likely to pour through the Fulda Gap. Given a general threat definition, there could be some exposition of how a survivable and accurate nuclear delivery system could, or could not, deter it. For example, is a nuclear attack by transnational terrorists one of the things to be deterred? If so, how many target Designated Ground Zeroes are there likely to be? Is a MIRV needed? Might 22nd Regiment be another form of deterrence? Howard C. Berkowitz (talk) 02:58, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, Howard. Yes, the section on Strategic_value is way out-of-date. I recall seeing the former Minister, Lord Drayson responding to questions of the Defence Select Committee, about the Astute programme,along the lines that anything that is good for BAE SYSTEMs is good for Britain (or somesuch . . , probably in Autumn 2007). I wonder what the present Minister, Ann Taylor thinks about the strategic value of nukes and their delivery systems. Vernon White . . . Talk 16:38, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
US Minuteman III ICBMs, under arms control agreements, are being taken to single warhead rather than 3-warhead MIRV. Trident II D5 are capable of carrying 12 warheads, although arms control takes them to 8 or 5; I believe there is no restriction on putting penetration aids in the bus positions not used for warheads. If the doctrine is sub-strategic, does that imply that Britain wants single-warhead missiles? I'm not saying that a Trident-equivalent with 1 warhead and 11 decoys might not be cheaper than an entirely new SLBM, but it does seem that the sub-strategic policy does not immediately reconcile with a MIRVed SLBM. Has there been any discussion of the relationships here? Howard C. Berkowitz (talk) 18:11, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

Secret work?[edit]

"Greenpeace has claimed the recent £1 billion investment in AWE is for secret initial work on developing a replacement."

So secret, AWE mentions it on their web site. Greenpeace talk out of their sanctimonious asses. (talk) 01:26, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

I agree. AWE states that here. I think this should be added to maintain NPOV. (talk) 14:36, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
Just realised that this is already mention under Munitions. (talk) 15:27, 27 October 2010 (UTC)

Use of the word "Trident"[edit]

This seems to have become a bit of a media brain bug, but well, the media are not always terribly clever and their example should not always be followed. Trident is only the name of the missile. In fact "Trident" does not contain any nuclear material, weaponised or otherwise. The bombs have a different name, as do the submarines, and are very different programmes. For instance, the Trident programme is not British and Britain does not control it. Britain doesn't even own any Trident missiles outright. The "replacement of Trident" does not even involve doing anything to the Trident missiles. It is primarily about a new class of ballistic missile submarines, and also some work on the bombs themselves.

As such I think this should be renamed to something like "Future of British Nuclear Weapons" or even just merged with Nuclear weapons and the United Kingdom HMS Vanguard (talk) 23:40, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

Its called Trident becuase Trident (the Trident balistic missile) is the delvery system of which the UKs nuclear warheads are deliverd. Yes the UK doesnt own its Trident missiles, we rent them off the USA, far cheeper than buying them and maintaining them. By renting them off the USA we can rent a mass produced cheep balistic missile for next to nothing. Britain also has full control over its nuclear arsenal, the only area of concern with the soverignty of Trident is the fact that our submarines use US military satalites for the guidence of the balistic Trident missile when fired. Opposition to trident suggest the USA may be likely to restrict the UK access to the satalites if it were found the UK sought to use its nuclear arsenal. But this is unlikely as the UK is a memeber of the 5 nuclear powers which agree to use nuclear wepons only if fired upon first. So in that case the USA is very unlikely to restrict the UK from using trident in retaliation as per treaty/s.

I would however hope the USA would restrict the UK from using trident if no forst fired upon, but with the intergration of UK and US forces under the UKUSA Agreement it is argued that it is impossable to restrict the UK access to any US military satalite.

The trident missiles will be replaced, hence the need for new submarines which are needed to keep up with the set change in modern delivery systems. And indeed becuase of wear and tear of the older class of submarine. So yes the trident missiles will be replaced. Recon.Army (talk) 18:09, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

HMS V is entirely correct, the delivery mechanism, the payload and the boats have different programme names and the system is not called Trident. I'm really not clear on what you think the UKUSA agreement pertains to, but it's not the deterrent so the argument about spacecraft access is mildly specious.
The reason that there is a replacement programme is because the boats themselves have a finite life, the future deterrent boats will act as launch platforms for the same delivery system that is currently in use.
ALR (talk) 21:41, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

Replacement Alternatives[edit]

I've added a sub section on Alternative replacement strategies.

Perhaps there could be more added on this subject.

After all, the debate is not just about The Government Proposal vs. Opposition to the Nuclear Deterrent. There are significant shades of grey in between, and considering that the SDSC is currently underway, there is uncertainty as to what the eventual replacement (if there is one) will look like. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:54, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

Needs updating[edit]

I've put a tag on to update the article with recent events e.g. delaying the decision of the 'main gate' until next election. Will update if I get chance but feel free to do so yourselves and remove the tag afterwards. (talk) 10:04, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

name of the Article, i.e. not "replacement of Trident"[edit]

I follow the informed view that calling this proposed programme the "Trident replacement" is incorrect, although one should somehow recognise that's what they say on the 10 O'Clock news. If the new submarine has a name (if there is one then MoD aren't saying, principally because the Programme hasn't officially started until Main Gate is approved), it is "The Successor SSBN", or to its mates in Cumbria and Derby, the Successor programme. Matt Whyndham (talk) 17:09, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

True, but the article is not simply about the SSBN, but rather the entire system (ie SSBN/Missile/Warhead/Infrastructure) the WP:COMMONNAME for the current system is Trident, and so Trident replacement seems perfectly apt. Thom2002 (talk) 19:39, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
Just as "Trident" refers to one part (the missile) but gets applied to the system, so "Successor" gets used for everything to do with the new system, not just the submarine. You could combine elements of both with "Successor to the British Trident system" or "Successor to the British nuclear deterrent", so go for something really general like "Future of the British nuclear deterrent". But I think at this stage "Successor" is sufficiently well-established to merit inclusion in the title somewhere. (talk) 09:39, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
I would support that, Successor to the British Trident system sounds good. Thom2002 (talk) 11:51, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
The thing thats going to get really confusing is the 'sucessor to Trident' is likely to still use the same Trident D5 missiles (possibly with a minor modernisation) just with a new class of ballistic submarine. WatcherZero (talk) 18:18, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
However her mag's govt. would be remiss if they did not consider all other options before doing the obvious. Hcobb (talk) 18:23, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
Simply the "Successor programme" would work for me, as that's what's been used eg in Parliament and it's unique on Wikipedia. But on the basis of perfection being the enemy of the good, I've moved to "Successor to the British Trident system" as that's a better name than the existing one, that has support. I've done a little tidying up but really this whole thing could do with a general rewrite (I'm not volunteering!), and some of the sources could do with firming up - what information there is available about this kind of thing, comes from official documents so there's no real need to quote websites of dubious authenticity when one can cite the original. It also feels a bit dated - more could be taken from the Initial Gate report.Le Deluge (talk) 14:20, 27 September 2012 (UTC)

The Times: "Tories attack coalition partners over plan to halve Trident replacement"[edit]

Today's papers, BBC etc full of Trident replacement coverage, eg:

Mais oui! (talk) 01:49, 29 May 2013 (UTC)

August 2013 briefing paper[edit]

This has various useful snippets if someone wants to update the article... (talk) 14:11, 12 October 2013 (UTC)

How We Learned To Love The Bomb[edit]

Paranoid: relating to a mental illness that causes people to falsely believe that other are trying to harm or attack them.

“Their development and perfectioning of nuclear weapons, they argue, would actually gain value, because the UK (if it were to disarm itself) would now be defenceless against such threats, so there would be little risk and much benefit to attacking the UK. A non-nuclear Britain, they argue, would have no effective means of responding to such attacks.”

Well done you budding Dr Strangeloves, despite being totally deluded and paranoid, you have managed to convince most editors that your cold war spin is really modern, reasoned and reasonable thinking. Given this, should Wikipedia put out such well-presented nonsense? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:19, 9 April 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

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Requested move 1 March 2016[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Moved to Successor-class submarine Mike Cline (talk) 14:28, 10 March 2016 (UTC)

Successor to the UK Trident systemSuccessor-class submarine – As below... Firebrace (talk) 23:27, 1 March 2016 (UTC)

@BilCat: Per [4]:

  • the government is committed to maintaining minimum continuous at sea deterrence to deter the most extreme threats to the UK and to protect our vital interests; it was elected in May 2015 on a clear manifesto to build 4 new nuclear armed submarines, a ‘Successor’ class, to replace the current 4 Vanguard class submarines
  • continued retention of our independent nuclear deterrent is required to deter any aggressor; a minimum, credible, independent nuclear deterrent, based on continuous at sea deterrence, and assigned to NATO, remains vital; we are therefore making the necessary investment to sustain continuous at sea deterrence by building four new nuclear armed submarines, a “Successor” class, to replace the current 4 Vanguard class submarines

Successor is not a replacement of the Trident system but the submarines on which it operates.

Firebrace (talk) 22:39, 1 March 2016 (UTC)

I disagree with your intepretation, particularly as it's called "a “Successor” class", not "the “Successor” class". Successor is clearly the name of the programme to develop the class, not the class itself. A better name of the article would be the title used in the document, "Successor submarine programme". Please wait for a consensus from other users before moving again. Thanks. - BilCat (talk) 22:46, 1 March 2016 (UTC)
It wasn't my interpretation:
  • "A Computer Graphic Image of a Successor class submarine." [5]
  • "Infrastructure works on the site will make it ready for the build of the Successor-class submarine" [6]
  • "we are confident that the Successor class of Trident subs will ..." [7]
  • "the Successor class of Trident subs will be able to hide in the deep ocean" [8]
  • "the Royal Navy's Successor-class ballistic-missile submarine" [9]
  • "the new Successor class submarines would be at sea and fully operational" [10]
  • "£201 million contract to start work on the design of its Successor-class submarines" [11]
  • "... for early design work on the submarines, known as the Successor class" [12]
  • "The fleet of Successor class submarines must be built on time and on budget" [13]
  • "The Ministry of Defence also expect to base Successor class submarines at Faslane when they come into service from 2028" [14]
  • "four new Successor class submarines" [15]
  • "They will be replaced from 2028 by the Successor class" [16]
  • "Like our ships, the UK Successor class will continue to host the TRIDENT II D-5 missile " [17]
  • "... and will be included in the U.K.’s Successor-class submarine." [18]
  • "The money will be used to prepare the base for the Successor-class submarines," [19]
  • "Would you like to work on designing crucial systems for the Successor class submarines, which will replace the Vanguard Class" [20]
  • "UK’s ability to deliver its Successor-class SSBN on time" [21]
Per WP:COMMONNAME the article should be called Successor-class submarine. This follows the naming convention set by Vanguard-class submarine and Resolution-class submarine. From the link, Successor is a "new class of submarines to carry the UK's Trident nuclear missile system". Trident itself is not being replaced or succeeded by anything. Per WP:RMUM anyone can move a page without first getting permission from other users on the talk page. Nobody owes you an explanation for their actions on here. You're not the TSA... Firebrace (talk) 23:05, 1 March 2016 (UTC)
It's slightly different, because Successor is a programme name rather than the ultimate class name, which will be the Glory class or King George VII-class or something like that. However, it feels like since we last had this discussion, Successor-class submarine has become established in the public mind as a "thing", and obviously the politics have become a lot clearer since last May. BilCat should bear in mind that the RN is a bit more eccentric and descriptive than the USN in naming its ship classes, only maybe half of them have a WP:COMMONNAME based directly on the name of the lead ship whereas the USN would never have something like a County-class destroyer.
But I think we need to take a step back. This article was only created because there was genuine uncertainty as to what the UK's future CASD would look like. The LibDems could have given us cruise missiles, and some of them and Labour wanted none at all. Now we know (barring a surprise this year) that it will be an extension of the Trident nuclear programme and we can organise Wikipedia accordingly. The last time around we had separate articles for the politics and the Vanguard-class submarine and I suggest we end up doing the same here. My initial thought would be to merge the political stuff from this article into Trident nuclear programme and rename this article as Successor-class submarine and have it as a pure ship-class article. Alternatively if it was felt that there was too much to merge into the other article, keep this article as the politics article and create a new ship-class article. I'm not sure how much real content is in this article once it's been given a thorough copyedit and it's been deduplicated relative to the TNP article, so I would be very slightly (say 55-45) in favour of merging into TNP and having this as the ship class article, but I'm not that fussed either way.Le Deluge (talk) 13:57, 3 March 2016 (UTC)
Naming the class after the future king would be very bad for royal PR. No monarch wants their name on a boat whose only purpose is to wipe out cities. Glory would also be highly contentious. Successor, however, is perfectly boring, and regardless of what any of us think, or whether it is the official name, Successor-class submarine is the WP:COMMONNAME ("the name that is most frequently used to refer to the subject in English-language reliable sources"). I agree with merging the politics into 'Trident nuclear programme' and transforming this article into one about the planned submarines. If the class ends up being called by a different name then we can simply change the title... Firebrace (talk) 17:38, 3 March 2016 (UTC)
Though it needs to be pointed out that it is not common-name enough for MOD to use it - today's press release is titled "Defence Secretary announces £642 million investment in next generation nuclear submarines" and the term "Successor submarine programme" is term used in the body and elsewhere. I'm not convinced about this renaming including the word "class". Rwendland (talk) 20:49, 3 March 2016 (UTC)
Here are some examples of 'Successor class' – with a capital S to indicate a proper noun – being used on MoD websites:
  • "the Royal Navy’s next generation of nuclear deterrent submarines, known as the Successor Class." (2012) [22]
  • "A further £600m will be spent on producing new reactor cores for the Astute and Successor Class submarines." (2012) [23]
  • "... and the Successor submarines will allow us to do so with cutting-edge equipment" (2013) [24]
  • "we are able to press on with the Astute and Successor submarine programmes safe in the knowledge ..." (2013) [25]
  • "the construction of the UK's future nuclear deterrent submarines, known as Successor." (2014) [26]
  • "home to Astute and Successor submarines, their crews and engineers until at least 2067" (2015) [27]
  • "The Ministry of Defence also expects to base its Successor Class submarines at Faslane" (2015) [28]
Here's a few quotes from the Parliament website:
  • "It is difficult to imagine the Successor-class handling:" (2012) [29]
  • "... PWR3, which will be used on the Successor-class submarines?" (2014) [30]
  • "the latest estimate of the cost of the Successor class submarine programme has increased to £31 billion" (2015) [31]
Anyway, I'll leave it with you... Firebrace (talk) 21:24, 3 March 2016 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Support - Strategic Value Section[edit]

The support section states : "its [Russia's] replacement of single-warhead SS-25 Sickle and RT-2UTTKh missiles with 10-warhead RS-24 Yars ICBMs,[59] its replacement of old, 4-warhead R-29RMU missiles with 10- and 12-warhead Bulava missile and R-29RMU2 Layner, and its development and testing of the intermediate range R-500 ground-launched cruise missile, which they claim is a violation of the INF Treaty". This section risks bringing the article into disrepute because it specifically mentions Russia's systems without noting that they are a counterweight to American systems (let's not forget that it could be argued that Russia developed nuclear weapons in response to America's nuclear weapons, though I will not be relying upon such an argument). Why mention the RS-24 Yars ICBMs and not the American Minuteman III (LGM-30G) ICBMs or the American UGM-133 Trident II SLBMs? Unfortunately, given the reduced pace of disarmament over the last 25 years (see which states this), it looks like both sides (Russia-China and NATO) want to keep their nuclear weapons and delivery systems for as long as they can. Part of the reason for why they do this is because it is difficult to compare weapons systems to see which is superior, or whether one nuclear warhead REALLY IS worth an opponent's nuclear warhead during the New Start Treaty. The ultimate test of such things would be warfare itself (which is to be avoided!). The point I'm basically trying to make is that it's disingenuous to state that America and the UK are developing nuclear capabilities in Response to Russia (though there may be Some truth to this assertion) when America has used nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki (which were a non-nuclear power). America has been willing to use nuclear weapons against conventional targets in the past, and this would clearly present a dangerous precedent to the Russians.

A more neutral stance would have been to compare the ICBM delivery systems of Russia & China to the NATO countries AND to have compared the warhead yield distributions (ie: how many warheads of each given yield interval each country has) so as to gain an idea of the 'balance of nuclear power'. The geographical distribution of nuclear weapons (for those which are not submarine based) might provide an indication of which surface areas of the world stand the greatest risk of obliteration during a nuclear conflict (though the 'Intercontinental' in ICBM would limit this logic - unless you had a game theoretical 'nuclear simulation' set of movies to play out different scenarios). Whoever wrote the above clearly wanted to bash the Russians, without trying to understand their own defence interests, or without being truthful in indicating the current balance of power (as would be done by comparing warhead yield distributions and likely geographical targets). One would imagine that the Russians and Chinese are just as likely to engage in joint targeting as is NATO, showing that both sides are still well-matched, and unlikely to engage in nuclear war for a certain time period. Another factor worth considering is the likely psychological stability of future leaders. If the Successor system is going to last 50 years or more, can we really be sure that future leaders will be of as high a calibre as what we have been used to in the past? ASavantDude (talk) 00:21, 7 April 2016 (UTC)

The class will have the Common Combat System[edit]

Common Combat System

Cantab1985 (talk) 15:29, 1 May 2016 (UTC)

2016 Trident renewal and major edit required[edit]

I have added this section with an update about the plan as of 20 July, with citations for all concepts. However, I wonder if additional reorganization of this article might be appropriate. It seemed frozen in time. Now that significant developments will be occurring, should some old information be deleted? Also, there is a lot of discussion of morality and the value of the Trident program. Is all of that still relevant now that the Successor class subs will definitely be built, and that the UK is definitely remaining with the at-sea nuclear deterrent? Perhaps; if so, it should be updated with July 2016 comments from Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May, for example. I have not done so. For example, see AND AND and Peter K Burian (talk) 15:58, 20 July 2016 (UTC)

The article should definitely be revised, as there is a lot of anachronistic phrases. The Support and Opposition sections now seem unduly large, and the former is poorly sourced. Hawkeye7 (talk) 23:58, 20 July 2016 (UTC)
As I suggested above, it would make sense to have this as more of a traditional ship class article, with just a short summary of the political stuff, with the main political stuff going into Trident nuclear programme.Le Deluge (talk) 11:09, 21 July 2016 (UTC)
I agree; there is no reason for an article about a type of ship to cover an entire nuclear programme. But an edit of that magnitude (on an article that I have not been involved in for long) is beyond my scope. Peter K Burian (talk) 12:24, 21 July 2016 (UTC)

Ship class article[edit]

As a ship class article, this should conform to the MoS guidelines at Wikipedia:WikiProject Ships/Guidelines. Unnecessary political commentary on British nuclear weapons or trident missiles are better discussed at Trident nuclear programme or Nuclear weapons and the United Kingdom. Antiochus the Great (talk) 17:27, 28 July 2016 (UTC)

Agreed. This article should be about the 4 new boats. Sumorsǣte (talk) 18:31, 28 July 2016 (UTC)