“Integrated Review” - SDSR 2021

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Burleysway
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Re: “Integrated Review” - SDSR 2021

Post by Burleysway »

Big article on Defence in yesterdays Telegraph. Its in the sub section so I've C&P for the good people of UKAR.

£80bn boost for military to arm it with new tanks, warships and ‘kamikaze drones’

Government announces modernisation drive to ensure the Armed Forces are ready to fight the wars of the future

Britain’s military is to get an £80 billion upgrade as the Government announces a modernisation drive this month to get the Armed Forces ready for the wars of the future.

The Telegraph understands that is roughly what will be invested in improving military equipment over the next four years. The total over the next decade could amount to close to £200 billion.

More than a hundred ageing Challenger 2 tanks will get new turrets, guns, sensors and engines, becoming more deadly in the battlefield, while new frigates are being acquired.

The cap on the number of nuclear warheads Britain can stockpile will increase from around 180, The Telegraph has learned, ending a decades-long drive to cut stocks.

There is also a new push under way to acquire what are called loitering munitions, sometimes dubbed “kamikaze drones”, which can hover around a target before donating.

There has been alarm that hostile nations such as Russia and Iran have been using such munitions, which are a cross between cruise missiles and armed drones.

One senior government source said: “Technology has proliferated, that’s what we should worry about. Everyone from terrorists to other nations have modern equipment and killer drones.”

The moves form part of a major rethink of Britain’s defence, foreign policy and security outlook, with results to be revealed in two government documents over the coming fortnight.

The first, the UK Integrated Review, will be published on Tuesday. It will map out what the Prime Minister’s ‘Global Britain’ vision means in practice, including a tilt to the Indo-Pacific.

The second, the Defence Command Paper, will come out March 22. It will reveal a major modernisation plan for the Armed Forces, seen as long overdue by defence chiefs.

The proposals will include cuts to troop numbers and the scaling back of so-called “legacy platforms”, which are parts of the military that have been prominent since the 20th century.

Government figures have stressed that such changes should be seen as “retirements” rather than “cuts”, given the overall Ministry of Defence budget is increasing.

“To modernise, some things have to be retired. Otherwise the musket would still be on the field,” a senior government source said.

The changes will affect all branches of the Armed Forces, the Army, Royal Navy, RAF, and Strategic Command, which oversees cyber attacks.

The focus on so-called kamikaze drones reflects how rapidly combat is changing in the battlefield, with nations (including adversaries) increasingly investing in them.

A senior defence source said: “We’re seeing them used all over the place. How to counter the capability and how to use it are two things there is a lot of interest in.”

How Government is preparing for wars of the future

Boris Johnson has billed the integrated review into Britain’s foreign, defence and security policy as the most radical overhaul of the nation's posture since the end of the Cold War.

The review will be published on Tuesday, while on March 22 a Defence Command Paper will set out the Government’s plan for a generational modernisation of the Armed Forces.

The Prime Minister unveiled a £16.5 billion funding uplift for the Ministry of Defence (MoD) over the next four years at the spending review last November to fund the strategy.

The challenge for Ben Wallace, the Defence Secretary, and the service chiefs, has been to balance pouring cash into upgrading legacy platforms with investment in cutting-edge military technologies.

Nuclear Deterrent
Britain is set to publicly declare on Tuesday that it is increasing the number of nuclear warheads it can stockpile, The Telegraph understands. At present the UK has around 180 nuclear warheads.

The higher cap will signal a new direction from Britain on nuclear non-proliferation, making a firm statement on the nation's position as a nuclear power.

The Government has already confirmed it is replacing the existing warheads that are used in the Trident nuclear deterrent. Ministers have also committed to building four new Dreadnought Class nuclear attack submarines to replace the current Vanguard boats by the middle of the next decade. Defence sources said research collaboration between the UK and US was expected, but the MoD confirmed on Thursday night that both the warheads and submarines would remain independent, sovereign programmes.

The heightened cap is due to be unveiled amid fears about China’s swelling nuclear stockpile.

Sam Armstrong, of the Henry Jackson Society foreign policy think tank, said: “The world is an increasingly dangerous place and this increased nuclear deterrent tells us all we need to know about where the long term threat from China is heading.”

Experts on nuclear non-proliferation stressed how striking a move the policy would be.

Matthew Harries, a senior research fellow in nuclear policy at the Royal United Service Institute, said: “An increase in the UK’s declared nuclear stockpile cap, if confirmed, would be a significant reverse of steady disarmament progress since the end of the Cold War."

Tanks and armoured vehicles
The Army’s ageing Challenger 2 tanks require an urgent upgrade to their turrets, guns, sensors and engines. Around 150 to 170 of the UK’s 227 tanks will be upgraded, according to defence sources. The remainder will be mothballed for spares, it is understood.

All 758 Warrior infantry fighting vehicles are meanwhile expected to be “abandoned” from next year. They are set to be sold off to save money, insiders have said.

This decision will be balanced by a move to accelerate the introduction of more than 500 Boxer mechanised infantry vehicles.

These vehicles are set to arrive next year to avoid a gap between the two programmes. A Whitehall source signalled the programme would also be expanded, saying: “We are increasing the order of Boxer and that’s the right thing to do.”

Question marks hover over the future of the Army’s high-intensity armoured warfighting capability, if the modernisation does not also boost field artillery and air defence systems.

Troop numbers cut
The Army is set to fall to around 73,000 soldiers, finally abandoning its minimum threshold of 82,000 personnel – a target it has not met for years.

A formal reduction to the service has been on the cards since December 2019, when Boris Johnson dropped the pledge from the Tory election manifesto.

Its current full-time trained strength is 76,348. Service chiefs are set to rely on the organic departure of troops, due to resignation or retirement, to reduce the headcount rather than make personnel redundant, it is understood.

Fighter jets
Britain is expected to pull back from its previously stated ambition to buy 138 F-35 Lightning II fighter jets, which are the most expensive weapons system in military history. The UK is so far only contractually obliged to buy 48 of the stealth multi-role fighter jets by the end of 2025, at a cost of £9.1 billion.

The US-designed fifth-generation jets will be bought in tranches over many years, however, meaning decisions about future orders can be thrown into the long grass, avoiding confrontation with Washington now about the final order numbers.

Investment is also being poured into Tempest, a UK-led programme to develop a sixth-generation fighter jet. One design option is for this to be an unmanned aircraft. It is also set to be accompanied in flight by a swarm of unmanned combat drones known as “loyal wingmen”.

Innovative weapons
The use of loitering munitions, which are a cross between cruise missiles and armed drones, by Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan and other nations has been watched closely by the MoD.

Defence chiefs have pushed for the UK to invest in developing a domestic capability. “We need to develop these capabilities, test them, experiment with them and work out how best to employ them. That might require some changes to how we organise the way we fight,” said a defence source.More investment is planned for autonomous, AI-enabled systems, including both aerial and underwater drones, as well as land-based robots.Unmanned capabilities are particularly attractive because they avoid the need to put personnel at risk of harm.

Fresh focus on the Indo-Pacific
The review is expected to set out the Government's post-Brexit “Global Britain” vision, which includes a new emphasis on the Indo-Pacific.

HMS Queen Elizabeth, the first of Britain’s two new aircraft carriers which have collectively cost more than £6.2 billion, is due to set sail on its first operational deployment around late April.

It will sail to the Mediterranean, the Indian Ocean and east Asia, into China’s backyard, testing freedom of navigation rights.

Defence chiefs are also examining plans to “forward base” more personnel and assets (including warships) overseas in the Middle East and Pacific regions. Bases and ports in Japan, Australia and Singapore have been scoped out as potential options by officials.

Britain has already confirmed plans to triple the size of its military base on the coast of Oman to enhance the Royal Navy's presence "east of Suez" after Brexit.

Boost to fleet and shipyards
The Prime Minister has announced that the UK will acquire eight Type-26 frigates, which are sophisticated anti-submarine warships, as well as five Type-31 frigates, cheaper general purpose warships.

His plan is to restore Britain’s position as “the foremost naval power in Europe”, he said last autumn, as he also confirmed plans for new support ships to supply food and ammunition to the aircraft carriers, and new multi-role research vessels.

Combined, the programmes are set to support up to 10,000 jobs and are seen in Whitehall as a boost to the Union as shipyards in Scotland and Northern Ireland are set to benefit.
New organisations
A long-delayed National Cyber Force, a joint unit between the MoD and GCHQ, is being created to boost protection to Britons at home as well as to develop new offensive cyber weapons to deploy against adversaries overseas.

RAF Space Command is expected to be capable of launching its first rocket by 2022 and will aim to better shield the UK’s satellites. A new Artificial Intelligence agency is meanwhile set to develop autonomous weapons systems.

Stressing the importance of data in future conflicts, a senior Whitehall source said: “What’s certain is that the future will be about cyber, space, AI.”

An MoD spokesman said: “As threats change our Armed Forces must change and they are being redesigned to confront future threats, not re-fight old wars. The Armed Forces will be fully staffed and equipped to confront those threats.

“We will not comment on speculation about the Integrated Review, which will be published on Tuesday.”

The UK Integrated Review is understood to be around 100 pages long and entitled "Global Britain in a Competitive Age".
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/20 ... -hovering/

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Re: “Integrated Review” - SDSR 2021

Post by boff180 »

(Putting the should we have nukes at all argument to the side)

Why do we need more than 180? Why are we developing our own warhead?

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Re: “Integrated Review” - SDSR 2021

Post by Spiny Norman »

I like the way the MoD spokesman "won't comment" - he doesn't need to as the review as been published with the spin you'd expect.

The move to "Indo-Pacific" seems a return to going east of Suez. Bizarre when UK defence is supposedly so stretched. Bit of sabre-rattling against China? Wonder what our long-term strategy is?

If you take it down to realities, are we actually going to launch nuclear weapons at China? At what point do we press the button? Quite worrying that we're thinking of such things. We should remember that the USSR built up its nuclear arsenal because it was afraid of another invasion. While we were building up our forces to stop them invading. Mutally assured spending...

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Re: “Integrated Review” - SDSR 2021

Post by boff180 »

Spiny Norman wrote:
Sat 13 Mar 2021, 10:23 am


The move to "Indo-Pacific" seems a return to going east of Suez. Bizarre when UK defence is supposedly so stretched. Bit of sabre-rattling against China? Wonder what our long-term strategy is?

If you take it down to realities, are we actually going to launch nuclear weapons at China? At what point do we press the button? Quite worrying that we're thinking of such things.
There was a report in the Australian press a few months back that one of the QE class carriers will be permanently home ported in the Pacific, most likely out of Australia.

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Re: “Integrated Review” - SDSR 2021

Post by GeeRam »

Spiny Norman wrote:
Sat 13 Mar 2021, 10:23 am
Wonder what our long-term strategy is?
You assuming we actually have one....?

I seriously doubt it.

Most modern Govt's are not capable of looking at anything beyond their current term.

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Re: “Integrated Review” - SDSR 2021

Post by GeeRam »

boff180 wrote:
Sat 13 Mar 2021, 12:00 pm
There was a report in the Australian press a few months back that one of the QE class carriers will be permanently home ported in the Pacific, most likely out of Australia.
I think they are forgetting the fact that we don't have the personnel to have both at sea at the same time, so there will only be one at sea at any given time.

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Re: “Integrated Review” - SDSR 2021

Post by FarnboroJohn »

GeeRam wrote:
Sat 13 Mar 2021, 3:17 pm
boff180 wrote:
Sat 13 Mar 2021, 12:00 pm
There was a report in the Australian press a few months back that one of the QE class carriers will be permanently home ported in the Pacific, most likely out of Australia.
I think they are forgetting the fact that we don't have the personnel to have both at sea at the same time, so there will only be one at sea at any given time.
Transporting "Blue" and "Gold" crews across the world at intervals (what intervals - this doesn't sound retention-positive) isn't going to be cheap, either. Especially in times of tension when a long way round may be necessary.

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Re: “Integrated Review” - SDSR 2021

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boff180 wrote:
Sat 13 Mar 2021, 8:21 am
(Putting the should we have nukes at all argument to the side)

Why do we need more than 180? Why are we developing our own warhead?
This seems to me to be hugely significant.

A u-turn after 30 years of comparative nuclear peace and disarmament. Absolutely gross, if true.

And a reasonable question. Why we even need capacity for that number.

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Re: “Integrated Review” - SDSR 2021

Post by FarnboroJohn »

China is about to invite itself to restore order in Burma. There's no such thing as too much firepower.

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Re: “Integrated Review” - SDSR 2021

Post by jasonT1981 »

Focusing on the Tempest makes me feel uneasy. It's not due to enter service until 2035 (Before any, and we know there will be, delays)

Scrapped the Harrier in 2010 and didn't have its replacement until 2018. We don't learn from mistakes.

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Re: “Integrated Review” - SDSR 2021

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FarnboroJohn wrote:
Sun 14 Mar 2021, 7:20 pm
China is about to invite itself to restore order in Burma. There's no such thing as too much firepower.
We only ever put one Submarine to sea at any one time, what is the point of carrying more warheads than we need for a single patrol???? And at the moment we don't run a patrol with a full load either.

Let's be honest, if things ever got to the point that we were firing nukes, there would be nothing left to come back to.

The Vanguard class carry a max 16 Trident D5's, the current max load per missile of our current warhead is 8 per missile = so that's a max load of 128 warheads.

The new warhead is supposedly similar to the new W97 US warhead, if so that increases to 14 warheads per missile.
The Dreadnought has a capacity of 12 Trident D5's - a max load of 168 warheads.

So a max of 180 is more than enough.

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Re: “Integrated Review” - SDSR 2021

Post by PeteM »

FarnboroJohn wrote:
Sun 14 Mar 2021, 7:20 pm
China is about to invite itself to restore order in Burma. There's no such thing as too much firepower.
40 years ago I remember Sunday lunchtimes sitting with my Dad watching Brian Walden (probably because I liked the intro music from Mountain). I was vaguely interested in Politics but at the height of the Cold War and increased tension with the Soviet Bloc one thing I remember my Dad saying was - 'Don't worry about Russia, it's China you need to worry about'.

Like most teenagers I didn't always take much notice of what my Parents said, but over the years I've come to realise that my Father was right about many things, and much of what he said has come true.

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Re: “Integrated Review” - SDSR 2021

Post by ericbee123 »

boff180 wrote:
Sun 14 Mar 2021, 8:14 pm
FarnboroJohn wrote:
Sun 14 Mar 2021, 7:20 pm
China is about to invite itself to restore order in Burma. There's no such thing as too much firepower.
We only ever put one Submarine to sea at any one time, what is the point of carrying more warheads than we need for a single patrol???? And at the moment we don't run a patrol with a full load either.

Let's be honest, if things ever got to the point that we were firing nukes, there would be nothing left to come back to.

The Vanguard class carry a max 16 Trident D5's, the current max load per missile of our current warhead is 8 per missile = so that's a max load of 128 warheads.

The new warhead is supposedly similar to the new W97 US warhead, if so that increases to 14 warheads per missile.
The Dreadnought has a capacity of 12 Trident D5's - a max load of 168 warheads.

So a max of 180 is more than enough.
It’s Continuous At Sea Deterrent isn’t it ?

That means you have one submarine at sea, another preparing to go to sea and one that’s just returned from sea. The outgoing one leaves before the one at sea returns - so you’ve got overlap periods were 2 submarines are at sea with their compliment of weapons on board. By my reckoning that is at least 2 submarines worth of missiles needed - more if we get warning of war when we might need to get as many submarines as possible tooled up and out of Faslane.

I don’t think the one submarine returns home, the missiles unloaded, put in the next one, then it’s on its way - as that isn’t CASD and once you know the one on station has retuned home then you know we don’t have a ready to use nuclear option available until the next one leaves Faslane. There has to be an overlap.
Disclaimer-I have spell/grammar checked this post, it may still contain mistakes that might cause offence.

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Re: “Integrated Review” - SDSR 2021

Post by Berf »

PeteM wrote:
Sun 14 Mar 2021, 8:18 pm
FarnboroJohn wrote:
Sun 14 Mar 2021, 7:20 pm
China is about to invite itself to restore order in Burma. There's no such thing as too much firepower.
40 years ago I remember Sunday lunchtimes sitting with my Dad watching Brian Walden (probably because I liked the intro music from Mountain). I was vaguely interested in Politics but at the height of the Cold War and increased tension with the Soviet Bloc one thing I remember my Dad saying was - 'Don't worry about Russia, it's China you need to worry about'.

Like most teenagers I didn't always take much notice of what my Parents said, but over the years I've come to realise that my Father was right about many things, and much of what he said has come true.
Weird - exactly the same for me (BTW Leslie West of Mountain died last December)

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Re: “Integrated Review” - SDSR 2021

Post by Berf »

Seems the Defence Command Paper update with most of the detail will not be until 22 March. The integrated review said at 'least 48 F35s' by 2025.

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Re: “Integrated Review” - SDSR 2021

Post by GeeRam »

Berf wrote:
Tue 16 Mar 2021, 4:07 pm
The integrated review said at 'least 48 F35s' by 2025.
That's not exactly news, the 48 is what we've already contracted and committed to buy.

The question is whether we'll ever buy anymore than that.

Other than maybe some attrition replacements, if needed after 2025, my gut feeling is we'll not buy anymore than these 48, and I seriously doubt we'll ever buy the supposed 138 total number that UK had indicated it would ultimately buy over a decade ago.

The rumour that the E-7 buy will be cut from 5 down to just 3, is a far more worrying and concerning possibility. Mind you we've been limping along with just the 3 x E-3D now for a while so, no doubt, that has been seen to be an acceptable way forward :rolling_eyes:

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Re: “Integrated Review” - SDSR 2021

Post by Tommy »

GeeRam wrote:
Tue 16 Mar 2021, 7:58 pm
Berf wrote:
Tue 16 Mar 2021, 4:07 pm
The integrated review said at 'least 48 F35s' by 2025.
That's not exactly news, the 48 is what we've already contracted and committed to buy.

The question is whether we'll ever buy anymore than that.
This is true, but the terminology of “at least” implies that there’s at least room for more, rather than just a flat “48”.

I could see it going up into maybe the 80s or 90s in number. Sub-100, but enough to equip the carriers and an OCU and another for land-use, and attrition replacement, and just enough to avoid pissing off the Americans too much.

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Re: “Integrated Review” - SDSR 2021

Post by GeeRam »

Tommy wrote:
Wed 17 Mar 2021, 10:27 am
I could see it going up into maybe the 80s or 90s in number. Sub-100, but enough to equip the carriers and an OCU and another for land-use, and attrition replacement, and just enough to avoid pissing off the Americans too much.
The ever increasing noises coming from the power corridors in the new administration in Washington indicates that there are now many Americans (both in political and military circles) that are getting pissed off with the F-35 program as it is, so I'm not too sure we have to worry about that aspect.

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Re: “Integrated Review” - SDSR 2021

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ericbee123 wrote:
Sun 14 Mar 2021, 8:27 pm
boff180 wrote:
Sun 14 Mar 2021, 8:14 pm
FarnboroJohn wrote:
Sun 14 Mar 2021, 7:20 pm
China is about to invite itself to restore order in Burma. There's no such thing as too much firepower.
We only ever put one Submarine to sea at any one time, what is the point of carrying more warheads than we need for a single patrol???? And at the moment we don't run a patrol with a full load either.

Let's be honest, if things ever got to the point that we were firing nukes, there would be nothing left to come back to.

The Vanguard class carry a max 16 Trident D5's, the current max load per missile of our current warhead is 8 per missile = so that's a max load of 128 warheads.

The new warhead is supposedly similar to the new W97 US warhead, if so that increases to 14 warheads per missile.
The Dreadnought has a capacity of 12 Trident D5's - a max load of 168 warheads.

So a max of 180 is more than enough.
It’s Continuous At Sea Deterrent isn’t it ?

That means you have one submarine at sea, another preparing to go to sea and one that’s just returned from sea. The outgoing one leaves before the one at sea returns - so you’ve got overlap periods were 2 submarines are at sea with their compliment of weapons on board. By my reckoning that is at least 2 submarines worth of missiles needed - more if we get warning of war when we might need to get as many submarines as possible tooled up and out of Faslane.

I don’t think the one submarine returns home, the missiles unloaded, put in the next one, then it’s on its way - as that isn’t CASD and once you know the one on station has retuned home then you know we don’t have a ready to use nuclear option available until the next one leaves Faslane. There has to be an overlap.
Precisely. Along with the warheads in Aldermaston undergoing service checks it's clear why far more than just the compliment for one boat is needed. I passed one of these fascinating convoys the other month, about 20 vehicles including their own fire engine. Probably taking newly fueled warheads to Faslane for exchange. Then there is the missile itself in a joint pool with the US from which we draw ours.

https://www.nukewatch.org.uk/gallery-2/

I've always thought there is probably one missile on each boat that contains just one warhead. That would be the first to be fired in the event so the other side might then decide, oh ok its serious let's stop this now.

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Re: “Integrated Review” - SDSR 2021

Post by Berf »

Great to see how far we have advanced - you can wipe us out but we can wipe you out three times over.... meanwhile ordinary folk all around the world really are not that different - go to work, to make a living to support their families...

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Re: “Integrated Review” - SDSR 2021

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With regards to the war heads I think it needs to be read in conjunction with the paragraph in the review that states we will “no longer give public figures for our operational stockpile, deployed warhead or deployed missile numbers”
So we are saying that the total we can hold is going up but we won’t tell you what the real figure is actually going to be? So in reality it may even be cut...
Seems to make sense to not show your hand doesn’t it?

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Re: “Integrated Review” - SDSR 2021

Post by Tommy »

disgruntled wrote:
Thu 18 Mar 2021, 11:05 am
With regards to the war heads I think it needs to be read in conjunction with the paragraph in the review that states we will “no longer give public figures for our operational stockpile, deployed warhead or deployed missile numbers”
So we are saying that the total we can hold is going up but we won’t tell you what the real figure is actually going to be? So in reality it may even be cut...
Seems to make sense to not show your hand doesn’t it?
Agreed to a point, but the nub of it is whether that makes a jot of difference between having 180 as to 260?

I take the point that you don’t declare how many you’ve *actually* got, it might be less, but enemy powers have to assume the worst. But I wonder what country on Earth who is not turned off by 180 potential nuclear weapons, but is turned off by 260?

I’m quite sure there’s that number of nuclear weapons you could reasonably use, it’s around 100 off the top of my head, without destroying your own country or something. The justification for the increase seems woefully slim.

And the harm, or risk of harm, the policy does is quite real. There’s little stopping some of our less-friendly neighbours increasing their stockpiles as well, because we’ve increased ours. It feels like a big reverse moment after three decades of gradual nuclear disarmament. And yet there’s almost zero justification for it.

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Re: “Integrated Review” - SDSR 2021

Post by ericbee123 »

If I had to put my cynical head on this has more to do with us not having to dispose of existing warheads when we upgrade or buy new ones.

If, say, we have 180 warheads now and need to get 100 new ones for new missiles in our Boomers , then we have to dispose of 100 so we can buy 100 new ones ( as we are limited to 180 ). 90 of them could be good ones and 90 of them could be old Polaris ones that we’ve just kept ( like we do with decommissioned nuclear submarines - as it’s cheaper to keep them than it is to dispose of them - and the rest of the world won’t let us dig a big hole somewhere and bury them ! ).

So this isn’t about us wanting more shiny missiles, we are getting them anyway - this is about what we do with ones we don’t need anymore !

( EDIT - if it was any other type of weapon that we would struggle to dispose of, we would pick a fight with someone and throw them at them - people moan if you do that with nukes though )
Disclaimer-I have spell/grammar checked this post, it may still contain mistakes that might cause offence.

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Re: “Integrated Review” - SDSR 2021

Post by bizfreeq »

Tommy wrote:
Thu 18 Mar 2021, 11:38 am

There’s little stopping some of our less-friendly neighbours increasing their stockpiles as well, because we’ve increased ours.
Who's to say they haven't done this already and that is our reason for increasing ours? Just a thought, no more :slight_smile:

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