What is Trident?
Like most who’ve picked up the struggle for a better world, we also do have a particular arch enemy. The Faslane Peace Camp stands against general militarism and Weapons of Mass Destruction all in all, but what got us started and is keeping us going, is United Kingdom’s Trident nuclear program.
What is Trident and where it came from?
Trident is an operational system of four Vanguard –class nuke subs armed with Trident II D-5 ballistic missiles. Each Vanguard is armed with up to 8 missiles and 40 warheads with capability for even more, and each of the warheads is eight times more powerful than the atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima. Trident is operated by the Royal Navy and it’s based at Clyde Naval Base, 25 miles from Glasgow – right in our neighborhood.
Trident was acquired by the Thatcher government in the 1980s as a replacement for the old Polaris missile system from the 1960s. Trident came into use in the 1990s. The current Vanguard generation starts to face the end of their working lives in the late 2020s. Replacing Trident and its costs have been a hot potato for some time now.
How Trident works?
The twisted logic of this weapon system is to deter a nuclear attack on the UK even if the more conventional defence capabilities were already wiped out: in other words, to be ready and willing to blast even the last remains of the realm of the living beyond survival instead of noticing that killing for peace is like – pardon the language – copulating for virginity.
Nuke sub spotting: recognize your ships
All UK’s subs are nuclear subs, which means they’re powered by nuclear generators, not your family friendly veggie oil. Not all of them carry nuclear warheads, but all of them are nasty pieces of work. Pick up your bino’s and go spotting!
Vanguard class are the very Doomsday bringers. The four of them are armed with up to 16 UGM-133 Trident II missiles.
Astute class are the new and improved hunter-killer subs, constructed by BAE Systems. There’s seven of them. The Astutes are the replacements for the old Trafalgar-class and ancient Swiftsure class. Astutes don’t carry warhead: these are the ones protecting the Vanguards which do.
Trafalgar class are the successor to the ancient Swiftsure class. Trafalgars were supposed to be replaced by Astutes, but with the problems Astutes have been having, this class might still makes up the majority of UK’s ‘hunter-killer’ submarine force.