Debating the nuclear deterrent, British government releases “Trident Alternatives Review”

The British government has released the findings of its review into possible alternatives to replacing the Royal Navy’s Vangaurd-class SSBNs on a like-for-like basis. Alternatives discussed include dual-roled SSNs equipped with vertical launch cruise missiles carrying nuclear warheads and the F-35B joint strike fighter equipped with stand-off cruise missiles carrying nuclear warheads.

Trident Alternatives Review

This review is not a statement of government policy. For the purposes of assessing potential alternative approaches to deterrence, officials have had to develop theoretical threats, capabilities and postures as part of their methodology. The inclusion of these theoretical propositions should not be taken as an endorsement from the Government.

The report is structured in two parts. Part 1 sets out an analysis of the alternative systems and postures which might be available to the UK in mid-late 2030s and which could be expected to cost no more to procure than a like-for-like replacement of the current Trident-based submarine
deterrent. Part 2 addresses the deliverability of the shortlisted options, including detailed costs, risks and timescales associated with the various alternative systems and postures.

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