A British nuclear submarine has reportedly been ordered to move within missile range of Syria, as strikes against the Assad regime are expected as early as Thursday night.
Prime Minister Theresa May said that London will join any punitive strike against the Syrian regime. May added that she will not be seeking a vote in parliament to authorise British participation in any forthcoming strike agianst Syria.
According to the Daily Telegraph:
“The Daily Telegraph has learnt that Mrs May has ordered British submarines to move within missile range of Syria in readiness for strikes against the Assad regime that could begin as early as Thursday night.
The Prime Minister has recalled ministers from their Easter break to attend an emergency Cabinet meeting this afternoon.”
British nuclear submarines of the Trafalgar and Astute class are armed with 1,000 mile range Tomahawk cruise missiles.
The Tomahawk missile allows the Royal Navy’s submarines to strike at targets on land. The missile has been in use with the RN since the late 1990s and has been used in the Kosovo conflict and in the campaigns against the Taliban, Saddam Hussein and in Libya. It is fired from a boat’s torpedo tubes. Once it reaches the surface, a booster rocket ignites to propel the missile skywards. Tomahawk then heads for its target at 550 mph, delivering a 1,000 lb explosive warhead.
The Tomahawk IV is the latest version of the missile. It has a longer range than its predecessors and can be directed at a new target in-flight, and can also beam back images of the battlefield. In British service it is fitted to all Trafalgar and Astute class submarines.
The UK last bought 65 Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles in July 2014.