Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has commented on the decision to renew Trident.
The term ‘Trident’ is often used to cover the whole system including the nuclear missiles themselves and the means to deliver them, in this case the submarines that carry them.
‘Trident’ is an operational system of four Vanguard class submarines armed with Trident II D-5 ballistic missiles, able to deliver thermonuclear warheads from multiple independently-targetable re-entry vehicles.
Operated by the Royal Navy and based at Clyde Naval Base on the west coast of Scotland, at least one submarine is always on patrol to provide a continuous at-sea capability. Each one is armed with up to 8 missiles and 40 warheads; their capacity is much larger.
The Successor class is the proposed replacement for the Vanguard class ballistic missile submarines. They will carry Trident D-5 missiles, the vehicle for delivering the UK’s nuclear weapons.
Michael Fallon said:
“MPs on all sides have voted by an overwhelming margin, to renew our nuclear deterrent – the ultimate guarantee of our national security.
We have voted to protect our nation from the most serious threats we may face in the 2030s, 2040s and 2050s.
The British Parliament has sent a powerful message to our allies that Britain is stepping up its international commitments, not stepping back from them.
We will now get on with building the next generation of nuclear submarines to help keep the nation, and our allies, safe for decades to come.”
If you wish to read more on the details of the system, we’ve written an article on the facts surrounding the system that can be found here.