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Similarly, does France need its own fleet of "boomers", "Grandeur de la France" aside?

At least these do not need any US greenlighting whatsoever, even when they collide with the afore mentioned Tridents on the occasion.

Also, this discussion on NATO the other day, with a debate about French nukes vs US "nuclear umbrella".

And a last note: how many nuclear powers are fighting in Afghanistan/Pakistan?

by Bernard on Tue Jul 14th, 2009 at 09:24:16 AM EST
Having one or two around probably doesn't hurt. Half a megaton of total payload equals around half a megadeath or so.

Any serious shooting war with a sufficiently serious power to prompt the use of nuclear weapons will involve at least ten megadeath from battlefield casualties alone (the estimates of total casualties on the Eastern Front of WWII that I have seen run into at least twenty megadeath, at the low end of the bracket).

So if it does work as deterrence, then we're cool. If it doesn't work as deterrence, the death toll will be so atrociously incomprehensible anyway that a few hundred kiloton here and there will be only barely noticeable.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Jul 14th, 2009 at 03:33:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Having one or two around probably doesn't hurt.

One or two is not enough. You need at minimum three to four.

One in port doing maintenance, one on station, one in transit to or from station and one in reserve.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Wed Jul 15th, 2009 at 07:04:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Okay, you need four in order to have one operative at any given time.

The peak-to-trough part of the business cycle is an outlier. Carnot would have died laughing.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jul 15th, 2009 at 07:08:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes. Three might work though.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Jul 15th, 2009 at 07:11:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
no. 3 isn't enough,as is shown by France at the moment: one is under construction, one is under maintenance, one has been damaged and one is used full time. ANy problem occurring now would suppress the detterence capability of France.

I would think that a fifth or sixth submarine would be needed.

As for the debate, I actually thik that moral and international relations have to be dissociated. As a country, there is a need to force oneself to follow rules, but at the same time acting as if the others would not be following said rules. This ensures the general following of rules by everybody.

I rather regret that Britain and France are still unable to cooperate in missile subs matters, as this would cut costs tremendously and improve credibility. Arguments on the cost do not hold if costs were divided between Fr and Gb or better even, divided between all UE members.

The main problem for such a cooperation is the necessary unicity of command for these weapons.

by Xavier in Paris on Thu Jul 16th, 2009 at 06:42:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes well, that IS true. But while the probability of having a single sub damaged by accident is small, the risk of having TWO subs damaged in a row before the first one is repaired is very small. And you can't really plan for everything. It will cost to much and reduce other capabilities.

Otherwise I agree completely with your post.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Fri Jul 17th, 2009 at 01:38:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the fact is also that one more sub costs much less than the first one of a serie.

by building all six submarines one per year, you would earn a lot of money, say half a sub.

by Xavier in Paris on Fri Jul 17th, 2009 at 02:47:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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