Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Display:
The UK's first attempts to develop an independent home-made nuclear deterrent were farcical. The safety in one of the UK's hydrogen bomb designs was a container full of large ball bearings. To arm the weapon before delivery, the ball bearings had to be let out through a hole in the bottom of the bomb into a pit.

Also:

Blue Peacock - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

One technical problem was that buried objects--especially during winter--can get very cold, and it was possible the mine would not have worked after some days underground, due to the electronics being too cold to operate properly. Various methods to get around this were studied, such as wrapping the bombs in insulating blankets. One particularly remarkable proposal suggested that live chickens should be included in the mechanism. The chickens would be sealed inside the casing, with a supply of food and water; they would remain alive for a week or so, which was the expected maximum lifetime of the bomb in any case. The body heat given off by the chickens would, it seems, have been sufficient to keep all the relevant components at a working temperature. This proposal was sufficiently outlandish that it was taken as an April Fool's Day joke when the Blue Peacock file was declassified on April 1, 2004. Tom O'Leary, head of education and interpretation at the National Archives, replied to the media that, "It does seem like an April Fool but it most certainly is not. The Civil Service does not do jokes."

The Blue Streak MRBM took at least fifteen to thirty minutes to load and fire, which made it less than entirely convincing as a deterrent.  

So Polaris, with US rocketry and warheads modified and built in the UK, was a reasonable deal.

Trident was an obvious continuation. The reality is that the UK doesn't have the skills needed to design effective warheads and missiles without US help, and can't afford an independent design program.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Jul 14th, 2009 at 06:19:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Blue Streak  loading and aiming time, wasn't unreasonable at the time it was constructed. At the time of its design and construction, all nationalities Ballistic missiles had a similar laod and fire time from what I remember, it isn't till about 10 years later that Fast launches with solid fuel missiles cameinto use.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Jul 15th, 2009 at 06:21:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The reality is that the UK doesn't have the skills needed to design effective warheads and missiles without US help, and can't afford an independent design program.

If the US for some reason stopped supplying its closest ally and one believes the Brits are terminally incompetent in missile technology, Britain can certainly find another partner to help them. One need just look south of the Channel.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Jul 15th, 2009 at 06:52:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That would be politically inexpedient.

Buying stuff to blow shit up from the US is robust, manly and entirely to be admired. Buying it from the frogs would an appalling admission of erectile political failure.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Jul 15th, 2009 at 08:56:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Display:

Top Diaries

Duplicity

by Frank Schnittger - Oct 20
29 comments

So what went wrong?

by Frank Schnittger - Oct 22
7 comments

Ulster says NO!

by Frank Schnittger - Oct 17
44 comments

Trump's Presidency Transfixed

by ARGeezer - Oct 17
14 comments

Spain is not a democracy

by IdiotSavant - Oct 14
10 comments

Occasional Series