Subscribe
Notify of
guest
7 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Samuel

I would rather discover this telemetry problem in a test fire than in actual combat 😉 Not announcing the misfire would hardly be political but more to do with Security as announcing this problem to the world immediately would be an invitation to any potential aggressors. I would bet lots of cash money the problem has been corrected already. Misfires with missiles isn’t exactly uncommon…Youtube has a video of a Sea-dart misfire and a Russian Cruiser misfire with one of their Anti-ship missiles barrelling around. To me this is a media issue.

Nelly

There’s been 161 successful Trident flights so you’re quite a few short with 158 total flights…

The Ginge

Sorry guys but this is a fundamental political issue. Trident by definition is a Political instrument, it is not a “Defence Weapon” in that you would use it in any other scenario than Nuclear Weapons have been fired at the UK.
So once the decision was taken a number of years ago, then surely at the point the possibility of a malfunction of some sort had to be considered, if it was not then that was a gross dereliction of duty by the decision makes then.
We then come up to the point of last years failure. Firstly one the decision above is taken then surely you have to admit the failure. As pointed out, a failure rate of 96% is nothing to be defensive about. But it was always going to come out, thus this launch should have got the same exposure as the successful launches. But when the missile failed and it successfully destroyed itself on command, it could be shown that A) All the System up to launch worked and thus the boat and crew were certified. B) That the safety protocols built in to the test System worked C) Within weeks an American Launch of exactly the same missile was successful so we are back to our 96% success rate. The public in the most part are intelligent enough to understand this concept, it is not hard. Yes some CND nut would scream about Trident being unusable and everybody else would have shrugged their shoulders.
Now finally you come to the last decision. Which I hope was purely political and that the RN had nothing to do with. As a Subject of the Queen I demand that the Prime Minister does not lie to Parliament, unless such a lie is necessary for the defence of the realm. In this case that was not at threat. Russia was not going to launch missiles at the UK on June 25th because of a manufacturing error in one Trident Missile. Lets be honest the Russians know that is why each boat carries multiple missiles and each missile carrier multiple RIV Warheads. So that redundancy is built in to the system. Otherwise we would have a lot smaller Missile system and Submarine that just lobbed one missile at Moscow because it would always succeed which is blatantly not the case. So why was the political decision taken. To make Mrs May’s first days in office easy, give her an easy win over Labour concerning the Trident renewal.
The problem is for the Navy and Mrs May is trust is a precious commodity, hide behind the curtain of National Security which everybody can see is see through and you gain little and loose a lot. The next time the Navy or Prime Ministers comes to Parliament on a Naval matter and issues those immortal words “trust me” they might just get a Big Fat NO.

Ronal Lockley

This to me is a security issue and that there are many MPs who do not want this platform they will use the issue as a reason to scrap the weapon platform.
The problem does sound like a communication problem and if I remember correctly there was an upgrade to the Vanguard class. If I am correct then the government is right to keep the information out of the public domain as that problem would give information to potential enemies on how we and the US communicate to the missile. MPs also cannot be relied on to keep quiet about the nations security especially the SNP and the leader of the Labour party so it is understandable that they were not informed. As I also understand it the US asked the UK to say nothing about it until they understood what the issue was, as it is an American missile then that again is an understandable request and Mrs May did the right thing.
As for the press and opposition to this or any weapons platform they will use any reason to cause a problem so the less people know about defence capabilities the better it is for security.

John Swapp

Missile failures of other countries remain hidden – Why was ours 7 months late in being found out, never mind being reported!

olde Nick

Coulda been worse, like the early sea-slug that fell out of it’s beam, on test, came in the wrong way round & headed back towards the firing ship.

Rodolfo Evangelista de Souza

Being a Brazillian national , I know pretty well how bitter the press is always ready to blast, We in this country are well accustumed to that. Also weapons issues will always carry an emotional side.