In late 2014, the US Navy awarded an $84 million cost-plus-fixed-fee modification contract for 'tactical missile tube manufacturing'. In total, according to the US Navy, 17 missile tubes will be manufactured:
'12 for the UK Successor lead ship, four for the OR [Ohio class ballistic missile submarine Replacement] First Article Quad Pack and one for the Strategic Weapons System - Ashore (SWSA) test facility.'
What is this arcane language telling us?
The $84 millions is to fund 'joint United States and United Kingdom Common Missile Compartment (CMC) missile tube manufacturing'. According to Rob Edwards (Sunday Herald, 23.11.14), 70 per cent of this cost is being paid by the UK. Curiously, 12 of the first 17 tubes are for the 'UK successor lead ship'. This is curious for two reasons. Firstly, the UK government has deferred until 2016 the 'main-gate' decision on Trident replacement. Secondly, the UK government has repeatedly claimed in public that it would use only eight tubes. Is it now being compelled to build in capacity for four additional tubes and, in so doing, facilitating significant expansion at some time in the future of the number of nuclear warheads carried on British submarines?
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Reviews: Cathy Davis, Barry Baldwin, Christopher Gifford, Jo Vellacott, Michael Barratt Brown, Theodore N. Iliadis, Alan Tuckman
ISBN: 978 0 85124 8455
Labels: Alexis Tsipras, Bertrand Russell, Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation, Bukharin, Stuart Holland, The Spokesman, Tony Simpson, Trident