Space Shuttle’s Demise Hits U.K. Trident Fleet

Global Security Newswire Staff
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Global Security Newswire Staff
July 16, 2014, 10:25 a.m.

The end of U.S. Space Shuttle launches three years ago has boos­ted the cost of fuel for Brit­ish nuc­le­ar mis­siles, the Lon­don Tele­graph re­ports.

The price of the sol­id fuel used in Tri­dent 2 D-5 sub­mar­ine-launched bal­list­ic mis­siles leaped by 80 per­cent in just one year, the news­pa­per said in a Tues­day re­port. The United King­dom main­tains 58 of the U.S.-sup­plied weapons un­der a 1982 bi­lat­er­al de­fense pact.

Wash­ing­ton is now lim­it­ing its an­nu­al pur­chases of the weapons to the min­im­um ne­ces­sary to keep the fuel mar­ket afloat, prompt­ing con­cern among some of­fi­cials, ac­cord­ing to the Tele­graph.

Vice Adm. Terry Be­ne­dict, dir­ect­or of the U.S. Navy’s Stra­tegic Sys­tems Pro­grams, warned last month that the ab­sence of fuel de­mand from the Space Shuttle pro­gram is pos­ing prob­lems for an “already-fra­gile in­dustry.”

The United King­dom, though, said such con­cerns had not altered mis­sile co­oper­a­tion with Wash­ing­ton, or a pending plan to re­vamp the Brit­ish nuc­le­ar force.

“The U.S. has sup­plied the U.K. with sol­id fuel-powered mis­siles for over 40 years with an ex­cel­lent safety and re­li­ab­il­ity re­cord. The U.K. also has a suf­fi­cient pool of Tri­dent mis­siles to meet our needs for dec­ades to come,” a Brit­ish de­fense min­istry spokes­wo­man said.

One agency in­sider, though, said the United States has yet to de­term­ine how it will en­sure con­tin­ued sup­plies of mis­sile fuel.

The U.S. Navy wants NASA to pur­chase sol­id-fuel boost­ers for a next-gen­er­a­tion rock­et sys­tem, po­ten­tially sta­bil­iz­ing the mar­ket, the Tele­graph re­por­ted. The U.S. space agency is slated to start work on the planned Space Launch Sys­tem in 2017.

What We're Following See More »
DOCUMENTS OBTAINED BY U.S. INTEL
Putin-Linked Think Tank Developed Plan to Influence U.S. Election
2 days ago
THE LATEST

A Russian government think tank run by Putin loyalists "developed a plan to swing the 2016 U.S. presidential election to Donald Trump and undermine voters’ faith in the American electoral system." Two confidential documents from the Putin-backed Institute for Strategic Studies, obtained by U.S. intelligence, provide "the framework and rationale for what U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded was an intensive effort by Russia to interfere with the Nov. 8 election."

Source:
HELPED WIN FISA APPROVAL
FBI Relied on Dossier Allegations to Monitor Page
3 days ago
THE LATEST

"The FBI last year used a dossier of allegations of Russian ties to Donald Trump's campaign as part of the justification" to monitor Carter Page, who was then a defense adviser to the Trump campaign. "The dossier has also been cited by FBI Director James Comey in some of his briefings to members of Congress in recent weeks."

Source:
AIR FORCE SCRAMBLES JETS IN RESPONSE
Russian Bombers Fly Near Alaska
4 days ago
WHY WE CARE
A MESSAGE TO RUSSIA?
Pentagon Deploying F-35s to Europe
1 weeks ago
THE LATEST

"The Air Force is set to deploy its high-tech, fifth-generation F-35A fighter jets to Europe this weekend as part of an effort to assure U.S. allies there who are worried about Russian aggression." The new, state-of-the-art fighters will train with European air units. "The Pentagon noted that the deployment had been long planned, meaning it was not a reaction to recent increasing tensions between the United States and Russia," although a statement noted the move is part of the "European Reassurance Initiative," which began three years ago when Russia annexed Crimea.

Source:
NOT ON SCHEDULE
Tillerson Meets Putin
1 weeks ago
BREAKING
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login