U.K. Discreetly Trimming to 180 or Fewer Nuclear Warheads

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Global Security Newswire Staff
Aug. 12, 2013, 8:02 a.m.

The United King­dom has been de­com­mis­sion­ing and break­ing down Tri­dent nuc­le­ar war­heads at a rate of three per year, with a goal of re­du­cing do­mest­ic stocks to “no more than 180” by the mid-2020s, the Lon­don Guard­i­an re­por­ted.

Great Bri­tain cur­rently has a nuc­le­ar weapons stock­pile of ap­prox­im­ately 225 war­heads, ac­cord­ing to the news­pa­per. The U.K. gov­ern­ment in June 2011 an­nounced that the cache of war­heads would be re­duced by 45 to meet the in­tent stated in Bri­tain’s 2010 De­fense Re­view.

The quiet and gradu­al dis­as­sembly pro­gram has res­ul­ted in the modi­fic­a­tion of a num­ber of war­heads “to render them un­us­able while oth­ers iden­ti­fied as no longer be­ing re­quired for ser­vice are cur­rently stored and have not yet been dis­abled or mod­i­fied,” Sue Ford, a De­fense Min­istry equip­ment and sup­port policy of­fi­cial, told the Guard­i­an.

The re­port comes al­most a week after the United King­dom’s Lib­er­al Demo­crats an­nounced they would hold a party vote next month on a pro­pos­al to dis­arm some of the na­tion’s nuc­le­ar-mis­sile equipped sub­mar­ines.

Cla­ri­fic­a­tion: This art­icle was altered after ini­tial pub­lic­a­tion to elim­in­ate faulty char­ac­ter­iz­a­tions of the U.K. De­fense Re­view and the mil­it­ary items be­ing mod­i­fied.


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