Nuclear threat to UK worst it’s ever been and won’t improve for a decade

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The government has warned that the threat of nuclear war is as real as it has ever been and is likely to persist for at least another ten years.

Because of growing hostility from Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran, “we are now in a period of heightened risk and volatility that is likely to last beyond the 2030s,” according to a new defence command document on the UK’s nuclear deterrent.

And in a foreword to the document, Rishi Sunak says the UK’s Trident missile system “is more relevant now than ever before” while Defence Secretary Grant Shapps warns that “nuclear risks are rising”.

Amid the heightened risk of a nuclear weapon being fired in anger, the UK is replacing its four Vanguard nuclear submarines, which date from the 90s, with a new fleet of Dreadnought class subs that can carry 12 Trident missiles, move faster underwater and will be equipped with state of the art technology. The upgrade will cost £31bn, with a £10bn contingency fund, to replace the four submarines by the early 2030s.

But the paper comes just weeks after it emerged that a test-firing of a Trident missile from a Royal Navy submarine had failed for the second time in a row, fuelling concerns that the deterrent needs modernising.

There may also be concerns that the new Dreadnought class of nuclear subs will not be in operation for at least six years.

In his foreword, the Prime Minister warns: “The first duty of the state is to protect its people, territory, economy and interests from internal and external threats.

“Our nuclear deterrent has been the cornerstone of our national security, safeguarding our values and way of life, for more than 70 years.

“It has protected the UK and our Nato allies from the most extreme acts of aggression and nuclear blackmail from our adversaries.

“Our deterrent is more relevant now than ever before. We face new and diverse challenges from nuclear-armed states that make deterrence as critical today as it was in the last century.”

The command paper was launched as Sunak visited BAE Systems in Barrow-in-Furness to announce £200m of new funding for more jobs and apprenticeships in both civil and defence nuclear industries. More than £560m of extra cash will come from private companies, including BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce, EDF and Babcock.

In the command paper, Shapps says: “Nuclear risks are rising. Having illegally invaded Ukraine and broken its former commitments, Russia is trying to use reckless nuclear rhetoric to stop others from sending help.

“China is rapidly increasing its warhead numbers and expanding its range of delivery systems. And now those established nuclear powers are joined by new actors.


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Dulal Ahmed Chowdhury

Dulal Ahmed Chowdhury is the Editor of The Daily Dazzling Dawn. Previously, he has been serving in important positions in all the famous national dailies of the Bangladesh since the nineties. He has played a commendable role in journalism by participating in various events at the national and international levels. United Nations Conference, World Climate Conference, SAARC Summit are notable among them.

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