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Yes it has, there is always at least one Trident boat at sea, often two. IIRC France built five to guarantee two at sea at all times.Hark wrote: I wonder if this goal has been met consistently by the UK. We read from time to time that the USN having paid off some of its flat tops cannot consistently meet the commitments the government's foreign policy objectives generate. Is the same thing true with the British SSBNs?
The 6" I don't think entered service and it and the demo charge are far out of their service life now. The intent of the new nukes is to have smaller yields that can be delivered faster with less risk. Currently the only truly small yield weapons are free fall B-61 tac mods (3?4?11?). Those require the the a/c to overfly to the target and drop an unguided weapon. The Russians have a Mach 10 missile that can deliver a tactical nuke with precision to Berlin from Kalingrad. Which in and of itself wouldn't be super worrying from a strategic standpoint, except the Russians seem to have the disturbing idea of 'nuclear deescalation': that using a tac nuke will simply make NATO back down, because they are afraid of a major strategic exchange. So these new weapons are an attempt to reassert ability in the tit for tat 'tactical' nuclear regime to close that potential deterrence loop hole, since the Russians seem unconvinced that NATO would response in nuclear fashion to a very limited first use.Burncycle wrote: I mean... we have a pretty good spread as it is. Fission Nukes as small as 6" around, and as light as ~50 pounds. Thermonukes not much bigger (though much heavier). IIRC reliability of the really small ones were kind of iffy.