Britain has been quietly developing a more destructive nuclear warhead, bringing to £3 billion the amount spent so far on replacing the Trident deterrent. The development will harden Labour opposition to renewing the fleet of Trident submarines before a crucial Commons vote expected within weeks. Ministers have already authorised, without parliamentary approval, £85 million for the development of a new warhead as well as work to upgrade Trident’s nuclear devices. The work on a new Mark 4A warhead has been undertaken at the Atomic Weapons Establishment in Aldermaston. It will potentially allow Britain to choose a wider range of targets by giving greater control over the height of detonation. The Ministry of Defence has refused to answer questions on the cost of the overall Trident programme – warheads, missiles and submarines – on the grounds that the information is classified. Estimates put its eventual cost at more than £200 billion.
Times 8th June 2016 read more »