The British government has announced plans to increase the country’s nuclear arsenal to 260 warheads. This is stated in the Integrated Review of Security, Defense, Development and Foreign Policy “Global Britain in a Competitive Age”, published on 16 March.
The document says that the government announced in 2010 its intention to reduce the number of warheads from 225 to no more than 180 by the mid-2020s. However, “given the development of the security environment, in particular the increasing range of threats to technology and military doctrines, this is not possible.”
To ensure that it is able to withstand the preventive actions of potential adversaries, Britain is going to keep 4 submarines, so that one is always on constant duty to hold back at sea. “We remain committed to the principle of maintaining the minimum destructive power needed to maintain the reliability and effectiveness of the United Kingdom’s nuclear deterrent against the full range of state nuclear threats from any direction,” the Review said.
In addition, the UK Parliament has approved the renewal of the nuclear deterrent and the replacement of the Wengard-class submarines with four Dreadnought-class submarines. This program is in progress, and the first boat is expected to be operational in the early 2030s.
At the same time, Britain has announced the replacement of its main nuclear warhead. The document emphasizes that the country has the smallest nuclear arsenal among the countries recognized by the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
“We remain committed to the full implementation of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in all its aspects, including nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. There is no alternative way to nuclear disarmament,” the Review said.
Read more about nuclear non-proliferation in the relevant section of Uatom.