Magazine article Arms Control Today

UK Downsizes Its Nuclear Arsenal

Magazine article Arms Control Today

UK Downsizes Its Nuclear Arsenal

Article excerpt

The United Kingdom has reduced its nuclear arsenal by 25 percent, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon told the House of Commons on Jan. 20. During a debate over the replacement of UK nuclear forces, Fallon announced that the government had fulfilled a 2010 commitment to reduce the number of deployed warheads on each of the country's four Trident submarines from 48 to 40. "The total number of operationally available warheads has therefore been reduced to 120," Fallon said. Previously, the UK reported having 160 operational warheads.

The government's 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review report stated the reduction would give the country a "minimum deterrent" to potential enemies, while saving money as well as honoring "our commitment vigorously to pursue multilateral global disarmament."

In the Jan. 20 debate, Scottish National Party leader Angus Robertson and other critics said the Trident force was useless as a weapon and should be abandoned. …

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