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ScrapTrident


Rogue British captain could launch Trident

left
The BBC has discovered that Britain has failed to 
introduce safeguards to prevent rogue officers from
launching nuclear war in a Dr Strangelove scenario.
Security on the arming system of the RAF's WE177 
bombs was almost non-existent and there is no
electronic lock preventing the officers on a British
Trident submarine from firing their missiles on their
own initiative.
Research by BBC Newsnight has established that 
Britain has failed to take precautions to prevent
rogue officers from launching a nuclear attack
without permission.
The WE-177 bombs which were in-service with the 
RAF until 1998 were only secured with a single key,
like a bicyle lock key. The control panel can be
opened with a thumbnail or screw and the small
key armed the weapon. Equivalent US weapons, B61 bombs,
are protected by a Permissive Action Link (PAL). PAL
are sophisticated electronic codes. They have never
been used on any British nuclear weapons.
When the Chief Scientific Adviser suggested that controls ought to be introduced onto
British weapons the Navy responded:
"It would be invidious to suggest... that Senior Service officers may, in difficult 
circumstances, act in defiance of their clear orders".
The same mentality remains true today. Newsnight discovered that in 1997 the US Navy
introduced systems to prevent an unauthorised launch of the missiles on a Trident
submarine. But there are no equivalent systems on British submarines. It remains the
case that a small number of officers on a British submarine could, on their own
initiative launch a massive attack with 48 nuclear weapons which would result in between
10 and 30 million deaths.

 


 
 

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