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The other day, some Argentinean guy stands up in front of the UN and accuses the UK of deploying a nuclear armed Vanguard class (think Ohio class if in the States) to Falklands Islands and in doing so breaking Treaty of Tlatelolco!!
So time for a few facts and a little commonsense me thinks!!
Now the Treaty of Tlatelolco is basically where all nuclear weapon countries agreed not to deploy nuclear weapons within the certain areas – here is the map with the blue area being the nuclear free countries etc.
Argentina is a nation that invaded another country, killed and disappeared its own people, harbours known Nazi’s and who sent its own conscripted young men to die upon the end of a blood letting bayonet, on the freezing hills of an island they claim yet do not know.
One can only hope that this persistent crying “wolf” will soon be seen as it is – otherwise we might need to do as they actually claim and I really don’t think they’d like that.
So absurd is the allegation that while there will be a nuclear “powered” hunter-killer not too far away, a Vanguard Class has no business being there at all and doesn’t need to be..
Because the Vanguard class carries the Trident II (D5) UGM-133A
missile, infact it carries plenty of them and the range of these things has varied reports for obvious reasons, but most agree at them being around 7500 miles.
So lets just say the T2 D5 does have a 7500 mile range… do you really think it even needs to leave port to be a threat to Argentina? Travel at an operational cruise speed of 5 knots or even its main speed of over 25 knots to the South Atlantic?
Hell no, with Buenos Aires being only 6991 miles away it can do its damage from the quay side in its Scottish home port and with a missile that will fly at 18,000 mph. It’s at Faslane, go and Google Earth it…
And here is the kicker – at 5 miles per second, flight time = 23 minutes… with a payload of 8 warheads…
So, the only question is “will they be W76 or W88 warheads or a combination of both?
Well, who knows?.. But if you want the earth to move baby, either of these suckers will do it :-)
If the Hiroshima bomb was the yield of 12 – 18kt, you’d be pleased to know that the W76 warhead is that of 100kts and the W88 warhead is 475kts and thankfully they are limited to 8 warheads per missile by treaty from 12 warheads per missile. Each Vanguard Class has 16 tubes for these unlike the US Ohio Class which of course has 24 tubes.
I’m only guessing they would be a mix of both ground burst and air burst. The real difference is that an air burst weapon, there is no mushroom and therefore no fallout (or little).But this also creates greater blast devastation. A ground burst obviously creates the mushroom, thus sucking all that debris and dust up through it that in turn becomes radioactive and returns to earth as fallout.
Now, I’m not in anyway knowledgeable about naval let alone Submarine warfare… But to me the moving about of Vanguard Class, Ohio Class or any SSBNs is a game of silent secrecy in fact I’d argue only a handful of people at any given time know exactly the location of our patrolling one. So how then does Argentina claim to have information regarding the whereabouts of one of our nearly 500ft long Vanguards??
What I can tell you right now is that 3 of them are in port… the other, well –
who knows :-)
Either way, if these weapons were pointed at Argentina, Argentina would have rise to be worried. If all 16 missiles were W88 headed on a single sub which would mean Argentina is looking down the barrel of 60.8 Megatons of total devastation – and that is a long way from 12 to 18kts of Hiroshima… yet only 23 minutes away (tea breaks allowing). But seeing as there are 3 in port and one out and about, I’ll let you work out that over all math.
And to all those complete morons who say “Computers! I wouldn’t know how to switch one on!” Thankfully someone does ;-)
Or as Stevie Ray Vaughan once said “If the house is a rocking, don’t bother knocking” ;-)
To the people and politicians of Argentina;
What you’re doing is not the way forward –THINK!!! Because you are slowly starting events that have no place in a free world.
There are ways to do things and gain considerable ground on some issues – but what you’re doing is probing our defences by accusation and it stands out a mile. These are hostile acts and no one is going to tell a possible enemy where its own forces are… but your constant accusations are enough to re-address the defences and strengthen them in the very least.
Last time, you didn’t prod the hornets nest, you went and gave it a damn good kick – now you’re probing, are you really sure you want to be doing it this?
So the up shot is this… We’ve had this capability for years… nothing you say will change the UK’s ability to do this if it was needed. So seriously… take a moment to have a word with yourselves, think about it, and stop accusing us of your Bull Sh*t!! to the rest of the world. For a nation with no effective early warning system against this type of weaponry, if we were to use these – the only thing you’d need to know is that at the very least the entire population of Bueno Aires will reach 10,000 degrees in less than a second!! And yet we remain restrained… UNLIKE you, we don’t want to use these weapons, but with your nations modern history, you’d use them in a heartbeat.
As for the locations of the Astute Class – enjoy ;-)