After months of speculation on the impact of austerity cuts on the future of the United Kingdom’s ageing ballistic missile system, Trident, it was announced yesterday that the Government is to fulfill its commitments to proceed with a replacement defence deterrent through an ‘alternatively powered ecological surface solution’ which critics are already describing as ‘just two blokes in a rowing boat’.
‘All New Trident’, or ‘ANT’, has been developed by the MOD following an in-depth review of modern warfare trends and weapons technology, with the assistance of top advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi-Fallon and the Blackpool Boating Pond. According to the glossy press brochure, the ‘modern strategic deterrent’ consists of a ‘small manually powered rapid response unit’, specifically designed to avoid the attentions of enemy radar. It is understood that the vessel will be fitted with state of the art twin cylinder Thermos devices — with integrated cups — and has the capability to remain at sea for up to six months provided that the power unit’s sandwich supply doesn’t run out.
Coalition leaders have hailed the decision to proceed with the replacement of the nuclear submarine fleet as an ‘historic moment’. ‘The fact that we are replacing Trident at such economically challenging times should demonstrate to our enemies the importance that we attach to the defence of the realm,’ said Defence Secretary, Dr Liam Fox. ‘The old system had three main drawbacks. Firstly, it was too expensive; secondly it cost too much; and finally we couldn’t afford it. Therefore, I am pleased to say this system is affordable and will be just as effective, always assuming that we don’t have to actually deploy them.’
Experts cautiously welcomed the announcement but remain unconvinced by the adapted missile launching system. ‘We appreciate that times are tough, but we were expecting the launch system to be more sophisticated than a large milk bottle wedged in a flower pot.’