When the-Prime Minister Tony Blair sought support to replace Britain’s Trident system, he deferred the decision on a replacement warhead to the next Parliament. I’ve wondered if that meant Britain might build an RRW:
… Britain’s nuclear warhead design is essentially similar to the US W76.
As I have noted before, the W76 is the warhead slated for replacement by the Reliable Replacement Warhead, closely linking the questions of Trident replacement in Britain and RRW in the US.
Ah, well, now I’ve learned the British are now considering their own “reliable replacement warhead” program (with many of the same capabilities) as one option for Trident replacement, a warhead notionally called the “High Surety Warhead.”
This may just be a gleam in a designer’s eye. But, in 2006, Michael Smith of the Sunday Times reported that Britain’s 2006 subcritical test in Nevada was conducted with an eye toward an RRW-like program. Other journalists, including <a href="http://web.archive.org/web/20061020061955/http://www.theherald.co.uk/news/59769.html
“>Ian Bruce, Edward Heathcoat, and Tim Reid have all started asking the right questions.
As of today, a Google search for “High Surety Warhead” reveals no hits. Let’s change that, shall we?