Archive for September 13th, 2022

Franco-British Strategic Nuclear Deterrence Is Considerable

September 13, 2022

Nuclear war may be around the corner, the deluded Putin, tail between his legs, is that crazy that he may not realize that his “escalate to de-escalate” insanity would be of no advantage to him and his criminal entourage. So it’s a good point to consider the main deterrent of the West: the strategic nuclear forces of the US, Britain and France (3 of the 5 powers allowed nuclear weapons under UN law). It turns out that, in a strategic nuclear exchange involving the ultimate weapon, the strategic nuclear submarines, the Franco-British contribution is equivalent to 50% of the US… No doubt that complicates considerably the computation of nuclear war planners who are criminal enough to work for Putin…

Who has a stronger navy: the United Kingdom or France (not counting nuclear submarines)?

Both European navies have Strategic Submarines Ballistic Nuclear. Four of them each. The French ones carry an armament of 16 M51 SLBM missiles manufactured by the Aérospatiale (now Airbus Defence and Space), plus conventional torpedoes and Exocet anti-ship missiles. The M51 missiles carries on a “bus” 6 to 10 MIRV warheads of 110 kiloton (kt) each, 8 times Hiroshima, with penetration aids, and a precision of 150–200 meters. One such missile could annihilate all the decision centers in Moscow (and millions of deluded Moscovites who watch too much Putin TV). The range of the M51 is secret, but believed to be around 10,000 kilometers (the same tech is used on the Ariane rocket).

These SSBNs are really Armageddon weapons… Yes Putin has them, sort of, namely at least on paper; but the devil is in the details: nukes have to work, and subs have to be undetected. France, the US, and the UK have dozens of hunter subs… Keeping nukes in good, that is explosive, order, cost a fortune (it’s unlikely all the 6,200 nukes of Putin work; it’s more likely that most of them, don’t work…)

To come back to France and Britain,

the two Navies are roughly comparable, and, the French having dutifully forgotten the tragedy of Mers El Kebir, and the Brits more than contrite about it, the two navies are more than friendly to each other. If Scotland seceded, British subs would use French bases. France Naval Group has launched its second 100 meter long nuclear powered Barracuda attack submarine, arguably the world’s most modern and silent sub. It is using a type of propulsion the US Navy plans to have around 2030… The Barracuda class subs can silence their nuclear reactors for long periods, something no other nuclear sub can do (yet). Hot nuclear reactors have always circulating water and tend to be noisy… whereas air independent diesel subs can made much more silent… and can be much more silent for a full month under water! The Barracudas have the best of the two technologies…
Although not directly strategic, such subs can hunt and destroy Putin and Xi’s subs…

One of the British SSBN used to be without nukes, but, considering the increasing Sino-Russian war noises, that has been reversed (nukes cost a lot of money to just keep ready to function; French nukes cost 5 billion dollars a year, just to keep them ready to explode with enough fresh Tritium, etc.). Also the French SSBNs have 100% French equipment, including French equivalents of the US Trident II. UK subs have US systems, US missiles, Trident II… Also the UK Navy uses Thales and other French electronics all over, for the UK subs and the UK ships. Thales is French (originally)… Thales also makes 24/7 in Belfast, Ireland, the British “NLAW” antitank weapons which have destroyed so many of Putin’s tanks.

British carriers are restricted to F35s, since they do not have catapults (which make the French carrier interoperable with the US ones; CATOBAR enables it to launch heavier, more capable planes).

The real defect of Franco-British defense is not quality, which is top notch, but having too few weapons. Macron, following Biden by a few months, has called the French military-industrial complex to go into a war mode. However the expanded French military budget has not been voted on yet, and it takes time to ramp up. Thales is producing nearly enough electronics for five Rafales a month.

All the British nuclear deterrent is in its 4 SSBNs… the French have the same number of SSBNs, but also also nuclear bombers and supersonic standoff 300kt nuclear missiles). So Franco-Britannia has 8 strategic nuclear subs so silent once two collided with each other while deep in the ocean… whereas the US has 14 such submarines… In other words, the nuclear strategic strike capability of the West is considerably augmented by the Franco-British arsenal. Just one of these 22 subs could kill of the order of 50 million people in 20 minutes, and as a French general officer commented:”We think that’s enough!”.

However, tyrant Putin has definitively demonstrated that this is not enough, because threatening the enemy with Armageddon does not help fight a conventional war.

British SSBN going back home in Scotland…

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