UK, France May Combine Nukes in Budget Move

Nations might collaborate on single nuclear sub patrol
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 30, 2010 2:03 AM CDT
The French Le Triomphant nuclear-armed submarine is seen at sea.    (AP Photo/French Defense Ministry-ECPAD)

(Newser) – Sweeping cuts to military budgets in both countries are forcing old rivals Britain and France to consider adopting history's first nuke-share program. The idea of a shared nuclear deterrent—dismissed as politically unfeasible earlier this year—will be back on the table at the annual Franco-British summit next month, according to the Independent.

Each country has four operational nuclear-armed submarines and always has at least one on patrol. Under the proposal, only a single sub would be on patrol, ready to respond to a threat to either country. British politicians had promised voters that the country would keep an independent nuclear deterrent, but the $30 billion cost of replacing its Trident nuclear subs means "one had to adjust one's sights" said a defense official.

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