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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 20, November 1997

UK Orders More Nuclear Missiles

The UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) has announced that it is to purchase a further 7 missiles for its Trident strategic nuclear system - taking the total of missiles ordered up to 58. A report in the Daily Telegraph (17 October) suggested that the purchase represented an upgrading of the Trident force - a claim adamantly denied the same day by Defence Secretary George Robertson:

"This is not something that is new or different, it was known about, and they are of course budgeted for... [The 7 missiles] are the last part...of the Trident package, which was endorsed at the [1 May] election..."

Mr. Roberston added:

"The missiles in this system are not targeted, have not been targeted since 1994. And the new Labour Government is committed to introducing new urgency to the negotiations that are going on at an international level for mutual and verifiable reductions in the number of nuclear missiles..."

Report: UK says new Trident missiles ordered, Reuters, 17 October.

© 1998 The Acronym Institute.

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