Somewhere there's a wealthy defense contractor executive who's very happy that he was able to sell Britain one last round of Tridents.

Britain announced that it would build to a new fleet of submarines to carry its nuclear deterrent, but said it would reduce the number of nuclear warheads in its arsenal. Long URL

Tridents are useful for Mutually Assured Destruction sequences where one can ascertain the origin of an attack by the missile trajectory (yes, they can launch first, but they can't destroy our responses hidden deep in the sea). How useful are Tridents if attacks can be conventionally transported to your country, assembled, and then coordinated?

My guess is that the total annihilation risk preventable by MAD sequences has been dropping over the recent decades. Assuming that governments are staffed by intelligent beings (?!?), nuclear defense spending should be split appropriately between MAD preventable risk and conventional risk. So, we should be seeing a decrease in spending on Tridents, while keeping up the appearances of MAD. Which is probably the ultimate reason why this is news today.