Trident could become obsolete warns former defense secretary

The former defence secretary Des Browne says there can be no guarantee that UK will have a reliable nuclear deterrent unless it can be wholly protected from cyber-attacks by hostile states.

A statement from Des Browne said ‘the government … have an obligation to assure parliament that all of the systems of the nuclear deterrent have been assessed end-to-end against cyber attacks to understand possible weak spots and that those weak spots are protected against a high-tier cyber threat.’ He highlighted a report by the defence science board of the US Department of Defence, which warned that the US and its allies “cannot be confident” that their defence systems would be able to survive an “attack from a sophisticated and well-resourced opponent utilising cyber-capabilities”.

Browne come out with this statement as the prime minister confirmed in the strategic defence and security review that the government would ask parliament to approve the successor to the Trident programme in a “maingate decision”, which was originally scheduled for next year. This will result in the spending of about £20bn on another generation of Trident and if it does get rendered obsolete by cyber attacks then the £20bn will be spent on nothing. 


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