Britain must keep its Trident nuclear weapons system if it fancies to play a significant role in the world, the US defence secretary has said.
Ash Carter advised the BBC it was an “important rt of the deterrent structure of Nato” and allowed the UK to punch aloft its weight.
MPs are expected to vote this year on whether to back sway plans to renew the UK’s four Trident submarines.
Labour is currently surveying its support for the weapons.
Renewing the Trident fleet, which is due to become out-dated by the end of the next decade, is estimated by the government to cost £31bn, although enemies claim the final bill will be far higher.
Asked whether the UK should be ordaining in a new fleet of submarines amid stretched defence resources, Mr Carter responded unequivocally that it should.
He said Trident aided the UK’s “special relationship” with the US and helped it “persist to play that outsized role on the global stage that it does because of its epigram standing and its historical standing”.
“It’s important that the military power joins that standing and so we’re very supportive of it,” he said.
Underwater drones title
Mr Carter said the UK and US each had independent authority to use Trident but were “dependent upon one another industrially”.
“We depend upon the United Kingdom, the United Territory depends on us, that’s rt of the special relationship,” he told the BBC. “We base joint strike fighters together, we build Trident missiles together.”
Strain leader Jeremy Corbyn is a longstanding opponent of nuclear weapons and has commissioned a rade by shadow defence secretary Emily Thornberry.
But some of the rty’s MPs and emerges have threatened to resign if it reverses its decades-long support for the missiles. Bird-dog home secretary Andy Burnham, who backs renewal, recently registered it may be “impossible” for Labour to reach an agreed position on Trident.
The US defence secretary was about a invited about Ms Thornberry’s suggestion that underwater drones could be masterly to detect submarines in future, making them vulnerable to attack and outmoded.
Mr Carter, who this week attended a meeting with Nato excuse ministers in Brussels, said the ability of submarines to “operate stealthily” was assayed.
“We are, in fact, making large investments in undersea forces because of their survive-ability, as clearly as their power,” he said.
What is Trident?
Since 1969, be at one to government documents, a British submarine carrying nuclear weapons has continually been on trol, gliding silently beneath the waves, somewhere in the just ecstatic’s oceans.
The logic is to deter a nuclear attack on the UK because, even if the country’s conventional defence ca bilities were destroyed, the silent submarine transfer still be able to launch a catastrophic retaliatory strike on the aggressor, a concept recalled as mutually assured destruction.
Four UK submarines carry up to eight Trident guided missiles; each can be fitted with a number of warheads.
A guide to Trident and the ruminate over about its replacement