This article will first examine what alternatives there were to upgrade Britain’s Polaris force and what to replace it with in the period from 1964-1980. It will then look at the choices for the number of submarines that were discussed for Polaris and Trident and how similar these choices are to the current debate regarding Trident renewal or replacement. By the early 1960s it was recognised that Polaris missiles were potentially vulnerable to Soviet anti-ballistic missiles (ABMs) and steps needed to be taken to address this situation. A range of options was looked at to mitigate this threat, these included improvements to Polaris or purchasing the next generation Poseidon missile from the United States. After the decision was made to carry forward the Chevaline upgrade to UK Polaris in 1975 thoughts then moved to a successor system. As a result from 1977-1982 the British government decided to purchase Trident C-4 from the United States in 1980 and then the D-5 version in 1982.
|Publication status||Published - Sept 2009|
|Event||Stepping Down the Nuclear Ladder: Options for UK Nuclear Weapons Policy, Department of Peace Studies, University of Bradford, 17–18 September, 2009. - Department of Peace Studies, University of Bradford, Bradford, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland|
Duration: 17 Sept 2009 → 18 Sept 2009
|Conference||Stepping Down the Nuclear Ladder: Options for UK Nuclear Weapons Policy, Department of Peace Studies, University of Bradford, 17–18 September, 2009.|
|Country/Territory||United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland|
|Period||17 Sept 2009 → 18 Sept 2009|