ALBA: “Stretched to breaking point” Trident must be scrapped

ALBA Party have called on the UK Government to scrap the Trident Nuclear weapons programme before “disaster” strikes.

Alba’s comments come as Nuclear Missile carrying Trident Submarine HMS Vengeance was spotted returning to its base on the Clyde yesterday completing a patrol that lasted nearly 7 months - over double the period the crews are trained for. Vengeance was last observed sailing out to patrol on 29th August last year, making its patrol length an eye-watering 201 days long.

The Vanguard-class submarines are equipped with 16 ballistic missile tubes which are loaded with Trident missiles, each armed with up to eight nuclear warheads. Each of these bombs is around eight times as destructive as the bomb which flattened Hiroshima in 1945, killing over 140,000 civilians.

Alba Party’s General Secretary Chris McEleny, a former defence worker, says that a seven-month patrol is extremely dangerous for a Vanguard submarine and that “serious questions need to be asked as to how unsafe the stretched to breaking point submarines are.”

The Vanguard submarines have already been extended several years past their life expectancy.

McEleny says that the record for the longest patrol is 207 days achieved by HMS Victorious in 2021. He says that in the last 3 years, the average time at sea for a Vanguard Class submarine is 163 days - a huge increase in the 3-month standard of the past.

Commenting Alba Party General Secretary Chris McEleny said:

“Vanguard was laid down the week after I was born and now obsolete DVD players hadn’t even yet been invented when Vengeance was launched. These Submarines are long past their safe life span and quite clearly something is seriously wrong if they are being stretched to breaking point by being left out on patrol for seven months.

“Not only is this unacceptable for the well-being of the submariners, it is simply not safe to have such lengthy patrols.

“Ridding Scotland of weapons of mass destruction is a priority that may only be realised with independence but if the UK Government had any fiscal sense or moral compass they would scrap Trident. For some this may be an abstract point of principle but for people living in Inverclyde, we look at the submarines going out to and returning from patrol. It’ll cost over £200 Billion to renew trident whilst one in four children are living in poverty and families are going hungry. We don’t want the best-defended foodbank in the world, we want Trident scrapped, Scotland to be free of Nuclear weapons and the money to be spent improving our society as opposed to paying for weapons that can destroy it.”

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