England to increase its nuclear weapons stockpile.

ATLANTIC OCEAN (May 9, 2019) An unarmed Trident II D5 missile launches from the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Rhode Island (SSBN 740) off the coast of Cape Canaveral, Florida, May 9, 2019. The successful launch certified the readiness of the SSBN crew and the operation performance of the submarine’s strategic weapons
system following completion of its engineered refueling overhaul before
returning to operational availability. (U.S. Navy photo by John Kowalski/Released)

In a significant policy shift, England is planning to expand its nuclear weapon stockpile. The current guess from outsiders is they have 190 nuclear weapons. The previously announced goal was to draw down the inventory to 180 or less by the mid-2020s.

Instead they will build up to a stockpile of not more than 260.

That is an increase of 80 from their previous goal, up 70 from guessed current stockpile.

As an aside, the entire nuclear arsenal of England is submarine launched ballistic missiles. They have neither land-based nor bomber-based nukes. More on their nuclear inventory in a future post.

This will require a significant increase in funding for the defense budget. They will partially offset that increase spending by reductions in funding for conventional weapons and troop strength.

The defense planning documents indicate the United States is their closest economic and military ally. Russia is their leading opponent.

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