After months of speculation, it was announced yesterday that the Government has decided to proceed with the replacement of the United Kingdom’s ageing ballistic missile system by an ‘alternatively powered ecological surface solution’ which critics are already describing as “just two blokes in a rowing boat’.
‘All New Trident’, or ‘ANT’, has been developed in the UK with the assistance of top advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi-Fallon and the Blackpool Boating Pond. According to the glossy press brochure, the “modern strategic deterrent” consists of a “small manually powered rapid response unit”, carefully specifically designed to avoid the attentions of enemy radar. It is understood that the vessel has the capability to remain at sea for up to six months provided that the power unit’s sandwich supply doesn’t run out.
Coalition leaders have hailed the decision to proceed with the replacement of the nuclear submarine fleet as an ‘historic moment.’ The fact that we are replacing Trident at such economically challenging times should demonstrate to our enemies the importance that we attach to the defence of the realm.’
Defence Secretary, Dr Liam Fox was at pains to explain the advantages of ANT. ‘The old system had three main drawbacks,’ he said. ‘Firstly, it was too expensive; secondly it cost too much; and finally we couldn’t afford it. Therefore, I am pleased to say this system is affordable and it is just as good. It must be because we actually recycle the old missiles which were never fired in anger. We are pretty certain that they will be just as effective, always assuming that we don’t have to actually deploy them.’
Experts cautiously welcomed the announcement but remain unconvinced by the adapted missile launching system. ‘We appreciate that times are tough, but we were expected the launch system to be more sophisticated than a large milk bottle wedged in a flower pot.’
Newly appointed Shadow Defence Secretary, Jim Murphy, was unavailable for comment; however an Opposition spokesman promised he would make a statement as soon as he had consulted his primer.