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British nukes were protected by bike locks

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  • British nukes were protected by bike locks

    Newsnight has discovered that until the early days of the Blair government the RAF's nuclear bombs were armed by turning a bicycle lock key.

    There was no other security on the Bomb itself.


    While American and Russian weapons were protected by tamper-proof combination locks which could only be released if the correct code was transmitted, Britain relied on a simpler technology.

    British nukes were protected by bike locks

    Dr. S.
    Imagine a ball of iron, the size of the sun. And once a year a tiny sparrow brushes its surface with the tip of its wing. And when that ball of iron, the size of the sun, is worn away to nothing, your punishment will barely have begun.

    www.sinisterincorporated.co.uk

    www.tabletown.co.uk

  • #2
    hee hee got to laugh at this ...
    owner of the yahoo group for WW1 ,WW2 and Modern TO&Es
    (Tables of organisation & equipment or Unit of action )

    http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/TOandEs/

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    • #3
      And even today theoretically a Trident sub commander can launch, Britain does not use any 'PAL' security system.

      I suppose there is some justification for this apart from the obvious integrety of the Britsh forces.

      Britain is a lot closer to the old Soviet Union than America so there was always a possiblity that the Prime Minister could be killed in a first strike before he could order a counter strike. There had to be a way of ensuring a counter strike could be carried out even in the event of the PM's death.
      "To be free is better than to be unfree - always."

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      • #4
        Given that the US and UK have a deal to swap nuclear weapons technology - and that we even get weapons from the US itself, weapons that could, in theory, be turned on the US (not that we would) this act of trust on the part of the US is even more astonishing if we've been using bicycle locks to keep the things safe!

        Dr. S.
        Imagine a ball of iron, the size of the sun. And once a year a tiny sparrow brushes its surface with the tip of its wing. And when that ball of iron, the size of the sun, is worn away to nothing, your punishment will barely have begun.

        www.sinisterincorporated.co.uk

        www.tabletown.co.uk

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        • #5
          I wonder if its got something to do with trusting the training and integrity of our personell and not wanting to rely on remembering a combination in a time of extreme stress. As far as we know, its always worked fine. The Americans have all these procedures and they still had that incident where 6 live nukes were taken out of storage, loaded onto a b52, not checked by anyone and flown across the country. Bizarro.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Doctor Sinister View Post
            Given that the US and UK have a deal to swap nuclear weapons technology - and that we even get weapons from the US itself, weapons that could, in theory, be turned on the US (not that we would) this act of trust on the part of the US is even more astonishing if we've been using bicycle locks to keep the things safe!

            Dr. S.
            Trust? or Stupidity?

            A fine line Doc...a fine line.

            best
            CV

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Doctor Sinister View Post
              Newsnight has discovered that until the early days of the Blair government the RAF's nuclear bombs were armed by turning a bicycle lock key.
              While I don't approve, it seems to have worked.

              Of course, if they only knew that until last year, Sinister nukes were concealed not only the same way, but we left the key under the flower pot on the porch -- a great improvement on the Brit system.
              Barcsi János ispán vezérőrnagy
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              "Never pet a burning dog."

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Doctor Sinister View Post
                protected by tamper-proof combination locks
                Well, that's a relative term, too.

                The assumption that these things always protect unless the president says so and always open when the president says so is a little bit of a stretch.

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                • #9
                  I'm not worried about the bike locks, some of those are pretty tough. However, their not much good without a chain and light post.
                  My Avatar: Ivan W. Henderson Gunner/navigator B-25-26. 117 combat missions. Both Theaters. 11 confirmed kills. DSC.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Doctor Sinister View Post
                    Newsnight has discovered that until the early days of the Blair government the RAF's nuclear bombs were armed by turning a bicycle lock key.

                    There was no other security on the Bomb itself.

                    While American and Russian weapons were protected by tamper-proof combination locks which could only be released if the correct code was transmitted, Britain relied on a simpler technology.

                    British nukes were protected by bike locks

                    Dr. S.
                    This report seems a little simplistic to me - journalistic sensationalism? It appears, from reading it, that the weapons could be armed by a single person picking a certain key off his key ring to arm the weapon. It was not quite that easy. Even though it may only take one key to arm the weapon, that key was kept under dual control - it took two people to access it.

                    Also the locks used to actually secure the weapons were not bicycle locks - they were a little bit better than that!

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