RN Sea Based Ballistic Missile

zen

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Unfortunately in this case the UK domestic situation trumps everything else. The Conservatives were soon to be mired in political and economic crises.. A new leader took over from Macmillan in 1963 and then lost to Labour in an election in which Labour fought on the need to reduce defence spending. In 1964 this government begins canceling major projects and had promised to get rid of Polaris. It manages to limit this to canceling the fifth boat (largely because the PM and Defence Secretary realised the importance of the relationship with the US). A bloated UK only programme would have been an easy target. We also know now that had the Conservatives won, the state of the economy would have forced them to find defence cuts.
France by contrast was enjoying a good period under De Gaulle and believed in strong governmental support for industry.
The poor state of the UK economy and industry is structural and an alternative history would have to be drastic to the point of fantasy.
As for the Cuban Missile Crisis public opinion in the UK simply breathed a sigh of relief it was over.
'63 and the facilities would be well along, as would the system. '65 (for all practical purposes) would be the ISD (IOC) for the system, ergo Too Far Gone to Cancel.
Polaris opposition would face Union support for UK jobs in rocket industry.
Bloat is an assumption.
 

uk 75

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The real world sagas of Dreadnought and Blue Streak/Blue Steel suggest that your project would have hit similar developmental and budgetary snags.
Without Polaris or Blue Streak (which needed US input), the RAF would use the massive investment in the V force to keep pushing for stand-off bombs like Blue Steel.
Dreadnought needed a US supplied reactor and is not in service until 1963. Valiant, the first British powered boat, does not commission until 1966.
Sorry your scenario is wishful thinking.
 

Zoo Tycoon

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If the the prevailing political situation meant an advanced and ambitious military technology project was “wishful thinking“, how did (as you point out) U.K. first nuclear powered hunter killer submarine HMS Valiant happen?

It was purely a question of priority from a limited budget and resource pool. Yes, if the HMG had been denied access to Polaris, binned the stand off’s (as they did for real) but still wanted a deterrent, a sub launched missile was entirely reasonably and something else would have gone, maybe TSR2.

Also the effectiveness of the independent deterrent was demonstrated in the Warsaw Pacts plan “7 days to the Rhine”, which had a special exclusion for the use of nuclear weapons on Britain and France. True this was secret at the time but it’s illustrates the thinking.
 
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zen

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If we're funding Sea Launched Ballistic Missile programme, and this is obviously the priority.
Then funding a host of programmes that would be obsolete by the mid 60's is unsustainable. Especially if they detract from the main effort.
These other programmes would fall in cuts or never proceed beyond studies.

Such casualties would include Skybolt, V-Bomber improvements or even late production. Carriers and Cruisers. Of course liquid rockets would fall too.
Incrementally they would fall to the sustainment of the main effort of a National Deterrent.

So no I don't buy the impossibility of this central AH scenario.
 

zen

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TSR.2 as we know it, would certainly fall in the contest with SLBM. At best it's survival would be the 600nm ROA requirement. Most likely fusing with NMBR.3 295nm requirement into a single STOL tactical system.
In fact it's questionable whether OR.339 would even be issued with the 1,000nm ROA. No need to replace Valiant, SLBM can do the job.
 

uk 75

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You miss my point.
Dreadnought does not enter service until 1963. Valiant not until 1966.
Even assuming the notion that we had the ability to embark on Zen's 50s SLBM project we could not have a platform until ten years later, and remember, the weapons bay of the Resolution class was developed and provided by the US. It had already proved itself on the George Washington class.
Given the atrocious performance on Seaslug, the only naval missile programme in this period, this whole thing is pure fantasy.
 

uk 75

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Thanks to Peter Hennessy and others we know that the Macmillan Cabinet had accepted that if Kennedy did not offer us Polaris the UK could not afford any of the own build (including SLBMs) which the Defence Secretary had presented to Cabinet. This meant that the RAFdeterrent would have lapsed with the V Force. A slim possibility (which explains the mission creep on TSR2) was that the RAF could use WE177 as a minimum deterrent. However, the discussions of this option are always presented as an " interim" deterrent to cover the gap before Polaris.
 

zen

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It's quite an assumption that UK science and engineering couldn't develop a missile compartment for submarines. Even more so in the 50's.

Reference to Dreadnought and Valiant doesn't refute anything, beyond the precise timing of the first SSBN. A year slip to '66 seems modest compared to a lot of other projects.

And this talk of '63 is frankly OTL where infrastructure wasn't available without future spending.
In this AH scenario that spending has already occurred by '63 in substantial quantities.
 

Zoo Tycoon

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You miss my point.
Dreadnought does not enter service until 1963. Valiant not until 1966.

No, I don’t believe I did

and remember, the weapons bay of the Resolution class was developed and provided by the US. It had already proved itself on the George Washington class.

Both the French and North Koreans managed it independently and I suspect the UK would have got at least some help from the U.S. Its fantasy/nonsense to claim this was technology beyond the third country to master the thermo-nuclear weapon.
 

uk 75

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Okay I will try and play ball with your timeline.
The.USS Nautilus entered service in 1954.
Because we are in Dan Dare land the British Government immediately authorises its own submarine programme.. Ptofessor Peabody and her team have the first British submarine reactor ready by 1957 and HMS Dreadnought commissions in 1958.
The first submarine with Black Pig missiles is laid down in 1959..HMS Valiant carrys four missiles in a prototype silo configuration. (see MN Rubis in France)
Black Pig development starts in 1953 and is completed by 1958 in time for tests in Valiant in the Indian Ocean test range to start in 1961. Two years later, HMS Resolution, the first 16 tube boat starts trials.
Winston Churchill's last act of his decade as Prime Minister is to join the crew of Resolution at Devonport.
There we go....
 

zen

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No even with the OTL sequence for nuclear reactors for Submarines, and Resolution entering service in '68.
A 3 year delay over initial planning in 1956 for 1965.

Because in 1957 Sandys will back this AH solution knowing the Lightweight physics package is both possible and the US is on the way to achieving it.
Knowing the inherent advantage of this AH solid fuel rocket over liquid.
Such that post '57 investment is now heading into solid SLBM, solid fuel, facilities for fuel, Lightweight nuke and submarine.
Domestic silo effort will go on but be abandoned by 1960.
No Skybolt will not be chosen in 1960, the future is SLBM. No V-Bomber additions or work to extend useful life as Deterrent Force beyond 1965-66.
No waste of effort on Grand Slam, or other ALBM.
No TSR.2 of 1,000nm ROA to succeed Valiant, a 600nm Strike System instead, probably vying with 42" Tactical Missile equivalent to Pershing.

delay over reactor no surprise, V-Force soldiers on for a little while until Resolution class starts entering service.

Polaris guidance might be sought after Bermuda Accords in 1959. US might still try to sell Polaris as a system, but UK is better set to take it. Infrastructure, planning, design of SSBN all much further along.
Worst case is still Polaris, but more done in the UK.
 

uk 75

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I would love to be a fly on the wall when a Defence Secretary tells the Cabinet that we are junking all our major programmes from 1957 on in order to get a missile that might be in service in 1968 when many of the Cabinet will be dead..
 

uk 75

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The USS George Washington
1957 to 59 converted from a hunter killer by inserting a missile compartment
France uses a test submarine to develop its missiles
The Soviet Union starts off with a much simpler design (it then gets its own 16tube submarine in service in 1964)

The UK could have initially built a design closer to the Gymnote and G class which gets you into service.much sooner
 
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zen

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So possibly an Amphion Class might be taken in hand by 1958 and fitted with a missile compartment.
 

zen

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By '58 Lightweight warhead is projected 600lb and growth creep to less than 800lb is real world by '63.
Granit series militarisation aiming for this sort of figure and primaries work continues (shrouded in secrecy to this day)
OTL expected substantial increases in range of Blue Streak. 3,300nm possible.
Actual musings on cheaper SLV expected to be cheaper than BS.
Black Rock.

AH scenario only strengthened during '58-'63, solids progress, INS progress.
IF testbed SSK ready by '63, test firings '64-'65.




Black Rock
 
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Zoo Tycoon

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I noticed some comments in the referenced threads asking about the length of the Westcott 54 inch demonstrator. There’s not too much to go on;- From C Gibson’s “It weighed in at 4,300kg and the case was helically welded steel and the charge was CD119.“

now compare that the Polaris A1 first stage (54inch);-
“The first stage (18,400 lb <8300kg>) had a steel motor case; polyurethane propellant (15,200 lb) with ammonium percholorate (oxidizer) and aluminum additives.“
and the second stage (54 inch)
The second stage (9,400 lb <4264Kg>) also used a steel motor case; polyurethane propellant (7,300 lb) with ammonium perchlorate (oxidizer) and aluminum additives.
From;- https://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/systems/a-1.htm

So the Westcott 54inch would have almost identical dimensions to Polaris A1 second stage. I reckon that would make it about 70-75inches long.

Given it’s timing I would suggest the purpose was to demonstrate the ability to produce a suitable solid fuel solution in the event the Subs were at the dockside and the US refused to release the missiles. The choice of second stage is probably because it’s a more manageable lash up with what’s available at a lower costs. I would love to know what CD119 was?
 

zen

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I noticed some comments in the referenced threads asking about the length of the Westcott 54 inch demonstrator. There’s not too much to go on;- From C Gibson’s “It weighed in at 4,300kg and the case was helically welded steel and the charge was CD119.“

now compare that the Polaris A1 first stage (54inch);-
“The first stage (18,400 lb <8300kg>) had a steel motor case; polyurethane propellant (15,200 lb) with ammonium percholorate (oxidizer) and aluminum additives.“
and the second stage (54 inch)
The second stage (9,400 lb <4264Kg>) also used a steel motor case; polyurethane propellant (7,300 lb) with ammonium perchlorate (oxidizer) and aluminum additives.
From;- https://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/systems/a-1.htm

So the Westcott 54inch would have almost identical dimensions to Polaris A1 second stage. I reckon that would make it about 70-75inches long.

Given it’s timing I would suggest the purpose was to demonstrate the ability to produce a suitable solid fuel solution in the event the Subs were at the dockside and the US refused to release the missiles. The choice of second stage is probably because it’s a more manageable lash up with what’s available at a lower costs. I would love to know what CD119 was?
Could it related the Cheveline?
 

Archibald

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Ah, Q244... how to make a lemon, into lemonade. First atempt at a nuclear sub, with a natural uranium reactor. A very bad idea. When it died in favor of Q258 "Redoutable", the hull was recycled into a SLBM test sub. And the freakkin' thing lasted into the 80's, from M1 to M4.

So it was a failed boomer that ended helping the successfull boomers. Now imagine, if we send that sub fighting WWIII and it nuked moscow and stole the Redoutable-class thunder...

Also note that the Chinese got their A-bomb in '64 thus 4 years after Gerboise Bleue (1960). Yet in a stunning - and mostly unexplicable - twist, they detonated a H-bomb only three years later ! You guess, De Gaulle was incensed, and French nuclear scientists working on Canopus got a very bad time.
Canopus was finally detonated in August 1968 in Moruroa, 14 months after the chinese did it. How did they pull it out, right between the horrors of "Great leap forward" and "cultural revolution" is beyond me.

Reminds me of that old joke
1968 Mao gets a meeting of the PRC top nuclear scientists and tell them about a bold idea of his.

"We could get ten guys with ten suitcase nukes and blast Moscow, Paris, New York, L.A and some other decadent imperialist cities. Any objection to my bold plan ?"

"Oh no, great leader. Fantastic ideas" they all congrulate him. Except for a small chap with thick glasses who dares to rise an objection.

"Great leader, your plan is great, but we can't make it happen."

Mao snaps "Whaaaat, any lack of candidates ?"

"No, no problem, slaps your finger, we get ten million men willing to brings the suitcase nukes."

"So, what's the problem ? can't you build suitcase nukes ?"

"Oh, no problem there."

"So what the problem in the end, you miserable worm ?"

"It about the suitcases, great leader. No way we can find ten of them in the entire PRC."

----------------
Another good one "Before Mao come the PRC was standing at the edge of an abyss. Luckily enough, then was The Great Leap Forward."
----------------
 
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Zoo Tycoon

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I noticed some comments in the referenced threads asking about the length of the Westcott 54 inch demonstrator. There’s not too much to go on;- From C Gibson’s “It weighed in at 4,300kg and the case was helically welded steel and the charge was CD119.“
Could it related the Cheveline?
Way too early.
 

Archibald

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Chevaline... such a weird name. For a french speaker, "chevaline" is the word used for butchers specialized in *horse meat*.

As in "Boucherie chevaline". "Chevaline = (nuclear) butchering", kind of.
 

Zoo Tycoon

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1968 Mao gets a meeting of the PRC top nuclear scientists and tell them about a bold idea of his.

"We could get ten guys with ten suitcase nukes and blast Moscow, Paris, New York, L.A and some other decadent imperialist cities. Any objection to my bold plan ?"

"Oh no, great leader. Fantastic ideas" they all congrulate him. Except for a small chap with thick glasses who dares to rise an objection.

"Great leader, your plan is great, but we can't make it happen."

Mao snaps "Whaaaat, any lack of candidates ?"

"No, no problem, slaps your finger, we get ten million men willing to brings the suitcase nukes."

"So, what's the problem ? can't you build suitcase nukes ?"

"Oh, no problem there."

"So what the problem in the end, you miserable worm ?"

"It about the suitcases, great leader. No way we can find ten of them in the entire PRC."

----------------
Another good one "Before Mao come the PRC was standing at the edge of an abyss. Luckily enough, then was The Great Leap Forward."
----------------
I don’t understand North Korea fascination with rockets/submarines etc to deliver thier nuclear weapons, very last century;- If it were me, I would just DHL it, with a GPS hooked up to arduino to pop it off at the delivery address......simples.
Sorry for the drift.
 
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Zoo Tycoon

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Also note that the Chinese got their A-bomb in '64 thus 4 years after Gerboise Bleue (1960). Yet in a stunning - and mostly unexplicable - twist, they detonated a H-bomb only three years later ! You guess, De Gaulle was incensed, and French nuclear scientists working on Canopus got a very bad time.
Canopus was finally detonated in August 1968 in Moruroa, 14 months after the chinese did it. How did they pull it o

I guess the scientists not attempting to nuke the politicians helped. I do wonder what effect the disaster with the 62 Beryl shot had on the working environment within in the French program.

 

uk 75

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This is proving a fascinating thread (I apologise for the tone of some of my comments which got a bit snitty).
The Fremch angle is very interesting.
 

PMN1

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When was it established that warheads could be lightened and miniaturised compared to the initial designs?
 

Archibald

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Also note that the Chinese got their A-bomb in '64 thus 4 years after Gerboise Bleue (1960). Yet in a stunning - and mostly unexplicable - twist, they detonated a H-bomb only three years later ! You guess, De Gaulle was incensed, and French nuclear scientists working on Canopus got a very bad time.
Canopus was finally detonated in August 1968 in Moruroa, 14 months after the chinese did it. How did they pull it o

I guess the scientists not attempting to nuke the politicians helped. I do wonder what effect the disaster with the 62 Beryl shot had on the working environment within in the French program.


As we say in French "il y avait béryl en la demeure, ce jour là " (more or less translates as "this was a béryl-ous nuclear test, don't you think ?)

Well Pierre Messmer, french minister of defense, while taking a hefty dose of radioactivity that day, lived 45 more years, up to 2007. He must have glow in the dark, a little.
Otherwise, indeed, it was one hell of a quagmire.
 

Archibald

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1968 Mao gets a meeting of the PRC top nuclear scientists and tell them about a bold idea of his.

"We could get ten guys with ten suitcase nukes and blast Moscow, Paris, New York, L.A and some other decadent imperialist cities. Any objection to my bold plan ?"

"Oh no, great leader. Fantastic ideas" they all congrulate him. Except for a small chap with thick glasses who dares to rise an objection.

"Great leader, your plan is great, but we can't make it happen."

Mao snaps "Whaaaat, any lack of candidates ?"

"No, no problem, slaps your finger, we get ten million men willing to brings the suitcase nukes."

"So, what's the problem ? can't you build suitcase nukes ?"

"Oh, no problem there."

"So what the problem in the end, you miserable worm ?"

"It about the suitcases, great leader. No way we can find ten of them in the entire PRC."

----------------
Another good one "Before Mao come the PRC was standing at the edge of an abyss. Luckily enough, then was The Great Leap Forward."
----------------
I don’t understand North Korea fascination with rockets/submarines etc to deliver thier nuclear weapons, very last century;- If it were me, I would just DHL it, with a GPS hooked up to arduino to pop it off at the delivery address......simples.
Sorry for the drift.

I'm responsible for the said drift, in the first place...
 

JFC Fuller

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A few actual events:

The Royal Navy was writing papers about what a UK Polaris SSBN fleet would look like in late 1959
Blue Streak was formerly cancelled in April 1960
At a meeting to discuss the Skybolt warhead in May 1960 several UK lightweight warheads were mentioned
A 54 inch solid motor was fired at Westcott in June 1965
HMS Resolution fired her first Polaris missile in February 1968

With that in mind, perhaps we could imagine, in a world of higher funding and different decisions, instead of adopting Skybolt after the cancellation of Blue Streak and Blue Steel Mk.II a UK solid fuel SLBM is pursued and is ultimately able to enter service on roughly the same timeline as Polaris did with the RN. Given the ranges required from a missile to reach targets in Russia proper from the UK such a missile could be bi-service, with some deployed in silos in Eastern England as part of Bomber Command in addition to those deployed on RN submarines from Scotland.
 
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zen

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A few actual events:

The Royal Navy was writing papers about what a UK Polaris SSBN fleet would look like in late 1959
Blue Streak was formerly cancelled in April 1960.
At a meeting to discuss the Skybolt warhead in May 1960 several UK lightweight warheads are discussed
A 54 inch solid motor is fired at Westcott in June 1965
HMS Resolution fires her first Polaris missile in February 1968

With that in mind, perhaps we could imagine, in a world of higher funding and different decisions, instead of adopting Skybolt after the cancellation of Blue Streak and Blue Steel Mk.II a UK solid fuel SLBM is pursued and is ultimately able to enter service on roughly the same timeline as Polaris did with the RN. Given the ranges required from a missile to reach targets in Russia proper from the UK such a missile could be bi-service, with some deployed in silos in Eastern England as part of Bomber Command in addition to those deployed on RN submarines from Scotland.
I think that's one outcome.
What might make it possible even with OTL wider financial constraints is just down to a series of small-ish Alternative Events.
Rocket fuel.
Warhead development.
Submarines

That said warhead designers were not communicating to anyone much and this caused some issues with the V-Bomber designers.

Curious thought.....wouldn't the design and cost of a silo be less, if it's designed around something like Polaris?
What makes the Blue Streak silo design expensive is both the size of the missile (volume of concrete needed) and the ancillary equipment (also needing lots of concrete to house it). Something like Polaris could maje a limited number of silos affordable.
What would support this is the inherently greater accuracy achievable with a fixed site.

This might....spiral into a tri-service program, but hit the buffers in '65 and only the SSBN continues.
 

uk 75

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The Wikipedia entry is well worth a look. One point that energes is the key role of the dynamic Earl Mountbatten. If you get him involved earlier you can make your scenarios happen. Another key would be to get British companies nore effectively organised. We had the engineering know how but we lacked the management skills of the USA.
 

zen

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December 1949 studies commence on naval nuclear powerplants.
Submarine propulsion research suspended in 1952.
'54 concludes not possible until 60's.

17 January '55 Nautilus operational.

March '54 Defence Research Policy Committee Report considers Submarine Launched Missiles.

April '55 Mountbatten FSL
June '55 nuclear submarine program secured.
August Admiral Burke CoNO.

57 Westinghouse permitted to sell reactor.
58 UKUSA-MDA
May 58 liaison officer from RN into Polaris program.

So....a champion earlier wouldn't let suspension of nuclear powerplants for vessels stop and specifically for submarines in 1952. Blockers would face humiliation in '55 when USN shows them up.
An intervention from Churchill might shift things...

As was, RN wasn't keen on liquid rockets as per Sea Slug....
 
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CNH

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Actually, there was quite a lot of work going on by the Navy at Harwell in the mid-1950s. If I may quote from my book, "An Atomic Empire":

A Naval Section was then set up at Harwell with Captain Harrison-Smith as Senior Naval Representative. This section was gradually expanded, so that by the autumn of 1955, there were 12 staff working on the project, but by 1957, there were 16 members of the Royal Naval Scientific Service, 14 employees from Rolls Royce, 22 from Vickers, 5 from Foster-Wheeler, 6 Naval officers, 1 Constructor Officer, and 3 Draughtsman attached to the Naval Section, with 40 AERE Scientific and Experimental grades and around 23 similar grades working in the Industrial Group at Risley. Including members of staff working in the Admiralty Design Department, a total of around 160 professional staff were involved.


There was also considerable work going on concerning pressurised water reactors. There is a very lengthy paper in the National Archives describing the work that was done.
 

PMN1

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A few actual events:

The Royal Navy was writing papers about what a UK Polaris SSBN fleet would look like in late 1959
Blue Streak was formerly cancelled in April 1960.
At a meeting to discuss the Skybolt warhead in May 1960 several UK lightweight warheads are discussed
A 54 inch solid motor is fired at Westcott in June 1965
HMS Resolution fires her first Polaris missile in February 1968

With that in mind, perhaps we could imagine, in a world of higher funding and different decisions, instead of adopting Skybolt after the cancellation of Blue Streak and Blue Steel Mk.II a UK solid fuel SLBM is pursued and is ultimately able to enter service on roughly the same timeline as Polaris did with the RN. Given the ranges required from a missile to reach targets in Russia proper from the UK such a missile could be bi-service, with some deployed in silos in Eastern England as part of Bomber Command in addition to those deployed on RN submarines from Scotland.
I think that's one outcome.
What might make it possible even with OTL wider financial constraints is just down to a series of small-ish Alternative Events.
Rocket fuel.
Warhead development.
Submarines

That said warhead designers were not communicating to anyone much and this caused some issues with the V-Bomber designers.

Curious thought.....wouldn't the design and cost of a silo be less, if it's designed around something like Polaris?
What makes the Blue Streak silo design expensive is both the size of the missile (volume of concrete needed) and the ancillary equipment (also needing lots of concrete to house it). Something like Polaris could maje a limited number of silos affordable.
What would support this is the inherently greater accuracy achievable with a fixed site.

This might....spiral into a tri-service program, but hit the buffers in '65 and only the SSBN continues.

Presumably a land based silo that is going to launch a missile that will also be launched by a submarine, or surface ship, will be different from one that would launch a missile that was only to be launched from a land based silo?
 

zen

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A few actual events:

The Royal Navy was writing papers about what a UK Polaris SSBN fleet would look like in late 1959
Blue Streak was formerly cancelled in April 1960.
At a meeting to discuss the Skybolt warhead in May 1960 several UK lightweight warheads are discussed
A 54 inch solid motor is fired at Westcott in June 1965
HMS Resolution fires her first Polaris missile in February 1968

With that in mind, perhaps we could imagine, in a world of higher funding and different decisions, instead of adopting Skybolt after the cancellation of Blue Streak and Blue Steel Mk.II a UK solid fuel SLBM is pursued and is ultimately able to enter service on roughly the same timeline as Polaris did with the RN. Given the ranges required from a missile to reach targets in Russia proper from the UK such a missile could be bi-service, with some deployed in silos in Eastern England as part of Bomber Command in addition to those deployed on RN submarines from Scotland.
I think that's one outcome.
What might make it possible even with OTL wider financial constraints is just down to a series of small-ish Alternative Events.
Rocket fuel.
Warhead development.
Submarines

That said warhead designers were not communicating to anyone much and this caused some issues with the V-Bomber designers.

Curious thought.....wouldn't the design and cost of a silo be less, if it's designed around something like Polaris?
What makes the Blue Streak silo design expensive is both the size of the missile (volume of concrete needed) and the ancillary equipment (also needing lots of concrete to house it). Something like Polaris could maje a limited number of silos affordable.
What would support this is the inherently greater accuracy achievable with a fixed site.

This might....spiral into a tri-service program, but hit the buffers in '65 and only the SSBN continues.

Presumably a land based silo that is going to launch a missile that will also be launched by a submarine, or surface ship, will be different from one that would launch a missile that was only to be launched from a land based silo?
At least some early SSBN designs had to surface before launching. So it's not a given
 

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Actually, there was quite a lot of work going on by the Navy at Harwell in the mid-1950s. If I may quote from my book, "An Atomic Empire":

A Naval Section was then set up at Harwell with Captain Harrison-Smith as Senior Naval Representative. This section was gradually expanded, so that by the autumn of 1955, there were 12 staff working on the project, but by 1957, there were 16 members of the Royal Naval Scientific Service, 14 employees from Rolls Royce, 22 from Vickers, 5 from Foster-Wheeler, 6 Naval officers, 1 Constructor Officer, and 3 Draughtsman attached to the Naval Section, with 40 AERE Scientific and Experimental grades and around 23 similar grades working in the Industrial Group at Risley. Including members of staff working in the Admiralty Design Department, a total of around 160 professional staff were involved.


There was also considerable work going on concerning pressurised water reactors. There is a very lengthy paper in the National Archives describing the work that was done.
This rather suggests that this AH scenario is quite realistic. OTL things were progressing in the right direction, but needed more effort earlier.
What would fundamentally make it possible is the Blue Streak effort to have moved over to solid fuel and the projection of a lightweight warhead.

Irony in the Jupiter rocket effort is the alternative solid fuel rocket scheme using 40" diameter rockets.
Massive in comparison to Polaris, but once fuel and warhead development feeds in, things radically shift.
 

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The trouble is that the Blue Streak design was frozen in 1955. We certainly didn't have the expertise to develop a solid fuel version in 1955.

In addition, we didn't know how to make a proper fusion device, let alone a light weight one.
 

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What is the status of Stirling engines at this time for possible use in submarines?
 
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