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Salient. Victoria University Students' Newspaper. Volume 39, Number 25. October 4, 1976

The New Threat - The Trident

The New Threat - The Trident

The Trident sub will carry 24 missiles, each with a range of up to 6000 miles, and each with up to 24 independently targetable warheads. One Trident sub will thus be able to destroy 408 targets. The U.S. Navy is initially building ten Tridents, and they will be based at Puget Sound between Vancouver and Seattle. The entire fleet will operate in the Pacific. The 6000 mile range of the missiles means that the subs will be able to operate almost anywhere in the Pacific and still be in range of thier Soviet Targets.

The official reason for putting Trident in the Pacific is to "confront an enemy with a need for a large two-ocean anti-submarine warfare capability counter force". In other words, this means a major new escalation of the arms race. And so Soviet anti-submarine forces will range all the way down to New Zealand.

The present visits by nuclear warships are obviously a first step towards softening public resistance in N.Z. before the day the Trident submarine visits one of our ports. Or before the day that the US seeks to establish back-up facilities, storage facilities, command and communication bases for nuclear weapon delivery systems and so on.