Fallon rejects missile misfire towards US, says nuke deterrent is fine
Iran Press TV
Mon Jan 23, 2017 8:29PM
Britain rejects reports that a missile was misfired, possibly towards the United States, during a test of its nuclear weapons last year.
On Monday, British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon hit back a Sunday Times article, making the allegation, yet he refused to get into the details.
"Contrary to reports in the weekend press, HMS Vengeance and her crew were successfully tested," he told lawmakers at the House of Commons. "We do not comment on the detail of submarine operations."
He further asserted that "the capability and effectiveness of the UK's independent nuclear deterrent is not in doubt."
In June 2015, a British submarine off the coast of Florida launched the Trident II D5 missile towards a target in West Africa, but it apparently veered off in the wrong direction towards the US.
After Fallon's remarks, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND ) accused him of covering up the crisis.
"The cover-up continues. Michael Fallon has refused today to answer why Parliament wasn't told about the Trident Missile Crisis and he has rebuffed calls for greater transparency, ignoring an invitation to appear at the Defense Committee," said Kate Hudson, the CND general secretary. "It's clear the government cannot be trusted to tell MPs and public the truth about the crisis. That's why CND is calling for a Trident inquiry."
Prime Minister Theresa May has been briefed about the matter, according to a Downing Street spokeswoman, but she dodged questions about her knowledge of the malfunction at the time during a BBC interview.
Not a premier at the time, May played a key role in getting MPs to approve a project to replace the ageing submarines, carrying the country's nuclear arsenal.
"This debacle also calls into question the legitimacy of the parliamentary vote on Trident replacement that took place in July 2016. MPs should have been told about the safety and reliability issues with the Trident system before they committed to spending £205 billion on a new version of the same technology," Hudson said.
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