British Trident System

The United Kingdom is one of eight, probably nine nuclear powers. (Israel has never confirmed that it has tested/operates nuclear weapons.) Unlike most countries, the UK only uses one delivery system to operate its weapons: submarines using Trident ballistic missiles.

A triad power is a country with all three delivery systems
A triad power is a country with all three delivery systems

The British Trident system became an issue in the coalition government. While it was supported by both the previous Labour government and the Conservatives, the programme had to be reviewed per the coalition agreement. The review has been completed and it will be made public. But to explain to the public how Trident works, the BBC created this graphic. It does a really good job of showing the reach of the British submarines from one location, but then showing why an adequate replacement would need at least three to four submarines.

The British Trident programme
The British Trident programme

Credit for the Trident graphic goes to the BBC. The table is my own work.

Author: Brendan Barry

I am a graphic designer who focuses on information design. My day job? I am the data visualisation manager for the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. (This blog is my something I do on my own time and does not represent the views of the Fed, blah blah blah legal stuff.) And with my main interest in information design—be it in the shape of clear charts, maps, diagrams, or wayfinding systems—I am fortunate that my day job focuses on data visualisation. Outside of work, I try to stay busy with personal design work. Away from the world of design, I enjoy cooking and reading and am interested in various subjects from history and geography to politics to science to the arts. And I allow all of them to influence my work.

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