Trident alternatives

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Trident alternatives

Post by JimBentley » Tue Oct 06, 2015 10:04 pm

As some of you will know, Jeremy Corbyn recently stated that he wouldn't employ Trident (the UK's nuclear deterrent) under any circumstances and was roundly attacked for it. I don't really understand why. Trident can only be realistically used as a retaliatory device, in which case half the UK population would already be dead and it could only be looked at as sour grapes, or as an aggressive device, and I simply can't imagine any UK Prime Minister - however warmongering and mad - being the one to be remembered as the guy (or gal) who independently started a nuclear war.

(I can't verify this, but apparently when you are sworn in as Prime Minister, you have to sign a letter detailing what to do in the event of a nuclear strike on the UK, if the PM and designated deputy are both dead. The choices are (1) Use Trident missiles in a retaliatory strike, (2) Use your judgment depending on circumstance and (3) Do not fire the missiles under any circumstances. According to what I've heard and read over the years, all PMs so far have gone for option (3), so at least Corbyn's being honest).

Anyway, I got to thinking about Trident and its general usefulness and as it looks as though it's going to be renewed at a total cost of £100 billion pounds (over 20 or 30 years, depending on which unreliable media source you believe).

Trident pros

- The ultimate deterrent against perceived threats
- Mega status symbol - only three other countries (USA, Russia, Israel) can claim larger nuclear arsenals
- Employs 600 people directly and thousands more gain from supply chain, increased spending power etc.
- Can blow up the world six times over (dubious one this, but some people see it as good)

Trident cons

- Can't realistically ever be used
- Isn't really an independent deterrent as we need the USA's approval to launch it, except in extreme circumstances
- It isn't actually serviced in the UK, so a large part of that £100 billion goes to the USA, who service the missiles
- Can blow up the world six times over (dubious one this, but some people see it as bad)

Given the above assumptions, I thought, you know, Trident isn't much fun. It's boring. If we're going to have a military deterrent that costs £100 billion pounds, then I think it should at least provide entertainment value. Therefore I propose that Trident be replaced by a giant solid gold statue of David Cameron that fires powerful lasers out of its eyes. It would float round the world dishing out HARSH JUSTICE to the enemies of the UK.

Giant Solid Gold Statue of David Cameron Floating Around The World Firing Lasers Out Of Its Eyes - pros

- Unique deterrent against perceived threats
- Can be used at will without causing collateral damage
- Greatest status symbol EVER
- All workers on the Trident project would transfer to the Giant Solid Gold Statue of David Cameron Floating Around The World Firing Lasers Out Of Its Eyes project, so there would be no loss of jobs and therefore no knock-on effect to the wider economy
- Lots more workers (goldmiths, sculptors, etc,) would be needed to actually fashion the Giant Solid Gold Statue of David Cameron Floating Around The World Firing Lasers Out Of Its Eyes, so it would create employment far in excess of Trident
- All maintenance of the Giant Solid Gold Statue of David Cameron Floating Around The World Firing Lasers Out Of Its Eyes would be carried out in the UK, so at least keeping the spending within the UK economy

Giant Solid Gold Statue of David Cameron Floating Around The World Firing Lasers Out Of Its Eyes - cons

- Can't really blow up the entire world anymore
- Will be superseded by the Giant Solid Gold Statue of Vladimir Putin Floating Around The World Firing Lasers Out Of Its Eyes
- Um, that's about it

Anyway, it's not so simple as that. At the start I assumed that I could spend most of the £100 billion on pure gold for the Giant Solid Gold Statue of David Cameron Floating Around The World Firing Lasers Out Of Its Eyes, but even with my rough calculations, complications ensure that you can only spend about 60% on the actual gold content. And then I got a bit out of my depth so I thought I'd put this out there so that cleverer people can help me with this frankly ridiculous concept.

What I have so far:

- Assume you can get wholesale gold at £1,000 per ounce, you can buy 100,000,000 ounces for £100 billion, or about 3,000 metric tonnes
- Density of gold is about 20,000kg/cubic metre, so that's only about 150 cubic metres of gold
- So even if you used all the money on the gold, the statue could only really be about 25m high, based on a 2m x 3m base, not that impressive
- What really needs to be done is a volumetric assessment of David Cameron, to get a more realistic figure of the volume required
- I'm not certain that the UK owns a boat that can realistically float 3,000 tons around very quickly, given the necessarily small footprint of the Giant Solid Gold Statue of David Cameron Floating Around The World Firing Lasers Out Of Its Eyes. It may have to be reconfigured into a Buddha-type figure with a very large base to spread the weight
- It might be more economical to actually construct a new custom vessel with sufficient buoyancy to hold the Giant Solid Gold Statue of David Cameron Floating Around The World Firing Lasers Out Of Its Eyes upright at a lot less cost
- Don't forget the lasers (Firing Out Of Its Eyes) are going to cost at least £500 million

I don't really have the mental capacity any more to pursue all this to its conclusion anymore, but maybe someone else would like a proper go at it.

P.S. If you don't like the Giant Solid Gold Statue of David Cameron Floating Around The World Firing Lasers Out Of Its Eyes project, I have others, such as the Giant Solid Gold Amphibious Vessel of George Osborne Combing The Ocean Depths (And Firing Torpedoes Out Of Its Eyes) or my personal favourite project, the Giant Inflatable Teresa May Balloon Flying Around The World Firing Lasers Out Of Its Eyes, but I've not really thought about costing any of these yet.

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Re: Trident alternatives

Post by Gavin Chipper » Tue Oct 06, 2015 10:43 pm

It doesn't have to be solid gold. It can be something cheaper - say, plastic. People often call people they think are fake "plastic", so I think this would be a perfect metaphor for a politician who has no real convictions and whose policies are purely what he thinks will keep him in power and make him popular. Also, since he accidentally said that he's not going to serve another term as Prime Minister (even though he has also said he's going to serve this term fully so presumably will stand down as soon as Parliament is dissolved, giving the new leader just a few weeks to sort themselves out - what a twat), the plastic model can be discarded and replaced with a model of our new Prime Minister (made of whatever substance is metaphorically appropriate - e.g. jelly for Boris Johnson) with the lasers transferred from one to the other. It would make no sense to still have a solid gold David Cameron floating around years after he's gone.

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Re: Trident alternatives

Post by JimBentley » Tue Oct 06, 2015 10:49 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:It doesn't have to be solid gold. It can be something cheaper - say, plastic. People often call people they think are fake "plastic", so I think this would be a perfect metaphor for a politician who has no real convictions and whose policies are purely what he thinks will keep him in power and make him popular. Also, since he accidentally said that he's not going to serve another term as Prime Minister (even though he has also said he's going to serve this term fully so presumably will stand down as soon as Parliament is dissolved, giving the new leader just a few weeks to sort themselves out - what a twat), the plastic model can be discarded and replaced with a model of our new Prime Minister (made of whatever substance is metaphorically appropriate - e.g. jelly for Boris Johnson) with the lasers transferred from one to the other. It would make no sense to still have a solid gold David Cameron floating around years after he's gone.
This is exactly the sort of thing I'm looking for. Of course, the plastic statue could be a lot bigger but I still think it would need to appear to be solid gold, so you could just paint it gold. But don't forget that the giant lasers (Firing Out Of Its Eyes) would be so heavy that they would profoundly unbalance a plastic statue of that size, again necessitating a wider Buddha-style base. Maybe all the buoyancy could be underwater, with the bottom half of the Statue submerged?

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Re: Trident alternatives

Post by Gavin Chipper » Tue Oct 06, 2015 10:57 pm

It's also worth pointing out that the case for a Laser-firing David Cameron statue is stronger than the case for renewing Trident. There are very few nuclear weapons countries, so one argument for the UK keeping theirs is that the failure to do so would put proportionally a lot more responsibility on countries like America and France. However, there are currently zero - yes ZERO - countries that use the Laser-firing statue alternative, so if you look at it that way, that's an infinite amount of responsibility per Laser-firing statue country. Having just one (the UK) would massively reduce this burden.

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Re: Trident alternatives

Post by JimBentley » Tue Oct 06, 2015 11:08 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:It's also worth pointing out that the case for a Laser-firing David Cameron statue is stronger than the case for renewing Trident. There are very few nuclear weapons countries, so one argument for the UK keeping theirs is that the failure to do so would put proportionally a lot more responsibility on countries like America and France. However, there are currently zero - yes ZERO - countries that use the Laser-firing statue alternative, so if you look at it that way, that's an infinite amount of responsibility per Laser-firing statue country. Having just one (the UK) would massively reduce this burden.
This is absolutely true. Plus at the end of the Giant Solid Gold Statue of David Cameron Floating Around The World Firing Lasers Out Of Its Eyes era, the gold could be reclaimed and reformed into an equally useless status symbol, like a solid gold snake, with the head of Jeremy Hunt, which would roam the countryside mowing down ill people with its giant poison tongue. This is in stark constrast to the Trident technology, which was out of date before it was even built and will cost fuckloads to isolate and recommission. Honestly, I think I should be in charge of all this shit.

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Re: Trident alternatives

Post by Mark Deeks » Wed Oct 07, 2015 7:06 am

JimBentley wrote:
Gavin Chipper wrote:It doesn't have to be solid gold. It can be something cheaper - say, plastic. People often call people they think are fake "plastic", so I think this would be a perfect metaphor for a politician who has no real convictions and whose policies are purely what he thinks will keep him in power and make him popular. Also, since he accidentally said that he's not going to serve another term as Prime Minister (even though he has also said he's going to serve this term fully so presumably will stand down as soon as Parliament is dissolved, giving the new leader just a few weeks to sort themselves out - what a twat), the plastic model can be discarded and replaced with a model of our new Prime Minister (made of whatever substance is metaphorically appropriate - e.g. jelly for Boris Johnson) with the lasers transferred from one to the other. It would make no sense to still have a solid gold David Cameron floating around years after he's gone.
This is exactly the sort of thing I'm looking for. Of course, the plastic statue could be a lot bigger but I still think it would need to appear to be solid gold, so you could just paint it gold. But don't forget that the giant lasers (Firing Out Of Its Eyes) would be so heavy that they would profoundly unbalance a plastic statue of that size, again necessitating a wider Buddha-style base. Maybe all the buoyancy could be underwater, with the bottom half of the Statue submerged?
Put half a hundredweight of rump steak in the base, that should sort it.
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Re: Trident alternatives

Post by JimBentley » Wed Oct 07, 2015 1:14 pm

Mark Deeks wrote:Put half a hundredweight of rump steak in the base, that should sort it.
More blue-sky thinking like this is needed if we're going to get this project off the ground. I'm going to work on a prototype design, I think, using my hitherto-hidden technical and artistic skills. Of course I shall use the industry standard software to create this blueprint, which is of course MS Paint.

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Re: Trident alternatives

Post by JimBentley » Tue Jan 05, 2016 12:59 pm

I know I'm doing a bit of a meakin here, but has anyone seen this pathetic ripoff of my idea? It's not even made of solid gold for fuck's sake and - although I haven't got all the blueprints yet - it doesn't even seem to fire anything out of its eyes, never mind highly advanced laser products.

Thinking of suing under intellectual property rights legislation, but I don't really know how they work over international boundaries. We must have someone in the legal profession here who can advise? Or at least someone who can pretend to know about such things and make something up?

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Re: Trident alternatives

Post by Jon Corby » Tue Jan 05, 2016 1:34 pm

Entrepreneurs and villagers in Henan’s Tongxu county reportedly began construction on their Mao tribute in March last year

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Re: Trident alternatives

Post by JimBentley » Tue Jan 05, 2016 1:57 pm

Jon Corby wrote:
Entrepreneurs and villagers in Henan’s Tongxu county reportedly began construction on their Mao tribute in March last year
I would have stressed the word "reportedly" there.

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Re: Trident alternatives

Post by Jon Corby » Tue Jan 05, 2016 3:16 pm

Whatever, you don't knock up a 37m tall gold statue of Mao in less than three months - believe me, I've tried.

Besides, we all know that you were blatantly just posturing for some kind of "eye" joke, you massive racist.

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Re: Trident alternatives

Post by JimBentley » Tue Jan 05, 2016 3:44 pm

Jon Corby wrote:Whatever, you don't knock up a 37m tall gold statue of Mao in less than three months - believe me, I've tried.

Besides, we all know that you were blatantly just posturing for some kind of "eye" joke, you massive racist.
You're quite right, I've never actually knocked up any statues at all, as such a thing would be anatomically impossible (I am of course using the term in the Carry On sense) and even if it were, any offspring would surely have to be destroyed.

And any "eye" jokes would only have worked had Mao been Japanese, and then only dubiously, unless you're Prince Philip.

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Re: Trident alternatives

Post by Gavin Chipper » Tue Jan 05, 2016 7:12 pm

JimBentley wrote:
Jon Corby wrote:Whatever, you don't knock up a 37m tall gold statue of Mao in less than three months - believe me, I've tried.

Besides, we all know that you were blatantly just posturing for some kind of "eye" joke, you massive racist.
You're quite right, I've never actually knocked up any statues at all, as such a thing would be anatomically impossible (I am of course using the term in the Carry On sense) and even if it were, any offspring would surely have to be destroyed.
Even it you weren't using the term in that sense, the laws of entropy would suggest that it's far less likely that you'd be able to knock up a statue than knock one down.

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Re: Trident alternatives

Post by Gavin Chipper » Tue Jan 05, 2016 7:14 pm

Jon Corby wrote:Whatever, you don't knock up a 37m tall gold statue of Mao in less than three months - believe me, I've tried.
Where does three months come from?

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Re: Trident alternatives

Post by JimBentley » Tue Jan 05, 2016 9:59 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Jon Corby wrote:Whatever, you don't knock up a 37m tall gold statue of Mao in less than three months - believe me, I've tried.
Where does three months come from?
Ignore him, Jon, he's trying to deflect you from the real issue, as one would expect from someone who I have it on good authority from an unspecified source is good friends with both Brooks Newmark and Simon Danczuk.

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Re: Trident alternatives

Post by Jon Corby » Tue Jan 05, 2016 11:32 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Jon Corby wrote:Whatever, you don't knock up a 37m tall gold statue of Mao in less than three months - believe me, I've tried.
Where does three months come from?
Three months since Jim started this thread. For them to have stolen his idea, as accused, they would have had three months. It's not rocket sculpture, mate.

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Re: Trident alternatives

Post by Gavin Chipper » Wed Jan 06, 2016 12:02 am

JimBentley wrote:Ignore him, Jon, he's trying to deflect you from the real issue, as one would expect from someone who I have it on good authority from an unspecified source is good friends with both Brooks Newmark and Simon Danczuk.
No, but I am acquainted with James Cleverly. I had a dream about him the other day. He was standing outside on his own (I suppose I was observing him through the aether in some way) and there was an eclipse of the sun (I don't think it was a total eclipse actually but a mostly eclipse). He was really confused by it and didn't know what was going on. Then after a while he decided it must have been some sort of astronomical event like Jupiter going behind the sun.

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Re: Trident alternatives

Post by Gavin Chipper » Wed Jan 06, 2016 12:06 am

Jon Corby wrote:
Gavin Chipper wrote:
Jon Corby wrote:Whatever, you don't knock up a 37m tall gold statue of Mao in less than three months - believe me, I've tried.
Where does three months come from?
Three months since Jim started this thread. For them to have stolen his idea, as accused, they would have had three months. It's not rocket sculpture, mate.
I thought you were basing it on the comment that they started it in March last year. As in "March is the third month of the year and we're at the beginning of the year now so that's three months ago". It's your sort of thinking.

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Re: Trident alternatives

Post by JimBentley » Wed Jan 06, 2016 2:43 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:No, but I am acquainted with James Cleverly. I had a dream about him the other day.
Bloody hell, I thought I was bad when Laura Kuenssberg appeared to me in a dream (although she only really had a bit part and no, that sounds like a euphemism but unusually for me, is not). I forgot what she was saying, something about Jeremy Corbyn being Bad, I think, and how awful his decisions have been so far, until the next decisions he makes, which will be worse. Something like that, I don't recall dreams well, I'm afraid.

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Re: Trident alternatives

Post by JimBentley » Fri Jan 08, 2016 1:42 pm

ONCE AGAIN I TRIUMPH.

Truly the powers of the c4c forum know no bounds.

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Re: Trident alternatives

Post by Jon Corby » Fri Jan 08, 2016 1:57 pm

Reports on twitter that it was destroyed by a floating gold David Cameron have yet to be confirmed though.

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Re: Trident alternatives

Post by JimBentley » Fri Jan 08, 2016 6:02 pm

Jon Corby wrote:Reports on twitter that it was destroyed by a floating gold David Cameron have yet to be confirmed though.
Tbh I gave up on that idea as well. My history with this sort of thing isn't good, so I decided to take myself out of the race (I remembered my robot lawnmower that wasn't very good at mowing lawns but was really good at knocking down fences and catching on fire).

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Re: Trident alternatives

Post by Jon Corby » Fri Jan 08, 2016 6:17 pm

JimBentley wrote:
Jon Corby wrote:Reports on twitter that it was destroyed by a floating gold David Cameron have yet to be confirmed though.
Tbh I gave up on that idea as well. My history with this sort of thing isn't good, so I decided to take myself out of the race (I remembered my robot lawnmower that wasn't very good at mowing lawns but was really good at knocking down fences and catching on fire).
It still sold pretty well though in the Chinese Henan province though, from what I recall.

Hey, wait a minute...

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Re: Trident alternatives

Post by JimBentley » Sat Jan 16, 2016 4:46 pm

Has any actual credence been given to just pretending to upgrade Trident? I know it's been mentioned here and there but only ever as a joke. But why not? Who would know? All the people who work on it would still be paid as normal and they wouldn't have to do anything, so there'd be no loss of jobs. In fact, as there's only about 8,000 of them (even if you take into account ancillary operations) you could give them all a million quid to do nothing for 20 years and still save billions of pounds in the future. And who cares if one or dozens of them (as inevitably would happen) let on that the UK had no active nuclear capability? Nothing would happen.

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Re: Trident alternatives

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sat Jan 16, 2016 9:16 pm

JimBentley wrote:Has any actual credence been given to just pretending to upgrade Trident? I know it's been mentioned here and there but only ever as a joke. But why not? Who would know? All the people who work on it would still be paid as normal and they wouldn't have to do anything, so there'd be no loss of jobs. In fact, as there's only about 8,000 of them (even if you take into account ancillary operations) you could give them all a million quid to do nothing for 20 years and still save billions of pounds in the future. And who cares if one or dozens of them (as inevitably would happen) let on that the UK had no active nuclear capability? Nothing would happen.
But then what would happen if you got to the point where you actually had to kill everyone in the world?* You'd look pretty silly then.

*People are prone to exaggeration when it comes to nuclear weapons. I'd be very surprised indeed if a nuclear war meant the death of everyone on the planet, but no-one gives sensible answers to questions. Those against Trident should really start asking for specifics in debates. How powerful actually is it? What are reasonable circumstances for its use? (They do sometimes ask the latter.) But when they inevitably get fobbed off, they really need to drive the point home about how this would not be acceptable in any other argument and how people bandy around stuff about national security without anything specific to back up the claim. Also what about the 190 countries or so without nuclear weapons? Are they all doomed?

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Re: Trident alternatives

Post by JimBentley » Sun Jan 17, 2016 7:18 pm

I've thought of a new alternative weapon now. Basically it would be an amphibious 100 metre diameter virtually solid steel sphere (like a massive ball bearing) with spikes mounted all over it. In the centre would be like a control module or something that could be operated by remote control, enabling the Giant Spiked Sphere to roll all around the world - through oceans, across mountains - meting out justice to bad guys (i.e. people in countries who won't buy our weapons or give us oil for free). Of course there'd be some collateral damage were the Sphere ever to be used on a centre of human habitation but I'm sure that would help with its deterrent properties.

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Re: Trident alternatives

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sun Jan 17, 2016 7:53 pm

JimBentley wrote:Has any actual credence been given to just pretending to upgrade Trident? I know it's been mentioned here and there but only ever as a joke. But why not? Who would know? All the people who work on it would still be paid as normal and they wouldn't have to do anything, so there'd be no loss of jobs. In fact, as there's only about 8,000 of them (even if you take into account ancillary operations) you could give them all a million quid to do nothing for 20 years and still save billions of pounds in the future. And who cares if one or dozens of them (as inevitably would happen) let on that the UK had no active nuclear capability? Nothing would happen.
Maybe that's what already happens?

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Re: Trident alternatives

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sun Jan 17, 2016 7:53 pm

JimBentley wrote:I've thought of a new alternative weapon now. Basically it would be an amphibious 100 metre diameter virtually solid steel sphere (like a massive ball bearing) with spikes mounted all over it. In the centre would be like a control module or something that could be operated by remote control, enabling the Giant Spiked Sphere to roll all around the world - through oceans, across mountains - meting out justice to bad guys (i.e. people in countries who won't buy our weapons or give us oil for free). Of course there'd be some collateral damage were the Sphere ever to be used on a centre of human habitation but I'm sure that would help with its deterrent properties.
How many spikes? How long are they relative to the diameter of the sphere?

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Re: Trident alternatives

Post by JimBentley » Sun Jan 17, 2016 8:32 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
JimBentley wrote:I've thought of a new alternative weapon now. Basically it would be an amphibious 100 metre diameter virtually solid steel sphere (like a massive ball bearing) with spikes mounted all over it. In the centre would be like a control module or something that could be operated by remote control, enabling the Giant Spiked Sphere to roll all around the world - through oceans, across mountains - meting out justice to bad guys (i.e. people in countries who won't buy our weapons or give us oil for free). Of course there'd be some collateral damage were the Sphere ever to be used on a centre of human habitation but I'm sure that would help with its deterrent properties.
How many spikes? How long are they relative to the diameter of the sphere?
I'm thinking the spikes will be retractable but could potentially extend to a length of twenty metres or more (one-fifth diameter), but for usual travel they would only be about four metres (one twenty-fifth diameter) or so. Oh, and there'd be about 96 of them.

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Re: Trident alternatives

Post by Matt Bayfield » Mon Jan 25, 2016 5:45 pm

Assuming it could be manufactured, your steel sphere would weigh approximately 4 million metric tonnes. I'm guessing that finding a power source to move a non-buoyant object 80 times the mass of the QE2 liner, might be a problem.

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Re: Trident alternatives

Post by JimBentley » Mon Jan 25, 2016 6:59 pm

Matt Bayfield wrote:Assuming it could be manufactured, your steel sphere would weigh approximately 4 million metric tonnes. I'm guessing that finding a power source to move a non-buoyant object 80 times the mass of the QE2 liner, might be a problem.
You've got a point there. I had an idea that it would just propel itself along the seabed with its giant spikes (by extruding and retracting them to simulate a walking motion) but you're probably right - although I should add the caveat that I've not got a lot of experience in propelling objects weighing 4 million tons, or any experience for that matter - it might prove a bit heavy.

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