BRITAIN: Trident Is Go

Thatcher buys American

President Carter was delighted with the decision. So was West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt. Basking in the approval of major NATO allies, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's government last week announced that it would buy the submarine-launched U.S. Trident missile system to replace an aging Polaris force and thereby upgrade Britain's nuclear deterrent. It was a ringing reaffirmation of the long-standing special relationship between Washington and London. The costly decision was also evidence of Thatcher's determination to keep Britain a nuclear power to be reckoned with.

In announcing the Trident deal to the House of Commons, Defense Secretary Francis Pym...

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