Mid-Atlantic Nuclear Submarine Collision Raises Serious Questions

How Could Two Submarines Carrying Nuclear Arsenals Accidentally Collide?

The European press is buzzing with questions about the revelation that the British nuclear submarine HMS Vanguard and the flagship of the French nuclear strike force Le Triomphant collided with one another under the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

The collision was at low speed and the consequences were minimal, but the consequences of two submarines carrying 1,248 Hiroshima bombings worth of nuclear weapons carelessly smacking into one another could have been disastrous, and there are widespread calls for inquiries to find out how this could have happened.

Scottish MP Angus Robinson says the Ministry of Defense “needs to explain how it is possible for a submarine carrying weapons of mass destruction to collide with another submarine carrying weapons of mass destruction in the middle of the world’s second-largest ocean.”And truly, considering the enormity of the ocean and the information sharing regarding submarine deployments by NATO allies, it seems inconceivable that such an accident could happen.

Another worthwhile question is what the two heavily armed nuclear attack submarines were doing milling about in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean in the first place. The odds against running into one another aside, a question that warrants asking is where they were going, and with what regularity the two Eastern Hemisphere nations send submarines capable of leveling multiple cities across the ocean.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.