The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has completed an eight-year overhaul of the high-security computer software used to determine which cities and military facilities across the world would be hit by nuclear bombs in the event of war. Details of the upgrade are “classified”.
Critics claim that the UK system is critically dependent on US software, and that it’s the US president who is really in command. But this is denied by the MoD, which insists that that the targeting system is “one of the sovereign components” of the nuclear deterrent.
An unpublicised article in an MoD technical journal in December 2015 disclosed that scientists and engineers had been thanked for bringing Trident’s targeting system into “a new era”. The upgrade project had required “zero tolerance of failure” and encountered “considerable challenges”, it said.
“This represents the culmination of eight years of design, development, production and test effort that comprises over 3.5 million lines of software code and in excess of 300,000 man-hours.”
Work was co-ordinated by the MoD’s strategic weapons project team based at the “UK Software Facility (UKSF)”. The MoD refused to say where this facility is located, but it is believed to be in a bunker hidden under a grass mound behind barbed wire near the town of Corsham in Wiltshire.