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Undersea deterrence

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By Rory Medcalf

Amid rapid geopolitical change at the start of the 2020s, unfolding now in the Covid-19 crisis, nuclear weapons manifest grim continuity with the previous century. Especially persistent is a capability that has existed since the 1960s: the deployment of nuclear weapons on submarines. The ungainly acronym SSBN represents nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines: the most destructive armaments carried on a supposedly undetectable, and thus invulnerable, platform.

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