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So a Trident nuclear weapons test failed a few months ago and this has only just come to light.

However, as far as I know, they want to replace the Trident system for something new anyway. Surely this failure is a good thing as now there is evidence that a new system is required as the old one is out of date. Nuclear tests fail all the time, it's always on the news.

However, there is lots of anger from many parties. Labour say that this is a "cover-up", but surely we would not want to release information about a weakness in our nuclear missiles.

Why is this failure important and in the news so much when we need to replace the system anyway? Surely this is just more reasons in why we need a replacement

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    How often are you seeing nuclear test failures on the news? If you are seeing a lot then that says your nuclear program has serious issues. – Reinstate Monica Jan 27 '17 at 22:15
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A failure in the Nuclear Weapon program, for any country, erodes the confidence the Government and Populace can place in that country's Military. An apparent cover up of the same is indicative of a lapse in integrity or transparency of the military to the civilians running it and the citizens paying for it.

The failure in the Nuclear Weapon program of another country causes observing entities to be concerned for the entire program. A failure could be indicative of systemic issues that threaten the security and safety of the program.

For perspective, look back at the U.S. Air Force scandal surrounding the ICBM land based program and 34 Officers found to be cheating on paper work and examinations.

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However, as far as I know, they want to replace the Trident system for something new anyway

While the submarines will be replaced with newer ones, the rockets will be the same type: The Trident D5. One of these (which are also used by US submarines) failed.

Nuclear tests fail all the time, it's always on the news.

I don't know which news you refer to, but according to Wikipedia "there have been 161 successful test flights of the D5 missile since design completion in 1989, the most recent being from the USS Maryland (SSBN-738) in August 2016. There have been fewer than 10 test flights that were failures," AFAIK this was the first failed test of an UK trident rocket (at least in this century) that made the news.

Why is this failure important and in the news so much when we need to replace the system anyway?

As the other answers already pointed out: The failure itself is not as interesting as the fact that it was kept secret while the future of UK nuclear deterrence was discussed and voted on.

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It wasn't the failure of the test, it was the failure to report it which wreaks of cover-up.

There have been four failed tests (rt.com - UK - Trident missile test McNeilly/) reported by a whistle blower and not reported by the mainstream media.

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The failure itself is no big deal, in my view. The chance of the UK utilizing its nuclear deterrence is (near) zero.

What troubled me more than anything about this episode is the lack of governmental transparency. why did the UK government hide it so hard for so long from its own people?

That troubled me.

BTW, I like May and I think her remarks today about not making other countries images of ourselves are a welcoming departure from the last few decades of old cold-war thinking.

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