According to CNN a British and French submarine collided in the North Atlantic.
First, this is really weird. Both subs were ballistic missile boats, which means each had a mission to remain undetected and capable of launching its missiles for a certain period of time. There is zero chance that either one of these submarines was “hunting” the other. Compare Grayling & Baton Rouge collision in which that is exactly what was going on.
Second, I don’t agree that this “had to happen sometime.” I have no trouble believing these two boats didn’t hear each other, but there is a giant ocean and I think you could have operated forever without a collision. That said, it would be pretty easy to prevent from ever happening again. We could pick depths to operate at. US takes 300-400, UK takes 400-500, etc.
Third, the problem is the French and NATO really don’t cooperate super well. It is weird because you’d think all that crap was just for show. But I recall at least on one occasion where there was a submarine screwing around in an area we were operating in, and we wondered if it might have been the French. You would think we could remember we are on the same team.
Finally, I guess you have to admit there is a risk to having floating warheads. My first response to the disarmament folks was just to criticize their hyperbole. But, fact is, a submarine sinking in the ocean would be a bigger deal that a missile silo in North Dakota caving in due to an earth quake. I guess. Although, the reactor is a bigger concern, and even then the diesel fuel on board might very well do the most damage to marine life.