How to spot a nuclear weapons convoy

New Convoy on Motorway

New Convoy on Motorway

Spotters Guide

Once seen, a nuclear warhead convoy is easily recognisable and unlike anything else on the roads. There is a multiplicity of escort vehicles, often spread out over several miles, and travelling at up to 55mph. A warhead convoy contains:

  • Warhead load carriers (enormous, plain dark green trucks)
  • Ministry of Defence Police escort vehicles
  • Military support vehicles to deal with accidents or breakdowns

The warhead carriers are 44 tons, seven axle, articulated dark green trucks made by Foden. These trucks are known as TCHD’s, short for Truck Cargo Heavy Duty. Apart from the Marines’ vehicles, the convoy is garaged and maintained at Aldermaston.

 

Minibuses and Outriders, Spare tractor and Military land rover
Minibuses and Outriders*, Spare tractor and Military land rover

 

3 to 5 Trident warhead load carriers
3 to 5 Trident warhead load carriers

 

Military land rovers, Fire engine, Minibuses and outriders
Military land rovers, Fire engine, Minibuses and outriders*

 

Mobile workshop, Breakdown truck, Police car and Support coach
Mobile workshop, Breakdown truck, Police car and Support coach

 

Usual Convoy Configuration

  • There could be a number of motorcycle outriders who will change position throughout the convoy (*these outriders do not normally accompany the Convoy along motorways).
  • Minibuses carrying the escort personnel will be in front and behind. An advance minibus may travel several miles ahead.
  • There are usually between 3 and 5 warhead carriers. Military land rovers travel immediately in front and behind the carriers. The Spare tractor will be in front of them and the fire engine will follow, sometimes at a distance.
  • The three support vehicles of Mobile Workshop & trailer, Breakdown Truck, and Support Coach travel some distance behind the main convoy. If the carriers are held up then these vehicles will wait several miles behind.
  • All vehicles travel with lights on even in daytime. Each vehicle has a single green light at the top of the cab on the drivers side.

 

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Nukewatch Policy

We think that it is very important that Nukewatch continues to monitor the safety of UK nuclear warhead convoys, and that Convoy dangers are highlighted to the general public and those along its routes.

But we still think it's important that Nukewatch is not seen to be helping potential terrorists. So we do not put technical information on the websites such as vehicle number plates and short break locations in lay-bys. We only put out convoy movements in advance to our own network. This also means that we would not alert the media in advance, except to contact known and trusted journalists who might come along to report a convoy passing.