The United Kingdom's future nuclear deterrent capability: eleventh report of session 2008-09 report, together with formal minutes, oral and written evidence

House of Commons papers 250 2008-09

Corporate Author:
Great Britain Parliament House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts
Edward Leigh (chairman)
TSO (The Stationery Office)

The Committee in this report which, on the basis of evidence from the Ministry of Defence (the Department), examined making important decisions, managing dependence on the United States and managing the programme effectively. The United Kingdom first deployed a submarine-launched nuclear deterrent in 1968. Since then, successive governments have been committed to a policy of continuous at sea deterrence, meaning that at least one nuclear-armed submarine is on patrol at any one time. In its 2006 White Paper, the Government announced its intention to maintain the United Kingdom's nuclear deterrent capability and its plans to build a new class of submarines to replace the current Vanguard fleet and to participate in the United States' Trident D5 ballistic missile life extension programme. The Ministry of Defence's ability to sustain its nuclear deterrent capability in the future is dependent on collaboration with the United States. The new class of submarine is likely to remain in service beyond the extended life of the existing Trident D5 missile, which will be renewed in 2042, and must therefore be compatible with any successor missile developed by the United States. The Department has received a series of assurances from the United States that any new missile will be compatible with the United Kingdom's new submarine class. Nevertheless, the concern remains that the Department has no direct control over the development of the new missile. The future deterrent programme is still at the concept phase. The Department has yet to make many decisions about the principal parameters of the submarine design, the type of nuclear reactor, and the design and size of the missile compartment. The Department expects to make these decisions by September 2009.

Extent [2], 17, Ev 16p. ISBN 9780215529176
Size N/A Price £10.00
Format Paperback Published 19 Mar 2009
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