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Friday, January 23, 2015

Will cost of Trident’s successor sink the Navy’s surface fleet?

Successor class SSBNDuring your recent visit to Faslane Naval Base, you said: “Now is not the time to start re-thinking our nuclear deterrent or to get rid of our nuclear submarines.” Your party is pledged to replacing the four-boat Trident nuclear submarine fleet and to give the programme the go-ahead, if you win the May 2015 general election.

I do not propose to debate whether the UK should be replacing Trident (perhaps another day), but to question how you intend to afford what will undoubtedly become one of the most expensive defence equipment programmes, ever.

You have already indicated that construction at BAE Systems Barrow will commence once the seven-boat Astute-class fleet submarine programme completes in the early 2020s.

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