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Volume 20: debated on Tuesday 16 March 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for Defence when the first payments for the Trident system are to be made.

Payments for the Trident strategic weapon system, which involve items common to both the C4 and D5 systems, have already commenced following the original decision in 1980 to replace Polaris with Trident.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what provision in the agreement on Trident reached with the United States Government is made for cancellation charges; and how the levels of such charges vary with the date of cancellation.

There is no general cancellation provision as such. The purchase of the Trident II D5 weapon system from the United States will take place under the general pattern of the Polaris sales agreement, Cmnd. 1995. Under this agreement, the United Kingdom is liable for costs that may result from the termination of contracts for specific items of equipment for the United Kingdom programme. The level of such costs would depend upon the commitments involved at the time of any such termination.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what are the minimum and maximum percentages of the capital costs of Trident which could be spent in the United Kingdom.

On the basis of current exchange rates we estimate that something over 55 per cent. of the capital cost of the Trident II (D5) programme, involving a total of about £500 million more than with Trident I (C4), will be spent directly in the United Kingdom. The eventual level will depend upon a number of factors which cannot be quantified at this stage. These include the number of subcontracts let to United Kingdom firms for weapon system components for the Trident II (D5) programme under the terms set out in Cmnd. 8517.