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Nuclear Artillery Shells

Volume 79: debated on Monday 20 May 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Defence (1) why there is no reference in the defence Estimates to the proposed introduction by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation of new nuclear artillery shells into Europe;(2) if he will make a statement on the implication for the British Army of the Rhine of the modernisation of nuclear-capable artillery systems operated in Europe by the United Kingdom with warheads provided by the United States of America;(3) whether the plans for the modernisation of nuclear artillery in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation envisage a lower number of warheads but a higher number of nuclear-capable launchers, and in particular a larger number of nuclear capable 155 mm cannon.

[pursuant to his reply, 16 May 1985, c. 209]: At the meeting of the NATO nuclear planning group held in Luxembourg on 26 and 27 March 1985 SACEUR presented a report dealing with the measures he considers necessary to ensure the maintenance of a survivable, responsive and effective nuclear force structure within the reduced stockpile levels decided by Ministers at Montebello in August 1983. This report, the details of which are classified, is now being considered and no decisions have been made. It is therefore premature to make a statement about the implications of any modernisation for BAOR or to include a reference in this year's defence Estimates.