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Trident Submarines (Communications)

Volume 81: debated on Tuesday 25 June 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions have been held with the United States Government about using existing or planned Navstar satellites for communication with United States Trident submarines and to control their missiles; and how the problem of independent United Kingdom control has been approached.

There are no plans to use Navstar satellites for the purposes to which the hon. Member refers. I also refer him to the reply given by my right hon. Friend the Minister of State for Defence Procurement to the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton (Mr. Kaufman) on 21 March at column 578.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence for how long it is expected that communications with Trident submarines and control of their missiles would be dependent on the system now being used to communicate with Polaris submarines; and how far dependence on existing systems would restrict the operating range of the Trident submarines.

The communications systems to be used with Trident for the foreseeable future are essentially hose which are currently used with the Polaris submarines. This will not prevent the Trident submarines from making full use of their maximum operating range. We have however retained the option of incorporating additional new communications facilities where design and production dates allow.