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Upholder Submarines

Volume 264: debated on Thursday 19 October 1995

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is his assessment of the financial cost of maintaining the four Upholder class submarines in their current status. [37715]

The residual costs of the Upholder programme, pending sale, are of the order of £6 million for 1995–96.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent discussions he has had with his (a) Canadian, (b) Chilean and (c) Portuguese counterparts concerning the transfer or sale of four Upholder class submarines; and if he will make a statement. [37717]

Since our decision in 1993, announced in Command Paper 2270, to withdraw the four Upholder class submarines from RN service, the Defence Export Services Organisation has offered the submarines for sale or lease to friendly countries.It is not MOD policy to release information on discussions with any prospective customer without its express agreement. However, I can confirm that a fully costed proposal is being considered by the Canadian Cabinet on whether to acquire the submarines, and a decision is expected before the end of the year.