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Volume 405: debated on Friday 16 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when (a) HMS Astute, (b) HMS Artful and (c) HMS Ambush will be operational. [112015]

In accordance with announcements made on 19 February this year, an agreement was reached between the Government and BAE Systems on both the Astute and Nimrod programmes. The exact details of the agreement required to establish formally the new financial structure and the revised in-service dates are being agreed.The Government will report further when this has been achieved.