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Nuclear Submarines

Volume 454: debated on Monday 11 December 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what assessment he has made of the cost-effectiveness of adopting existing submarine-launched cruise missiles to carry nuclear warheads; (107861)

(2) what assessment he has made of the potential (a) advantages and (b) disadvantages of a nuclear deterrent of nuclear cruise missiles carried on submarines.

The White Paper (CM 6994) on the future of the UK's nuclear deterrent published on4 December set out (at paragraph 5-3 and 5-4, Box 5-1 and Annex B, paragraph 6) our assessment of the effectiveness of a nuclear deterrent based on cruise missiles. We concluded that, in terms of both cost and capability, retaining the Trident D5 ballistic missile is by far the best approach.