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Astute Class Submarines

Volume 468: debated on Thursday 6 December 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the BAE Systems Barrow-in-Furness yard has the capacity to build eight Astute class submarines on time for the programme for building successor submarines to those carrying the nuclear deterrent. (165172)

[holding answer 19 November 2007]: We are working closely with industry to deliver a sustainable UK submarine programme. The Barrow-in-Furness yard remains the centre of excellence for submarine construction in the UK, however the production capacity at the facility is a matter for BAES.

In respect of the Successor programme, as was stated in December 2006 in “The Future of the United Kingdom’s Nuclear Deterrent” (Cm 6994), it would be our intention to build the new SSBNs in the UK. This will be dependent on proposals from industry that provide the right capability, at the right time and offer value for money.