Skip to main content

Nuclear Submarines

Volume 470: debated on Monday 7 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 13th December 2007, Official Report, column 778W, on nuclear submarines, what safeguards are in place to prevent UK submarine commanders launching a nuclear attack on their own initiative; and if he will make a statement. (175623)

There are a number of technological and procedural safeguards built into the UK's nuclear deterrent to prevent an unauthorised launch of its Trident missiles. Any launch of a Trident missile would require a large proportion of the submarine's crew to act in concert. I am withholding further details as its disclosure would, or would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the armed forces.