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Astute Class Submarines: Finance

Volume 486: debated on Monday 12 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what budget line was used for the £227 million expenditure on Astute overheads identified in the Ministry of Defence Major Projects Report 2007 from the Committee of Public Accounts, HC 433; and what effect this allocation had on expenditure on the UK nuclear deterrent programme in each year from 2005-06 to 2007-08. (246699)

The MOD Major Projects Report 2007 (HC433) noted the transfer of £227 million from the Astute budget line to another within the Submarine Production Integrated Project Team. This funding, which was used for the generation and sustainment of nuclear skills necessary to support the submarine-building industry, was not additional expenditure but an existing part of the Astute programme.

The transfer had no direct effect on spending on the UK’s nuclear deterrent. A sustainable submarine industry is, however, essential for the effective delivery of the future submarine programme, so this expenditure will have indirect benefits.