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Volume 496: debated on Wednesday 9 September 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of his Department's likely expenditure on the Initial Gate phase for Trident. (288778)

The UK's nuclear deterrent comprises a number of elements, including the Trident D5 missile system, the nuclear warhead and the Vanguard Class submarines. Decisions are not required in the near future on the D5 missile or the warhead and neither will be included in the forthcoming Initial Gate business case, which will concentrate on the replacement submarine and associated propulsion system.

Initial Gate is a decision point in the acquisition process. The final spend on reaching Initial Gate cannot be calculated until after that point is reached; however, the total spend on the replacement submarine and associated propulsion system since the beginning of April 2007 to the end of June 2009 is some £250 million.

Until Initial Gate decisions are made it is too early to say what the likely expenditure will be for the period between that time and the Main Gate decision point.