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Volume 498: debated on Thursday 29 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects to make the initial gate decision on the replacement of the Trident nuclear weapons system; and what immediate costs are associated with initiation of the project. (295390)

The Defence Board will consider the work required during the Concept Phase later this year.

Work on replacing our deterrent submarines was initiated on April 2007 with the start of the project's Concept Phase. Since the beginning of April 2007 to the end of September 2009 some £320 million has been spent. The Initial Gate decision marks the end of the Concept Phase. The final spend on reaching Initial Gate cannot be calculated until after that point is reached.

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, which is when the principal contracts with industry will be signed.