The 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review has outlined what the government will be spending on defence over the next five years.
Hidden amongst the ‘good news’ stories of more aircraft and increased budgets was the news that the cost of replacing the Trident nuclear submarines could cost up to £41 billion – that’s £15 billion more than expected.
The Trident programme has always been one surrounded with controversy, with the Scottish National Party and the leader of the Labour party Jeremy Corbyn expressing outright hostility to it. But it’s a programme the Conservative government insist needs to be renewed to protect the UK.
Trident's replacement is under the spotlight once again.
The Ministry of Defence is now estimating that acquiring four new submarines will cost £31 billion over the course of 20 years, a figure that’s up £6 billion from an original prediction of £25 billion. And a further £10 billion will put aside to meet additional unexpected cost increases.
“The revised cost and schedule reflect the greater understanding we now have about the detailed design of the submarines and their manufacture,” said the report.
Protecting the fleet of nuclear submarines will now be nine Boeing P8 Maritime Patrol Aircraft, based at RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland. They replace the Nimrod MR2 and its replacement programme which was controversially scrapped under the last defence review.
More From Forces TV: Osborne Wants Control Of £40b Trident Project
PM on Trident in the Commons: Obviously at the appropriate moment, we’ll want to have a vote in this House.
— UK Prime Minister (@Number10gov) November 23, 2015
But whilst there is still such a debate surrounding Trident many MP’s are insisting that their voices be heard. In the House of Commons this afternoon, Brendan O’Hara, the SNP’s defence spokesperson asked the Prime Minister whether he would confirm that politicians will get to vote on Trident renewal. Responding David Cameron said he was “very keen that we should have a vote.”
The first of the replacement submarines for Trident is expected to enter service in the early 2030’s.
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