The Prime Minister announced the publication of the Trident Alternatives Review on 16 July 2013.
In the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review, the UK government confirmed its commitment to maintaining a continuous submarine-based deterrent and to beginning the work of replacing its existing submarines. As part of the Coalition programme for government, it was agreed that the Liberal Democrats would continue to make the case for alternatives. As a result, in 2011 the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister jointly commissioned Cabinet Office officials to conduct a focused review into alternative systems and postures.
The review was to examine whether there are:
- credible alternatives to a submarine-based deterrent
- credible submarine-based alternatives to the current proposal, e.g. modified Astute using cruise missiles
- alternative nuclear postures, i.e. non-continuous at sea deterrence, which could maintain credibility
The Cabinet Office has today published an unclassified version of the review.
Final decisions on the successor submarines will be taken in 2016 at the Main Gate point of the acquisition programme.
Liberal Democrat Chief Secretary to the Treasury and Minister in charge of the Trident Alternatives Review, Danny Alexander, launched the report at the Royal United Service Institute.
A debate on the Review will follow in the House of Commons on Wednesday, 17 July 2013.