Angus Robertson (SNP Westminster Leader; Moray, Scottish National Party)
In the 2010 SDSR the UK Government committed to reducing the number of launch tubes from 12 to eight. A recent opinion poll issued by the US navy states that the American firm General Dynamics will build 12 Trident missile launch tubes for a successor UK submarine, something that has not yet been approved by this Parliament. Is that true? If so, why has the House not been informed, and why do we need to learn about it from US navy press releases?
Philip Dunne (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence; Ludlow, Conservative)
As the hon. Gentleman is well aware, this Government have committed to spend up to £3 billion on the successor deterrent system, and that includes some preparatory work for the common missile compartment. There is nothing new in that announcement.