Ministry of Defence

Defence, Terrorism: Chemical and Biological Warfare – 25 October 2011

Angus Robertson (Moray, Scottish National Party):
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which military locations in the UK have been considered as potential sites for accommodating the victims of a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear attack.

Nick Harvey (Minister of State (Armed Forces), Defence; North Devon, Liberal Democrat):
In the event of a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) incident within the UK, the local authority is responsible for the provision of emergency shelter. Local authorities through local resilience forums routinely consider the use of Defence real estate and accommodation in circumstances where other provision is overloaded. This includes providing for the victims of a CBRN attack. However information on which sites have been considered for such use is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Defence, Armoured Fighting Vehicles – 25 October 2011

Angus Robertson (Moray, Scottish National Party):
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which military locations in the UK have been considered as potential sites for accommodating the victims of a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear attack.

Peter Luff (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Defence Equipment, Support and Technology), Defence; Mid Worcestershire, Conservative):
In the event of a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) incident within the UK, the local authority is responsible for the provision of emergency shelter. Local authorities through local resilience forums routinely consider the use of Defence real estate and accommodation in circumstances where other provision is overloaded. This includes providing for the victims of a CBRN attack. However information on which sites have been considered for such use is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Written Answers Trident, Defence – 15 December 2010

Jim Cunningham (Coventry South, Labour): To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will publish in full the Trident replacement value-for-money review.

Liam Fox (Secretary of State, Defence; North Somerset, Conservative):
holding answer 13 December 2010

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 8 December 2010, Hansard, column 283W, to the hon. Members for Harwich and North Essex (Mr Jenkin), Islington North (Jeremy Corbyn) and Wells (Tessa Munt).

Written Answers Defence Procurement, Defence – 13 December 2010

Bridget Phillipson (Houghton and Sunderland South, Labour): To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many suppliers of (a) equipment, (b) personnel, (c) parts and (d) assembly facilities for the Vanguard-class Trident submarine maintenance project there are in each (i) Government Office region, (ii) local authority area and (iii) parliamentary constituency;

Peter Luff (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Defence Equipment, Support and Technology), Defence; Mid Worcestershire, Conservative): I will write to the hon. Member about her request shortly.

Written Answers Trident Value for money review, Defence – 8 December 2010

Tessa Munt (Wells, Liberal Democrat): To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) on what date he expects to present to Parliament the full results of the Trident value for money report; (2) if he will ensure that Parliament is given the opportunity to review the Trident value for money report and the strategic defence and security review before any contracts for the Future Submarine programme are placed.

Liam Fox (Secretary of State, Defence; North Somerset, Conservative): holding answer 3 November 2010. The value for money review’s outcomes were published as part of the strategic defence and security review.

Written Answers Trident, Defence – 7 December 2010

John Woodcock (Barrow and Furness, Labour): To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many staff are employed on the Trident Value for Money review; (2) how much has been spent to date on carrying out the value for money review of Trident; and what estimate he has made of the final cost

Andrew Robathan (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans), Defence; South Leicestershire, Conservative): Two members of staff are employed full time on the Trident Value for Money review, with a number of other Ministry of Defence staff providing significant input to the review within the scope of their existing posts.

As at the end of August, the total cost of both officials assigned full time on the Trident Value for Money review is approximately £70,000. The final staff cost is estimated to be approximately £120,000.

In addition, there has been some expenditure on external assistance and technical consultancy for the Value for Money review and linked aspects of the Strategic Defence and Security Review. It has not been possible, in the time available, to determine the precise amount attributable to the Trident Value for Money review and I will write to the hon. Member in due course.

Substantive answer from Andrew Robathan to John Woodcock:

You recently asked how much has been spent to date on carrying out the Value for Money review of Trident; and how much we estimate the final cost will be.

While I was able to provide information on MOD staff costs I was unable to provide the total amount spent during the Value for Money review including external assistance or technical consultancy in the time available.

I am now in a position to provide that information. The total expenditure for the Value for Money review is expected to be some £320,000 against a saving of £3.2 billion from the next 10 years.

Tessa Munt (Wells, Liberal Democrat):To ask the Secretary of State for Defence by what mechanism his Department has achieved cost savings in joint work with the US to procure a common missile compartment for the planned successor submarine; and how much funding has been allocated by his Department to the common missile compartment project to date.

Dr Liam Fox (Secretary of State, Defence; North Somerset, Conservative): By working collaboratively with the United States, the UK is sharing the costs of designing and integrating a missile compartment. This enables the Ministry of Defence (MOD) to avoid the significant costs associated with having to adapt and integrate a US only design into a UK submarine, or design and develop a bespoke UK missile compartment.

The decision to proceed with the Vanguard replacement submarines, including the Common Missile Compartment, will not be taken until the main gate decision point, which the Strategic Defence and Security Review confirmed is now planned for the next Parliament. As the design of the missile compartment matures, it is possible that further opportunities to reduce production and whole life costs will be identified.

The funding allocated to date by the MOD for the design of a Common Missile Compartment is approximately £283 million.

Written Answers USA Nuclear Weapons, Defence – 1 December 2010

Tessa Munt (Wells, Liberal Democrat):To ask the Secretary of State for Defence with reference to his plans to co-operate on nuclear warhead testing with France, whether the UK will continue to (a) participate in or (b) receive the results of US sub-critical nuclear tests undertaken at the Nevada nuclear test site.

Dr Liam Fox (Secretary of State, Defence; North Somerset, Conservative): The recently signed treaty with France on proposed nuclear co-operation does not address “nuclear warhead testing” but delivers hydrodynamic experiments that provide a key element of assurance for the safety and reliability of the UK’s nuclear stockpile.

I am satisfied that the treaty is complimentary to our nuclear co-operation with the US under the 1958 Mutual Defence Agreement and the nuclear exchanges made possible through that agreement.

Written Answers Trident Submarines, Defence – 1 December 2010

Dr Julian Huppert (Cambridge, Liberal Democrat): To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department spent on long lead items for Vanguard submarines prior to the final decision to proceed with construction of the submarines.

Dr Liam Fox (Secretary of State, Defence; North Somerset, Conservative): Details of the cost of long lead items for the Vanguard class are not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Dr Julian Huppert (Cambridge, Liberal Democrat): To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the proportion of the cost of replacing Trident likely to be incurred prior to a decision of the House at Main Gate Stage on submarine replacement in 2016.

Dr Liam Fox (Secretary of State, Defence; North Somerset, Conservative): The likely expenditure will be dependent on the Initial Gate decision which we expect to finalise shortly. I do, however, propose to update Parliament on progress, including costs, after the Initial Gate decision through the publication of a report.

Written Answers France Military Alliances, Defence – 30 November 2010

Tessa Munt (Wells, Liberal Democrat): To ask the Secretary of State for Defence with reference to the proposed UK-France treaty on nuclear weapons co-operation, whether military flights between the UK and France will involve the transportation of nuclear materials.

Liam Fox (Secretary of State, Defence; North Somerset, Conservative): Some small amounts of nuclear materials will be transferred by military flights between the UK and France but there will be no transfer of ownership between the two states. Any necessary movements of nuclear materials between the UK and France in support of hydrodynamics experimentation will be conducted under the appropriate safety and regulatory regimes and will be consistent with our international treaty obligations.

Written Answers Trident, Defence – 30 November 2010

Bob Ainsworth (Coventry North East, Labour): To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 11 November 2010, Official Report, column 449W, on Trident value for money review, what external assistance and technical consultancy his Department commissioned for the Trident value for money review; and how much it spent on each piece of work commissioned.

Liam Fox (Secretary of State, Defence; North Somerset, Conservative): £70,000 was spent on assessing the scope for improving efficiency within the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) and a further £120,000 was spent reviewing site infrastructure and processes across the AWE estate. In addition, £10,000 was spent modelling cost and risk on the successor deterrent submarine.

Overall, the value for money review produced savings of £1.2 billion and deferred spending of up to £2 billion over the next 10 years.

Tessa Munt (Wells, Liberal Democrat): To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the cost of replacing Trident in current prices.

Liam Fox (Secretary of State, Defence; North Somerset, Conservative): The 2006 White Paper “The Future of the UK’s Nuclear Deterrent” (Cm 6994) stated that the total procurement costs of the successor deterrent capability will be in the region of £15 billion to £20 billion, at 2006-07 prices. Once the initial gate investment decision for the replacement submarine has been taken, I will be in a position to release more up-to-date costs.

Written Answers AWE Aldermaston, Defence – 29 November 2010

Julian Huppert (Cambridge, Liberal Democrat): To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of building and operating the proposed new (a) EPURE nuclear warhead testing facilities at Valduc in France and (b) TEUTATES technology development centre at AWE Aldermaston.

Peter Luff (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Defence Equipment, Support and Technology), Defence; Mid Worcestershire, Conservative): The design, construction, operating and dismantling costs of both EPURE and the technology development centre will be shared equitably by the UK and France. This co-operation has the potential to save considerable sums for both parties compared to developing separate national facilities. However, due to the immaturity of present cost estimates and the need to protect commercial sensitivities I am unable to be more specific at the present time on the potential cost to the public purse.

Written Answers Nuclear Weapons Finance, Defence – 29 November 2010

Julian Huppert (Cambridge, Liberal Democrat):To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what (a) contracts have been signed and (b) other agreements have been made with (i) BAE and (ii) other companies in respect of the Future Submarine Programme.

Peter Luff (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Defence Equipment, Support and Technology), Defence; Mid Worcestershire, Conservative): Contracts to support the Concept Phase of the Future Submarine Programme have been signed with BAE Systems Marine Ltd, Babcock (Devonport Royal Dockyard Ltd) and Rolls-Royce Power Engineering plc.

Other contracts to support the concept phase have been placed with companies including QinetiQ, Deloitte and Wragge & Co Limited Liability Partnership. It is not possible to provide details of all of the smaller value contracts placed by the Ministry of Defence as this information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

In addition, contracts for the design of a common missile compartment have been placed with Electric Boat by the United States Government.

Written Answers Nuclear Submarines, Defence – 29 November 2010

Julian Huppert (Cambridge, Liberal Democrat):To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the design life is in effective full-power years of the PWR2 (a) reactor pressure vessel and (b) nuclear steam raising plant.

Peter Luff (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Defence Equipment, Support and Technology), Defence; Mid Worcestershire, Conservative): I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 22 November 2010, Hansard, column 38W.

Written Answers Nuclear Submarines, Defence – 25 November 2010

Bernard Jenkin (Harwich and North Essex, Conservative): To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of whether the incorporation of the Core H reactor into the Vanguard-class submarines during their period of long overhaul and refuelling will be sufficient to cover the additional nine years of expected service life of the platform.

Liam Fox (Secretary of State, Defence; North Somerset, Conservative): The Trident Value for Money Review considered the feasibility of extending the life of the Vanguard class submarines beyond 25 years and analysis continues in support of the planned life extension. This work has confirmed that there is sufficient fuel capacity to cover the extension required for each submarine.

Written Answers Nuclear Submarines, Defence – 22 November 2010

Julian Huppert (Cambridge, Liberal Democrat): To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the design life, expressed in effective full-power years, is of the PWR2 (a) reactor pressure vessel and (b) nuclear steam raising plant. [21603]

Peter Luff (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Defence Equipment, Support and Technology), Defence; Mid Worcestershire, Conservative): The PWR2 Nuclear Steam Raising Plant is fitted to Vanguard Class and Astute Class submarines. The design life of the PWR2, which includes the PWR2 Reactor Pressure Vessel, is expressed in calendar years rather than effective full-power years.

The PWR2 Nuclear Steam Raising Plant design life, including the PWR2 Reactor Pressure Vessel, is 25 years.

The Trident Value for Money Review considered the feasibility of extending the life of the Vanguard Class submarines beyond 25 years and analysis continues in support of the planned life extension.

Written Answers Trident, Defence – 15 November 2010

Paul Flynn (Newport West, Labour): To ask the Secretary of State for Defence until what date the Atomic Weapons Establishment has been tasked to guarantee the reliability of the Trident warhead arsenal.

Liam Fox (Secretary of State, Defence; North Somerset, Conservative): We announced in the strategic defence and security review that a replacement warhead is not required until at least the late 2030s, with a decision on replacing the existing warhead deferred until the next parliament. The Atomic Weapons Establishment is, therefore, undertaking the required stockpile certification work to support the warhead arsenal until the late 2030s.

Angus Robertson (Moray, Scottish National Party): To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has for the sale to the private sector of facilities at Coulport for (a) the storage of Trident warheads, (b) the processing of Trident warheads, (c) the storage of Trident missiles and (d) operations at the explosives handling jetty.

Liam Fox (Secretary of State, Defence; North Somerset, Conservative): There are no current plans to sell any Trident warhead or missile, handling, storage, processing or ammunitioning facilities at Royal Naval Armament Depot Coulport.

Since July 2008, the Department has been assessing options on how best to provide elements of Strategic Weapons Systems support at Coulport in the future. One option under review is to engage with an experienced service provider from the private sector to deliver processing, storage and handling activities at Coulport.

On current plans a decision is expected in early 2011. Irrespective of the outcome, Coulport will remain under the ownership and control of the Ministry of Defence. The safety, security and effectiveness of the UK’s strategic deterrent remains paramount.

Peter Bone (Wellingborough, Conservative): To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the likely cost to the public purse of Trident replacement following an Initial Gate Decision in the (a) present and (b) next Parliament.

Liam Fox (Secretary of State, Defence; North Somerset, Conservative): The 2006 White Paper ‘The Future of the UK’s Nuclear Deterrent’ set out the initial total procurement cost of the replacement nuclear deterrent as £15 billion to £20 billion in 2006-07 prices. The likely expenditure is dependent on the decision on Initial Gate which we expect in the next few weeks. I intend to update Parliament on progress, including costs, after the Initial Gate decision through the publication of a report.

Written Answers Nuclear Weapons Finance, Defence – 15 November 2010

Paul Flynn (Newport West, Labour): To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what expenditure his Department has incurred on the Nuclear Weapons Capability Sustainment Programme in each year since the programme’s inception; and what estimate he has made of such expenditure in each remaining year of the programme. [21972]

Dr Fox (Secretary of State, Defence; North Somerset, Conservative): The Nuclear Warhead Capability Sustainment Programme (NWCSP) began in 2005 following the announcement by the then Secretary of State for Defence on 19 July 2005, Official Report, column 59WS, of increased funding to the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE).

Expenditure since 2005-06, and the provisional figure for the current financial year is as follows:
£ million at outturn prices
2005-06: 493

2006-07: 687

2007-08: 894

2008-09: 800

2009-10: 870

2010-11:(1)932
(1) Provisional

Since 1 April 2008, financial planning for AWE has made no distinction between management and operation costs and those associated with the NWCSP.

Future planned expenditure at AWE will be subject to cost savings measures identified in the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR). Release of further detail may prejudice the Ministry of Defence’s negotiating position with its commercial suppliers and final savings figures will depend on detailed SDSR-related implementation. The MOD is therefore not prepared to release further financial information at this time.

Written Answers Nuclear Weapons, Defence – 15 November 2010

Caroline Lucas (Brighton, Pavillion, Green): To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to secure a supply of tritium for Trident nuclear warheads to cover the period until the current warhead design reaches the end of its planned life; and whether the ability to secure a supply of tritium is recorded as a risk for the defence nuclear programme in his Department’s risk register.

Dr Fox (Secretary of State, Defence; North Somerset, Conservative): This information is being withheld for the purpose of safeguarding national security.

Written Answers Nuclear Weapons, Defence – 11 November 2010

Paul Flynn (Newport West, Labour)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence at what location on his Department’s website the text of its value-for-money review of the nuclear weapons systems can be accessed; which (a) Ministers, (b) officials and (c) external experts participated in the review; how much it cost to conduct; and if he will publish each submission made to it.

Bob Ainsworth (Coventry North East, Labour)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many staff of his Department were employed on the Trident value-for-money review (a) on a part-time basis and (b) on a full-time basis; and what estimate he has made of the cost of the review under each category of expenditure.

Liam Fox (Secretary of State, Defence; North Somerset, Conservative)

The value for money review’s outcomes were published as part of the Strategic Defence and Security Review which can be found at the following link:

http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/AboutDefence/WhatWeDo/PolicyStrategyandPlanning/SDSR/StrategicDefenceAndSecurityReviewsdsr.htm

Because of the classified nature of much of the supporting paperwork there are no plans to publish anything further.

The Ministry of Defence agreed the conclusions of the value for money review before it was passed to the Cabinet Office for consideration by the National Security Council. The Secretary of State, Minister of State for the Armed Forces and the Minister for Defence Equipment, Science and Technology were also closely involved in the review.

The review was conducted by Rear Admiral Philip Mathias and Mr Ian Forber, a senior civil servant from the MOD, both working full time, and a number of other MOD staff provided significant input to the review within the scope of their existing posts. The final staff cost is estimated to be approximately £120,000. In addition, there has been some expenditure on external assistance and technical consultancy for the value for money review which has totalled some £200,000. Overall, the value for money review produced savings of £1.2 billion and deferred spending of up to £2 billion over the next 10 years.

Written Answers Trident Submarines, Defence – 9 November 2010

Angus Robertson (Moray, Scottish National Party)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will estimate the cost to the public purse of extending the life of the current fleet of Vanguard submarines to 2028.

Liam Fox (Secretary of State, Defence; North Somerset, Conservative)

Detailed costings are at an early stage, but to accommodate the deferral of the successor submarine in service date from 2024-28, we expect to spend around an additional £1.2 billion in maintaining the Vanguard Class.

The overall impact of the changes identified by the value for money study and reported in the strategic defence and security review will reduce costs by £3.2 billion over the next 10 years.

Written Answers Trident value for Money Review, Defence – 8 November 2010

Bernard Jenkin (Harwich and North Essex, Conservative)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what account his Department took of (a) defence inflation, (b) unforeseen design risks and (c) changes in specification between 2010 and 2016 in identifying cost savings in the Trident value for money review.

Liam Fox (Secretary of State, Defence; North Somerset, Conservative)

Projected inflation in relevant sectors was considered and treated in the normal way as part of the value for money work. Due consideration was given to unforeseen design risk and changes in specification through the application of uncertainty margins.

Written Answers to Defence Questions, Defence – 3 November 2010

Julian Huppert (Cambridge, Liberal Democrat): To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his most recent estimate is of the projected (a) discounted and (b) undiscounted nuclear decommissioning costs for Trident replacement.

Liam Fox (Secretary of State, Defence; North Somerset, Conservative): The costs of nuclear decommissioning of the successor submarines are dependent on a number of decisions that have yet to be taken, including decisions outside the successor project. Forecasts for these costs will be included in the project’s Whole Life Costs that will be prepared ahead of Main Gate.

Julian Huppert (Cambridge, Liberal Democrat): To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the running costs of Trident replacement in each of the first five years of its operation.

Liam Fox (Secretary of State, Defence; North Somerset, Conservative): I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 3 June 2010, Hansard, column 77W, to Dr Whiteford.

Written Answers to Defence Questions, Defence – 26 October 2010

Mike Hancock (Portsmouth South, Liberal Democrat): To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what expenditure his Department has planned for the UK Trident warhead life extension programme; and how much it has spent on this programme to date.

Dr Fox (Secretary of State, Defence; North Somerset, Conservative):Stockpile management and certification activity, including obsolescence management, is contained within the annual cost of operating the Atomic Weapons Establishment, which is around £1 billion per annum in the current pricing period, to the end of March 2013. Costs are not disaggregated into sub-strands of activity. It is therefore not possible to provide disaggregated costs as they are not held in the format requested.

Written Answers to Defence Questions, Defence – 18 October 2010

Paul Flynn (Newport West, Labour): To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his policy is on the retention by NATO of (a) US tactical nuclear weapons and (b) stored B61 gravity nuclear bombs at air bases leased by the US administration from NATO member states in Europe.

Gerald Howarth (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (International Security Strategy), Defence; Aldershot, Conservative): NATO’s nuclear policy and posture is a matter for the Alliance as a whole to determine. The UK will play a full part in any discussions on the issue.

Written Answers to Defence Questions, Defence – 14 October 2010

Mike Hancock (Portsmouth South, Liberal Democrat) : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the location is of each Royal Navy submarine operational berth in service in (a) the UK and (b) overseas.

Nick Harvey (Minister of State (Armed Forces), Defence; North Devon, Liberal Democrat): The locations of the in service operational berths for Royal Navy submarines in the UK and overseas are as follows:

Barrow

Loch Ewe

Loch Goil

Plymouth

Portland Port

Portsmouth

River Clyde estuary

Southampton.

Overseas:

Gibraltar

Falkland Islands

Diego Garcia.

There are a further 25 operational berths available overseas to Royal Navy submarines but I am withholding the location as disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness and security of our armed forces.

Written Answers to Defence Questions, Defence – 16 September 2010

Tessa Munt (Wells, Liberal Democrat): To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will publish studies (a) commissioned and (b) undertaken by his Department on the (i) financial cost and (ii) potential savings associated with the development of alternatives to the replacement of the Trident nuclear weapons system in advance of the publication of the value for money review of Trident; and if he will make a statement.

Nick Harvey (Minister of State (Armed Forces), Defence; North Devon, Liberal Democrat): The 2006 White Paper ‘The Future of the United Kingdom’s Nuclear Deterrent’ (Cm 6994) set out the four generic deterrent options (silo, aircraft, ship and submarine) that have been subjected to detailed assessment. It concluded that a deterrent based on surface ships was assessed to be no cheaper than a submarine based deterrent but more vulnerable to attack. Deterrents based on silos or large aircraft were significantly more expensive and also much more vulnerable to attack.

The coalition Government are committed to retaining a minimum credible nuclear deterrent based on Trident. The value for money review is to ensure that plans to maintain this capability are being taken forward in the most cost-effective manner possible.

Oral Answers to Defence Questions, Topical Questions – 13 September 2010

Sir Menzies Campbell (North East Fife) (LD): Does the Secretary of State accept that there may be circumstances in which it is more effective to share responsibilities rather than equipment? Will he tell the House whether, as a result of his meeting in Paris last week, there was any discussion of the possibility of sharing responsibility for nuclear deterrence?

Dr Fox: We have repeatedly made it clear that we believe that having an independent nuclear deterrent is a vital part of the United Kingdom’s sovereign capability, and we intend to keep it that way. Where we can co-operate on technical matters with the French, without interfering with our sovereign capability in any way, it would make sense to do so.


Mr Bob Ainsworth (Coventry North East) (Lab)
: In May, the Secretary of State said that

“there is no lack of clarity in the Government’s policy: we believe in a continuous, at-sea, minimum, credible, nuclear deterrent, based on the Trident missile system. I hope that that is explicit enough”.-[ Official Report, 26 May 2010; Vol. 510, c. 272.]

Will the Secretary of State repeat that?

Dr Fox (Secretary of State, Defence, North Somerset, Conservative): Well, I am not sure that I need to repeat it -put simply, I agree with it.

Trident – 13 September 2010

Dr Julian Huppert (Cambridge, Liberal Democrat)
,
: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the Statement of 17 June 2010, Official Report, columns 1040-41, on public spending, in which country the company contracted to provide the Successor Deterrent Extension and Concept Long Lead Items to be reviewed under the Trident value for money review has its headquarters. [13658]


Dr Fox (Secretary of State, Defence, North Somerset, Conservative)
[holding answer 8 September 2010]: No company, headquarters or country has been selected as no contracts have been let for Long Lead Items for the Trident Successor programme.

Trident – 9 September 2010

John Woodcock (Barrow and Furness, Labour):To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many staff are employed on the Trident Value for Money review; (2) how much has been spent to date on carrying out the value for money review of Trident; and what estimate he has made of the final cost.

Andrew Robathan (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans), Defence; South Leicestershire, Conservative): Two members of staff are employed full time on the Trident Value for Money review, with a number of other Ministry of Defence staff providing significant input to the review within the scope of their existing posts.

As at the end of August, the total cost of both officials assigned full time on the Trident Value for Money review is approximately £70,000. The final staff cost is estimated to be approximately £120,000.

In addition, there has been some expenditure on external assistance and technical consultancy for the Value for Money review and linked aspects of the Strategic Defence and Security Review. It has not been possible, in the time available, to determine the precise amount attributable to the Trident Value for Money review and I will write to the hon. Member in due course.

Trident – 8 September 2010

Julian Huppert (Cambridge, Liberal Democrat): To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what account he has taken of the US administration’s recent decision on nuclear warhead production in his assessment of future UK warhead requirements; and if he will make a statement.

Nick Harvey (Minister of State (Armed Forces), Defence; North Devon, Liberal Democrat): The UK’s deterrent has always been, and remains, operationally independent of the US. Under the 1958 Mutual Defence Agreement the UK and US communicate closely about nuclear matters and we have noted the recent US decision to cancel the Reliable Replacement Warhead programme. As yet no decisions have been taken on whether to refurbish or replace the UK’s nuclear warhead.

Strategic Defence and Security Review – 26 July 2010

Hywel Williams (Arfon, Plaid Cymru): To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he has had on the inclusion of a future nuclear weapons programme in the Strategic Defence and Security Review.

Dr Liam Fox (Secretary of State, Defence; North Somerset, Conservative): None.

The Government are committed to retaining a minimum credible nuclear deterrent based on Trident. Both the value for money review of the Trident programme and the re-examination of the UK’s declaratory nuclear policy are being conducted within the framework of the Strategic Defence and Security Review.

Nuclear Weapons: Finance – 26 July 2010

Hywel Williams (Arfon, Plaid Cymru): To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the budget for any future nuclear weapons scheme will be ring-fenced within his Department’s budget if it is accounted for in that budget.

Peter Luff (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Defence; Mid Worcestershire, Conservative): The Government are committed to retaining a minimum credible nuclear deterrent based on Trident. Spending review discussions continue until the autumn and consequently no final decisions have yet been taken on the Defence budget.

Trident – 22 Jul 2010

Dai Havard (Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney, Labour): To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what the terms of reference are for the Trident value for money review; what the timetable is for that review; which Departments will contribute to that review; which independent organisations will be consulted under that review; by what mechanisms that consultation will be undertaken; and whether that review will include consideration of the option of extending the life of the current Vanguard submarines beyond an additional five years;

(2) what account the (a) Strategic Defence and Security Review and (b) Comprehensive Spending Review will take of the Trident value for money review.

Dr Liam Fox (Secretary of State, Defence; North Somerset, Conservative) [holding answer 19 July 2010]: Both the value for money review of the Trident programme and the re-examination of the UK’s declaratory nuclear policy will be conducted within the framework of the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR). The current policy of maintaining the UK’s essential minimum deterrent remains unchanged. The Trident Value For Money Review is looking at whether this policy can be met while reducing the cost of the successor submarine and ballistic missile systems, including by shifting the balance between financial savings and operational risk.

The value for money review work will cover: the programme timetable; submarine numbers; numbers of missiles, missile tubes and warheads; infrastructure and other support costs; and the industrial supply chain.

The Ministry of Defence’s work on the value for money review should be completed at the end of this month. The findings will go to the Cabinet Office, and will then be considered by the National Security Council. The Council’s conclusions will inform the SDSR and the comprehensive spending review, which will be published in the autumn.

There are no plans for independent organisations to be consulted.

The review will consider the optimum programme timeline. Part of that work will include consideration of the costs and risks of further extending the Vanguard class beyond the planned five year life extension.

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Dai Havard (Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney, Labour): To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will request the National Audit Office to evaluate the (a) assumptions on which the Trident value for money review will be based and (b) mechanisms by which that review will be carried out.

Dr Liam Fox (Secretary of State, Defence; North Somerset, Conservative) [holding answer 19 July 2010]: The National Audit Office is already reviewing the Department’s financial planning process, which includes the assumptions for the successor deterrent programme. There is no intention to commission a further NAO review of the successor programme at this stage.

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Caroline Lucas (Brighton, Pavilion, Green): To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will lay before Parliament before the summer recess the report of the value-for-money study being undertaken into the Trident nuclear weapons systems replacement options.

Dr Liam Fox (Secretary of State, Defence; North Somerset, Conservative) [holding answer 20 July 2010]: No. The Ministry of Defence’s work on the value-for-money study should be completed at the end of this month. The findings will then go to the Cabinet Office for consideration by the National Security Council. The Council’s conclusions will inform the Strategic Defence and Security Review and the Comprehensive Spending Review, which will be published in the autumn.

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Tessa Munt (Wells, Liberal Democrat): To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what research and design work will need to be authorised in the assessment phase that will follow an initial gate decision to replace the Vanguard nuclear weapons capable submarines; which long lead items would be purchased during the assessment phase; what the estimated monetary value will be of contracts placed to deliver assessment phase work; in which financial year each such contract will be placed; over what financial years contract payments would be spread; and if he will make a statement.

Peter Luff (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Defence; Mid Worcestershire, Conservative): Decisions on the research and design work required during the assessment phase of the programme to replace the Vanguard submarine, as well as the associated commercial and procurement strategies, will be made as part of and following the Initial Gate approvals process, taking full account of the ongoing value-for-money review. The Initial Gate approvals process is currently planned to be completed towards the end of 2010.

Reviews – 19 July 2010

Sheila Gilmore (Edinburgh East, Labour): To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what timetable he has set for publication of the (a)value for money review of the Trident replacement programme and (b) the report of the Strategic Defence and Security Review.

Dr Liam Fox (Secretary of State, Defence; North Somerset, Conservative): The Ministry of Defence’s work on the value-for-money study should be completed at the end of this month. The findings will go to the Cabinet Office, and will then be considered by the National Security Council. The council’s conclusions will inform the strategic defence and security review and the comprehensive spending review, which will be published in the autumn.

Trident – 12 July 2010

Katy Clark (North Ayrshire and Arran, Labour): To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects the Investment Approvals Board to consider the report of the Initial Gate review for the Trident replacement programme; whether he plans to publish that report; and what opportunities hon. Members will have to scrutinise that report.

Dr Liam Fox (Secretary of State, Defence; North Somerset, Conservative): We are currently planning for Initial Gate decision towards the end of 2010, following consideration by the Investment Approvals Board in the autumn. It is not normal for Parliament to be involved in Initial Gate decisions for procurement projects. I do, however, propose to update Parliament on progress after the Initial Gate decision through the publication of a report.

Trident Missiles – 6 July 2010

Mark Lazarowicz (Edinburgh North and Leith, Labour): To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will undertake not to seek an update of the Trident D5 system during the period of discussions between China, France, Russia, the UK and the US on future nuclear disarmament following the UN Review of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Dr Liam Fox (Secretary of State, Defence; North Somerset, Conservative): The 2010 review conference was an important milestone for the UK’s long-term vision for a world without nuclear weapons. The UK has made it clear that, as soon as it becomes useful for the UK to include its nuclear stockpiles in broader disarmament negotiations, we stand ready to participate and to act.

Maintaining the UK’s nuclear deterrent beyond the life of the current system is fully consistent with our obligations as a recognised nuclear weapon state under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. Therefore, the UK will continue to progress in replacing our existing nuclear deterrent.

Trident value-for-money review – 23 June 2010

John Woodcock (Barrow and Furness, Labour): To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment will be made of the merits of alternatives to the Trident successor deterrent programme in his Trident value for money review; and if he will make a statement.

Dr Fox (Secretary of State, Defence; North Somerset, Conservative): The alternatives to a submarine launched ballistic missile submarine have previously been analysed comprehensively and discounted, either because they could not provide an effective deterrent capability or because they cost more. The value for money study is reviewing the existing plan for the Trident successor.

Nuclear Weapons- 23 June 2010

Caroline Lucas (Brighton, Pavilion, Green): To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 7 June 2010, Official Report, column 511W, on Trident, what the re-examination of the UK’s declaratory nuclear policy will include; and what issues related to the replacement of Trident in addition to value for money issues will be considered within the framework of the Strategic Defence and Security Review.

Dr Fox (Secretary of State, Defence; North Somerset, Conservative): The Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) will re-examine all the constituent parts that together form the UK’s declaratory nuclear policy. This will be done against a background of the political and security environment facing the UK.

In addition to the Trident value for money review, the SDSR will look at wider maritime and other conventional forces required to support the nuclear deterrent and the sustainability of the UK submarine industrial base.

Trident – Monday 7 June 2010

Lord Trefgarne (Conservative): To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is the annual cost of maintaining the Trident submarine fleet, including missiles.

Lord Astor of Hever (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence) : Annual expenditure for capital and running costs of the nuclear deterrent, which includes the Trident D5 missiles, is around 5 to 6 per cent of the defence budget.

Caroline Lucas (Brighton, Pavilion, Green): To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether plans for the replacement of Trident will be included in the Strategic Defence Review.

Liam Fox (Secretary of State, Defence; North Somerset, Conservative): Both the value for money review of the Trident programme and the re-examination of the UK’s declaratory nuclear policy will be conducted within the framework of the Strategic Defence and Security Review.

Trident – Thursday 3 June 2010

Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North, Labour): To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his most recent estimate is of the cost of (a) replacement of the Trident submarine system and (b) the programme for the replacement of the warheads.

Liam Fox (Secretary of State, Defence; North Somerset, Conservative): The 2006 White Paper “The Future of the UK’s Nuclear Deterrent” (Cm 6994) stated that the total procurement costs of the successor deterrent capability will be in the region of £15 billion to £20 billion, at 2006-07 prices, for a four-boat fleet. This comprises £11 billion to £14 billion for the submarines, £2 billion to £3 billion for the possible refurbishment or replacement of the warhead and £2 billion to £3 billion for infrastructure.

On current plans, we will be in a position to release more up-to-date costs later this year after the final Initial Gate paper has been considered.

Eilidh Whiteford (Banff and Buchan, Scottish National Party): To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent estimate he has made of (a) the total procurement costs associated with implementing the proposals in the White Paper on The Future of the United Kingdom’s Nuclear Deterrent, Cm 6994, (b) the cost of four successor submarines, (c) the cost of refurbishing or replacing the Trident warhead, (d) the infrastructure costs associated with these proposals and (e) the cost of replacing the Trident missile system.

Liam Fox (Secretary of State, Defence; North Somerset, Conservative): The 2006 White Paper “The Future of the UK’s Nuclear Deterrent” (Cm 6994) stated that the total procurement costs of the successor deterrent capability will be in the region of £15-£20 billion, at 2006-07 prices, for a four-boat fleet. This comprises £11-14 billion for the submarines, £2-3 billion for the possible refurbishment or replacement of the warhead and £2-3 billion for infrastructure.

On current plans, we will be in a position to release more up-to-date costs later this year after the final Initial Gate paper has been considered.

In addition, the 2006 White Paper made clear that the Trident D5 missile is expected to last until the 2040s. At this range, any estimate of the cost of a replacement missile would be highly speculative: the equivalent cost for the Trident D5 missile was some £1.5 billion at 2006-07 prices.

Eilidh Whiteford  (Banff and Buchan, Scottish National Party): To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his most recent estimate is of the annual in-service cost of the nuclear deterrent programme once the successor submarine is in service.

Liam Fox (Secretary of State, Defence; North Somerset, Conservative): As the 2006 White Paper ‘The Future of the United Kingdom’s Nuclear Deterrent’ (Cm6994) makes clear, once the new fleet of ballistic missile submarines come into service we expect that the in-service costs of the UK’s nuclear deterrent, which will include the Atomic Weapons Establishment’s costs, will be similar to today, around 5 to 6% of the defence budget.

Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty – Tuesday 22 February 2010

Paul Flynn (Newport West, Labour): To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on the Government’s position at the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference in May 2010.

Mr. Bob Ainsworth (Secretary of State, Ministy of Defence): I have regular exchanges on nuclear matters with the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and my other Cabinet colleagues.

We continue to work with partners from across the international community to seek a mandate for concrete, realistic and balanced action to strengthen the NPT’s three mutually reinforcing pillars: non-proliferation, disarmament, and the peaceful use of nuclear energy, as well as addressing the threats to nuclear security.

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