§ Mr. Dalyell
asked the Minister of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the Polaris firing from HMS "Repulse" off the Florida coast.
§ Mr. Ian Gilmour
On Tuesday, off Cape Kennedy, HMS "Repulse" carried out a routine firing of a standard A3 Polaris missile, without its nuclear warhead, to test the ship's system following her refit. There was a failure of the missile during the first stage of its powered flight and it was destroyed. There was no danger either to the submarine or of any other kind. The launch itself was successful and the incident was not the result of any failure on the part of the ship's company or equipment. The precise cause is being investigated.