HC Deb 11 February 1982 vol 17 cc418-9W
Sir Victor Goodhew

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the future of HMS "Dreadnought".

Mr. Blaker

After careful examination of financial and operational considerations it has been decided that HMS "Dreadnought" will be de-fuelled and de-equipped at Chatham and will then be laid up at a secure mooring.

"Dreadnought" was launched in 1960 and was commissioned in 1963. She is our oldest hunter/killer submarine and the single boat of her class, being equipped with what are now an obsolescent nuclear propulsion system and obsolescent secondary machinery. This submarine is noisy by modern standards, and even after a refit would only have had a limited operational capability in her primary role. The cost of a refit would have been in excess of £70 million.

RUC RUC Reserve Civilians Total
1 January 1972 4,086 1,284 730 6,100
1 May 1979 6,334 4,594 1,421 12,349
1 January 1982 7,334 4,870 1,503 13,707

The total annual staff costs, at outturn prices, for the relevant financial years are: 1971–72—£14,010,000; 1979–80—£89,813,000; 1981–82, estimate—£146,370,000. Figures at constant prices are not readily available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

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