HL Deb 27 March 1985 vol 461 cc1139-40WA
Lord Diamond

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What, at constant prices, were the first and latest estimated costs (including modifications) of Trident; what was the dollar content of each estimate; and what were the respective rates of conversion into sterling.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Armed Forces (Lord Trefgarne)

The cost of a Trident I Force was broadly assessed at around £4,500 million to £5,000 million at the time of the July 1980 public announcement. The dollar content was roughly estimated as being about 30 per cent. of the whole.

The original estimated cost of the Trident II procurement programme was £7,520 million at September 1981 prices and at £1 to $1.78. The dollar content was $5,897 million. If this estimate was to be updated to 1984–85 prices and £1=$1.38—the price basis of the latest Trident estimate announced by my right honourable friend the Secretary of State in January—it would amount to £10,008 million and the dollar content to $7,006 million. However, there have been a number of changes to the programme in the intervening period, including changes in the planned allocation of work between the United Kingdom and the United States, notably the decision to process missiles at King's Bay in the United States of America, at a saving in cost of some £700 million at current prices. The latest estimate of £9,285 million includes a dollar content of $5,717 million.