§ Dr. Cunningham
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the recent finding of a live submarine projectile on St. Bees beach; and what instructions are issued to submarine commanders in respect of practising with live projectiles.
§ Mr. Archie Hamilton
I understand that the object found on St. Bees beach, Cumbria, was not a submarine projectile but a submarine smoke float. This is a small pyrotechnic device released by a submarine during an exercise which emits smoke upon reaching the surface, thereby indicating the position of the submarine.
Live projectiles, such as missiles or torpedoes, are fired by submarines only on the high seas and a notice of intent is always issued beforehand. Such ammunition is never fired if any surface vessel or aircraft is in the area.