§ Mr. Alan Clark
The Trident programme is on time and within budget and continues to make satisfactory progress towards its in-service date of the mid-1990s.
§ 67. Mr. Flannery
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he has any plans to reduce the number of Trident submarines on order in view of the new international climate.
§ Mr. Archie Hamilton
While the Government welcome recent positive developments in the international climate, there nevertheless remain considerable uncertainties, and we therefore fully support the view of the NATO alliance that for the foreseeable future the deterrence of war will continue to require the maintenance of strategic nuclear forces. In the circumstances we remain entirely convinced of the need for Trident. We continue to plan on the basis of a four-boat force, which will provide us with the means to ensure that one boat can be kept on patrol at all times.