HC Deb 11 June 2002 vol 386 cc1162-3W
David Hamilton

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many people working in the armed forces are directly employed in the area of nuclear deterrent. [60284]

Dr. Moonie

There are currently some 1,509 full-time armed forces posts in the Ministry of Defence and its agencies for tasks directly related to the nuclear deterrent, though not all posts are filled at any given time. In addition, a number of other service personnel spend some of their time directly or indirectly on such tasks but comprehensive data are not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

David Hamilton

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will estimate the cost(a) of retaining the nuclear deterrent by the UK in each year since 1990 and (b) of being a part of NATO and the percentage this was of the defence budget in each year since 1997. [60283]

Mr. Hoon

The estimated total acquisition cost of the Trident programme is £9,764 million. As described in the Strategic Defence Review Supporting Essay 5 of July 1998. a copy of which is in the Library of the House, the average annual operating cost of the Trident force is expected to be around £280 million. As a percentage of the defence budget, the capital and running costs for retaining the United Kingdom's nuclear deterrent for each year since 1990 were as follows:

Financial year Capital costs Running costs
1990–91 4 1
1991–92 5 1
1992–93 4 1
1993–94 4 1
1994–95 3 1
1995–96 2 1
1996–97 2 1
1997–98 1 1
1998–99 1 1
1999–2000 1 1
2000–01 1 2
These figures do not include the costs of the WE177 free-fall nuclear bomb and Lance nuclear artillery system that went out of service in 1997–98 and 1992–1993 respectively.

The United Kingdom's contributions to NATO's Security Investment Programme and Military Budget are funded by the Defence budget. For each year since 1997, these were as follows:

Financial year £ million Percentage
1997–98 102.032 0.459
1998–99 110.477 0.471
1999–2000 103.812 0.436
2000–01 101.411 0.408

Final figures for 2001–02 are not yet available.

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