HC Deb 13 May 2003 vol 405 cc157-8W
Dr. Julian Lewis

ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to change the(a) size and (b) composition of the submarine fleet. [112264]

Mr. Ingram

The Department regularly reviews the Defence programme in order to deliver the optimum operational capability within available resources. There are no current plans to alter the United Kingdom's strategic nuclear deterrent submarine fleet (SSBN), however, in line with the 1998 Strategic Defence Review, the Royal Navy's Swiftsure and Trafalgar class attack submarine (SSN) force level will reduce to 10 vessels by 2006. It is intended that the Swiftsure and Trafalgar class capability will be progressively superseded by new Astute class vessels through a phased replacement programme.

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