§ Dr. Julian Lewis
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what the planned decommissioning dates are for(a) HMS Vanguard, (b) HMS Victorious, (c) HMS Vigilant and (d) HMS Vengeance; 
(2) what the (a) maximum and (b) planned lifespans are for the UK Trident missile system; 
(3) when he expects to make a decision on replacing the strategic nuclear deterrent with a new system; and what the latest date is by which this decision must be made. 
§ Mr. Hoon
[holding answer 20 February 2004]I refer the hon. Member to paragraph 3.11 of the Defence White Paper published in December 2003 (CM 6041).
As with other key defence capabilities, we routinely undertake studies into the optimum operational life and value for money rather than specifying a fixed lifespan.