Parliamentary answer: Trident Missiles

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The Secretary of State for Defence (Mr. Geoffrey Hoon): The current estimate of the total acquisition cost of the Trident programme, with payments already made expressed at the prices and exchange rates actually incurred and future spend at the current financial year exchange rate (the hybrid) estimate, is now £9,804 million.

Leaving aside the effects of price inflation and exchange rate variation there has been a cost increase of £3 million which reflects adjustments to the final outturn costs in the submarine area. Expenditure on the Trident acquisition programme to 30 September 2003 represented over 99 per cent. of the total estimate. If all expenditure, past and projected, is brought up to this current year's economic conditions (the non-hybrid estimate) the estimate is £14,893 million.

The programme continues to show an overall reduction in real terms on its original 1982 estimate. This reduction, including the savings resulting from the decision to process missiles at the United States facility at Kings Bay, Georgia, now stands at over £3.6 billion at current prices.

The proportion of the estimate for work undertaken in the United Kingdom continues to be around 70 per cent.

Our four in-service Vanguard class submarines are successfully maintaining continuous at-sea deterrence, with HMS Vanguard nearing completion of a planned major overhaul.

Estimate table    £ million

                                                                                        US        UK        TOTAL    
Hybrid               
Previous estimate (2003) at 2002-03               
Economic conditions (£1:$1.39)                                2,884    6,918        9,802    
Real changes                                                                        0         +3             +3    
Price inflation on unspent balance                                      0           0               0    
Exchange rate variation on unspent balance                    -1                           -1    
Revised estimate at 2003-04               
Economic conditions (£1:$1.514)                               2,883    6,921      9,804    
Non-hybrid               
Previous estimate (2003) at 2002-03               
Economic conditions (£:$1.39)                                    4,336   10,578   14,914    
Real changes                                                                         0            +3         +3    
Price inflation                                                                   +74        +265    +338    
Exchange rate variation                                                   -362                      362    
Revised estimate at 2003-04               
Economic conditions (£1:$1.514)                                4,048    10,846  14,893    

Note:
Figures rounded to nearest £ million hence any apparent imbalances.

18 Jan 2005 : Column 30WS