Posted on April 30, 2019
A report examining the UK’s nuclear weapons has concluded that the programme is becoming increasingly unsustainable, with high costs putting submarine-based weapons systems at risk.
The Nuclear Information Service published its findings after 16 months of investigations. It says the full picture of what is happening in the programme is hidden from public view, and claims that the true cost is likely to be in the region of £172bn between now and 2070 – far greater than the MOD’s estimate of £31bn plus a £10bn contingency for building four new Dreadnought submarines.
The Nuclear Information Service says delays to weapons upgrades and escalating costs could eventually have an impact on the Continuous At Sea Deterrent (CASD). It predicts government could eventually be faced with a choice between paying for project upgrades at the expense of other public spending priorities, or abandoning submarine-based weapons systems altogether, and parliament should re-examine the UK’s Defence and Security Posture.
This year marks 50 years of the nation’s Continuous At Sea Deterrent, with Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson saying the government will ensure those who man it will have the means to do their job for another 50 years.