To ask the Secretary of State for Defence
(1) pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for West Bromwich East of 15 June 2010, Official Report, column 347W, on Astute-class submarines, what progress has been made in re-baselining the drumbeat production level of the Astute-class submarines; and if he will make a statement;
(2) what his most recent estimate is of the future drumbeat level of production of Astute-class submarines; what he expects the (a) launch and (b) in-service dates to be of the remaining submarines; and if he will make a statement.
All projects are being considered as part of the Strategic Defence and Security Review, and the outcome of this will be announced later this year.
The re-baselining work, which includes detailed joint planning and cost analysis by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and BAE Systems Submarine Solutions, the prime contractor for the Astute Submarine Programme, is ongoing. The programme production timetable, including expected launch and in-service dates for the Astute class of submarines, can only be confirmed once this work has been completed, and MOD and HM Treasury re-approval has been obtained.