Defence written question – answered on 11th September 2013.

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Photo of Julian Lewis Julian Lewis Conservative, New Forest East

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the Prime Minister's oral answer of 4 September 2013, on Trident, if he will make an estimate of the additional cost to his Department of bringing forward the main gate decision on the successor submarines to before May 2015.

Photo of Philip Hammond Philip Hammond The Secretary of State for Defence

As my hon. Friend will be aware, major investment decisions are made when programmes are sufficiently mature in terms of design and cost estimates. For the successor submarine we expect this point, the Main Gate decision point, to be in 2016. Making investment decisions and placing contracts when projects are not sufficiently mature is likely to lead to cost growth and time delays. However, it is not possible, for any individual project, to estimate with any degree of accuracy what those costs and delays might be, precisely because the programme is not yet sufficiently mature.

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