THE COST of replacing the Royal Navy’s ageing fleet of submarines that carry Britain’s Trident nuclear deterrent has soared by £6bn, the Government’s defence review revealed today.
The Ministry of Defence now estimates that acquiring four new submarines will cost £31 billion over the course of the 20 year procurement programme - compared to a previous estimate of £25 billion - according to the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR).
And a further £10 billion “contingency” has been set aside meet additional unexpected cost increases, reflecting the complexity of the project, with the first submarine due to enter service in the early 2030s, the SDSR said.
“The revised cost and schedule reflect the greater understanding we now have about the detailed design of the submarines and their manufacture,” the report said.
The SDSR set out heavily-trailed plans for two new Army 5,000-strong “strike brigades” capable of deploying rapidly around the world as well as an additional £12 billion of equipment funding.
However the MoD’s civilian workforce will be reduced by almost 30% to 41,000 over the next five years.
There will also be a new “pay model” for armed forces personnel - with an offer to new recruits that is intended to better meet their expectations and “targets resources on the people we need the most”.