The overall cost of replacing and maintaining Britain’s nuclear deterrent will reach £167 billion, according to calculations by an MP and Reuters news agency.
If the figure is confirmed, it is likely to spur critics who say Britain should not be committing to spending billions of pounds on defence at a time when they say deep cuts under the Government’s “austerity” policies are hurting families.
Until now, the UK Government has said replacing the fleet of submarines, which carry nuclear warheads to provide a continuous at-sea deterrent, would cost an estimated £15-20 billion.
It has as yet given no official estimate of the cost of its replacement and maintenance.
The information came in a written parliamentary response to Conservative Crispin Blunt, by Minister of State for Defence Procurement Philip Dunne.