Counting the cost of the UK's next nuclear deterrent



It wasn’t quite a throwback to the Cold War era of rowdy Commons debates and campaigners chained to the gates of Greenham Common. But last week’s rebellion over the UK’s nuclear arsenal was still sizeable. It also drew a major parallel with the past: ministers, officials and the public have little idea how much the controversial nuclear deterrent will cost.

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How the estimated Trident costs break down

New submarines £11bn—£14bn
New missiles £2bn—£3bn
New Infrastructure £2bn—£3bn
Total procurement costs £15bn—£20bn
In-service costs
(30 years at 4%–6% of MoD budget) £45bn—£66bn
Total ‘new system’ costs £60bn—£86bn
Other related costs
Extension of current missile life £250m
Extension of current submarines’ life £200m+
Decommissioning current subs £1.75bn
Upgrading Aldermaston £1bn+
Additional missile costs after 2042 £1.5bn
Total potential costs £64.7bn—£90.7bn

Sources: Ministry of Defence, Hansard, Greenpeace