The United Kingdom’s Future Nuclear Deterrent: The 2018 Update to Parliament
UK Ministry of Defence
Dated Dec 20, 2018

The United Kingdom’s (UK's) nuclear deterrent deters against the most extreme threats to the nation's way of life, both now and in the future. It provides the ultimate guarantee of national security, and is a major part of this Government’s commitment to ensure the safety and security of its citizens.

In 2016, Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favour of retaining the UK’s nuclear deterrent and replacing the current Vanguard Class submarines with four new ballistic missile submarines: the Dreadnought Class. Working with industry partners, the Department will ensure that the UK has a credible, independent and capable nuclear deterrent out to the 2060s and beyond.

Since the 2017 update, the National Audit Office conducted a landscape review of the Defence Nuclear Enterprise to help Parliament better understand the portfolio of programmes. The report provided a factual account that set out the complex nature of the Enterprise and recognised the positive steps the Department has taken to deliver its technically challenging network of programmes and to help ensure that there are sufficient investments, structures, processes and skills available to sustain the nuclear deterrent, now and in the future.

This is the seventh annual update on the replacement submarine programme and other related programmes across the Enterprise.

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