Philip Hammond stresses Trident support
Friday 21 October 2011
New Defence Secretary Philip Hammond insisted today he supports plans for the renewal of Britain's Trident nuclear deterrent.
Within days of his appointment to the role following the resignation of Liam Fox last Friday, industry experts raised fears Mr Hammond would rethink the programme as he had failed to back it in Parliament.
The new generation of missile-carrying submarines is expected to cost up to £25 billion in cash terms and the first of the four replacement submarines is planned to enter service in 2028.
Asked if he wanted Trident to be renewed, Mr Hammond told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "Yes, that is clear."
"I am absolutely committed to the Trident programme and always have been.
"I heard this story earlier in the week and I think the issue was that I was actually out on a visit on the route of the high-speed railway proposal when the vote was taken in Parliament.
"Had I been there I would have voted in favour."
Dr Fox had indicated he would resign if Trident was ditched, as Lib Dems wanted, while he was still in post but the "main gate" decision was pushed back to 2016.
Mr Hammond also insisted that defence cuts would not prevent Britain having a "viable" armed forces.
He said: "We have had to make some serious budget cuts. My predecessor has successfully negotiated with the Treasury a settlement that will allow the UK to continue to project force abroad, to continue to have viable and sustainable armed forces in the future.
"Over the next 10 years we will be spending £165 billion on military equipment and equipment support and this is a major investment."
He added: "We have demonstrated during the course of the Libya campaign our ability to mount a significant operation while simultaneously fighting a major engagement in Afghanistan."
Fracking is turning the US into a bigger oil producer than Saudi Arabia
Missing Malaysia Airlines plane: Details emerge of two young Iranians using stolen passports in search for a better life
Three-quarters of Britons are saying it wrong - the top ten most common mispronunciations
Oscar Pistorius trial: Athlete's friend asked him if 'he was f***ing mad' after shooting through sunroof
Oscar Pistorius trial: Forensic analyst says athlete 'was not wearing prosthetic legs' when he smashed locked toilet door with a bat
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Katie Hopkins continues campaign to become Britain's most hated talking head with poorly timed Bob Crow tweet
No EU referendum under Labour: Ed Miliband to reveal that vote on membership is ‘unlikely’ in next Parliament if party wins power
Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
- 1 Three-quarters of Britons are saying it wrong - the top ten most common mispronunciations
- 2 Boy George: Bad karma
- 3 Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
- 4 First Kiss video: Filmmaker gets 20 strangers to make out on YouTube with awkward results
- 5 Ian Wright breaks down in ITV documentary charting his rise to Arsenal and England striker
£20,000 to £25,000: IT Connections Ltd: Graduate C / C++ Developer / Electroni...
£25,000 to £35,000: IT Connections Ltd: C / C++ Software Engineer / Windows / ...
£50,000 to £60,000: IT Connections Ltd: C++ / Java / Senior Software Developer...
£23500 - £50000 per annum: Randstad Education Plymouth: Randstad Education is...