27th June 2019

Sir Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, for what reasons there have been delays in the Astute Programme; and if she will make a statement.

Stuart Andrew, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Minister for Defence Procurement: Designing and building submarines is one of the most complex activities that the Ministry of Defence and UK Industry undertakes. Historically the Astute Programme has suffered delays, as documented by the National Audit Office. Delays to the programme are predominantly due to the fact that BAE Systems and its supply chain had to re-establish the UK's nuclear submarine design, build, testing and commissioning capability following the ten-year gap after the delivery of the last Vanguard Class submarines, as well as addressing some unique technical challenges.