• 8 April 2015
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At the moment there is always one nuclear armed submarine on patrol The Conservatives' manifesto will have a commitment to build four new nuclear missile-armed submarines, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has said.
He said the new fleet was "the only sensible policy to pursue" and would ensure a continuous nuclear deterrent.
A final decision on replacing the current Trident system is due in 2016.
Labour is committed to renewing Trident if it wins the election but will consider whether to reduce the number of submarines from four to three.
The Liberal Democrats do favour cutting the number of Vanguard submarines from four to three, saying the existing system was designed for the Cold War era.


The Clyde-based submarines that currently carry Trident are due to reach the end of their operational lives within the next decade.
In an article for the Times, Mr Fallon confirmed the existing Tory policy of four new submarines would feature in the election manifesto.
He also said a minority Labour government backed by the Scottish National Party, which wants to scrap Trident, would mean Ed Miliband was "ready to barter away our nuclear deterrent in a backroom deal with the SNP".
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon's "brusque demands should alarm people right across our United Kingdom", Mr Fallon said.
He added: "Our nuclear submarines protect all of Britain including Scotland. This SNP policy is a threat to us all that would dangerously weaken our collective defence.
"When Britain could face nuclear blackmail by rogue states, this self-indulgent approach is more suited to a student protest group than a party of government."
Speaking on the BBC's Scottish leaders' debate, Ms Sturgeon said: "It is often asked of me whether Trident is a red line... here's your answer - you'd better believe it's a red line".
However she did not say the SNP would bring down a minority government if it lost a vote on the matter, saying it could "force a different direction" with enough backing from other parties.
Labour has ruled out a coalition with the SNP after the 7 May general election.
Speaking on the same debate, the party's leader in Scotland, Jim Murphy, said a majority Labour government was the only way to avoid "public horse trading" over the issue.
[Only registered and activated users can see links. ] This election issue includes foreign policy and the role of UK’s defence forces at home and abroad.

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Last month, shadow chancellor Ed Balls floated the possibility of fewer submarines, but said Labour would "absolutely" maintain the current number if it was needed to provide a continuous deterrent.
The issue also provoked a coalition row in the previous government when the Lib Dems requested a [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]examining possible alternatives.
All of the parties have faced questions during the election campaign about their plans for defence spending.
Neither Labour nor the Conservatives have committed to matching the Nato target of 2% of GDP beyond 2016. UKIP says it would meet this commitment by cutting foreign aid.
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