1 October 2016
Building work is to get under way on the UK's next generation of submarines armed with Trident nuclear missiles.
Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon has announced nearly £1.3bn to start the first construction phase of the new fleet, which will replace the four ageing Vanguard-class vessels.
The money will be used to build the part of the first submarine which contains switchboards and control panels for the reactor.
It will also be spent on designing the vessels and investing in facilities at the BAE Systems yard in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, where the submarines will be built.
The go-ahead for the controversial project, estimated to cost £31bn over 30 years with £10bn set aside as a contingency, came after MPs voted in July in favour of renewing the deterrent.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, a long-standing campaigner for unilateral nuclear disarmament, was among those to vote against the move - a stance at odds with his own party's policy.
The nationalist government in Scotland, where the submarine deterrent is based at Faslane, has also stated its strong opposition to the "immoral" weapons system.
The announcement will secure thousands of highly skilled jobs in the UK, and comes ahead of the Tory party conference in Birmingham.
The Defence Secretary said: "Britain's nuclear submarines are the ultimate guarantee of our nation's safety - we use them every day to deter the most extreme threats.
"We cannot know what new dangers we might face in the 2030s, 2040s and 2050s, so we are acting now to replace them.
"Along with increasing the defence budget to buy new ships, planes and armoured vehicles, this shows that the Conservative Party will never gamble with our national security."
Labour divisions over Trident were recently exposed at the party's conference.
Shadow defence secretary Clive Lewis reportedly punched a wall in frustration after a section of his speech in which he committed to maintaining the current pro-renewal policy was deleted on the orders of Mr Corbyn's spin doctor Seumas Milne.
Mr Lewis has said he would not attempt to change the policy "as things stand", however a shift in position was not ruled out by Mr Corbyn as he pledged to campaign for a "nuclear-free world".