British parliament on Monday voted to replace its aging fleet of nuclear-armed submarines with new vessels.
Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative government is committed to keeping the country's nuclear arsenal, a powerful but costly symbol of the country's military status that consists of four Royal Navy submarines armed with Trident missiles.
“We have voted to protect our nation from the most serious threats we may face in the 2030s, 2040s and 2050s,” Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said in a statement Monday.
“The British Parliament has sent a powerful message to our allies that Britain is stepping up its international commitments, not stepping back from them. We will now get on with building the next generation of nuclear submarines to help keep the nation, and our allies, safe for decades to come,” Fallon added.
After six hours of debate, lawmakers in the House of Commons voted by 472 to 117 to build new submarines to replace the current fleet, in service since the 1990s. The government estimates the cost of the new subs at up to 41 billion pounds ($54 billion) over 20 years, reported France24 Tuesday.