Ministry of Defence: Expenditure

Ministry of Defence written question – answered am ar 11 Mawrth 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Lord Rogan Lord Rogan Deputy Speaker (Lords)

To ask His Majesty's Government how much the Ministry of Defence has spent in each of the past five years on surveillance operations to protect the network of undersea cables serving the British Isles from sabotage by hostile actors; and what proportion the government of the Republic of Ireland has contributed towards the cost of those operations.

Photo of The Earl of Minto The Earl of Minto The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence

The Government takes the security and resilience of our critical infrastructure very seriously and we focus on the full range of threats and risks. The responsibility for maintaining subsea cables is a commercial one for the owner-operators. However, the Department for Science Innovation and Technology and Department for Energy Security and Net Zero work closely with the operators, regulators and other stakeholders to assess risks and ensure that the appropriate mitigation measures, including the provision of specialist capabilities are in place to enable an effective response to actual or potentially disruptive incidents.

The Ministry of Defence constantly monitors activity within UK waters and its Exclusive Economic Zone to counter and deter detected threats. British warships frequently patrol throughout the UK marine area. We have invested in our under-water capabilities able to monitor and assure the seabed including the Multi-Role Ocean Surveillance (MROS) programme which we do not comment on in detail. These capabilities are used for a variety of purposes and roles meaning that we cannot provide a cost for surveillance.

Questions on critical national infrastructure are for individual nations to answer, therefore any questions on Irish subsea cables should be directed to the Irish Government.

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