The price tag for the Royal Navy's new Portsmouth-based aircraft carriers is set to top more
than £6bn as the Government prepares to announce further cost overruns, according to reports.
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond is expected to announce the projected cost of the two carriers - which will not enter service until the end of the decade - has risen by another £800m to £6.2bn.
The latest increase means the bill for the 65,000-ton ships will be almost double the £3.5bn estimated when the programme was agreed by the last Labour government in 2007.
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The Government has previously described the new coin - which enters circulation on Tuesday - as "harder to counterfeit than ever before".