Royal Navy to allow women on subs

Dec. 8, 2011 at 11:11 AM

LONDON, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- Britain's Royal Navy has lifted its ban on women serving on submarines, officials said.

Female officers will begin serving on Vanguard-class nuclear subs in late 2013, British Defense Secretary Philip Hammond said.

"Women had previously been excluded from submariner roles due to concerns about higher levels of carbon dioxide in submarine atmosphere carrying risks to female health," the Ministry of Defense said Thursday in a statement. "But recent research by the Institute of Naval Medicine showed that these risks were unfounded and that there were no medical reasons for excluding women from service in submarines."

Hammond said the decision was made after an 18-month review into the "legal, operational, health, social, technical, and financial issues" of allowing women on submarines, the BBC reported.

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