Forcing the early removal of the Trident nuclear deterrent from an independent Scotland could have a knock-on effect on wider defence jobs, according to a senior MP.
Ian Davidson, convener of Westminster's Scottish Affairs Committee, raised his concern that a quick removal would effectively make the decision for the whole of the UK because there is nowhere else to put them at short notice.
He made the comments at the end of a two-day fact-finding trip which took in an engineering college, RAF Leuchars and defence-related firms, particularly in Fife.
The Labour MP for Glasgow South West said: "What we've identified is there is a whole number of factories in Fife that could be hurt by that, if it's an acrimonious division. If, on the other hand, Alex Salmond says 'you can keep them', then there's a better chance."
Keeping the deterrent in Scotland for as long as 20 years may not please anti-nuclear campaigners but it would give the remaining UK time to build a new base, he added.
Mr Davidson said the two-day trip helped MPs on the committee see the scale of support jobs and defence-related employment in Scotland.
Many of those jobs could be "at risk" through independence, he said.
Speaking after a visit to Carnegie College in Rosyth, he said: "We have been made aware of the substantial number of jobs in Fife tied into the Ministry of Defence and the UK. We're going to explore this further, but we can see that all these jobs could be put at risk from separation.
"We weren't aware of the scale of the support jobs. At Leuchars you're talking about 700 to 800 jobs just to keep some jets in the air. We didn't know that to do that they are refuelled by air tankers from Brize Norton in England.
"If the SNP want that air patrol cover, it looks like they'll need air tankers too, which has never been mentioned. They are enormously expensive. It would require airfield, support crew. The SNP needs to come clean about what it wants and means."