Contracts worth £350m have been awarded today to UK companies to design the next generation of nuclear deterrent submarines, sustaining hundreds of British jobs.
The first Successor submarine is due to be delivered in 2028, replacing the Vanguard Class submarines which currently carry the UK’s nuclear deterrent – Trident.
Although a decision on the final design and build will not be made until 2016, detailed work has to take place now to ensure that the Successor submarines will be the most technologically advanced, to protect our national security.
Contracts have been awarded to BAE Systems, Babcock and Rolls-Royce, sustaining or creating 1,900 jobs at sites across the UK. Engineers at the companies will work with the MOD on the design of the new submarines which will use a new nuclear propulsion system.
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said:
“This government is committed to maintaining a continuous submarine-based nuclear deterrent. The contracts announced today with BAE Systems, Babcock and Rolls-Royce symbolise an important step towards renewing our nation’s nuclear deterrent into the 2060s.
“We have a world-class submarine-building industry in this country and this programme will help to sustain or create more than 1,900 jobs across the UK.
“By making the core equipment programme fully funded and affordable, we are able to confirm additional equipment projects which help safeguard our national security.”
The largest contract, worth £328m, has been awarded to BAE Systems Maritime – Submarines, which will work on the overall submarine design. Babcock has been awarded £15m and will focus on designing parts of the in-service support. More than £4m has been paid to Rolls-Royce, which will be responsible for the integration of the reactor design.
The First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope, said:
“The Royal Navy has been operating continuous at sea deterrent patrols for more than 40 years and the Successor submarines will allow us to do so well into the future with cutting edge equipment.”
In May 2011, the MOD announced approval for the design phase, costing £3bn. The contracts announced today are part of that investment.
These are contracts for the design of the Successor submarines, not the missiles that they will carry.
As part of the coalition government agreement, a review is being carried out into alternative systems for maintaining a credible nuclear deterrent.
Naval Today Staff, May 22, 2012; Image: mod