The UK Ministry of Defence awarded Bae Systems a £1.3 billion contract to build the fifth Astute-class submarine for the Royal Navy on November 19.
The full contract covers the design and remaining build, test and commissioning activities on Anson, the fifth of seven technologically-advanced submarines in the class. Manufacturing commenced in 2010. The next UK submarine, named Anson, is now at an advanced stage of construction at BAE Sytems’ Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria site and on schedule to leave for sea trials in 2020.
The Ministry of Defence said that £50 million was taken off the contract during negotiations with BAE Systems, and the agreed build time was to date the shortest ever for the Astute Class, with a current schedule some nine months ahead of that for Boat 3.
Commenting the occasion, Defence Minister Philip Dunne said:
This new contract for Anson not only provides significant financial savings of £50 million to the taxpayer but also secures thousands of jobs in Barrow and across the UK supply chain, demonstrating the Government’s commitment to increase defence spending each year for the rest of the decade.
Tony Johns, Managing Director of BAE Systems Submarines, said:
Signing this contract is an important milestone in the Astute programme. HMS Astute and HMS Ambush are already demonstrating their world-class capabilities with the Royal Navy, whilst the third submarine in the class, Artful, is continuing with her sea trials. The build phase for the fourth, Audacious, is also well advanced, so we continue to make positive progress across the programme.
Agamemnon, the sixth boat, and the seventh, still unnamed boat, are also under construction in Barrow. Powered by a nuclear reactor, each of the Astute-class submarines will provide land strike, strategic intelligence-gathering, anti-submarine and surface ship warfare capabilities.
Image: BAE Systems