£2.5bn investment in UK nuclear submarines

Nuclear submarine under construction
  • £1.5 billion will go on building the Royal Navy’s seventh Astute submarine.
  • New attack boat called Agincourt.
  • Another £960m will go to the second phase of construction for the UK’s four nuclear-armed Dreadnought submarines.
  • The work will sustain around 8,000 jobs in BAE Systems’ Submarine business.
  • The Defence Secretary officially opens a new £100 million sub-construction building.
Published 14th May 2018.
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Announcement on behalf of the Submarine Delivery Agency.

The Ministry of Defence is investing a massive £2.5 billion in boosting Britain’s submarine building projects.

The Submarine Delivery Agency (SDA) will manage £960 million worth of contracts to ramp up the next phase of construction for the UK’s four nuclear-armed Dreadnought submarines.

The SDA has also signed a £1.5 billion contract to build a seventh Astute hunter-killer submarine for the Royal Navy, named Agincourt. It will be the sixth vessel in the Royal Navy to be named after the Battle of Agincourt of 1415.

Chief Executive Officer of the Submarine Delivery Agency, Ian Booth said:

“The incredibly complex Astute and Dreadnought programmes maximise the tremendously skilled and experienced workforce we have across the UK submarine business.

“Both programmes require commitment and close collaboration with our industrial partners across the supply chain and in the newly formed Dreadnought Alliance, which will deliver a step change in how we will work together to efficiently and effectively deliver nuclear submarines for the Royal Navy.”

The multi-billion pound announcements will help sustain around 8,000 jobs in BAE Systems’ submarine business, as well as thousands more across the UK submarine supply chain.

The announcements were made by the Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson during a ceremony to open a new £100 million submarine construction building in the Cumbria factory. In front of a gathered workforce of employees and apprentices, he unveiled a plaque to mark the opening of the state-of-the-art Central Yard Facility building which, at 26,700 metres squared, is equivalent in size to 21 Olympic-sized swimming pools and, at 45 metres high, is as tall as ten double-decker buses.

It will be used to outfit and test each section of the new Dreadnought submarines.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

“This multi-billion-pound investment in our nuclear submarines shows our unwavering commitment to keeping the UK safe and secure from intensifying threats. Agincourt will complete the Royal Navy’s seven-strong fleet of hunter-killer attack subs, the most powerful to ever enter British service, whilst our nuclear deterrent is the ultimate defence against the most extreme dangers we could possibly face.

“Not only is this a massive boost for our armed forces, but it’s huge for Barrow, the heart of sub-building in this country. Today’s news supports 8,000 BAE Systems’ submarine jobs, as well as thousands more in the supply chain, protecting prosperity and providing opportunity right across the country.”

This will continue the design and build of the first Dreadnought submarine and commence the build of the second, including furthering the design and manufacture of the nuclear propulsion power plant. This phase has commenced with contracts signed for £900 million and £60 million with BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce respectively.

The Rolls-Royce contract sees over 700 jobs sustained at their factory in the city.

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