The MOD has today announced a £201 million package to support further design work for the Royal Navy’s next generation of nuclear submarines.
The funding will enable BAE Systems to develop the design of the so-called 'successor' submarine, including the layout of equipment and systems, and to develop manufacturing processes, including the production of early prototypes.
The new submarine will be one of the stealthiest submarines in the world. It will also be the safest and most technically advanced submarine ever built in the UK.
The current Vanguard submarines are reaching the end of their lifespans
The move comes despite the massive project having yet to get formal approval in Parliament.
Work on the submarine’s design will draw on cutting edge capabilities in innovation, design and engineering, employing around 2,500 highly-skilled people in the UK from BAE Systems, Babcock and Rolls-Royce. Hundreds of potential suppliers, including Small and Medium Enterprises, have also been identified across the country.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:
"The round the clock nuclear deterrent is as crucial to Britain’s national security now as it has ever been. We use it everyday to deter extreme threats that cannot be countered by any other means."
When there are 17,000 nuclear weapons in the world, we can’t wish away threats we face now and those that may emerge in the 2030s, 2040s, and 2050s.
Chief of Materiel (Fleet) Vice Admiral Simon Lister added:
We are now in the detailed design stage of the most technologically advanced nuclear submarine in the history of the Royal Navy. Building on cutting edge developments carried out by the MOD, BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce and Babcock, this funding will allow us to continue to move forwards with the programme.
The funding, is part of the overall £3.3 billion package announced in the last parliament for the Assessment Phase of the Successor submarine programme.
Four Vanguard submarines – which currently maintain the UK’s nuclear deterrent - will be replaced from the early 2030s.
BAE Systems builds submarines - such as the pictured Astute-class - for the Royal Navy at barrow in Furness
Within the next four years all the UK’s submarines will be based in Scotland. This will lead to the creation of 1,400 new jobs taking the total number employed at HM Naval Base Clyde to 8,200 by 2022.