The U.K. Ministry of Defence (MoD) has awarded BAE Systems £201 million to further the design of a successor to the Royal Navy's Vanguard class submarines.
The funding will allow the business to mature the design of the new class of submarines, which will carry the U.K.'s independent nuclear deterrent, including the layout of equipment and systems, and to develop manufacturing processes, BAE Systems announced today.
BAE Systems is the industrial lead on the program with more than 1,600 employees working on it, alongside colleagues from the MoD, Rolls Royce and Babcock, many of whom are based at the company's site in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria.
Today’s announcement follows three previous funding packages awarded to BAE Systems - two awards of £328 million and £315 million to commence initial design in 2012, followed by £257 million in 2015 for the detailed design.
Approximately 7,700 people are employed by BAE Systems Submarines with the majority at its site in Barrow, where submarines have been built for the Royal Navy for more than a century. The company is also building the Astute class, which includes seven nuclear-powered attack submarines.
Subject to the U.K. government approval to progress to the construction phase, it is estimated BAE Systems will employ between 5,000 and 6,000 people on the Successor program at its peak, with a total of 9,000 employed across BAE Systems’ submarines business. The company said it spends approximately £300 million annually across its submarine supply chain and this number is expected to increase throughout the life of the Successor program.
In readiness for the start of construction of Successor, more than £300 million is being invested into BAE Systems’ Barrow site to transform its submarine building capabilities. This will include new facilities as well as the refurbishment of existing buildings.