Major investment revealed for British submarine industry
Speaking at BAE Systems' shipyard in Barrow-in-Furness Cumbria, the home of British submarine construction, defence secretary Gavin Williamson announced £960 million worth of contracts have been signed to ramp up the next phase of construction for the UK's four nuclear-armed Dreadnought submarines.
He also announced that the Ministry of Defence had signed a £1.5 billion contract to build a seventh Astute hunter-killer submarine for the Royal Navy, before revealing that the attack boat will be called Agincourt. It will be the sixth vessel in the Royal Navy to be named after the Battle of Agincourt of 1415.
"This multi-billion-pound investment in our nuclear submarines shows our unwavering commitment to keeping the UK safe and secure from intensifying threats," said Williamson. "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."
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.
In front of a gathered workforce of employees and apprentices, Williamson 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. The Dreadnought Submarine Programme will now move into its second phase. 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.