U.K. Funds Successor Submarines
Michael Fallon, U.K. Secretary of State for Defence, has announced nearly £1.3 billion ($1.7 billion) of funding for the Successor submarine program.
The program will deliver four new submarines for the Royal Navy and will replace the current Vanguard class, with the first submarine entering service in the early 2030s.
The U.K. Ministry of Defence (MOD) funding announced will cover initial manufacturing work, which will start next week, on the first of the Trident ballistic-missile-carrying submarines. It will also enable further procurement of long lead items in addition to ongoing redevelopment of the facilities and infrastructure required to build the submarines at BAE Systems’ site in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria.
Comparable in size to the Vanguard class submarines, the next generation of nuclear deterrent submarine is widely considered to be one of the world's most complex engineering challenges. Technological advances, threat changes, new methods of design and production mean the new submarines will be a completely new design.
The Successor program already employs more than 2,600 people across MOD and industry, including 1,800 at BAE Systems. Thousands more will be employed in the supply chain with an average of 7,800 people expected to be working on Successor each year throughout the duration of the program. At peak, in the early 2020s, BAE Systems anticipates employing more than 5,000 people on the Successor program.