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3 minute read

Dreadnought-class : World class in Barrow

BAE Systems

Picture: BAE Systems

The Government recently announced £1.3 billion of funding for the new Dreadnought-class submarine which will replace the current Vanguard-class vessels in service with the Royal Navy. Defence Secretary Michael Fallon recently visited the BAE Systems Maritime facility in Barrow-in-Furness to mark the start of production and see the first steel being cut.

The Defence Secretary said: “Every day our ballistic missile submarines are used to deter the most extreme threats to Britain’s security. We cannot know what dangers we might face in the 2030s, 2040s and 2050s, so we are building the new Dreadnought class.

Building to start on new nuclear submarines as government announces £1.3 billion investment

Michael Fallon watching the first steel being cut / Picture: BAE Systems


The Dreadnought programme already employs 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 Dreadnought each year throughout the duration of the programme. At peak, in the early 2020s, BAE Systems anticipates employing more than 5,000 people on the Dreadnought programme.

To date, BAE Systems has worked with more than 100 suppliers, 85% of whom are based in the UK. The total spend in the supply chain is anticipated to reach between £8-9bn, with in excess of 350 suppliers in the submarines’ build programme.

Dreadnought-class facts & figures

• 4 vessels will be produced over the next 15 years at the site in Barrow.
• 152.9 metres long, roughly the same as the length of 3 Olympic swimming pools
• Largest submarines ever built for the Royal Navy
• 42.5 km of piping
• 20,000 cables on board (347 km)
• Accomodates 130 crew members
• Manufactures its own oxygen and fresh water
• Innovative lighting system that allows the crew to simulate night and day
• The first Royal Navy submarine to separate female crew quarters


Computer generated image of the new Dreadnought submarine / Picture: BAE Systems