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3 minute read - 10th May 2022

£2bn boost as Dreadnought submarine contracts awarded

Defence contracts worth more than £2bn have been awarded to BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce to begin the third major phase of the Dreadnought submarine nuclear deterrent programme.

With the overall programme supporting around 30,000 jobs across the UK, from design through to build, delivery phase 3 (DP3) represents the most significant stage of the Dreadnought programme so far. In 2021 alone, it supported around 13,500 jobs in the Northwest of England and a further 16,300 over the rest of the UK.

The investment is the latest financial commitment between the Ministry of Defence, BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce, and is the initial investment within a planned overall total of nearly £10bn for the whole delivery phase.

Contracts worth more than £2bn have been awarded to BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce for the Dreadnought submarine programme that supports around 30,000 jobs across the UK / Picture: BAE Systems

DP3 will see the first of four submarines, HMS Dreadnought, exit the Barrow-in-Furness shipyard to begin sea trials, laying the foundation to sustain the continuous at sea deterrence (CASD) for as long as the international security situation makes it necessary. In addition, a £160m contract has been awarded to Raytheon UK for the Dreadnought crew training at HM Naval Base Clyde.

Defence procurement minister, Jeremy Quin, said: “The Dreadnought class will be crucial to maintaining and safeguarding our national security, with the nuclear deterrent protecting every UK citizen from the most extreme threats, every minute of every day. Designed in the UK, built in the UK and supporting tens of thousands of jobs in the UK, the Dreadnought programme is a leading example of our commitment to defence manufacturing and will continue to boost British industry for decades to come.”

The Dreadnought programme also brings huge benefits to BAE Systems’ Submarines Academy for Skills and Knowledge, based at the Barrow-in-Furness site. Opened in 2018, the academy is currently training more than 1,050 apprentices and graduates, with a further 230 craft apprentices, 110 degree apprentices and 90 graduates set to join this year.

Steve Timms, managing director at BAE Systems Submarines, said: “We take great pride in designing and delivering one of the world’s most advanced engineering programmes and helping to protect national security. Today’s funding announcement allows us to maintain the Dreadnought programme’s progress and continue investing in the infrastructure and skills needed to deliver these highly complex submarines to the Royal Navy.”

Dreadnought-class submarines will be the largest ever built for the Royal Navy and the first, once built, will enter service in the early 2030s / Picture: BAE Systems

The Dreadnought class will be one of the most complex machines ever built and it will operate in one of the most hostile environments on the planet. As the largest class of submarine ever built for the Royal Navy, each will boast 26.4 miles of pipework and more than 20,000 cables stretching 215 miles – further than travelling between London and Leeds.

Steve Carlier, president of Rolls-Royce Submarines, added: “Since 1969, Rolls-Royce has proudly provided the nuclear power and expertise that keeps the UK’s continuous nuclear deterrent at sea. This latest contract is a welcome sign of the UK’s ongoing commitment to the Submarines Enterprise and all the jobs around the UK that support it.”

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