UK businesses will be behind the design and manufacture of the world’s most advanced submarines, following the awarding of £4 billion of contracts on 1 October.
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The signing of the Detailed Design and Long Leads (D2L2) Phase with BAE Systems (BAES), Rolls-Royce and Babcock Marine represents a significant milestone for both the UK and the trilateral AUKUS programme as a whole, in the lead up to build the future class of nuclear-powered attack submarines, known as SSN-AUKUS.
The contracts totalling £4 billion will progress the programme through the design, prototyping and purchase of main long lead components for the first UK submarines, allowing construction to commence in the coming years and ensure the stability and resilience of our domestic supply chain.
Building on more than 60 years of British expertise in designing, building and operating nuclear-powered submarines, the D2L2 contracts will support thousands of highly skilled jobs in the UK.
Alongside the design development and long-lead procurement, infrastructure at the submarine shipyard in Barrow-in-Furness and the nuclear reactor manufacturing site in Raynesway, Derby will be developed and expanded where needed to meet the requirement of the future submarine build programme.
The aim is to deliver the first UK submarines into service in the late 2030s to replace the current Astute Class vessels, and the first Australian submarines will follow in the early 2040s.
They will be the largest, most advanced and most powerful attack submarines ever operated by the Royal Navy, combining world-leading sensors, design and weaponry in one vessel.
Construction of the UK’s submarines will take place principally in Barrow-in-Furness, while Australia will work over the next decade to build up its submarine industrial base, and will build its submarines in Australia with Rolls-Royce supplying the nuclear reactors for all UK and Australian submarines. ■
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