UK has announced £1.3 billion of new investment to start construction work on Successor nuclear-powered missile submarine, which will begin to replace the current Vanguard-class in Royal Navy service in the early 2030s.
The Successor project will now move into the next stage, known as ‘Delivery Phase 1’, with manufacturing work beginning on structural steel work for the ‘auxiliary machine space’ of the first submarine that contains switchboards and control panels for the reactor. The money will also be spent furthering the design of the submarine, purchasing materials and long lead items, and investing in facilities at the BAE Systems yard in Barrow-in-Furness where the submarines will be built, the UK MoD said in a statement Saturday.
As part of our £178 billion equipment plan, the programme will be supported by a defence budget that will rise every year until the end of the decade, meeting the NATO commitment to spend two per cent of GDP on defence.
At a ceremonial event at the BAE Systems yard next week, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon will begin the work with a ‘steel cut’. Several hundreds of suppliers are expected to be involved in the programme at its peak, almost 85 per cent of those based across the UK.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said, “Britain’s ballistic missile submarines are the ultimate guarantee of our nation’s safety – we use them every day to deter the most extreme threats. We cannot know what new dangers we might face in the 2030s, 2040s and 2050s so we are acting now to replace them.
“Along with increasing the defence budget to buy new ships, planes and armoured vehicles, this shows that this Government will never gamble with our national security,” Fallon said.
The investment will support delivery of the manifesto commitment on which this Government was elected, to retain the Trident-based continuous at sea deterrent and build the new fleet of four Successor Ballistic Missile submarines.