The new submarines will replace the Vanguard class

The UK Ministry of Defence today announced it had placed the first design contracts for the Vanguard replacement programme with the three main industrial partners, BAE Systems Maritime – Submarines, Rolls-Royce and Babcock.

It follows an announcement in May, 2011 when the government approved the programme’s Initial Gate phase. Approximately 1,000 people work on the new class of submarines at the company’s site in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, and in February it announced plans to create an additional 280 new jobs in 2012.

The first of the new class is due to be delivered in 2028 and will provide the nation’s nuclear deterrent into the 2060s.

BAE Systems Maritime – Submarines is also home to the design and build of the Astute class attack submarines for the UK Royal Navy, and in total employs a workforce of more than 5,000 people. 

Managing Director John Hudson said: “The signing of this contract is a key step forward in our business strategy to deliver a seven-boat Astute programme followed by the
replacement class for the Vanguard submarines. Not only does it help sustain the jobs of over 1,000 skilled employees currently working on the programme, it also provides the opportunity to grow our workforce by a further 280 in 2012.”

The remainder of the contract, which is worth around £350m in total, is split between the other industrial partners, Babcock and Rolls-Royce, to cover design aspects of in-service support and the submarine’s reactor design respectively.

Editor’s Notes

  • The Vanguard Class comprises four submarines – HMS Vanguard, HMS Victorious, HMS Vigilant and HMS Vengeance - all of which were built at Barrow-in-Furness from 1985 to 1999.
  • The new class of submarines has yet to be given an official name, though the programme is referred to as ‘Successor’ by those involved in it. 
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Neil Lauderdale
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