BAE Systems, the U.K. defense-and-aerospace group, has secured a £3.95 billion ($4.82 billion) contract from the U.K. government to progress with its nuclear-powered attack submarine program. This program is part of a security agreement involving the U.S., U.K., and Australia.
The funding provided will support the development work until 2028, enabling BAE Systems to move forward with the detailed design phase of the program and initiate the procurement of items with long lead times. Manufacturing of the submarines is planned to begin at the end of this decade, with the first boat expected to be delivered in the late 2030s. Initial design work commenced in 2021.
Charles Woodburn, Chief Executive of BAE Systems, expressed pride in the company's contribution to this crucial tri-nation submarine program.
The upcoming submarine, known as SSN-AUKUS, will be the largest attack submarine ever operated by the Royal Navy. It will eventually replace the existing Astute class submarines, which BAE Systems currently builds at its Barrow-in-Furness site in Cumbria.
To date, BAE Systems has successfully delivered five out of seven Astute class submarines to the navy, while the construction of the remaining two submarines is in advanced stages.
This major contract underscores BAE Systems' continued commitment to enhancing national defense capabilities and driving innovation in submarine technology.
Babcock International Announces Investments in AUKUS Submarine Programme
Babcock International, a leading engineering services company, has announced a substantial funding package for the development of the AUKUS submarine programme. The investment will not only cover infrastructure enhancements at the Barrow-in-Furness site but also support the expansion of the supply chain and the recruitment of over 5,000 employees. Moreover, an additional 2,700 personnel are set to be hired by the company in the coming year.
In addition to this major financial commitment, Babcock International has recently secured a significant five-year contract. The company will contribute its expertise to the detailed design of SSN-AUKUS, a fundamental aspect of the submarine programme.
This substantial investment, amounting to billions of pounds, is poised to fortify the UK's hunter-killer submarine capabilities. By doing so, it ensures the country's strategic advantage and reinforces its position amid a changing global landscape. British Defence Secretary Grant Shapps emphasized the significance of this venture, stating that it will safeguard the UK's leading role in an increasingly contested global order.
The AUKUS security pact, unveiled in September 2021, entails multiple aspects beyond nuclear-powered submarines for Australia. The agreement also encompasses Australian involvement in the production of armed drones, rocket motors, and other essential equipment for the Pentagon.
China had expressed its opposition to this plan when it was first revealed. The country argued that it displayed a Cold War mentality and warned that it could potentially trigger an arms race and undermine stability in the Asia-Pacific region.
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