BAE Systems prepares shipyard for Successor submarine

British defense contractor BAE Systems is upgrading its submarine construction site in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria to prepare it for the construction of UK’s new Successor-class submarine.

The company informed Tuesday it awarded another major contract and erected the first steelwork for the largest of the planned new facilities to build the replacement for the Vanguard class submarines.

BAE Systems has signed a £67 million (approx. $88.7M) contract with Morgan Sindall to extend its Devonshire Dock Hall to incorporate new manufacturing and installation capabilities. The facility hosts the construction of Astute class submarines and is where Successor will be integrated and tested.

BAE said the development was part of an investment programme which includes a number of new facilities and refurbishment of existing buildings. According to the company, the Central Yard facility will stand 45m tall and work is well underway, with the first pieces of its steel structure now in place. A new 28,000m2 off-site logistics facility is also due to open later this year.

Minister for Defence Procurement, Harriett Baldwin, said: “This infrastructure investment at BAE Systems in Barrow will help ensure our new Successor submarines are built efficiently. The Successor programme is a truly national undertaking, and this investment is another example of the Government’s commitment to maintaining the UK’s independent nuclear deterrent.”

Allan Day, director of the site redevelopment programme at BAE Systems Submarines, said: “We are in the third year of an eight-year redevelopment programme which is starting to see some dramatic changes across our site as we enhance our facilities and capabilities for the future. The Devonshire Dock Hall is an iconic building – home to the construction of some of the world’s most advanced and capable submarines. This contract will enhance the facility to ensure our workforce can deliver future submarine programmes to the Royal Navy.”