British arms, security, and aerospace company BAE Systems has secured a contract to support early design and concept work on the Royal Navy’s next generation of submarines.
The company signed an agreement with the British Ministry of Defense (MoD) worth £85 million ($116 million).
The contract has been awarded following approval of a three-year program, definition and design phase for a capability solution for the MOD’s Maritime Underwater Future Capability (MUFC) program. BAE Systems will work alongside the SDA, Rolls-Royce, Babcock and partners on a new class of nuclear-powered attack submarines for the Royal Navy to replace the Astute class – currently referred to as SSN-Replacement (SSNR).
“Although it is too early to determine what the capability solution will be, designing and building submarines is one of the most complex and challenging feats of engineering that the maritime industry undertakes,” Ian Booth, Submarine Delivery Agency CEO, said.
“This multi-million pound investment ensures that this vital capability will be ready to replace our Astute-class submarines as they come out of service, whilst supporting high-skilled jobs across the Midlands and North West of England,” Ben Wallace, the Secretary of State for Defence, added.
Four of the seven Astute submarines have already been delivered to the Royal Navy, while the remaining three are at an advanced stage of construction at BAE Systems’ site in Barrow.
BAE Systems is also a member of the Dreadnought Alliance and, working alongside the SDA and Rolls-Royce, is working on the design and build of a replacement for the Vanguard-class. Build of the first two of the four new Dreadnought-class submarines is well underway in Barrow.
This April, the firm launched the fifth of seven Astute-class attack submarines being built for the Royal Navy in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria.