A £1.3 billion contract to build the latest Astute Class attack submarine, HMS Anson, has been awarded by the Ministry of Defence.
The Ministry of Defence have stated that savings of £50 million for the taxpayer have been achieved during negotiations with BAE Systems, and the agreed build time is to date the shortest ever for the Astute Class, with a current schedule some nine months ahead of that for Boat 3 (Artful).
Defence Minister Philip Dunne made the announcement as he visited the home of the UK’s submarine manufacturing industry based in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria and viewed progress already made on the new submarine.
The Astute class is the latest class of nuclear-powered attack submarines in service of the Royal Navy. The class sets a new standard for the Royal Navy in terms of weapons load, communication facilities and stealth.
Defence Minister Philip Dunne said:
“This £1.3 billion contract marks an important step in the progress of the Astute programme. This is a key part of our £166 billion plan to ensure that our armed forces have the equipment they need to defend the UK’s interests across the seas, in the skies and on land, both at home and abroad.
This new contract for Anson not only provides significant financial savings of £50 million to the taxpayer but also secures thousands of jobs in Barrow and across the UK supply chain, demonstrating the Government’s commitment to increase defence spending each year for the rest of the decade.”
Director Submarines at the MOD’s Defence Equipment and Support organisation, Rear Admiral Mike Wareham, said:
“The Astute Class provides the Royal Navy with the most technologically advanced submarines, offering much greater firepower, better communications, and more advanced stealth technology than their predecessors.
The first two of class, HMS Astute and HMS Ambush, are already in service and making a vital contribution to the defence of UK’s interest, both at home and overseas. Third of class Artful is undergoing sea trials and is due to be handed over to the Royal Navy by the end of 2015.”
An estimated 5,900 people are employed directly as a result of the project; 3,500 BAE Systems staff at Barrow and 2,400 other people around the UK.