A £1.4 billion contract has been agreed for a new nuclear attack submarine, HMS Agamemnon. The vessel is the sixth in a total fleet of seven.
Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said:
“This latest investment means we are well on our way to completing our fleet of Astute submarines. These are the most advanced submarines ever operated by the Royal Navy and are already providing unprecedented levels of stealth and attack capability across the world.”
In November 2009, a House of Commons Defence Select Committee found that delays due to technical and programme issues brought the Astute class to a position of being 57 months late and 53% (or £1.35 billion) over-budget, with a forecast cost of £3.9 billion for the first three boats.
Rear Admiral Paul Methven, Director Submarines Acquisition for the Submarine Delivery Agency, said:
“The signature of this contract secures another world-class nuclear submarine for the Royal Navy. These are the most technologically advanced submarines we have ever operated, offering much greater firepower, better communications and more advanced stealth technology than their predecessors.
Today marks another significant milestone for the Astute programme, that demonstrates the UK’s ability to deliver complex engineering projects, providing a fleet of submarines which will protect the UK’s interests around the globe.”
Will Blamey, Managing Director of BAE Systems Submarines, said:
“Securing the contract for the sixth Astute class submarine is a significant milestone for BAE Systems and the result of many years of hard work by our highly skilled workforce. The Astute class submarines are amongst the most highly capable and technologically advanced in the world and we’re immensely proud to build them for the Royal Navy.
Alongside work on the Astute Class, BAE Systems is also the industrial lead for the Dreadnought programme, the Royal Navy’s next generation of nuclear deterrent submarines.”
Construction of the 7,400 tonne submarine started in Barrow in 2012.