The Defence Secretary has confirmed that first of class nuclear missile submarine HMS Dreadnought is “on track” for delivery in the early 2030s.
Simon Clarke, MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, asked:
“What progress is being made on the development of the Dreadnought class nuclear submarine; and when he plans for the first of that class to enter service.”
Ben Wallace, Secretary of State for Defence, responded:
“The 2020 annual update to Parliament on the United Kingdom’s future nuclear deterrent provides progress details on the Dreadnought submarine programme. The programme, underpinned by around 30,000 defence nuclear enterprise jobs across the United Kingdom, remains on track to deliver the first of class in the early 2030s. The programme will sustain thousands of jobs across the United Kingdom, including in Scotland.”
The update referenced above states:
“Despite the effects of Covid-19, the Dreadnought ballistic missile submarine programme continues to remain within overall budget and on track for the First of Class, HMS Dreadnought, to enter service in the early 2030s. Recognising the high-levels of uncertainty caused by the pandemic, and the short to medium term uncertainty in Industrial Partners and Supply Chains, Delivery Phase 2 will continue until March 2022.
In February 2020 BAE Systems announced the award of a contract worth around £330-million to Thales UK for the manufacture of the sonar system for all four Dreadnought Class submarines. The Dreadnought sonar system will be developed at Thales sites in Templecombe and Stockport. The periscope, known as the ‘Combat System Mast’, will be developed and manufactured in Govan with technical input from the workforce in Crawley, securing and creating over 500 highly-skilled jobs across the UK.
As previously reported, production and delivery of the Missile Tubes (MT) that will form part of the Common Missile Compartment have been subject to quality shortfalls across the supply chain resulting in their delayed delivery. In April 2020, the first four MT for HMS Dreadnought were delivered to the submarine building facility at Barrow-in-Furness, and welding of the UK Quad Pack, a unit comprised of four MT, is complete. Its integration into the Pressure Hull is progressing well. A further two MT were received on site in July 2020. This means half of the MT for HMS Dreadnought have been delivered. We are working closely with our US counterparts to ensure future MT deliveries continue in a timely manner to support the Dreadnought submarine programme.”
The 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review estimated that the programme is likely to cost a total of £31-billion (including inflation over the lifetime of the programme) and set a contingency of £10-billion.
As of the 31st of March 2020, £8.5-billion had been spent in total on concept, assessment and delivery phases, of which £1.6-billion was spent in financial year 2019-20.