Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has announced that work will start on the UK’s new nuclear missile submarine fleet with a £1.3 billion investment.

The Successor project will now move into the next stage, known as ‘Delivery Phase 1’, with manufacturing work beginning on structural steel work for the ‘auxiliary machine space’ of the first submarine: this contains switchboards and control panels for the reactor.

The money will also be spent furthering the design of the submarine, purchasing materials and long lead items, and investing in facilities at the BAE Systems yard in Barrow-in-Furness where the submarines will be built.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:

“Britain’s ballistic missile submarines are the ultimate guarantee of our nation’s safety – we use them every day to deter the most extreme threats.

We cannot know what new dangers we might face in the 2030s, 2040s and 2050s so we are acting now to replace them.

Along with increasing the defence budget to buy new ships, planes and armoured vehicles, this shows that this Government will never gamble with our national security.

The investment will support delivery of the manifesto commitment on which this Government was elected, to retain the Trident-based continuous at sea deterrent – the ultimate guarantee of our safety –and build the new fleet of four Successor Ballistic Missile submarines: securing thousands of highly skilled jobs in the UK.

That commitment was underlined in the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review and supported decisively by an overwhelming majority in Parliament on 18 July 2016, sending a strong message to the hundreds of companies involved in the submarine supply chain that they – and their tens of thousands of employees across the country – can keep planning for the future.”

This Trident Submarine is a Nuclear powered vessel contributing to NATO's nuclear deterrent. It is an advanced, high speed, long endurance underwater sub. These displace over 16 thousand tonnes and offer spacious accommodation on three decks. These carryTony Johns, Managing Director of BAE Systems Submarines said:

“This additional financial investment by the MOD is an expression of confidence in our ability to build these sophisticated vessels.

We have been designing the new class of submarine for more than five years and thanks to the maturity of our design, we’re now in a position to start production on the date we set back in 2011. This is a terrific achievement and I pay tribute to all those who have made this possible.”

The Successor programme already employs more than 2,600 people across MOD and industry, including 1,800 at BAE Systems.

Thousands more will be employed in the supply chain with an average of 7,800 people expected to be working on Successor each year throughout the duration of the programme.

At peak, in the early 2020s, BAE Systems anticipates employing more than 5,000 people on the Successor programme.

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The problems associated with letting single-source contracts on strategically important equipment programmes like the new Trident nuclear submarines are not only limited to the usual delays and cost overruns – they extend to the contractual support arrangements put in place to acquire and re-provision Support Assets to sustain the equipment in-service, for the full period of its service life. If past record is anything to go by, this aspect of defence procurement will only deliver further spiralling costs – and a headache for the Treasury. What the Treasury should be budgeting for is the whole-life sustainment cost for this weapons… Read more »


Yet again the contract gone to BAE Systems the could’nt build the Astute class “The PWR2 was shoehorned into the Astute, and it meant the submarine’s initial designs had to be changed,”That is why the Astute has a slightly bulbous look about it, not the clean lines that you might expect. The reactor was never meant for an attack submarine and it is supplying power to machinery whose designs have not greatly changed for 50 years. In very simple terms, it is like hooking up a V8 engine to a Morris Minor gearbox.””Even though they know some things are wrong,… Read more »

p tattersall

ffs who are you ”’ you know more than the navy ”’behave and leave it to the ppl who know you crank

jon livesey

Not to point out the obvious, or anything, but PWR2 was *designed* for missile submarines. Your opinion about its suitability for Astute has nothing relevant to say about its suitability for the successor submarine.