BAE Systems has been given a further £1.3bn by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to start building Britain’s next generation of nuclear submarines.
The funding will cover initial manufacturing work that is due to commence next week. It will also be used to develop the design of the submarines, purchase materials and invest in BAE’s yard in Barrow-in Furness.
About £4bn has already been spent on the Successor project that will employ more than 13,000 people at certain times and contract with 900 suppliers across the UK.
BAE will deliver four submarines topped with nuclear warheads for the Royal Navy, with the first due to enter operation in the early 2030s. It’s part of the government’s plan to replace the Vanguard fleet that will start leaving service in 2028.
Tony Johns, managing director of BAE Systems submarines, said: "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.”
It is also the project's first funding since parliament voted in July to commit to the Trident nuclear programme’s renewal.
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."