New boss of Trident programme, the Submarine Delivery Body, to bag £500,000 pay package

Francesca Washtell
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BAE Systems is building four new vessels for the Trident programme in Cumbria (Source: Getty)

The next boss of the Trident nuclear programme, the Submarine Delivery Body, will become one of the UK's top-paid civil servants with a pay packet totalling around £500,000.

Prime Minister Theresa May, by comparison, earns almost £150,000.

The chief executive of the submarine body, whose package includes bonus and salary, will manage the £41bn construction of four Dreadnought class vessels topped with Trident warheads for the Royal Navy. The submarines, set to enter service in the 2030s, will be built in Cumbria by BAE Systems.

Read more: MPs vote in favour of Trident renewal as Labour divisions deepen

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) expects to make a permanent appointment shortly, while Ian Forber, a civil servant with experience of nuclear-related issues, will remain as interim director-general nuclear. Last year the MoD began hiring for the £200,000 director general role, which it is still trying to fill.

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A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said:

The 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review set out our intention to strengthen arrangements for the procurement and in-service support of nuclear submarines by establishing a new delivery body. The chief executive's salary is benchmarked against similar roles in the public and private sector.

Read more: Osborne announces £500m for Faslane sub base

The chief executive of Network Rail, Mark Carne, was the UK's highest-paid civil servant last year, with an £806,000 pay packet.

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