The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has awarded two contracts to BAE Systems to procure the first long-lead items in support of the UK Royal Navy's Successor submarine programme, UK defence secretary Phillip Hammond has announced.
Under the two contracts, totalling £79m, BAE Systems Maritime-Submarines will begin work on initial items for the Successor submarines, which will carry the UK's strategic nuclear deterrent and will replace the Vanguard-class submarines from 2028.
Hammond said the Vanguard-class deterrent submarines currently perform a vital role in the UK defence, and their replacement for the Royal Navy is of national importance.
"The Successor programme is supporting around 2,000 jobs, and up to 850 British businesses could benefit from the supply chain as we exploit the most modern technologies and employ a significant portion of the UK's engineers, project managers and technicians over the coming years," Hammond said.
The company will order long-lead items, including structural fittings, electrical equipment, castings and forgings to ensure the submarines will meet their in-service date.
First Sea Lord, admiral George Zambellas, said: "The Royal Navy has been operating continuous at-sea deterrent patrols for more than 40 years, and the Successor submarines will allow us to do so with cutting-edge equipment well into the future."
Being designed to be some of the stealthiest in the world, the Successor submarines will have an operational service from the late 2020s to the 2060s.
BAE Systems Maritime submarines managing director, Tony Johns, said: "The first submarine is due to be in service by 2028, so to achieve that target it's essential we begin the procurement process now to ensure we can start construction on time."
Currently, BAE is working in partnership with the UK MoD, Rolls Royce and Babcock on design for the Successor submarine programme.
Image: illustration of Royal Navy's Successor submarine. Photo: courtesy of BAE Systems.