The UK Ministry of Defence has launched the Submarine Delivery Agency (SDA) for the Royal Navy’s new nuclear submarines, thereby demonstrating the country’s commitment to developing a continuous-at-sea deterrent.

SDA will be responsible for the procurement, in-service support, decommissioning and disposal of all UK nuclear submarines.

It is also set to manage the construction of future Royal Navy submarines, as well as oversee the Dreadnought and Astute nuclear submarine programmes.

In addition, the agency will provide day-to-day support to the in-service fleet of Trafalgar, Astute and Vanguard-class submarines.

"The agency will draw on best practice from both the public and private sectors with a focus on cost-effective and timely delivery to achieve the best possible outcomes."

SDA is also slated to work alongside the Navy Command and the newly established Defence Nuclear Organisation to support vessels during service.

UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “Our nuclear deterrent is our ultimate defence from the most extreme threats, while our attack submarines are busier than ever providing unprecedented levels of protection across the world.

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“A Royal Navy submarine is on patrol 24 hours a day, every day of the year, protecting our way of life.

“These advanced and complex vessels are more important than ever as the world becomes an increasingly dangerous place, and establishing this new agency sends a clear signal of our commitment to continue deterring conflict and protecting the nation.”

The new agency has been established in accordance with the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review and is led by chief executive officer Ian Booth.

It employs a team of approximately 1,300 personnel, including a variety of experienced nuclear experts.

The SDA’s staff are mostly based in Bristol and will collaborate with personnel at sites in Barrow, Derby, Devonport, Rosyth and Faslane to deliver support services.

Submarine Delivery Agency chief executive officer Ian Booth said: “The agency will draw on best practice from both the public and private sectors with a focus on cost-effective and timely delivery to achieve the best possible outcomes for defence.”