The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has awarded £285m in funding to continue design work for the UK Royal Navy's future nuclear deterrent Successor submarines.
BAE Systems will receive £257m, Babcock £22m and Rolls-Royce £6m, which will cover the final phase of design work.
BAE Systems Submarines managing director Tony Johns said: "Designing a new, nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine is one of the most challenging engineering projects in the world today.
"The Successor programme is the largest and most complex project we have ever faced. This funding will now allow us to mature the design over the next 12 months to enable us to start construction in 2016."
The funding is part of the existing Successor programme's £3.3bn assessment phase and forms part of the MoD's commitment to spend £163bn on equipment and equipment support over the next ten years.
This includes the procurement of new strike fighters, additional surveillance aircraft, attack submarines and two aircraft carriers, as well as armoured vehicles.
The Successor programme, which currently employs around 2,200 people in the UK, has completed a major design review and is now more than halfway through its five-year assessment phase.
Scheduled to replace the Vanguard-class submarines from 2028, the Successor submarine is being designed to be one of the stealthiest in the world.
Work under the programme is largely based at the UK's submarine manufacturing industry in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, and at sites across the country, including in Raynesway, Derby and Bristol.
The MoD has plans to base all Royal Navy submarines, including the Astute and Trafalgar-class attack vessels, at Faslane by 2020.
Image: An illustration of the Royal Navy's Successor submarine. Photo: courtesy of the UK MoD.