BAE Shipyard Wins UK Nuclear Submarine Contract

Britain awarded BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce Holdings 85 million pounds ($117 million) each to work on a new generation of nuclear submarines, a day after announcing a deal to supply such vessels to Australia.

The U.K. companies will deliver design work over the next three years on a successor to Astute Class submarines used by the Royal Navy, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said in a statement Friday.

The funding will support 350 jobs and is likely to lay some of the groundwork for the Australian project, which will see the government in Canberra scrap an existing deal for diesel-powered subs from France.

Rolls has been the sole provider of engines for Britain’s fleet of nuclear subs for more than 60 years, while BAE builds both hunter-killer submarines like those sought by Australia and nuclear-armed Dreadnought-class vessels.

Companies including Babcock International Group are working with the U.K. Ministry of Defence to firm up designs on a range of options for a new nuclear-powered submarine known as the Submersible Ship Nuclear Replacement.

The BAE contract will maintain about 250 jobs at its shipyard in Barrow-in-Furness, England, while 100 posts at Rolls in Derby will be supported in the development of nuclear power and production.

By Charlotte Ryan © 2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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