Funding boost for Royal Navy’s Successor programme

Britain’s submarine industry is set to benefit from £285m of investment to continue design work for the Royal Navy’s next generation of nuclear deterrent submarines.

The release of funding for the design work is within the existing Successor programme’s £3.3bn assessment phase. 

The Successor programme currently employs around 2,200 people in the UK, working for BAE Systems, Babcock and Rolls-Royce. For BAE Systems, the funding will sustain over 1,400 jobs on a programme that has already engaged with more than 240 suppliers.

The work is largely based at the home of the UK’s submarine manufacturing industry in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria but also across the UK including sites in Raynesway in Derby and Bristol.

As a result of this announcement, BAE Systems will proceed with an additional £257m worth of design work, with a further £22m at Babcock and £6m at Rolls-Royce.

It is claimed the Successor submarine will be one of the most stealthy submarines in the world as well as being the largest, safest and most technically advanced submarine ever built in the UK.

Under current plans, four Vanguard submarines – which currently maintain the UK’s nuclear deterrent – will be replaced from 2028.

In a statement Tony Johns, the managing director at BAE Systems’ Submarines, 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.”

All Royal Navy submarines will be based at Faslane by 2020, including the Astute and Trafalgar class attack submarines.