Manufacturing the UK’s new nuclear submarine fleet will generate a supply chain spend of between £8bn and £9bn.
BAE Systems said the project is expected to involve more than 350 suppliers and it has already worked with more than 100, of which almost 85% are based in the UK.
Defence secretary Michael Fallon said construction on the four Successor Class submarines would begin this week, as he announced nearly £1.3bn of new investment for BAE Systems.
The defence company will build the new submarines at its shipyard in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria.
The project is part of the government’s £178bn defence procurement plan.
The first stage of manufacturing, Delivery Phase 1, will begin with the construction of structural steel work that will contain switchboards and control panels for the first submarine’s nuclear reactor.
Tony Douglas, chief executive officer of the Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) Defence Equipment and Support organisation said: “The Successor programme is the MoD’s biggest project and it will require team work, tremendous skill, commitment from our industrial partners and the UK supply chain.”
The new submarines will replace the current nuclear fleet and are expected to be operational some time in the 2030s.
The programme is estimated to cost is £31bn across an operational lifetime of 30 years, with an extra £10bn set aside as a contingency.
They submarines will carry the same Trident missiles as the current fleet and provide a “continuous at sea deterrent”.
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