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Friday, 19 September 2014

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BAE Systems Barrow wins £1.2bn Ministry of Defence contract

A CONTRACT worth £1.2bn has been awarded to build the new hunter-killer submarine HMS Audacious at BAE Systems in Barrow.

50015138B001
Astute Class Submarine HMS Ambush emerges from the Devonshire Dock Hall (DDH) at BAE Systems ready to be lowered into the dock. Wednesday 5th January 2010. LINDSEY DICKINGS REF: 50015138B001

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) also announced that a further £1.5bn has been committed to the remaining three submarines in the class.

The £1.2bn contract with BAE Systems will safeguard 3,000 skilled jobs in Barrow.

Audacious is the fourth of seven Astute Class submarines being built for the Royal Navy. They are the most technologically advanced the Royal Navy has ever sent to sea and will progressively replace the Trafalgar Class currently in service.

The first two boats, Astute and Ambush, are currently undergoing sea trials to rigorously test their systems. The third boat, Artful, is reaching the final stages of her construction at Barrow shipyard.

Early work has been started on boat five, named Anson, while preparation has begun on as yet unnamed boats six and seven.

The Astute class boasts a range of capabilities inside each 97-metre long hull. Powered by a Rolls-Royce nuclear propulsion system, the reactor never needs refuelling.

The sonar system has the processing power of 2,000 laptops and can track ships 3,000 miles away.

They are armed with both Tomahawk land attack missiles and Spearfish torpedoes, and her missiles have a target range of 1,200 miles with accuracy measured in metres.

Defence secretary Philip Hammond said: "This contract marks an important step forward in the progress of our Attack Submarine programme and moves the Royal Navy closer to adding more of these highly-advanced and powerful attack submarines to its fleet.

"Our ability to commit an additional £1.5bn for boats five, six and seven underlines the benefits of a balanced budget and fully-funded equipment programme that gives our Armed Forces greater certainty.

"This funding demonstrates our commitment not only to a key Royal Navy capability, but also to the submarine industry in Barrow, which will play a vital role in Britain's defence for decades to come."

Rear Admiral Simon Lister, the MoD's director of submarines, said: "The Astute Class will become the jewel in the crown of the Royal Navy's Submarine Service and boasts much greater firepower and more advanced sonar and communications than ever before.

"These submarines represent a huge leap forward in technology and will operate all over the world with the Royal Navy.

"These boats provide the optimum capability a submarine can offer in land strike, strategic intelligence gathering, anti-submarine and surface ship warfare, and protection of the strategic deterrent."

BAE Systems Maritime submarines managing director John Hudson said: "This is a very significant milestone for the company as it provides increased stability for the remainder of the programme.

"The Astute class will deliver to the Royal Navy a fantastic attack submarine capability and both HMS Astute and Ambush are currently demonstrating this while on their sea trials.

"Audacious, and the rest of the submarines in the Astute class, will eventually complement those already at sea."

Have your say

“The Astute Class will become the jewel in the crown of the Royal Navy’s Submarine Service"

Well I should hope so as there is will only be the ONE CLASS of attack submarines in the Royal Navy after the last of the Trafalgar Class has been paid off!

Posted by Tony on 10 December 2012 at 17:04

Great news for the town and the people who work there.
Not to mention the local economy who will benefit from this also

Posted by Mark C on 10 December 2012 at 16:21

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