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Thursday, 20 November 2014

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Challenges of new Barrow subs just get bigger

BARROW shipyard needs the investment in excess of £300m to meet the challenges of building the massive Successor submarines – which will weigh more than double the Astute subs presently under construction.

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old guard HMS Vanguard one of BAE Systems’ Astute class of nuclear submarines

Click here to read live coverage from our reporter on the scene for the official announcement at BAE Systems' Barrow shipyard

HMS Vanguard, the first of the four Barrow-built submarines of her class, was launched on March 4, 1992 at Barrow.

Technology has come a long way since then and the Successor nuclear submarines will be even bigger and more complex.

Tony Johns, BAE Systems Maritime – Submarines managing director, said: “Successor is a much larger submarine; it’s going to be around about 17,000 tonnes, whereas Astute is 7,500 tonnes.

“Given its size and given it’s now a number of years from the beginning of the Astute programme, technology moves on, which means it’s at a greater level of complexity and a greater level of volume for us to undertake in the future.

“So it’s a step-up in challenge. Astute has had its challenges in the past. But we have got to get ready for Successor.

“The last investment we put into the shipyard was more than 25 years ago when we built the Devonshire Dock Hall (in 1986). So this is recognising the size of the submarine that you need to build in comparison to Astute and it’s a reinvestment in our facilities to allow us to become a modern, 21st century submarine builder and continue to design and manufacture submarines for the Royal Navy.”


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