BAE Systems has started construction of Warspite, the third of four Dreadnought Class ballistic missile submarines, at its shipyard in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria. Construction of the first two boats, Dreadnought and Valiant, is already underway.
Due to enter service from the early 2030s, the submarines will carry the UK’s nuclear deterrent and be the biggest, most powerful and technically advanced submarines ever delivered to the Royal Navy.
“Today’s milestone is a really significant moment for the thousands of employees here at BAE Systems and across the submarines enterprise who are working together to deliver the Dreadnought Class,” said Steve Timms, Managing Director of BAE Systems’ Submarines business. “We are immensely proud of the role we play in delivering this truly national endeavor for the Royal Navy and our contribution to protecting national security.”
“Our nuclear deterrent protects every UK citizen from the most extreme threats, every minute of every day and progress on the Dreadnought Class is crucial to maintaining our national security,” said Defence Procurement Minister Alex Chalk KC MP. “This milestone is a significant step forward in the Dreadnought program, supporting thousands of jobs and apprenticeships across the country and protecting the UK and our allies for decades to come.”
Over the life of the Dreadnought program, an estimated £7.5 billion will be spent with UK suppliers, supporting upwards of 11,800 jobs in the supply chain.
Alongside the Dreadnought Class, BAE Systems is delivering seven Astute Class hunter killer submarines, four of which are in-service with the Royal Navy. Design and concept work is also underway on the Submersible Ship Nuclear Replacement (SSNR) program, the eventual replacement to the Astute Class.