The U.K. defense ministry has committed an estimated $1.7 billion in funds to support a BAE Systems-led effort to replace the British navy’s Vanguard-class submarines.
BAE said Saturday the funds will cover initial manufacturing work on the first of four submarines under the Successor program as well as long lead item procurement and redevelopment of facilities and infrastructure at BAE's Barrow-in-Furness site.
Tony Johns, managing director of BAE’s submarines division, said the new class of nuclear deterrent submarines has been in the design phase for more than five years and the company is set to begin production.
The new submarines, which are scheduled to enter service in the 2030s, will carry Trident ballistic missiles and will be built on new design and production approaches to address changes in technology and threats, the company noted.
BAE said it has worked with 100 suppliers to support Successor, with 80 percent based in the U.K., and the company expects that 7,800 people will work on the program every year.