UK announced the next phase in the AUKUS attack submarine growth

The development of the next-generation nuclear-powered attack submarine has now entered its subsequent phase, with UK businesses slated to engineer and craft the most sophisticated submarines across the globe. This development comes on the heels of a £4 billion contract allocation that took place on the first of October. 

The Detailed Design and Long Leads [D2L2] phase has been officially sealed with BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce, and Babcock Marine, signaling a remarkable stepping-stone for both the UK and the AUKUS pact. This substantial progress propels the initiative towards creating the forthcoming class of nuclear-powered attack submarines, popularly known as SSN-AUKUS. 

The awarded contracts, adding up to £4 billion, will steer the program through precise design, prototype development, and acquisition of primary long-lead elements for the inaugural UK submarines. These proceedings will enable the commencement of construction in the upcoming years and guarantee the steadfastness and resilience of our local supply chain. 

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Photo credit: SAAB

Exploiting over six decades of British prowess in designing, fabricating, and operating nuclear-powered submarines, the D2L2 contracts will bolster a range of highly skilled jobs within the UK. This substantiates how the AUKUS initiative aligns with the Prime Minister’s goals to expand the economy. 

Simultaneously with the design advancement and long-lead procurement, the infrastructural framework at the submarine shipyard located in Barrow-in-Furness, along with the nuclear reactor manufacturing site in Raynesway, Derby, will undergo necessary expansion and development to cater to future submarine-build projects. 

The objective is to commission the first UK submarines into active duty in the late 2030s, replacing the existing Astute-Class vessels. Following closely, the first Australian submarines are predicted to be operational in the early 2040s. These submarines will mark their presence as the most extensive, advanced, and potent attack submarines ever managed by the Royal Navy, amalgamating superior sensors, design, and weaponry within a single marine vessel. 

The UK’s submarines’ fabrication will predominantly occur in Barrow-in-Furness, while Australia will augment its submarine industrial foundation over the next decade. Coincidentally, Rolls-Royce will be the nuclear reactors’ supplier for all UK and Australian submarines planned to be constructed in Australia.

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