British Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson announced on 25 February that the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has awarded a £225 million (€262 million) contract to Rolls-Royce Submarines for the support, advice and material required to ensure the continued safety and availability of propulsion systems on board the current fleet of TRAFALGAR-, VANGUARD- and ASTUTE-class submarines until 2022. The contract will sustain around 500 UK jobs, the MoD announced. The Defence Secretary also announced the name of the third DREADNOUGHT-class submarine: HMS WARSPITE.
The new Nuclear Propulsion Lifetime Management (NPLM) contract will provide vital support to the delivery of the Continuous at Sea Deterrent, deployment of which reaches its 50th anniversary this year. The jobs sustained by this contract will be predominantly at Rolls-Royce in Derby and satellite offices at HMNB Clyde and HMNB Devonport.
The contract forms part of a wider suite of contracts with Rolls-Royce to provide naval reactor plant design, support, advice and components to the submarine build programme and provide enabling services such as infrastructure and IT.
“This contract is vital to enable the continued safety and readiness of the Royal Navy’s nuclear submarines, and its signing demonstrates the ongoing successful partnership between the Submarine Delivery Agency and industry,” observed CEO of the Submarine Delivery Agency (SDA), Ian Booth.
“This year marks the 50th anniversary of Continuous At Sea Deterrence and the 60th year of Rolls-Royce involvement in the naval nuclear propulsion programme. The NPLM contract will enable the continuation of our close work with the SDA to deliver submarine operations for the Royal Navy. This new contract includes exciting innovative technology employing Rolls-Royce’s digital capability, which will enhance the service we provide and we look forward to continuing our support for the next 50 years,” added Rolls-Royce Submarines President, Steve Dearden.
In December, Mr Williamson announced a £400 million funding boost for the £31 billion DREADNOUGHT programme, alongside a £25m BAE Systems academy that will upskill employees working on Royal Navy submarines. The DREADNOUGHT-class submarines will enter service in the 2030s.