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BAE Systems Submarines, which is building four nuclear submarines for the Royal Navy, has awarded work worth around £330 million (€387 million) to Thales UK to develop the sonar systems and periscope for the DREADNOUGHT-class boats.

Thales UK has been a trusted Continuous at-Sea Deterrence (CASD) partner with the MOD and Royal Navy since the first operation in 1969. It will develop the sonar system in Templecombe and Stockport, while the ‘Combat System Mast’ periscope will de developed in Soctland.

The fleet will also be equipped with the 2076 sonar, built by Thales, providing the latest in acoustic detection capability. The visual and situational awareness sensor will combine electronic warfare technology with cameras to provide the DREADNOUGHT crew with a visual link to the sea surface.

These next-generation submarines will be the Royal Navy’s most advanced submarines ever when they enter service from the early 2030s: they will be vital in providing the UK’s nuclear deterrent, as they replace the VANGUARD-class of ballistic missile submarines.

This major step, reflecting collaborative working between the Dreadnought Alliance and Thales UK, will make a direct contribution to the sustainment of Continuous at-Sea Deterrence through the delivery of the next generation of the UK’s ballistic missile carrying submarines […] The £31 billion DREADNOUGHT programme is one of the most complex engineering projects ever undertaken by the British government and is currently on schedule and within budget,” commented Steve Lloyd, BAE Submarine Solutions’ Dreadnought programme director.

An artist’s impression of the next-generation DREADNOUGHT-class ballistic missile submarine. (Image via UK MoD)

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