Babcock International has been awarded two further contracts for work on the UK’s future Dreadnought-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) worth a combined GBP 121 M (EUR 139.5 M), the company announced on 28 November.
The first contract is a four-and-a-half year, GBP 66 M contract with the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) to provide input into the development of the support solution for the Dreadnought class, which will replace the Royal Navy’s Vanguard-class SSBNs in the early 2030s to maintain the UK continuous at-sea nuclear deterrent.
The contract award reflects Babcock’s decades-long experience of sustaining the Royal Navy’s submarine fleet, providing considerable experience, unique knowledge and insights to aid Dreadnought’s transition into service, the company noted. Babcock will also provide the MoD with technical and management support, engineering best practice and submarine maintenance achievability.
The second contract is a GBP 55 M award from BAE Systems for weapon handling and launch system (WHLS) and submerged signal ejector equipment for boats two to four of the Dreadnought class.
The agreements follow Babcock’s recent signing of a five-year contract with the UK MoD to support the detailed design for the new SSN AUKUS submarines, which will replace the Royal Navy’s Astute-class nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs) from the late 2030s and Australia’s Collins-class diesel-electric submarines from the 2040s.
Babcock CEO David Lockwood was quoted as saying in relation to the Dreadnaught contracts, “Contributing our extensive expertise on the complex support submarines require is a hugely important aspect to the design of this new platform. By participating early in the programme, we will help to maximise the UK’s future defence capabilities.”
UK Minister for Defence Procurement James Cartlidge was quoted as saying, “It is undeniable the pivotal role that British industry plays in the defence of our nation and our allies, and I’m committed to supporting UK companies who are continuing to bolster our security whilst driving prosperity across our economy.
“The Dreadnought class will be central to keeping our country safe and will further enhance our world-renowned submarine fleet.”
Babcock has a proven track record for managing critical UK defence assets; it owns and operates the UK’s only nuclear licensed facility for refitting and defuelling nuclear submarines and sustains the entirety of the Royal Navy’s nuclear-powered submarine fleet, including the delivery of through-life support and life extension for the Vanguard, Trafalgar, and Astute classes of submarine.
Internationally, Babcock provides products, systems and support for international navies around the world, including submarine sustainment expertise to support the Canadian and Australian navies in maintaining, modifying, and extending the life of their in-service submarines.