The second of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary’s new Tide-class support ships, RFA Tiderace, has arrived in Cornwall to begin a programme of customisation that will support 300 UK jobs. Like her sister ship RFA Tidespring, which arrived in April this year, the 39,000-tonne RFA Tiderace can carry up to 19,000 cubic metres of fuel and 1,400 cubic metres of fresh water in support of Royal Navy operations all over the world. She has been designed to support the new Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers, the first of which, HMS Queen Elizabeth, arrived in Portsmouth last month. Minister for Defence Procurement Harriett Baldwin said: This year of the Royal Navy goes from strength to strength as we welcome yet another new ship into the UK’s growing fleet.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has awarded BAE Systems £201m to further the design of a successor to the Royal Navy's Vanguard class submarines.
The funding will allow the business to mature the design of the new class of submarines, which will carry the UK's independent nuclear deterrent, including the layout of equipment and systems, and to develop manufacturing processes.
Tony Johns, the Managing Director of BAE Systems Submarines, said: "We are incredibly proud of the role we play in designing and building our nation’s submarines. The Successor programme is one of the most challenging engineering projects in the world today and this additional funding will enable us to further mature the design."
BAE Systems is the industrial lead on the programme with more than 1,600 employees working on it, alongside colleagues from the MoD, Rolls Royce and Babcock, many of whom are based at the Company's site in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria.
Today’s announcement follows three previous funding packages awarded to BAE Systems - two awards of £328m and £315m to commence initial design in 2012, followed by £257m in 2015 for the detailed design.
Approximately 7,700 people are employed by BAE Systems Submarines with the majority at its site in Barrow, where submarines have been built for the Royal Navy for more than a century. The Company is also building the Astute class - seven state-of-the-art nuclear-powered attack submarines.
Subject to the Government's approval to progress to the construction phase, it is estimated BAE Systems will employ between 5,000 and 6,000 people on the Successor programme at its peak, with a total of 9,000 employed across BAE Systems’ submarines business. The Company spends approximately £300m annually across its submarine supply chain and this number is expected to increase throughout the life of the Successor programme.
In readiness for the start of construction of Successor, more than £300m is being invested into BAE Systems’ Barrow site to transform its submarine building capabilities. This will include brand new, state-of-the-art facilities as well as the refurbishment of existing buildings.