The Government was elected with a manifesto commitment to build a new fleet of four Successor ballistic missile submarines. On 23 November 2015, the Government announced in the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) that the Successor Submarine Programme would cost £31 billion, and that the first boat was expected to enter service in the early 2030s. We will also set a contingency of £10 billion.
As part of his statement on the SDSR, the Prime Minister announced that we needed to implement a number of changes to the Successor Submarine Programme, which included plans to invest more than £600 million in the design phase.
I am today confirming our plans to invest £642 million to supplement the current Successor Assessment Phase of £3.3 billion. This will bring the total Assessment Phase commitment to £3.9 billion as announced in the SDSR, and will provide a sound foundation for the next phase where we will be taking a staged investment approach.
The Assessment Phase has identified the need to invest now to prepare for an efficient and effective submarine build. The £642 million will be spent on facilities at BAE Systems in Barrow, essential long lead items for the four submarines and the nuclear propulsion programme.
In the UK, a number of key suppliers directly support the delivery of the Successor Submarine Programme who, in turn, depend heavily on a network of hundreds of sub-contractors. The Government’s further investment in preparation for a four boat Successor fleet should be welcomed by all suppliers as helping to secure vital skills for the UK in the long term.