Continuous At-Sea Deterrent

Part of Parental Rights (Rapists) and Family Courts – in the House of Commons at 2:38 pm on 10th April 2019.

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Photo of Gavin Williamson Gavin Williamson The Secretary of State for Defence 2:38 pm, 10th April 2019

Simply, BAE Systems decided that that level of investment in the Govan shipyard was not required. But we are making a multi-year investment in Type 26s, providing an order book for the Govan shipyard into the 2030s. That is something that most shipyards would look at enviously.

The investments we have made and the decisions that we have taken on extra investment on Dreadnought mean that the new submarines will be delivered on time. To guarantee that delivery, we have modernised our entire nuclear enterprise. We have established the Defence Nuclear Organisation to manage our portfolio of nuclear programmes. We have created the Submarine Delivery Agency, which with our industry partners has made real progress on the ground in building our future submarines and ensuring that our current boats are able to fulfil their missions. We have established the new Dreadnought Alliance, which through a coalition of MOD, BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce combines the skills of the large players in industry with the talents of the public sector to deliver the best for defence and the best for the nation

Meanwhile, we are continuing to refine the options and technical solutions that will inform our decisions on replacing the warhead.  Next year, over half a century on since HMS Resolution’s historic voyage, Her Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde will become home to all our submarines. One of the largest employment sites in Scotland, the base provides for the livelihoods of around 6,800 military and civilians, and brings significant wider benefits to the local economy and the whole of Scotland. It is a salutary reminder, not just of the enormous role that Scotland, as the home of our deterrent, plays in protecting the UK and our NATO allies, but of its role in sustaining hundreds of businesses, as well as thousands of jobs, across the length and breadth of our Union.

The Barrow-in-Furness shipyard gives a sense of the sheer scale of the enterprise. The construction hall alone, where Dreadnought is being built, is the size of 21 Olympic swimming pools. The deterrent does not just provide jobs: it is helping to train thousands of apprentices in engineering, design, software development, naval architecture and combat systems. Many of those apprentices are following in the footsteps not just of their parents, but of their grandparents, and they are learning the sorts of advanced manufacturing techniques that will keep their descendants and Britain at the cutting edge of technology for years and generations to come.