I wish to inform the House that the Ministry of Defence has signed a contract, worth approximately £1.2 billion, with BAE Systems Maritime-Submarines to deliver HMS Audacious, the fourth submarine in the Astute submarine class.
This contract covers the remaining elements of design and build work on HMS Audacious. In addition to the contract for HMS Audacious, contracted work on other boats of the class now includes: boat 5 (named HMS Anson) where £646 million is currently committed; boat 6 where £498 million is currently committed; and boat 7, where £328 million is currently committed.
The Astute class submarines are the most powerful and advanced attack submarines ever built for the Royal Navy. Lessons learned during work on the first three submarines in the class, HMS Astute, Ambush and Artful, will lead to further improvements in Audacious’s capability and performance, and to financial savings.
The UK has a world-class submarine-building industry in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, sustaining around 5,000 BAE Systems Maritime-Submarine’s jobs across the UK. Of these, the Astute programme supports over 3,000 jobs at the company. It also supports thousands of highly skilled jobs through around 400 suppliers across the UK submarine supply chain.