BNR – BAE Systems has been awarded a significant £3.95 billion (€4.56 billion) Aukus contract to construct a new fleet of submarines. The deal comes as part of the pivotal Aukus pact involving the US, UK, and Australia.
This strategic move was announced at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester.
It’s also a key step in the initiative to bolster Australia’s naval defence against China’s influence in the Indo-Pacific region.
Strategic Partnership, Crucial Role
CEO of BAE Systems, Charles Woodburn, expressed immense pride in the company’s role in delivering this crucial tri-nation submarine programme.
The substantial funding secured will facilitate development work until 2028. Moreover, the actual manufacturing of these advanced vessels will commence towards the end of this decade.
These submarines, known as SSN-Aukus, will be based on a British design and should be operational in late 2030.
Defence Minister Grant Shapps emphasised the magnitude of this investment.
Advanced Aukus Submarine Programme
He said that the Aukus submarine programme would equip the UK with long-term hunter-killer submarine capabilities. Furthermore, it will ensure the country’s strategic advantage and solidify its position in a globally contested environment.
This initiative would replace the existing Astute class submarines and would be pivotal in maintaining the UK’s naval superiority.
BAE Systems’ Barrow-in-Furness shipyard, which currently employs over 10,000 individuals, will witness a surge in activity thanks to this contract.
Additionally, the deal will create work for people. However, it will also drive huge investments in the shipyard and augment the supply chain.
It is further projected to head to the recruitment of over 5,000 extra employees, contributing largely to the national and local economies.
This substantial development is part of the Aukus security alliance, initiated in September 2021, aimed at enhancing stability in the Indo-Pacific region.
While it has faced criticism from China, the alliance remains steadfast in its mission to reinforce regional peace and security.