Barrow BAE Systems nuclear submarine £1.3bn package agreed

Ongoing work on HMS Anson Image copyright BBC news grab
Image caption Early stages of construction work on HMS Anson commenced in 2012

A price and delivery schedule for the fifth nuclear-powered submarine to be built at a Cumbrian shipyard has been agreed by the government.

The £1.3bn package will cover the design, remaining building work and testing of HMS Anson at BAE Systems' Barrow site over the next five years.

It is the latest in a string of contractual announcements by successive governments since the 1990s.

The vessel is one of a fleet of seven Astute Class submarine.

Two are already in operation, one is undergoing sea trials, a fourth is at an advanced stage of construction and work has begun on the sixth.

There has never been one big contract to build them all, funding has always been announced in segments.

'Important milestone'

Minister of state for defence procurement, Philip Dunne, said: "Building submarines is not a simple endeavour.

"Every element of it is quite complex, including securing the right contractual arrangements around it.

"So what we've done is build components, modules and elements under individual contracts.

"This is about bringing it all together ad taking it through to completion."

Tony Johns, managing director of BAE Systems submarines, said: "Signing this contract is an important milestone in the Astute programme.

"This is a hugely complex national endeavour and we are proud of the role we play in helping to protect our nation's interests."

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