Scotland business

Periscopes for nuclear subs to be made in Glasgow

Dreadnought-class submarine (artist's impression) Image copyright BAE Systems
Image caption The new fleet of submarines to carry the UK's nuclear weapons have a lifetime cost of £31bn

A Glasgow-based company has won a £330m contract for work on the UK's next generation of nuclear submarines.

Thales UK will build periscopes, sensors and sonar for the Dreadnought-class vessels.

The periscopes - known officially as combat system masts - will be manufactured at Govan in Glasgow.

The Thales facility in West Sussex will contribute technical input to the work. The sonar system will be developed in Somerset and Stockport.

The contract has been officially announced by defence minister Baroness Goldie during a visit to Glasgow.

'Steady drumbeat'

She told the BBC's Good Morning Scotland programme that Scotland benefits considerably from UK defence orders.

"What we do get across the piece is a very strong and steady supply of orders," she said.

"If you think recently the part we played in the two new aircraft carriers, the Type-31 frigates being now built by Babcock and that will involve Rosyth and shipbuilding at BAE on the Clyde sustained by the destroyer orders.

"So there's a lot happening and that's part of the steady drumbeat that the MoD wants to have resonating in Scotland."

Vanguard replacement

The new Dreadnought vessels have been described by the Ministry of Defence as the Royal Navy's most advanced submarines.

They are scheduled to enter service at HM Naval Base Clyde from the early 2030s.

Dreadnought submarines will carry the UK's nuclear weapons and replace the Vanguard class of ballistic missile submarines.

Thales chief executive Victor Chavez said: "Having supported the deterrent since its inception, and with over a century of supplying periscopes to the Royal Navy, I am proud that our engineers continue to deliver cutting edge innovative technology at sites across the UK."

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