BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce and Raytheon UK are major beneficiaries of contracts awarded this week by the Ministry of Defence worth in excess of £2bn. The contract awards to BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce are in relation to Delivery Stage 3 (DP3) of the Dreadnought nuclear deterrent submarine build programme. Separately, an important and very timely £160 million contract has been awarded to Raytheon UK for Dreadnought class crew training at HM Naval Base Clyde.
The four Dreadnought class submarines will begin replacing existing Vanguard class SSBN’s that continue to operate the UK’s vital CASD ‘Continuous at Sea’ Nuclear Submarine Deterrence capability from the early 2030’s. When commissioned, into Royal Navy service the four boats will be the largest, most technologically advanced and powerful submarines ever built for the Royal Navy
Dreadnought class construction is the largest defence project underway in the UK today. The programme involves new levels of innovation, technology and collaboration and may well be the largest and most complex engineering project in the world. Work on the first two vessels, HMS Dreadnought and HMS Valiant is already well underway. The boats will measure 153.6 metres long.
Now under construction at BAE Systems highly invested facility at Barrow-in-Furness, the Dreadnought class nuclear ballistic submarine programme supports 30,000 jobs across the UK from design through build. Contracts and funding announced by the MOD on Tuesday cover the third major Delivery (DP3) stage of the programme which is deemed to be most significant so far in respect of criticality, value and complexity.
The announced new investment marks the latest financial commitment between the Ministry of Defence, BAE Systems and Rolls Royce. This latest £2bn award announcement covers Delivery Phase 3 (DP3) and is an initial investment within a planned total of nearly £10 billion for the whole of third delivery phase.
DP3 will see the first of four submarines, HMS Dreadnought, exit the Barrow-in-Furness shipyard to begin sea trials, laying the foundation to sustain the Continuous at Sea Deterrence (CASD) for as long as the international security situation makes it necessary.
Dreadnought is one of the world’s most complex engineering programmes. More than £1 billion has already been invested in advanced technology and upgraded infrastructure at BAE Systems’ Barrow shipyard in order to deliver Dreadnought, with £450 million of further investment to be made over the life of the programme.
As mentioned, the Dreadnought programme supports almost 30,000 jobs across the UK, with more than half of these estimated to be based in the North West of England, and a supply chain spend of £7.5 billion across 1,500 UK companies.
In addition, BAE Systems currently has more than 1,000 employees in training on its early careers schemes within its Submarines business and is set recruit a further 340 apprentices and 90 graduates into the business this year.
Of note too is that the Dreadnought Nuclear Submarine programme provides huge benefits to the BAE Systems’ Submarines Academy for Skills and Knowledge and which is also based at the Barrow-in-Furness site. Opened in 2018, the academy is currently training more than 1,050 apprentices and graduates with, as mentioned in the previous paragraph, a further 230 craft apprentices, 110-degree apprentices and 90 graduates set to join this year.
Separately on Tuesday, Rolls-Royce Submarines Ltd announced that it will launch a new skills academy dedicated to nuclear training, alongside 200 additional nuclear apprenticeships starting in September 2022. (See details of this further down this ‘Commentary’ piece).
Announcing the contracts on behalf of the MOD, the Defence Procurement Minister, Jeremy Quin, said:
“The Dreadnought Class will be crucial to maintaining and safeguarding our national security, with the nuclear deterrent protecting every UK citizen from the most extreme threats, every minute of every day.
Designed in the UK, built in the UK and supporting tens of thousands of jobs in the UK, the Dreadnought programme is a leading example of our commitment to defence manufacturing and will continue to boost British industry for decades to come”.
Steve Timms, Managing Director of BAE Systems Submarines, said:
“We take great pride in designing and delivering one of the world’s most advanced engineering programmes and helping to protect national security. Today’s funding announcement allows us to maintain the Dreadnought programme’s progress and continue investing in the infrastructure and skills needed to deliver these highly complex submarines to the Royal Navy.”
The Rolls-Royce facility at Raynesway in Derby which is responsible for the design and build of the nuclear power plant that will power the four Dreadnought class vessels will be the major beneficiary of the company’s share of MOD contract awards announced Tuesday for the DP3 phase. Rolls-Royce and BAE Systems have been working together on the Dreadnought programme from the start which will replace the four submarines that currently provide the UK’s Trident nuclear missile continuous-at-sea deterrent.
For 60 years, Rolls-Royce has provided the power for all of the Royal Navy’s nuclear submarines from its base in Raynesway, Derby
RAYTHEON UK Awarded Prime Contractor and Systems Integrator for Dreadnought Crew Training
Raytheon UK, a major UK based supplier of weapons, Airborne ISR, sensors, cyber and intel and UK training and that has major facilities in Harlow, Glenrothes, RAF Waddington and Broughton in North Wales has been awarded a contract worth £160 million by the MOD to be the prime contractor and systems integrator for the Dreadnought Crew Training (DCT) programme.
The timing of this award demonstrates that the MOD is ensuring that it has properly prepared the ground required for the training of Royal Navy submariners who will be working on a new generation of submarines that bear little resemblance to the currently in-service Vanguard class boats.
Working in collaboration with the MOD, Raytheon UK will be responsible for defining and delivering an integrated training solution into the new Future Submarine School (FSS) at Her Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde, as well as several other Royal Navy training establishments. This will be provided to all Royal Navy personnel who will serve onboard the new Dreadnought Class submarines as over a period of years these replace Vanguard Class submarines and that has been designed to enable safe and competent operation of the boat in delivering the UK’s Continuous At-Sea Deterrent.
The Raytheon UK team involved includes training transformation partners Vertex Professional Services, Elbit Systems UK and Frazer-Nash Consultancy. These companies will work alongside Raytheon UK in order to deliver a modern innovative crew training solution. The collaboration has been built on a joint understanding of existing Royal Navy training and the wider transformation and modernisation objectives currently underway as part of the Royal Navy’s Selborne training contract and has been designed in order to establish a technology roadmap in order to deliver a learner centric training experience for the crews of the Dreadnought Class submarine.
The duration of the MOD contract signed with Raytheon UK is for seven years after which the day-to-day provision of the crew training service will be delivered by Fisher Training as part of the Royal Navy’s Selborne training contract.
Jeff Lewis, CEO of Raytheon UK said:
“This announcement builds on the success that we have had to date in transforming the Royal Navy’s training and learning solutions. Our collaborative working culture and experience in managing large and complex training programmes will help equip the Royal Navy with a training capability that underpins the cornerstone of the UK’s strategic defence capability.”
Minster of Defence Procurement, Jeremy Quin, furthered this point saying:
“Under this contract the Raytheon UK led team will provide crew training for the UK’s world-class submarines. These highly skilled jobs will be based at HM Naval Base Clyde, ensuring our Royal Navy personnel are fully operationally ready to crew the most advanced submarines in the world.”
James Gray, Managing Director Cyber, Space & Training at Raytheon UK said:
“This bid is a truly transformative submarine training solution. It is not simply a series of training devices and courses, or a modification of existing training, but a new approach to crew training that is aligned to the core principles set out within the Royal Navy’s Maritime Training Strategy. Via our culture of collaborative working, we look forward to working with the UK MOD and our strategic training partners to deliver on our promise of providing a transformative training solution”.
ROLLS-ROYCE SUBMARINES To Launch Nuclear Skills Academy and New Apprenticeships in Derby
As already mentioned, Rolls-Royce Submarines Ltd has also announced this week that it will launch a new skills academy dedicated to nuclear training, alongside 200 additional nuclear apprenticeships starting in September 2022.
As part of its drive to boost nuclear capability in the UK and to create a pipeline for nurturing talent right at the start of their careers, Rolls-Royce Submarines has committed to 200 new apprenticeships every year for at least the next ten years.
Based in Derby, the new Nuclear Skills Academy will be supported by industry and education experts, including the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, the National College for Nuclear, the University of Derby and Derby City Council. This ensures new apprentices will have access to the best courses and mentors throughout their apprenticeship.
The new apprenticeships will be spread across four courses: Nuclear Engineering Degree Apprenticeship, Business Degree Apprenticeship, Nuclear Engineering Technician Apprenticeship and Advanced Engineering Apprenticeship.
Steve Carlier, President – Submarines, Rolls-Royce, said:
“We are proud of our unique nuclear capability and we are fortunate enough to have some of the smartest minds on the planet working for us. But we must maintain this capability if we want to continue to innovate and evolve. Being born and bred in Derby, I am immensely proud that we are playing our part in further boosting the area’s reputation for engineering excellence,” Steve continued. “The UK is embarking on a nuclear renaissance and we are determined to make the East Midlands the home of nuclear expertise for decades to come.”
Lee Warren, Submarines Engineering & Technology Director, Rolls-Royce said:
“All four courses offer debt-free, higher education qualifications while earning a wage within an exciting and growing business that supports the UK’s net carbon ambitions. If you know someone who is finishing school or college, rethinking university debt, or even already in work and looking for a change of career, our apprenticeships are a fantastic opportunity.”
“Our new Academy will not only maintain and develop our nuclear capability for years to come, but it will also provide invaluable STEM qualifications for hundreds of individuals at the very start of their careers,” Lee continued. “Generations of submariners have put their faith in our nuclear expertise and our new academy will mean we can keep providing them with cutting edge technology to keep them, and the UK, safe.”
CHW (London 12th May 2022)
Howard Wheeldon FRAeS
Wheeldon Strategic Advisory Ltd,
M: +44 7710 779785