UK Launched the Detailed Design Phase of SSN-AUKUS
The value of the contract is 3.95 billion pounds or 4.8 billion US dollars, but it is only the beginning. The contract covers design and development work for a new class of nuclear-powered attack submarines until 2028, intending to start production in 2030.
The new class of submarines will not only concern the Australian Navy and the British, as this is supposed to replace the current Astute class. The new submarines will initially equip Australia and then be produced for Britain.
In September 2021, while Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom had just announced their intention to form a strategic alliance [called AUKUS], London kicked off the development of a new class nuclear attack submarine [SNA] by awarding two contracts worth a total of almost 200 million euros to BAE Systems and Rolls Royce.
Since then, it has been confirmed that the Australian Navy would have SNAs with American technologies by passing 12 “Attack” type Shortfin Barracuda attack submarines for which the French Naval Group has signed an agreement.
The new contracts with BAE Systems, Rolls Royce and Babcock will advance the program by designing, prototyping and procuring key long-term components. In other words, the design phase of the next-generation AUKUS submarine is now underway.
At the same time, the MoD announced that the infrastructures of the Barrow-in-Furness shipyard, as well as those of the Raynesway site, dedicated to the manufacture of nuclear reactors, would be “developed and expanded” to “respond to the future submarine construction program.
The MoD has not given details on the characteristics and performance it expects from these SSN-AUKUS, other than that they will be the “largest, most advanced and most powerful ever operated by the Royal Navy.”