The UK has begun constructing its third Dreadnought-class ballistic missile submarine at BAE Systems’ Barrow-in-Furness site.
A steel-cutting ceremony was held Thursday to mark what was described as a “significant milestone” for the country’s nuclear submarine program.
The UK Ministry of Defence explained that manufacturing the future HMS Warspite is “one of the most complex engineering projects ever undertaken in the UK.”
“This milestone is a significant step forward in the Dreadnought program, supporting thousands of jobs and apprenticeships across the country, and protecting the UK and our allies for decades to come,” defense procurement minister Alex Chalk said.
The program will provide job opportunities for around 13,500 people in northwestern England.
The British Navy’s Dreadnought class comprises four nuclear submarines: Dreadnought, Valiant, Warspite, and King George VI.
It will replace the Vanguard-class fleet of four submarines for the country’s strategic nuclear deterrent force.
Each submarine in the Dreadnought class will be 153.6 meters (504 feet) long and include 26.4 miles (42.4 kilometers) of pipework.
They are expected to enter service by the early 2030s to protect the vital interests of the UK and its allies.
“Our nuclear deterrent protects every UK citizen from the most extreme threats, every minute of every day, and progress on the Dreadnought-class is crucial to maintaining our national security,” Chalk stated.
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