Plymouth’s Babcock wins £34m Dreadnought nuclear submarine contract

Engineering giant given two-year extension to support scheme for new sub programme thereby sustaining and creating jobs.

Staff at Babcock’s Devonport dockyard operation (Image: Matt Gilley)

Engineering giant Babcock has secured a £34m Government contract to work on the UK’s new Dreadnought nuclear submarines – safeguarding more than 100 jobs in Plymouth and creating dozens more.

The company’s submarine operation at Devonport Royal Dockyard has been given a two-year contrast extension to provide support to the Submarine Delivery Agency (SDA) for the new fleet of submarines and will carry out essential work on the Dreadnought programme.

Through the contract, Babcock will deliver the components that make up the Dreadnought support solution, helping to sustain 130 jobs and create 30 more.

The contract will design the framework to provide the project management, whole-boat analysis and integrated logistics support needed to assist with future stages of the Dreadnought Programme, commonly referred to as the renewal or replacement of Trident, which will see the design, development and manufacture of four new Dreadnought class ballistic missile submarines that will maintain the UK’s nuclear posture of Continuous at Sea Deterrence.

How one of the new Dreadnought nuclear submarines could look (Image: Ministry of Defence)


Gavin Barlow, Babcock’s submarine engineering director, said: “We are pleased to secure the next phase of this contract which enables us to continue providing our unique knowledge and insight as we jointly develop a world leading, data driven, Integrated Product Support Solution for the Dreadnought class”

Commodore John Macdonald, Submarine Delivery Agency’s head of submarine supply and support, said: “This is great news for the Dreadnought programme and the Babcock Marine team. The continuation of this contract will define the maintenance requirements that will inform the in-service support solution for the Dreadnought Class of Submarine”.

Announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in November 2020, the Ministry of Defence has received an increase in funding of more than £24bn across the next four years, focussing on the ability to adapt to meet future threats.

Outlined further in the Defence Command Paper, the MoD will deliver four new Dreadnought Class submarines that will provide a vital capability for the Royal Navy and the contract forms a vital role in supporting this commitment.

The next-generation Dreadnought Class will enhance maritime capabilities, supplying the Royal Navy with the most advanced submarines that will be central to maintaining the UK’s nuclear deterrent.

The UK’s nuclear deterrent protects against the most extreme threats to society, both now and in the future, and provides the ultimate guarantee to national security.

Replacing the Vanguard class of ballistic missile submarines, each of the Dreadnought Class submarines will be 153.6m long and carry 130 crew, including three chefs and one doctor.

The four new Dreadnought submarines will be named Dreadnought, Valiant, Warspite and King George VI and the programme remains on track for the first of class to enter service in the early 2030s.