The Aukus Deal: BAE Systems Lands Major Contract for Next-Gen Submarines

Britain's premier military firm, BAE Systems, has been awarded a monumental $4.82 billion contract.

by Faruk Imamovic
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The Aukus Deal: BAE Systems Lands Major Contract for Next-Gen Submarines
© Getty Images News/Jeff J Mitchell

Britain's premier military firm, BAE Systems, has been awarded a monumental $4.82 billion contract. The undertaking? To create a state-of-the-art generation of submarines as part of the evolving Aukus security pact between the US, UK, and Australia.

Tri-Nation Partnership to Counterbalance China’s Dominance

Earlier in March, details of the Aukus pact were unveiled, indicating plans to provide Australia with nuclear-powered attack submarines by the late 2030s.

This collaborative move is perceived as a countermeasure against China's growing ambitions in the Indo-Pacific. Beijing, on the other hand, has voiced significant concerns and criticisms of the tri-nation deal. Charles Woodburn, the Chief Executive of BAE Systems, expressed pride in the company's central role in this crucial tri-nation submarine initiative, underscoring the significance of the venture.

According to BAE's projections, the funds will address the development work up till 2028. Production of these cutting-edge vessels is set to commence in the latter part of this decade, with the first SSN-Aukus submarine anticipated to be delivered by the late 2030s.

Interestingly, both the UK and Australia are set to employ the SSN-Aukus submarines, which will be an adaptation of a British design. The UK's defence minister, Grant Shapps, during the Conservative party conference in Manchester, commented on the investment.

He emphasized the programme's role in ensuring the UK maintains its strategic edge in a global landscape that's becoming increasingly competitive.

Barrow-in-Furness: A Hub of Submarine Innovation

The BAE's newest deal promises not only to usher in a new era of maritime defence but also guarantees prolonged employment at the Barrow-in-Furness shipyard, a significant employer with over 10,000 workers.

In tandem with this, there's an anticipated inflow for site investment, expansive supply chain investment, and the prospective employment of over 5,000 additional workers. BAE's current workforce, numbering 39,600 in the UK and an impressive 93,000 globally, is set to grow even more.

Other notable British defence contractors are reaping the benefits of the Aukus agreement. Notably, Rolls-Royce Submarines is confirmed to deliver the nuclear reactor facilities that will fuel the SSN-Aukus vessels. This collaboration led Rolls-Royce to announce an expansion of its Raynesway factory in Derby.

Additionally, Babcock International, recognized for its support and maintenance of British submarines, recently inked a five-year contract with the Ministry of Defense, further solidifying the UK's role in the groundbreaking Aukus deal.

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