We have now decided on the outline submarine design at the stage in the programme known as Initial Gate. ... the Assessment Phase .. will finalise the design and start to prepare for the main build. There is Agreement with the United States on the major parameters of the jointly-developed common missile compartment design.
We expect the overall successor programme to remain within the White Paper cost envelope of £15-20 Billion at 2006/7 prices with the replacement platform(boats) costing £11-14Bn (at 2006/7 prices) . Assuming a four boat fleet, the replacement submarines will remain within the £11-14Bn estimate. This equates to £25Bn at outturn prices for the successor submarines. Since Parliamentary approval to replace our nuclear deterrent in 2007 the MOD has spent around £900M.
Between now and Main Gate in 2016 we expect to spend a further £3Bn(15% of the outturn cost of the submarines)
The work to date has given us a broad design, drawing as heavily as possible on proven Astute Class technologies and on the joint US/UK programme to develop a common missile compartment which will house the Trident strategic weapon system.
The United Kingdom’s Future Nuclear Deterrentwill be powered by a nuclear propulsion system known as Pressurised Water Reactor 3,..to ensure our future nuclear armed submarines have the performance required to deliver our minimum credible nuclear deterrent out until the 2060s..
2016 the Main Gate decision point(... is the most suitable time to decide on the number of submarines required)
Successor boats will have a 25 year life with the option of at least a five year extension and suitably low detectability; proven Astute Class technologies A number of systems from the Astute Class design have been incorporated within the design of the successor submarine. This ‘pull through’ of proven technology reduces costs as well as design and delivery risk
PWR3is a new design that exploits technology that was not available when the Astute design was finalised. PWR3 provides superior performance over PWR2. Submarines with PWR3 are around £50 Million per boat more expensive to buy and operate over designs incorporating PWR2 over a 25 year life. Through simpler design it is easier to operate, has a longer in-service life and lower through-life maintenance costs. In addition the introduction of the new design means that it is practicable to implement further improvements to safety.
The Common Missile Compartment (CMC).the cost of the missile compartment will be minimised by keeping as much of the design as possible common with the US. The baseline design for the CMC is a 12 tube unit and work is ongoing with the US to look at how best to include our requirement for eight operational missiles into this design.
Assessment phase work 2011 to 2015
Design and engineering: In line with best practice a design level of around 70% maturity will be reached across the overall submarine design
Long lead items:
-£380M for the first boat split between the propulsion, main boat systems and steel;
-- £145M for the second boat for propulsion systems; and,
-- £6M for the third boat also for propulsion systems
Production preparation: The replacement submarines are considerably larger than the Astute Class submarines currently being built. Some increases will be required in the shipyard’s workforce, facilities and equipment
Technology development: new or emerging technology is planned including communications, tactical weapons systems, batteries and structural materials.
Information and knowledge management: Improvements in design software and shared working environments will enable secure exchange of data
Project management: An Integrated Programme Management Team (IPMT) will be established to oversee the work schedule, costs and risks and to manage relationships between MOD and the main industry partners.
Working with Industry2011-2015 Under the Submarine Enterprise Performance Programme (SEPP) initiative the three Tier 1 industrial suppliers will work collaboratively with the MOD to transform the submarine enterprise’s ability to deliver effectively. key objectives are:
·Sustainability Secured: We must retain the capability to design, build and support nuclear submarines and meet the commitment for a successor to the Vanguard Class submarines;
·Cost Down: realise significant savings through rationalisation of facilities + an inclusive approach to design, build and support improved contracting;
·Performance Up: We must work together to improve delivery in terms of performance, cost and time.
The submarine is only one aspect of the replacement plan
Warhead- The current warhead design is now planned to continue in service until the 2030s
Infrastructure- We will spend around £8M over the next three years to study in detail the requirement for investment in our infrastructure.
A Successor submarine carrying existing missiles will enable the UK's deterrent to remain effective in the long term to counter any emerging threats to UK security.
It can take up to 15-17 years to design and develop new submarine based delivery systems. That is why replacement needs to be delivered from now.The Secretary of State for Defence, on 29 Mar 2010 said
"We are continuing to target an in-service date for the first Trident successor submarine of 2024, as set out in the 2006 White Paper 'The Future of the United Kingdom's Nuclear Deterrent' (Cm6994). The precise delivery schedule will be determined at Main Gate, currently scheduled for 2015/16.
The Ministry of Defence and industry are evaluating the lessons from the first boats in the Astute programme and will ensure that there is appropriate sequencing between the Astute and successor programmes to ensure that continuous at sea deterrence can be maintained. We do not expect delays in the Astute programme to affect the timetable for the delivery of the Trident successor submarines".(Hansard, Column 645W)
The 2006 White Paper on the future of the Strategic Deterrent also stated that "the boats will be built in the UK but this is dependent on proposals from industry that provide the right capability at the right time and offer value for money as set out in the DIS."
Adoption of the Submarine Enterprise Collaborative Agreement will help ensure the submarines are UK built.
The KOFAC Chairman said:
"The Prime Minister’s announcement that Britain should maintain our nuclear deterrent by building a new class of submarines, involving four new submarines to carry the existing strategic deterrent and maintain the policy of continually at sea patrols is warmly welcomed." (5 December 2006)
"We wholeheartedly agree with the Government’s White Paper conclusions that this country needs to protect its security over the next 20-50 years, because traditional threats from other countries with large nuclear arsenals as well as new sources of threats are emerging. KOFAC supports the white Paper conclusion that retaining a submarine based system provides the most effective deterrent."(5 December 2006)
“... the project is vitally important for Barrow and for the whole of the UK submarine industrial base which employs over 20,000 people in well paid jobs”.(5 December 2006)