UK Awards Babcock $710M Nuclear Sub Modernization Contract

The UK Ministry of Defence has contracted Babcock to modernize the Royal Navy’s second Vanguard-class ballistic missile submarine.

The 560-million-pound ($710-million) contract will enable HMS Victorious to remain operational well into the 2030s until the next generation Dreadnought-class submarines enter service.

Work on the submarine has been underway since July 2023.

The Vanguard-Class

The first of four nuclear Vanguard boats were commissioned in 1993 to continue the UK’s sea deterrence patrols.

Each of the subs features up to 16 UGM-133 Trident II nuclear ballistic missiles.

“In an increasingly dangerous world, it is crucial that we continue to invest in one of our most important assets, our nuclear deterrent,” Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said


The maintenance and life-extension work will be carried out at Babcock’s facility in Devonport, supporting over 1,000 jobs in Plymouth and the surrounding southwest region. 

It follows a 750-million-pound ($950-million) investment to upgrade the Devonport naval base, expected to create 1,000 construction jobs.

“The Royal Navy performs no more important mission than Operation Relentless, the continuous at sea strategic deterrent patrols which have been performed by our submariners uninterrupted since 1969,” Second Sea Lord Vice Admiral Martin Connell said.

“The mission requires an unprecedented national effort in support, maintaining our Vanguard-class submarines to the very highest engineering standards.”

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