BARROW-IN-FURNESS, England Oct 5 The building
of four new nuclear submarines for the Royal Navy began on
Wednesday, part of a multi-billion pound update of Britain's
defence programme providing thousands of jobs.
Defence Minister Michael Fallon attended a steel-cutting
ceremony at BAE Systems in the northern English town of
Barrow-in-Furness to mark the start of manufacturing on the
"Successor" models, an update of Britain's nuclear deterrent.
They replace the current "Vanguard" models and will carry
Trident nuclear missiles.
Lawmakers backed renewing Britain's ageing nuclear weapons
system earlier this year, a step many regard as key to
maintaining the country's status as a world power following its
vote in June to leave the European Union.
The Successor programme already employs more than 2,600
people, including 1,800 at BAE Systems, the defence company
said. At its peak, in the early 2020s, BAE anticipates employing
more than 5,000 people on the programme throughout the supply
The first submarine is due to enter service in the early
(Reporting by Phil Noble; Writing by Elisabeth O'Leary; editing
by Stephen Addison)