£350m deal unveiled to upgrade nuclear missile sub

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A contract worth £350m to upgrade one of the Royal Navy’s nuclear missile submarines, safeguarding up to 2,000 jobs over the next three years, is to be announced by the Defence Secretary.

Philip Hammond will unveil the deal with defence firm Babcock to refit and refuel HMS Vengeance during a visit to Devonport Dockyard in Plymouth, where the work will be carried out.

The MoD said the work on the Vanguard Class submarine will secure more than 1,000 jobs at Babcock, a further 300 at other firms in Plymouth and another 700 jobs in the supply chain across the UK.

Mr Hammond will tell a Press conference: “As well as securing 2,000 UK jobs, this contract will ensure the nuclear deterrent submarine fleet can continue to operate safely and effectively to maintain a continuous at sea deterrent.

“Our White Paper published earlier this year said we would support key sovereign capabilities in British companies that help us to protect our national security and this contract with Babcock is evidence of that commitment.”

It will be the last time one of the Vanguard submarines will be refuelled. A new reactor core – the energy source that powers the 15,000 tonne vessel – will also be fitted that will last her until she is decommissioned.

The MoD said it would also include a complete overhaul of equipment on the submarine, the installation of improved missile launch equipment and upgraded computer systems.