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UK to Form New Defense Body to Manage Dreadnought Nuclear Submarine Program

The U.K. defense ministry will establish a new agency that will manage the development of a new class of nuclear ballistic missile submarines designed to replace the naval force’s Vanguard-class submarines in support of the country’s $38.4 billion nuclear deterrent program, Defense News reported Wednesday.

Andrew Chuter writes the ministry also appointed former railway construction chief Robert Holden as interim chairman to help set up the new body that will begin operations in April and oversee the construction of four Dreadnought-class missile submarines.

Michael Fallon, U.K. defense secretary, said in the 2016 update to parliament that personnel working on the new submarine program at the defense equipment and support organization will transfer to the new executive agency effective April 1.

Tony Douglas, CEO of the DE&S organization, said in his Dec. 20 letter to staff, that the U.K. government has begun to develop proposals to advance the development of the Dreadnoughts through an alliance between the defense ministry and contractors BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce, Chuter reports.

Rolls-Royce has started development work on a nuclear raising plant called PWR3, while BAE will build 16 units that will comprise the four Dreadnought submarines for the Royal Navy, Defense News added.

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