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Workforce praised as Barrow shipyard is awarded ‘milestone’ £1.4bn Astute contract
Barrow’s shipyard has been awarded a new £1.4bn contract to deliver the next Astute-class submarine to the Royal Navy.
BAE Systems – a partner of Choose Cumbria – will design and manufacture Agamemnon, the sixth of seven nuclear-powered attack submarines to come from the company's site in Barrow.
The announcement was hailed as a "significant milestone" for the company and the town.
Will Blamey, managing director or BAE Systems Submarines, said: "Securing the contract for the sixth Astute-class submarine is a significant milestone for BAE Systems and the result of many years of hard work by our highly skilled workforce.
"The Astute-class submarines are among the most highly capable and technologically advanced in the world and we're immensely proud to build them for the Royal Navy."
The news was welcomed by Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock, who said: "This deal is another vote of confidence in the world-class workforce at the shipyard and brings more certainty about the bright future for our submarine manufacturing industry.
"The Astute-class boats play a vital role in our nation's defence and I know the town is proud of the role we play in keeping our country safe.
"The task now is to make sure the benefits of this new investment are felt across the town and that opportunities for the future are created for the next generation of Barrovians."
Defence secretary Sir Michael Fallon said: “This latest investment means we are well on our way to completing our fleet of Astute submarines. These are the most advanced submarines ever operated by the Royal Navy and are already providing unprecedented levels of stealth and attack capability across the world.
“Backed by a rising defence budget and a £178bn equipment plan, Barrow will remain the hub of our submarine build programmes providing high skilled jobs for years to come.”
The first three Astute-class submarines are in service with the Royal Navy, including HMS Astute, HMS Ambush and HMS Artful.
A further four are in various stages of construction at the Barrow site.
BAE Systems are the primary contractor responsible for the design, build, test and commissioning of the seven Astute-class submarines.
It is also the industrial lead for the Dreadnought programme, the Royal Navy's next generation of submarines that will carry the continuous at-sea nuclear deterrent.
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