The U.K. Defense Minister announced an additional $512 million (400 million British pounds) investment in funding for the nuclear armed ballistic missile Dreadnought-class submarine program on Thursday.
The Defense Ministry said this new funding release supports the building phase of the program and will “safeguard” 8,000 jobs that support the submarine program and its supply chain.
“This £400m investment will ensure the Dreadnought program remains on track, so we continue to have a nuclear deterrent at sea for decades to come. Not only does today’s news see us safeguard 8,000 jobs right now, but I have also opened a brand new multi-million-pound facility to train Britain’s submarine engineers of the future,” Minister Gavin Williamson said.
Four new class submarines are being built to replace the four retiring Vanguard-class ballistic missile submarines. These submarines represent the U.K.’s sole nuclear weapons capability.
Williamson announced the investment during a visit to BAE Systems’ facility in Barrow-in-Furness, where he unveiled a $32 million BAE academy to upskill employees to work on Royal Navy submarines for the next 20 years.
This Submarine Academy for Skills and Knowledge is expected to help educate up to 2,500 people per month with training to help work on the Dreadnought and Astute-class submarine programs.
“The Academy for Skills and Knowledge is essential in developing the vast range of talent in Barrow and ensures that the workforce is equipped with the best possible tools needed to meet the ever-growing demands placed on the U.K.’s submarine construction industry,” Ian Booth , submarine delivery agency chief executive, said in a statement.
The minister also announced the name of the second Dreadnought-class vessel will be the HMS Valiant.
In May, the U.K. government announced $1.2 billion in contracts to ramp up the current construction phase.