- Written by Peter Hoskins
- Business reporter
The largest British defense company, BAE Systems, It won a contract worth £3.95 billion ($4.82 billion). To build a new generation of submarines as the US-UK-Australia security agreement progresses.
In March, the three countries announced details of the so-called OKOS agreement to supply Australia with nuclear-powered attack submarines by the late 2030s.
The agreement aims to confront China's ambitions in the Indo-Pacific region.
Beijing strongly criticized the three countries over the deal.
“We are extremely proud of our role in delivering this triple-digit submarine programme,” said Charles Woodburne, CEO of BAE Systems.
BAE said the funding will pay for development work until 2028, with ship manufacturing expected to begin at the end of this decade.
The first SSN-Aukus submarine is scheduled to be delivered in the late 2030s.
Both the UK and Australia will use the SSN-Aukus submarines, which will be based on a British design.
“This multi-billion pound investment in the Aukus submarine program will help provide the long-range submarine capabilities the UK needs to maintain our strategic superiority and secure our leading position in a contested global order,” UK Defense Secretary Grant Shapps said at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester.
BAE said the SSN-Aukus would be the largest and most powerful advanced attack submarine ever operated by the Royal Navy and would eventually replace the Astute class, which it is building at its site in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria.
The agreement will create decades of work at the Barrow-in-Furness shipyard, which employs more than 10,000 people.
The deal will also fund significant investment into the site, invest in its supply chain, and employ more than 5,000 workers, the company said.
BAE employs 39,600 people in the UK and has a global workforce totaling more than 93,000, according to the company's website.
Other major UK defense contractors are also getting a boost from the Okos deal.
The Okos security alliance – which was first announced in September 2021 – has drawn repeated criticism from China.
However, the three Western countries say the agreement aims to promote stability in the Indo-Pacific region.
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