Thursday, December 7, 2023

Rolls-Royce visited by ministers following £4bn submarines deal

British and Australian defence ministers have visited Rolls-Royce’s defence business in Derby to see the progress being made on the AUKUS submarines programme.

Earlier this year, it was announced that Rolls-Royce’s Raynesway site in Derby would provide the power for a new fleet of nuclear submarines for the UK and Australia, as part of the AUKUS agreement.

Contracts worth a total of £4 billion, which will see Rolls-Royce supply nuclear reactors for the submarines, known as SSN-AUKUS, have recently been signed.

Earlier this month, UK Defence Secretary Grant Shapps and Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister, Richard Marles, visited Rolls-Royce to meet the first group of Australian nationals training within UK industry to understand how the next generation of conventionally-armed nuclear-powered submarines are being constructed.

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said: “A project like this can only succeed with the great work that’s being done across British industry. The work at Rolls-Royce in Derby is a great example of what we can achieve when we collaborate and work alongside our allies.”

Mr Marles said: “These Australian industry placements provide us with an invaluable opportunity to learn from our experienced partners in the UK, and to better understand the functions and scope of the work.”

As part of the AUKUS programme, Rolls-Royce will be the supplier of all the nuclear propulsion plants for the UK and Australian submarines.

To accommodate the work, Rolls-Royce is looking to double the size of its Raynesway site and create 1,200 new jobs.

During their visit, the ministers saw the first nuclear propulsion plant components being fabricated for the SSN-AUKUS programme, representing one of the first stages of building the submarines.

Speaking after the visit, Mr Shapps said: “It is inspiring to see our personnel on the ground working side by side with the Australians to deliver the most advanced submarines for our navies.

“The partnership will not only help uphold stability in the Euro-Atlantic and Indo-Pacific regions, but also demonstrate the world-class trademark that embodies British industry.”

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