Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Rolls-Royce welcomes Australian investment in AUKUS preparation plans

Rolls-Royce has welcomed the announcement that the Australian Government will be investing in its ongoing AUKUS preparations. This supplements the expansion funding already committed by the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD).

To meet the growth in demand from the Royal Navy, which includes AUKUS delivery commitments, work is already underway to double the size of the Rolls-Royce Submarines site in Raynesway, Derby.

Now jointly funded by UK MOD and the Australian Department of Defence, the expansion work announced last summer will create over 1,000 new jobs in Derby across a range of disciplines, including manufacturing and engineering. It will also see new manufacturing and office facilities being built on recently acquired land surrounding the existing Raynesway site.

In March 2023 it was confirmed that Rolls-Royce Submarines would provide all the nuclear reactor plants that will power new attack submarines as part of the tri-lateral agreement between Australia, the UK and US.

Rolls-Royce Submarines President Steve Carlier said: “Last year we were proud to welcome the Hon Richard Marles MP, Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence, and UK Defence Secretary Grant Shapps, to our Raynesway site to showcase some of the world-class manufacturing and engineering capabilities we have developed over the last 60 years.

“This commitment of funding to our existing expansion work shows the trust Australia places on our nuclear expertise and our ability to deliver. We look forward to working with the Australian Submarine Agency to support them in building their own fleet of nuclear-powered submarines.”

Grant Shapps MP, UK Secretary of State for Defence, said: “In a more dangerous world, today’s announcement symbolises the huge confidence our close partner Australia has in our world-leading defence industry, including companies such as BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce.

“Through these collaborations, British industry will grow, and thousands of jobs created across the country, delivering security and prosperity to our two nations.”

To support preparation for AUKUS and to meet the additional commitments to the MOD, Rolls-Royce recently announced the opening of two satellite offices in Glasgow and Cardiff. The locations were selected to help access the skilled talent pools in both regions, with more than 100 jobs being created in each city.

To further ensure a steady pipeline of future talent into the industry, Rolls-Royce opened a new Nuclear Skills Academy in Derby in 2022. It will provide 200 apprenticeships each year for at least the next decade.

Rolls-Royce Submarines currently employs more than 4,000 people and designs, manufactures and provides in-service support to the pressurised water reactors that power every boat in the Royal Navy’s submarine fleet.

Rolls-Royce is currently supporting the existing Astute and Dreadnought boat build programmes through the delivery of reactor plant and associated components. Additionally, it provides frontline support across the world for reactor plant equipment from its Operations Centre in Derby and supports the submarines when in the Barrow-in-Furness shipyard and the naval bases at Devonport and Faslane.

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