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Babcock secures UK nuclear submarine contract

Babcock has secured a contract from the UK’s Submarine Delivery Agency for the planned deep maintenance and life extension program for one of UK’s Vanguard Class nuclear submarines.

Babcock has secured a contract from the UK’s Submarine Delivery Agency for the planned deep maintenance and life extension program for one of UK’s Vanguard Class nuclear submarines.

The program, valued at £560 million, is expected to modernise and improve the Royal Navy’s HMS Victorious. The program will ensure that the submarine is able to remain in service for the United Kingdom until the 2030s.

It will be the second Vanguard Class submarine to undergo life extension at the company’s Devonport facility.


The Vanguard Class is the largest submarine manufactured in the United Kingdom, with double the displacement of the Resolution Class, the Royal Navy outlined.

Each of the four Vanguard Class submarines are armed with Britain’s nuclear Trident 2 D5 missiles.

Throughout the upgrades and maintenance, Babcock will leverage its pedigree supporting the entire UK submarine fleet, Babcock chief executive officer David Lockwood explained.

“Delivering the program for this vital and complex defence asset is our top priority. We are proud to have been awarded this complex defence program which will use our deep engineering expertise to help keep the UK safe.

“Babcock’s supports all of the UK’s submarine fleet. The capability and experience gained through delivery of similar complex projects, combined with new ways of working, is being applied to deliver this important overhaul program at pace.”

Second Sea Lord Vice Admiral Martin Connel said that maintenance of the UK’s submarine fleet is essential for upholding the Royal Navy’s at sea deterrence.

“The Royal Navy performs no more important mission than Operation Relentless, the continuous at sea strategic deterrent patrols which have been performed by our submariners uninterrupted since 1969,” he explained.

“The mission requires an unprecedented national effort in support, maintaining our Vanguard Class submarines to the very highest engineering standards.

“The overhaul of HMS Victorious will allow the boat to carry out deterrent patrols until the next generation of submarines, the Dreadnought Class, enter service.”

In February, representatives from the global shipbuilder and maintenance provider told reporters that the development of a domestic Australian nuclear-powered submarine industry can be achieved efficiently and safely, as Australia readies for the acquisition of Virginia Class and SSN-AUKUS capabilities.

During a speech at the company’s nuclear sustainment site in Devonport, Babcock employees told reporters that its heritage and expertise in nuclear sustainment and decommissioning will ensure the safe and effective transition to a nuclear submarine future for the Royal Australian Navy.

Defence Connect visited the Devonport dockyard and Rosyth shipyard in the UK, where the company supports the Royal Navy with nuclear sustainment, safety, decommissioning and disposal.

Babcock chief corporate affairs officer John Howie said that stringent government regulation and company expertise in nuclear sustainment and decommissioning have received buy-in from environmental groups.

“During the initial consultation process the MOD (Ministry of Defence) ran, even Greenpeace said, ‘Look, we don’t just understand why you don’t just get on with this, we know it’s safe’,” Howie told reporters.

Howie also said that the development of the company’s new 10 Dock site at Devonport was an example of how the company has used decades of experience to navigate the complexities of working in the nuclear environment.

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