Babcock awarded contract to refit UK nuclear submarine HMS Victorious

HMS Victorious

Babcock International Group PLC and the UK’s Submarine Delivery Agency (SDA) have agreed a full cost recovery contract worth an estimated £560 million to undertake the planned deep maintenance and life extension programme for HMS Victorious, one of the UK’s Vanguard Class nuclear submarines.

The multi-year life extension programme will deliver HMS Victorious back to the Royal Navy modernised and improved, enabling it to continue operational patrols well into the 2030s. Work on the submarine is already underway, following a commitment by the Department to authorise early-works from July 2023.

Through the HMS Victorious programme, more than 1,000 jobs will be sustained in the south west.  Alongside this, Babcock is continuing to build its workforce through its Plymouth-based Babcock Skills Academy, which includes a focus on submarine support and the critical nuclear skills required to perform deep submarine maintenance.

HMS Victorious is the second Vanguard Class submarine to undergo a life extension package at Babcock’s Devonport facility. It performs a vital role as part of the UK’s critical continuous at sea deterrent and represents one of the most complex pieces of engineering there is. 

Babcock CEO David Lockwood said: “Delivering the programme for this vital and complex defence asset is our top priority. We are proud to have been awarded this complex defence programme 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 programme at pace.

Defence Secretary, Grant Shapps said: “In an increasingly dangerous world, it is crucial that we continue to invest in one of our most important assets, our nuclear deterrent.   

“This is another UK partnership with Babcock, that will help keep the UK safe, while boosting the local economy and supporting 1,000 jobs.  

“On my recent visit to HMNB Devonport it was a privilege to speak with sailors and staff whose work directly contributes to our national security.”  

Second Sea Lord Vice Admiral Martin Connell said: “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. 

“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.” 

The programme is being delivered at Babcock’s facility in Devonport where a major infrastructure programme is underway to ensure the future capability requirements of the Royal Navy and the submarine enterprise are met for decades to come from state-of-the-art facilities.

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