The UK government’s £11 billion programme to deliver seven new nuclear-powered submarines to the Clyde has been delayed for 17 months because of “emergent technical issues”. The Ministry of Defence has told MPs that the delivery of the next submarine, Audacious, to the Faslane naval base near Helensburgh has been postponed from August 2019 to January 2021. This will delay subsequent boats and may lead to increased costs in future, the MoD warned. Critics say the delay is likely to have knock-on effects on the planned introduction of new nuclear-armed Dreadnought submarines. It could also force ageing Trafalgar-class nuclear-powered submarines to be kept in service for longer, they argue. The MoD insists it is committed to delivering the new Astute-class attack submarines. But it refuses to say anything about problems dogging their delivery “for operational security reasons”.
The Ferret 22nd Oct 2019 read more »