Inside story: the battle to build Britain’s new £41bn nuclear submarines. The Dreadnought programme will produce four 500ft Royal Navy submarines, a gargantuan effort supporting 30,000 UK jobs. Construction of the new Dreadnought class of submarines which will provide the UK’s nuclear deterrent got off to a bad start when it began in 2016. The press were transported to BAE Systems’ shipyard at Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria to record what should have been a triumphant moment for British industry as manufacturing began on the £41bn project. Instead it turned into something of a farce. Although then-Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon did get a cheer from workers in the chilly fabrication hall as he pushed the button to ceremonially cut the first steel that would go into the first of the four 17,000-tonne vessels, the moment had been overtaken by events. The story had broken just hours before that the steel plate being sliced up in a shower of sparks had come from France. It was an embarrassing revelation as UK steelmakers were then in the middle of an existential crisis as they buckled under a flood of imports.
Telegraph 28th March 2021 read more »