The company said the contract will sustain the jobs of more than 1,400 employees on a programme that has already supported more than 240 suppliers.
This follows previous contracts that were awarded to BAE Systems in 2012 that were valued at £328mn and £315mn to commence the initial design. The programme recently passed a major design review and is now more than halfway through its five-year Assessment Phase.
Tony Johns, managing director at BAE Systems’ Submarines, said: “This funding will now allow us to mature the design over the next 12 months to enable us to start construction in 2016.”
Around 6,500 people are employed at BAE Systems’ shipyard in Barrow, which is building the Astute class of seven nuclear-powered attack submarines for the Royal Navy. The shipyard is the only one in the UK that can build nuclear-powered submarines and completed its first, the Dreadnought, in 1963. She was decommissioned in 1980 and her hull is presently laid up at Rosyth.