BAE systems awarded contracts from U.K. Ministry of Defence

BAE Systems said on Dec. 16 that it was awarded two contracts totaling more than $129 million by the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence to begin procuring items for the Vanguard Successor program.

The program will carry the nation's nuclear defense capability starting in 2028.

BAE Systems previously received two contracts from Ministry of Defence to design a replacement submarine.

"The award of these first procurement contracts is a significant milestone and further underlines the Government's commitment to BAE Systems and the submarine programme," BAE Systems Maritime-Submarines Managing Director Tony Johns said. "The design of a nuclear powered submarine is incredibly complex and we continue to make good progress in the engineering phase of the programme. The first submarine is due to be in service by 2028, so to achieve that target it's essential we begin the procurement process now to ensure we can start construction on time."

The government said the program passed the Initial Gate in May 2011, and is into the third year of the five-year design and development phase. The Main Gate decision is due in 2016.

BAE Systems is working with the MoD, Rolls Royce and Babcock on the design.

The program now employs more than 2,000 people.