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Rolls-Royce Welcomes Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister and UK Defence Secretary

Rolls-Royce Submarines : Australia's Deputy PM and UK Defence Secretary

Rolls-Royce Submarines hosted The Hon Richard Marles MP, Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence, and The Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP, UK Secretary of State for Defence, at its site in Raynesway, Derby.

The visit included a tour of the nuclear licensed site and a chance to meet some of the team dedicated to providing the reactors that will power both UK and Australian future attack submarines under the AUKUS agreement.

The Ministers saw the first nuclear propulsion plant components being fabricated for the UK’s SSN-AUKUS programme, representing one of the first stages of building the submarines.

As part of the collaboration programme, over the next seven weeks the first cohort of Australian industry specialists will embark on training and familiarisation activity across the UK, including at Rolls-Royce. This will open the door for a generation of Australians to work alongside British industry, and help deliver the next generation of conventionally armed, nuclear-powered submarines.

In March 2023 it was confirmed that Rolls-Royce would provide all the nuclear reactor plants that will power new submarines as part of the tri-lateral agreement between Australia, the UK and US.

In June, Rolls-Royce announced plans to almost double the size of its Raynesway site, creating over 1,000 new jobs in Derby. Funded by the MOD, the site development is required to meet the growth in demand from the Royal Navy, and as a result of the AUKUS agreement.

This increase in demand will see new manufacturing and office facilities being built on recently acquired land surrounding the existing Raynesway site. It will also create skilled roles within Rolls-Royce across a range of disciplines, including manufacturing and engineering.

Rolls-Royce Group President Chris Cholerton said:

This is a truly exciting time for our business, with work secured that will see us support UK and Australian submarines well into the second half of this century. It will see thousands of jobs created across the UK supply chain, many of which here in Derby, and we’re very proud to be playing our part in this strategically important international partnership.

“We are delighted to have the Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence, and the UK Defence Secretary, with us on site, giving us the opportunity to showcase what makes this business so special.

“For over 60 years we have provided the power to the Royal Navy’s nuclear submarines and we are already working hard to help Australia acquire their own nuclear propulsion attack submarine capability.”

Grant Shapps MP, UK Secretary of State for Defence, said:

A project like this can only succeed with the great work that’s being done across British Industry.

“The work at Rolls-Royce in Derby is a great example of what we can achieve when we collaborate and work alongside our allies. It is inspiring to see our personnel on the ground working side by side with the Australians to deliver the most advanced submarines for our navies.

“The partnership will not only help uphold stability in the Euro-Atlantic and Indo-Pacific regions, but also demonstrate the world-class trademark that embodies British Industry.”

Richard Marles MP, Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence, said:

Australia is working closely with the UK and the US to progressively develop the skills, knowledge and expertise to build, operate, and maintain conventionally-armed, nuclear-powered submarines.

“These Australian industry placements provide us with an invaluable opportunity to learn from our experienced partners in the UK, and to better understand the functions and scope of the work.” 

Rolls-Royce Submarines currently employs more than 4,000 people and designs, manufactures and provides in-service support to the pressurised water reactors that power every boat in the Royal Navy’s submarine fleet.

To ensure a steady pipeline of future talent into the industry, last year Rolls-Royce, with investment from the MoD, opened a new Nuclear Skills Academy in Derby. It will provide 200 apprenticeships each year for at least the next decade.

Rolls-Royce is currently supporting the existing Astute and Dreadnought boat build programmes through the delivery of reactor plant and associated components. Additionally, it provides frontline support across the world for reactor plant equipment from its Operations Centre in Derby and supports the submarines when in the Barrow-in-Furness shipyard and the naval bases at Devonport and Faslane.

Manufacturing & Engineering Magazine | The Home of Manufacturing Industry News

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