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Beyond Artful: Government and Industry Roles in Britain’s Future Submarine Design, Build and Support

Gavin Ireland
Whitehall Reports, 4 June 2007
Maritime Forces
HMS Astute’s launch, and the recent debate on the renewal of Britain’s strategic nuclear deterrent, has focused public and political attention on the future of the UK Submarine Industrial Base

Consistent with the Defence Industrial Strategy, the industrial base is in the process of re-structuring to provide an affordable, sustainable defence capability. This Whitehall Report seeks to explore some of the challenges facing the organizations responsible for the design, build, support and disposal of Britain's nuclear powered submarines, the most complex weapons platform in the UK armed forces.

This report begins with an analysis of the role and importance of submarines in UK defence policy. Subsequently, the report analyzes Ministry of Defence and industry from a comprehensive and forward-looking perspective, taking into account the operational requirements for future submarine classes, industrial structure, developments in contracting strategy and questions of emerging technology.

About The Author

Gavin Ireland was, for a seven-month secondment during which this report was written, a Researcher in the Military Sciences Department, RUSI. He was seconded to RUSI from BAE Systems Submarine Solutions, where he is on the graduate development scheme. During his time at RUSI, he also co-authored RUSI’s Whitehall Report, ‘The United Kingdom’s Independent Strategic Nuclear Deterrent’, and contributed articles to RUSI Defence Systems and the RUSI Newsbrief.

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