Bondholder Rolls-Royce plc has been awarded a £235m contract to support the Royal Navy's submarines in a move that will safeguard 500 jobs.
The deal will involve the Derby-headquartered manufacturing giant providing the support, advice and material required to ensure the continued safety and availability of the nuclear propulsion systems on board the current fleet of Trafalgar, Vanguard and Astute class submarines until 2022.
The news was announced during Defence Secretary, Gavin Williamson's visit to Rolls-Royce’s site in Raynesway.
Talking about the news he said: “This year we mark half-a-century since British nuclear-armed submarines began their continuous patrol of waters around the world.
“This significant milestone for the Royal Navy would not be possible without the skills and ingenuity of our industry partners who supply and maintain equipment.
“Rolls-Royce plays a critical role in supporting our submarines and I’m pleased this contract will sustain 500 highly-skilled jobs that help protect our country.”
Rolls-Royce has played a key part in the production and maintenance of the UK’s nuclear deterrent for several decades and currently has around 3,000 employees.
The new deal, known as the Nuclear Propulsion Lifetime Management (NPLM) contract, forms part of a wider suite of contracts with Rolls-Royce to provide naval reactor plant design, support, advice and components to the submarine build programme and provide enabling services such as infrastructure and IT.
Rolls-Royce Submarines president Steve Dearden said: "This year marks the 50th anniversary of Continuous At Sea Deterrence and the 60th year of Rolls-Royce involvement in the naval nuclear propulsion programme.
"This contract will enable the continuation of our close work with the Submarine Delivery Agency to deliver Submarine operations for the Royal Navy.
"This new contract includes exciting innovative technology employing Rolls-Royce’s digital capability which will enhance the service we provide and we look forward to continuing our support for the next 50 years."
The jobs safeguarded by the contract will be predominantly at Rolls-Royce in Derby and satellite offices at HMNB Clyde and HMNB Devonport.