Rolls-Royce begins work on new Raynesway factory to build reactors for submarines
WORK has officially started on Rolls-Royce's new submarine reactor factory.
Yesterday, Vice Admiral Sir Andrew Mathews, the Royal Navy's chief of fleet, conducted a ground-breaking ceremony at the company's marine power site in Raynesway.
The multi-million-pound Core Manufacturing Facility will replace existing production buildings at the site.
It will produce reactor fuel cores for UK submarines and will support 300 Derby jobs.
The building is part of a phased revamp of the Raynesway site, which will take place over the next decade.
Sir Andrew said: "Rolls-Royce has played a vital role in supporting the Royal Navy's nuclear submarine propulsion programme for over 50 years.
"This significant investment to regenerate the facility, to build our nuclear reactor cores, will ensure that the site continues to do so for decades to come."
Jason Smith, president of submarines and chief operating officer for nuclear, said: "We are pleased to begin construction of this important facility, which will use the most advanced manufacturing techniques to enhance our world-leading nuclear manufacturing capability.
"The investment in this facility demonstrates the high level of trust that the Ministry of Defence has in both our technology and the expertise of our highly skilled workforce."
Rolls-Royce is investing £500 million to regenerate its Raynesway site after striking a huge £1.1 billion deal last year to build submarine reactors for the MoD.
A further £600 million is being used to develop two submarine reactors.
One of the engines will be used to power a seventh Astute Class attack submarine and one will be for the first of the next generation of nuclear-deterrent submarines – the Vanguard, which can deploy Trident ballistic missiles carrying nuclear warheads.
They will replace the four existing Vanguards, the first of which is due to leave service in 2022.
The Government has said that a final decision on renewing the Trident missile system would not be made until 2016 – but long lead times meant that work on the project needs to start now.
Last week, Rolls-Royce signed a 10-year "foundation contract" with the MoD, worth £800 million.
It is aimed at delivering and supporting the UK's nuclear submarine fleet.
The contract covers the overheads, running and business costs at Rolls-Royce's submarines sites.