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Friday, 28 August 2015

Boss of BAE Systems Barrow shipyard reveals 2013 ambitions

THE boss at Barrow’s shipyard is looking forward to another positive year after a productive 2012.

Last year will be remembered for the exit of second Astute-class submarine, HMS Ambush, which left the yard in September.

In an employment boost, 280 jobs were created at BAE Systems as part of the design work phase for a replacement for the Vanguard-class nuclear submarines.

And the year ended on a high with the government committing to building the four remaining Astute-class boats.

John Hudson, BAE Systems Maritime – Submarines managing director, said the year had been full of successes for the yard.

He added: “I think we have had a very good year. We now have two submarines out at sea, and they are both doing extremely well. Ambush left us in September and we have also had a number of successful bids for contracts.”

In December the yard celebrated receiving commitments of £1.2bn and £1.5bn from the government to build the fourth boat Audacious and begin work on the fifth, sixth and seventh boats.

Design work is pressing ahead for the successor programme, with a final announcement expected in 2016, while talks between BAE’s Global Combat Systems factory and the Indian government over plans to buy 145 M777 guns continue.

Mr Hudson said: “I think for us, the next year will be primarily about delivering on our commitments.

“We have certain project milestones to achieve. We want to hand two submarines, HMS Astute and Ambush, fully over to the Royal Navy.

“We have got to make sure that we deliver on our commitments around boats three and four, and the main thing is to achieve these commitments to the government.”

And Mr Hudson said he hoped another positive year at the yard would give the area an economic boost.

He said: “I think we are immensely important to the local community. If we are doing well, I think the community can benefit from that and equally, if times are tough in the yard, then it makes it tough for South Cumbria.”

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