THERE are 'significant' issues in the delivery of the Dreadnought submarine programme that could lead to the project being completed over budget and beyond schedule, a report has revealed.

The programme is not currently being delivered on time and on budget and not meeting expectations, according to a review published by a government authority.

In its annual report on major projects, the Infrastructure and Projects Authority said that 'management attention' was needed to ensure boats being assembled in Barrow to make up the next generation of the country's nuclear deterrent are completed as planned.

The project was among those rated as 'amber' in the authority's delivery confidence assessment, the third highest level of confidence.

An amber rating means 'successful delivery appears feasible but significant issues already exist, requiring management attention'.

"These appear resolvable at this stage and, if addressed promptly, should not present a cost/schedule overrun," it said.

None of the 36 defence projects mentioned in the report were rated as 'green', meaning successful delivery is 'high likely'.

The Dreadnought programme has been rated as amber in the last three years.

Before it was rated amber/red meaning successful delivery was 'in doubt' and 'urgent action' was needed to address a number of issues in key areas.

The Government and BAE has previously refused to be drawn on whether the boats will delivered on time.

Staff at the shipyard are working on four new nuclear warhead-armed boats which are said to be due to enter service in the early 2030s.

The project has a budget of £31 billion, plus £10 billion of contingency cash.

An MOD spokesman said: “This report reflects the complexity and scale of delivering the most advanced government procurement programmes and we strive to improve the ratings of major defence projects.

"We are committed to improving the speed and simplicity of defence procurement."

A BAE Systems spokesperson said: "We are proud of our role in the UK submarines enterprise and, working closely with the Submarine Delivery Agency and other partners, we are committed to delivering to schedule the Astute and Dreadnought class submarines for the Royal Navy."