LONDON, The British government announced plans to invest $1.7 billion in nuclear submarines, along with new ships, planes and armored vehicles, as part of a NATO commitment to increase its defense budget.
Defense firm BAE Systems will construct four new Successor-class nuclear submarines, the government said in a press release.
“Britain’s ballistic missile submarines are the ultimate guarantee of our nation’s safety — we use them every day to deter the most extreme threats,” Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said. “We cannot know what new dangers we might face in the 2030s, 2040s and 2050s so we are acting now to replace them.”
The British government pledged to increase its defense budget to meet NATO’s commitment to spend 2 percent of its gross domestic product on defense.
The project, which totals about $231 billion, also includes plans for additional military equipment.
Construction on the steel work for the first submarine — which will carry Trident missiles — is set to begin at BAE’s shipyard in Barrow-in-Furness next week.
By Sarah Mulé