The Ministry of Defence is set to invest more than £1 billion in stealth submarines as early as September this year.
The funds will allow BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce to start constructing the first of four ultra-stealth submarines that will be the centrepiece of Britainâs renewed nuclear deterrent.
It is expected that the funding will last for 12-18 months and will mark the beginning of industrial production in a £41 billion budget programme, which will include £10 billion for contingencies.
This will be the first payment since MPs confirmed the UKâs commitment to the renewal of the Trident nuclear deterrent system with a parliamentary vote last month.
The MoD is still negotiating the scope of the financial package with industrial partners Rolls-Royce and BAE, and, unlike the majority of previous defence contracts, financing for the industrial phase of the renewal will be released in stages to ensure costs stay under control. At every stage, new performance conditions and delivery could be agreed.
£4 billion has been spent so far and industry sources say that the latest round of funding would be used for continued design work and to order components that could take longer to make.
It will also be used to secure production in the supply chain, which accounts for about half the cost of constructing a new submarine, with the first steel expected to be cut by the end of this year.
A spokesperson from the MoD said that the ministry will continue to deliver the Successor submarine programme milestones. We will announce key programme milestones in due course.
One official commented that a further announcement is set to be made in September, although sources in the industry believe this could slip to October.
The UKâs fleet of Vanguard-class boats has been on patrol for the past 22 year and is due to be retired in 2028.