Shapps says £4bn worth of contracts signed to develop attack ‘hunter-killer’ submarines

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Defence secretary Grant Shapps has announced £4bn worth of contracts with British firms as part of the development of the “hunter-killer” submarine programme.

Grant Shapps said the submarines, which are to be nuclear-powered and conventionally armed, would be the “most powerful attack submarines ever operated by the Royal Navy”.

The defence secretary also announced RAF Typhoons have been sent to Poland to support the UK ally from the “threat of Russian interference”, and that hundreds of extra troops will be deployed in Kosovo following a request from Nato.

Speaking on the main stage of the Tory conference in Manchester, Mr Shapps said: “Today, I can announce that we’ve signed contracts worth £4 billion with leading British businesses to drive forward the development of the most powerful attack submarines ever operated by the Royal Navy.”

Mr Shapps said “these hunter-killer Aukus submarines will empower the Royal Navy to maintain our strategic advantage under the sea”, and will support “thousands of jobs”.

The Conservative Party said the contracts have been signed with BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce and Babcock Marine, and will support thousands of British jobs.

Mr Shapps also told the conference: “I can announce the UK has stepped up again with two deployments. First in response to requests from our Polish friends, RAF Typhoons are landing in Poland as I speak to support our Nato ally with the greater threat of Russian interference.

“I authorised the full deployment of a battalion-size UK strategic reservists to Nato’s Kosovo peacekeeping mission.

“In the days ahead, hundreds of soldiers from the 1st battalion Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment will join 400 British servicemen and women already in Kosovo.”

This comes as Rishi Sunak has made clear that defence secretary Grant Shapps’ suggestion that British troops could train forces in Ukraine is not for the “here and now” during the war against the Russian invasion.

The PM on Sunday ruled out UK forces going to Ukraine and said that the recently appointed political head of the Ministry of Defence was discussing possible plans for the “long term”.

Mr Shapps had said in an interview with The Sunday Telegraph that “eventually” he would like to get Britain’s long-standing training of Volodymyr Zelensky’s troops “in country” rather than in the UK.

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