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U.K. to Announce $550 Million in Nuclear Submarine Contracts

May 20 (Bloomberg) -- The U.K. plans to announce this week which British companies will be sharing in 350 million pounds ($550 million) worth of contracts designing its next generation of nuclear-powered submarines.

The contracts will secure around 1,900 jobs, according to a person familiar with them, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The boats, which will replace the current Vanguard class of Trident missile-bearing submarine, will enter service in 2028.

The new specification calls for longer-lasting submarines, with the aim of keeping the U.K.’s nuclear deterrent active into the 2060s. The Royal Navy has had submarines carrying nuclear missiles at sea for 40 years.

During the 2010 general election, the Liberal Democrats, the junior partner in Prime Minister David Cameron’s coalition, called for Trident to be replaced with a cheaper, land-based missile system. The government will argue that it has since brought defense spending under control.

To contact the reporter on this story: Robert Hutton in Chicago at rhutton1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net.

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