We're rounding up some of the biggest security cleared stories of the past few weeks. In May, the Ministry of Defence awarded contracts for ongoing work for the Royal Navy's aircraft carriers and destroyers, efforts progressed to increase the UK's nuclear power capacity, and a new testing and innovation facility for the armed forces opened in Dorset.
New aircraft carrier maintenance contract to support 300 jobs
Around 300 skilled engineering jobs in Scotland are to be supported by a new £30 million deal for the maintenance of the Royal Navy's two Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers over the next ten years.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has confirmed the awarding of the contract to Babcock at its facility is Rosyth, where HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales will be able to be dry-docked periodically for essential repairs to ensure their continued operation for the years to come.
Defence procurement minister Jeremy Quin said: "Both carriers had their final construction in Rosyth, and I'm pleased they will return for their dry-dock maintenance, supporting vital jobs and skills in Scotland."
Opening of new BattleLab hub set to support innovation for UK armed forces
A new defence hub has been opened in Dorset that will help drive innovation for the UK's armed forces, as well as foster greater collaboration between the various branches of the military, industry and academia.
The BattleLab facility will bring together military personnel, university research centres and private sector companies for the development and testing of new cutting-edge technologies. It includes a multi-domain testing range comprising 15,000ft of cleared airspace, available sea area and a live fire-capable range, as well as 5G testbeds, a live trial and showcase workshop and over 100 rentable desks for participating companies.
Deputy chief of the general staff Lt Gen Sir Chris Tickell said: "The Army is undergoing its most radical transformation in more than 20 years. This demands more from us, our delivery agents, and our industry partners. I could not be more excited to be a part of the launch for these fundamental aspects of our modernisation."
UK government seeks investment for renewed nuclear pledge
The UK government is looking for international investors to help it achieve ambitious goals for the generation of nuclear power in the UK, after prime minister Boris Johnson set out plans to greatly increase the construction of new facilities.
Earlier this month, Mr Johnson said he intended to raise this from one new power plant a decade to one a year, which would see eight new stations brought online by 2030. To aid this, the government has announced £120 million in funding to support investment on new innovations, such as small modular reactor (SMR) technology.
A consortium led by Rolls-Royce plans to build 16 SMRs, including ten by 2035, which will support new security cleared jobs around the UK. Meanwhile, Bloomberg has reported that business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has held talks with South Korea to discuss investment in new projects that would triple the UK's capacity.
New contract for Type 45 destroyer upgrades to support over 100 jobs
More than 100 skilled jobs, including security cleared positions, are set to be supported by a new contract to provide advanced missile systems for the UK's fleet of six Type 45 destroyers, the MoD has announced.
The plan will see the UK become the first European nation to deploy a Maritime Ballistic Missile Defence capability, which will be able to detect and destroy incoming anti-ship missiles. The technology, known as Sea Viper, will create a navalised version of the ASTER 30 Block 1 missile, which was previously used only in French and Italian land-based systems.
A contract for the work, which will eventually see total investment of £300 million, has been awarded to MBDA and will support highly skilled technology roles in areas such as system design and software engineering at sites in Stevenage, Cowes, Bristol and Bolton.