THE UK’s fleet of hunter-killer submarines will more than double by the end of the next decade.
It is part of a deal with the US and Australia for defence against China.
A new generation of nuclear-powered subs will be designed and built in the UK with shared US technology.
The designs will also be shared with the Aussie Navy to build its own first fleet of elite SSN-AUKUS boats.
Last night, PM Rishi Sunak said the deal “puts beyond doubt the United Kingdom is, and will remain, one of the world’s leading defence powers”.
The fleet will be operational by the late 2030s and create thousands of UK construction jobs.
It is only the second time the US has shared nuclear submarine technology with allies, after a similar UK/US deal in 1958.
The UK’s subs will mainly be built by BAE Systems in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, and Rolls-Royce — to replace the Navy’s seven Astute-class boats.
The Sun understands as many as 20 new boats could be commissioned, with a final decision on numbers still to come.
Mr Sunak, Aussie PM Anthony Albanese and US President Joe Biden unveiled the plan in San Diego, last night.
The PM said: “Sixty years ago, here in San Diego, President Kennedy spoke of, ‘A higher purpose — the maintenance of freedom, peace and security’. Today, we stand together, united by that same purpose.”