BAE Systems

BAEBAE Systems plcBritish Aerospace
Marconi Electronic Systems was the defence subsidiary of British engineering firm The General Electric Company (GEC), dealing largely in military systems integration, as well as naval and land systems. Marconi's heritage dates back to Guglielmo Marconi's Wireless Telegraph & Signal Company, founded in 1897. GEC purchased English Electric (which included Marconi) in 1968 and thereafter used the Marconi brand for its defence businesses (as GEC-Marconi and later Marconi Electronic Systems). GEC's own defence heritage dates back to World War I, when its contribution to the war effort included radios and bulbs.

British Aerospace

BAeBritish Aerospace plcBritish Aerospace Act 1980
Formed in 1977, in 1999 it purchased Marconi Electronic Systems, the defence electronics and naval shipbuilding subsidiary of the General Electric Company plc, to form BAE Systems. The company was formed in the United Kingdom as a statutory corporation on 29 April 1977 as a result of the Aircraft and Shipbuilding Industries Act. This called for the nationalisation and merger of the British Aircraft Corporation, Hawker Siddeley Aviation, Hawker Siddeley Dynamics and Scottish Aviation. In 1979 BAe officially joined Airbus, the UK having previously withdrawn support for the consortium in April 1969.


Govan, GlasgowGovan, ScotlandElder Park
British Shipbuilders' sale of Govan to the Norwegian firm was completed in 1988, and the yard was renamed Kvaerner Govan. In 1999, GEC's Marconi Marine division purchased the yard when Kværner announced its departure from the shipbuilding industry. GEC's Marconi Marine division already owned YSL (purchased in 1985) and VSEL (purchased in 1995). Marconi Electronic Systems and its Marconi Marine unit were sold to British Aerospace in 1999 to form BAE Systems. The shipbuilding operations became BAE Systems Marine, which subsequently became part of BVT Surface Fleet, a naval shipbuilding joint venture between BAE Systems and VT Group, which became BAE Systems Surface Ships in 2009.

BAE Systems Maritime – Naval Ships

BAE Systems Surface ShipsBAE Systems Naval ShipsBVT Surface Fleet
BAE Systems Surface Fleet Solutions also operated an additional project management centre at Filton in Bristol, situated close to key stakeholders at MoD Abbey Wood, which was transferred to BVT. The BAE Systems Submarine Solutions Shipyard at Barrow-in-Furness was not included in the joint venture, although since January 2011 Submarines and Surface Ships were operationally integrated under BAE Systems Maritime. At the time of BVT's creation, VT Group was expected to eventually sell its minority share to BAE Systems through a put option, but not within three years. However, on 28 January 2009 VT Group announced its intention to sell its share.


Vickers-ArmstrongVickers, Sons & MaximVickers Supermarine
The Supermarine operation was closed in 1963 and the Vickers name for aircraft was dropped in 1965. Under the terms of the Aircraft and Shipbuilding Industries Act BAC was officially nationalised in 1977 to become part of the British Aerospace group, which exists today in the guise of BAE Systems. The Aircraft and Shipbuilding Industries Act also led to the nationalisation of Vickers' shipbuilding division as part of British Shipbuilders. These had been renamed Vickers Armstrong Shipbuilders in 1955, changing again to Vickers Limited Shipbuilding Group in 1968. This division was privatised as Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering Ltd (VSEL) in 1986, later part of GEC's Marconi Marine.

Cammell Laird

Laird BrothersLaird, Son & CompanyCammell Laird & Company
The company was nationalised along with the rest of the British shipbuilding industry as British Shipbuilders in 1977. In 1986, it returned to the private sector as part of Barrow-in-Furness-based Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering (VSEL). VSEL and Cammell Laird were the only British shipyards capable of producing nuclear submarines. In 1993, it completed HMS Unicorn (S43) – now. After the end of the Upholder-class submarine building programme in 1993, the owners of Cammell Laird, VSEL, announced the yard's closure.

Kvaerner Govan

BAE Systems Marine (Kvaerner Govan)GovanGovan shipyard
In December 1999, after Kvaerner announced a withdrawal from the shipbuilding industry, the Govan yard was purchased by Clydeport and then taken on a long-term 20-year lease by BAE Systems Marine, who also owned the former Yarrow Shipbuilders yard in Scotstoun on the Clyde. It is now part of BAE Systems Surface Ships. Continued investment in capital equipment such as Plasma cutting and Panel Line welding, has seen the Govan Shipyard emerge as BAE Systems' Steelwork Centre of Excellence.

List of ships and submarines built in Barrow-in-Furness

Vickers Armstrongs Shipyards Barrow in FurnessBarrow-in-Furness builtships and submarines built in Barrow
Below is a detailed list of the ships and submarines built in Barrow-in-Furness, England by the Barrow Shipbuilding Company, Vickers-Armstrongs, Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering, BAE Systems Marine, BAE Systems Submarine Solutions or any other descendant companies. Whilst it is extensive it is incomplete as there are some commercial vessels missing from the list. 373 merchant ships, 312 submarines and 148 naval surface ships have been built in Barrow (for navies and companies based in the likes of Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, India, Japan, Netherlands, Russia, United Kingdom, United States).

Yarrow Shipbuilders

YarrowYarrows Ltd.Yarrows
The succeeding government of Margaret Thatcher began a privatisation programme and the profitable Yarrow was one of British Shipbuilders' early divestitures. It was sold in 1985 to GEC's GEC-Marconi division, becoming Marconi Marine (YSL). GEC began a programme of major capital investment, culminating in the construction of a large Module Hall, north of the covered building berths, in 1987. The principal work undertaken during this period was on the Type 22 Broadsword class and Type 23 Duke class frigates for the Royal Navy and the for the Royal Malaysian Navy. In 1999 Marconi Electronic Systems was sold to British Aerospace, creating BAE Systems.

Vickers Limited

VickersVickers LtdVickers, Sons and Maxim
Like many other British manufacturers, an enterprise in Canada was set up; Canadian Vickers Limited. This company ceased operations in 1944. Canadair was founded shortly after by former Canadian Vickers employees and later absorbed into Bombardier Aerospace. Vickers entered naval shipbuilding with the purchase of Barrow Shipbuilding Company in 1897, forming the Naval Construction Yard at Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria. This yard later passed into the hands of the nationalised British Shipbuilders in 1977, was privatised as Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering Ltd in 1986 and remains in operation to this day as BAE Systems Submarine Solutions. Armaments and shipbuilding. Heavy engineering.

North West England

North WestNorth West of EnglandNorthwest England
Royal Navy submarines and ships are made by BAE Systems Submarine Solutions in Barrow-in-Furness. The coast of Cumbria is known as Britain's Energy Coast due to the large amounts of energy being produced along the coast of the county; Sellafield is a power station which is located in West Cumbria and is a major contributor to the "Energy Coast" also, Barrow-in-Furness is major town in contributing to the "Energy Coast" with a power station (Roosecote Power Station), Gas Terminals (Rampside Gas Terminal) and an offshore wind farm (Walney Wind Farm) which is approximately 14 km (8.6 miles) west of the town's coastline with some of the largest wind turbines on Earth.

Port of Barrow

BarrowBarrow DocksBarrow-in-Furness
. * Associated British Ports - Port of Barrow The Waterfront Barrow-in-Furness. Barrow-in-Furness. List of seaports. List of ships and submarines built in Barrow-in-Furness. Associated British Ports Holdings. James Fisher & Sons. BAE Systems Submarine Solutions. Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering. Vickers-Armstrongs. Kimberly-Clark. BNFL. DONG Energy. Centrica.

HMS Victorious (S29)

HMS ''VictoriousHMS ''Victorious'' (S29)HMS Victorious
Victorious was built at Barrow-in-Furness by Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering Ltd (now BAE Systems Submarine Solutions), was launched in September 1993, and commissioned in January 1995. Her crew is made up of two watches, "Port" and "Starboard". In November 2000, while travelling on the surface, Victorious grounded on Skelmorlie Bank in the upper Firth of Clyde in Scotland. She became the second of the class to refit, during which time she was fitted with a Core H reactor ensuring that the boat will not need to refuel again until the end of its service life. In 2008, she underwent sea trials before resuming patrols in 2009. In 2013, Victorious completed the UK's 100th deterrent patrol.

HMS Vigilant (S30)

HMS ''VigilantHMS ''Vigilant'' (S30)HMS Vigilant
Vigilant was built at Barrow-in-Furness by Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering Ltd (now BAE Systems Submarine Solutions), was launched in October 1995, and commissioned in November 1996. The French Navy also have a SSBN in service called Vigilant. Peter Hennessy visited Vigilant for the Today programme on BBC Radio 4 in 2007. He reported that there is a grey safe in the control room that has an inner safe that only the commanding officer and executive officer can open. In that safe is a letter from the current Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, the letter of last resort, which contains guidance and orders to be followed should the United Kingdom be attacked with nuclear weapons.

HMS Vengeance (S31)

HMS ''VengeanceHMS VengeanceVengeance
Vengeance was built at Barrow-in-Furness by Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering Ltd (now BAE Systems Submarine Solutions), was launched in September 1998, and commissioned in November 1999. Before she was commissioned, the British Government stated that once the Vanguard submarines became fully operational, they would only carry 200 warheads. Vengeance carries unopened "last instructions" (letters of last resort) of the current British Prime Minister that are to be used in the event of a national catastrophe or a nuclear strike; this letter is identical to the letters carried on board the other three submarines of the Vanguard class.

HMS Vanguard (S28)

HMS ''VanguardVanguardHMS Vanguard
Vanguard was built at Barrow-in-Furness by Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering Ltd (now BAE Systems Submarine Solutions), was launched on 4 March 1992, and commissioned on 14 August 1993. The submarine's first commanding officer was Captain David Russell and the senior engineer officer, during build, was Commander James Grant OBE. In February 2002, Vanguard began a two-year refit at HMNB Devonport. The refit was completed in June 2004 and in October 2005, Vanguard completed her return to service trials (Demonstration and Shakedown Operations) with the firing of an unarmed Trident missile.

Vanguard-class submarine

Vanguard'' classVanguard''-classVanguard''-class submarine
The Vanguard class were designed in the early 1980s by Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering (VSEL) based at Barrow-in-Furness, now BAE Systems MaritimeSubmarines. They were designed from the outset as nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines, able to accommodate the UGM-133 Trident II missiles. As such, the missile compartment is based on the same system used on the American, which is also equipped with the UGM-133 Trident II. This requirement lead to the Vanguard-class design being significantly larger than the previous Polaris-equipped Resolution class, and at nearly 16,000 tonnes they are the largest submarines ever built for the Royal Navy.

Aircraft and Shipbuilding Industries Act 1977

Aircraft and Shipbuilding Industries ActAircraft and Shipbuilding Industries Bill1977 nationalisation of the UK's shipbuilding industry
Vickers Limited Shipbuilding Group, Barrow in Furness (renamed Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering Limited – VSEL). Vosper Thornycroft, Woolston and Portsmouth. Yarrow Shipbuilders (YSL), Scotstoun. Barclay Curle and Company, Whiteinch. George Clark & NEM, Sunderland. Hawthorn Leslie and Company, Hebburn. John G. Kincaid & Company, Greenock. Art.1 of Protocol 1, right to peaceful enjoyment of one's possessions. Art.6(1), right to a fair trial. Art.13, right to an effective remedy. Art.14, prohibition of discrimination. Art.17, prohibition of abuse of rights. Art.18, limitations on permitted restrictions of rights.

World War II

Second World WarwarWWII
World War II (often abbreviated to WWII or WW2), also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from more than 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources.

Royal Navy

RNBritish NavyBritish Royal Navy
The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare force. Although warships were used by the English kings from the early medieval period, the first major maritime engagements were fought in the Hundred Years' War against the Kingdom of France. The modern Royal Navy traces its origins to the early 16th century; the oldest of the UK's armed services, it is known as the Senior Service.

Cold War

The Cold WarCold War eraCold-War
The Cold War was a period of geopolitical tension between the Soviet Union with its satellite states (the Eastern Bloc), and the United States with its allies (the Western Bloc) after World War II. The historiography of the conflict began between 1946 (the year U.S. diplomat George F. Kennan's "Long Telegram" from Moscow cemented a U.S. foreign policy of containment of Soviet expansionism) and 1947 (the introduction of the Truman Doctrine). The Cold War began to de-escalate after the Revolutions of 1989. The collapse of the USSR in 1991 (when the proto-state Republics of the Soviet Union declared independence) was the end of the Cold War.

Arms industry

DefenseDefencedefense contractor
The arms industry, also known as the defense industry or the arms trade, is a global industry which manufactures and sells weapons and military technology. It consists of a commercial industry involved in the research and development, engineering, production, and servicing of military material, equipment, and facilities. Arms-producing companies, also referred to as arms dealers, defense contractors, or as the military industry, produce arms for the armed forces of states and for civilians. Departments of government also operate in the arms industry, buying and selling weapons, munitions and other military items.


shipbuildershipwrightship building
The British shipbuilding industry is a prime example of this with its industries suffering badly from the 1960s. In the early 1970s British yards still had the capacity to build all types and sizes of merchant ships but today they have been reduced to a small number specialising in defence contracts, luxury yachts and repair work. Decline has also occurred in other European countries, although to some extent this has reduced by protective measures and industrial support policies.

Vickers plc

Vickers Defence SystemsVickersBrown Brothers
In September 2004, BAE announced the creation of BAE Systems Land Systems, a new company bringing together the BAE subsidiaries, RO Defence and Alvis Vickers. This saw the end of the famous Vickers name after 176 years. In 2005, the acquisition of United Defense led to the creation of BAE Systems Land and Armaments Group. In 1980, Vickers plc acquired Rolls-Royce Motors. This was not Vickers' first involvement with Rolls-Royce.

Barrow Island, Barrow-in-Furness

Barrow IslandBarrow
Barrow Island is also home to a large business park currently under construction as part of the £200 million Waterfront Barrow-in-Furness project. The business park will be built over a period of 15 years and once complete, it is expected to have created between 1,200 and 1,600 highly skilled jobs. In 2018 Barrow Island featured in news stories when it was revealed that over a 12-month period no books were loaned from its library, based in Barrow Island Primary School The island is home to Barrow Shipyard, owned now BAE Systems. Former owners included the Barrow Iron Ship-Building Company, Vickers Shipbuilding, VSEL and Marconi Marine (VSEL), which became part of BAE in 1999.