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Gloucestershire Business News

Breaking: AUKUS ripple effect for Gloucester

In the wake of the UK's three-nation submarine deal, BAE Systems will play a key role delivering Australia's first nuclear submarines – and the benefit won't go unnoticed in Gloucester.

BAE Systems' digital intelligence arm, which has a key facility in Brockworth, won't be playing a direct role in the international UK-Australia-USA project, but a spokeswoman told Punchline the news marks a "proud moment" for the defence operation in Gloucester – and will help boost jobs in the city.

Based in Gloucester Business Park at Brockworth, BAE Digital Systems was set up in February 2022 and it is part of a network of nearly 5,000 digital, cyber and intelligence experts working across 16 countries, their task being "to collect, connect and understand complex data, so that governments, nation states, armed forces and commercial businesses can unlock digital advantage in the most demanding environments".

Charles Woodburn, BAE Systems chief executive said: "The AUKUS agreement will further enhance and deepen the relationship between the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia. The selection of the UK's next generation submarine design is a significant development in that partnership and is a testament to the skills, commitment and ingenuity of everyone involved in both our Submarines business and the wider UK submarine enterprise.

"We employ more than 10,000 people in our Barrow-in-Furness shipyard delivering the Astute and Dreadnought submarine programmes for the UK's Royal Navy and we're extremely proud to be selected as a major partner in this historic endeavour which will ultimately enable Australia to acquire its own sovereign nuclear powered submarine fleet.

"As a key player in the Australian maritime enterprise, we also look forward to working with the Australian government to explore how we could potentially provide additional support to this important tri-national programme through our business in Australia."

BAE also says, however, that the news comes at a time when the defence specialist is looking at boosting employment - with imminent new positions being available across various disciplenes, including upcoming vacancies at its Gloucester site.

A spokeswoman added: "There are new opportunities arising in digital intelligence at Gloucester."

Key areas of existing digital projects include:

Developing communication systems which enable military land, air and maritime platforms to communicate with each other to share real-time mission imagery whilst on operations.

Transforming national Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology to prevent crime - the resulting data set involves over 50m ANPR reads per day, with feeds from 11,000 cameras.

Delivering satellite and communications technology, which is embedded within the operational infrastructure of major broadcasters globally.

Helping the Royal Navy predict failures on warships before they happen and providing detailed analysis of how to diagnose issues.

The 2020 In-Space Missions launch of the world's first commercial satellite 'rideshare' service, Faraday.

Veritas, the product which helps the British Army accurately plan and forecast requirements for equipment and material - significantly improving inventory and fleet management and delivering multi-million-pound savings.

Working with more than 200 financial institutions worldwide to help protect them against financial crime, fraud and cyber crime.

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