14:59 GMT24 November 2020
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    Several major British corporations have been involved in closing a 30-million-pound ($43 million) deal to support Sheffield Forgemasters, a key supplier to Britain's Trident nuclear submarine program, local media reported Friday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — BAE Systems, Babcock International and Rolls-Royce Holdings, all UK-based multinational companies involved in global defense and aviation businesses, have brokered a deal providing Sheffield Forgemasters with a critical loan to keep the company afloat, Sky News reported.

    Sheffield Forgemasters, which produced steel castings and forgings, has been badly hit by the global downturn in oil prices as energy companies scaled down on new contracts with equipment suppliers.

    In mid-January, the company announced a restructuring program, involving some 100 redundancies, while reports emerged of Britain's steel industry lobbying Whitehall to help the company.

    In this image made available by the Ministry of Defence in London, Monday Oct. 18, 2010, the sun rises over the Royal Navy nuclear attack submarine HMS Triumph, as she comes into a naval base on the River Clyde in Scotland, early Sunday Oct. 17, 2010
    © AP Photo / Ben Sutton, Royal Navy, ho
    Britain’s Defense Ministry has reportedly become involved in the issue after news of Chinese interest in taking over the steelmaker.

    BAE, Babcock and Rolls-Royce, all of which own stakes in Submarine Enterprise Partners, the company responsible for replacing Britain's trident missile-carrying nuclear submarine fleet, have since become involved in guaranteeing the financial support package for Sheffield Forgemasters, according to sources quoted by the media.

    The UK parliament is expected to vote on a successor to the Trident program with an estimated cost of some 31 billion pounds ($44 billion) later in the year.

    The Trident system is deployed at the UK Royal Navy’s Faslane naval base in Scotland, the United Kingdom’s only facility capable of hosting the four Vanguard-class ballistic missile-equipped submarines.


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