By Daniel Hunter

The Defence Secretary, Phillip Hammond, is to announce a £350 million contract to upgrade one of the Royal Navy's nuclear missile submarines.

The decision will safeguard 2,000 UK jobs and will be announced in full by Mr Hammond today (Monday) at a Plymouth dockyard.

Babcock, the defence firm chosen for the contract, will upgrade HMS Vengeance, securing 1,000 jobs at the firm, with a further 300 at other firms in Plymouth, and 700 elsewhere.

"As well as securing 2,000 UK jobs, this contract will ensure the nuclear deterrent submarine fleet can continue to operate safely and effectively to maintain a continuous at-sea deterrent," Mr Hammond will announce.

"As we stabilise the defence budget we are increasingly able to commit to equipment projects to safeguard the UK's national security.

"Devonport Dockyard is at the heart of maintaining and supporting the Royal Navy and I am pleased that such a large number of jobs will be protected."

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