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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 May 2007, 11:11 GMT 12:11 UK
BAE lands submarine export order
BAE Astute class submarine
BAE is currently working on an seven-sub order for the Royal Navy
BAE Systems has landed its first export order for submarines in 20 years, the defence giant has said.

Spanish shipbuilding firm Navantia has placed a multi-million pound order for parts for four diesel-electric subs.

Under the deal, BAE will make eight pressure domes at its base in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, and deliver them to Navantia by the end of 2007.

BAE saw off competition from Germany, France, Russia and the US to win the parts order.

The deal marks the company's first foray into the "new build" export market since 1987 - although BAE has carried out refurbishment work on other submarines.

"This contract marks a welcome return for us to the export market, although the Astute programme remains the primary focus for the yard," said the managing director of BAE's submarine division Murray Easton.

Astute is the name for a new class of seven nuclear submarines BAE is building for the Royal Navy, the first of which is due to be launched in June.

The firm added it was also "pursuing other opportunities" in the export market.

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