Britain's MoD in talks to control steelmaker for nuclear submarines - Sky News

FILE PHOTO: A sign hangs outside the Ministry of Defence building in London, Britain November 25, 2015. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth/File Photo

(Reuters) - Britain is working on a plan to take control of one of Britain’s oldest steelmakers to secure the supply chain for the country’s nuclear submarine fleet, Sky News reported on Saturday.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) had enlisted Deloitte to advise it on the talks with privately-owned Sheffield Forgemasters, Sky News said, citing steel industry sources.

The MoD could not immediately be reached for comment.

An outright takeover of Sheffield Forgemasters, which traces its history back to a small blacksmith’s forge in the 1750s, was only one of a number of options being considered, and that any agreement was likely to be several months away, Sky News said.

“Our long-term relationship with UK Defence prime contractors and the MoD is based on the critical work we do within the Submarine programme and we will not comment on matters regarding our defence work,” Sheffield Forgemasters Chief Executive David Bond said in an emailed statement.

Britain’s four Vanguard-class submarines form the country’s strategic nuclear deterrent force, the Royal Navy says on its website. Each is armed with Trident 2 D5 nuclear missiles.

Reporting by Rama Venkat in Bengaluru; Editing by Alexander Smith