BAE Systems has signed a contract with Siemens for product lifecycle management (PLM) software, which will be used in the development of new Trident nuclear submarines for the Royal Navy.

The defence equipment contractor will use Siemens TeamCenter software as it develops the new fleet of vessels. It expects the software to help it improve productivity and collaboration among staff, and establish common processes.

The Trident programme was in May given the go-ahead for a £3 billion design stage, but a decision over whether construction will go ahead is not likely to be taken until after the next general election - after significant opposition was raised to the programme.

Siemens described TeamCenter as the “information backbone” of BAE Systems’ product development process, managing the data generated and needed to design, build, commission and support a nuclear submarine.

The system will serve as BAE Systems’ global collaboration platform to manage all engineering and product data within a single system. It also provides real-time access to design, analysis and simulation.

Tony Johns, BAE Systems’ future submarines director, said the company had decided to deploy a PLM approach “as part of developing an Integrated Product Delivery Environment, which will enable the design process to be managed more effectively and predictably”.