NUCLEAR-POWERED Royal Navy attack submarines will defend the nation backed by North-East technology firm.

Applied Integration, based in Stokesley, North Yorkshire, has secured a multi-million pound deal to design and develop control systems for HMS Agamemnon and HMS Ajax.

The company, which already designs software for the HMS Audacious and HMS Anson submarines, will devote a 12-strong engineering team to a four-year programme building visual mechanisms allowing Royal Navy operators and sailors to manage conditions on the UK's largest and most powerful fleet of submarines.

Garry Lofthouse, director, said the contract, with BAE Systems, was one of the most technical in the world, and similar to building a space shuttle.

He revealed it had helped the company create three engineering jobs and hoped to increase that number in the near future.

He said: “To be involved in the defence of the nation is amazing.

“It was a lot of hard work getting there but we’re unbelievably proud to be designing and developing the most complex build in the world here in the North-East.

“It is a massive challenge but we’ve already proved we are more than up to the job.”

The firm was launched in 2005 by Mr Lofthouse and fellow directors and engineers, Lee Raywood, Graham King and Roy Coleman, who all graduated from Teesside University.

Mr Lofthouse said it has achieved its five-year targets in only fine months, and the latest contract is the company's third submarine deal with BAE.

My Raywood said: “Our first contract five years ago gave us stability and acted as the launch pad for us to grow the business, and to secure deals three times ahead of some of the UK’s largest systems manufacturers has been a major coup.

“It is a very tough and challenging programme but we have built our reputation on delivering world-class results to the Ministry of Defence and Royal Navy.

“It’s been an extremely steep learning curve but the experience we have gained means we are now in the perfect position to continue to meet the highest standards every time the bar is raised.”

“Our senior engineers are truly exceptional and our staff deserve great credit for our success.”