A US Navy Virginia class attack submarine has visited Faslane today in a routine stop-off.
The submarine arrived at Her Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde in Scotland, United Kingdom earlier today.
The visit, common between the US and UK, has been described as routine. Only recently the USS New Mexico visited the base which is home to the United Kingdoms nuclear missile and hunter killer submarine fleets.
The base is situated at Faslane in the west of Scotland not far from Glasgow, one of Britain’s largest cities. It’s one of three operating bases in the United Kingdom for the Royal Navy, the others being HMNB Devonport and HMNB Portsmouth. It is best known as the home of Britain’s nuclear weapons, in the form of nuclear submarines armed with Trident missiles.
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Faslane was first constructed and used as a base in World War II. During the 1960s, the British Government began negotiating the Polaris Sales Agreement with the United States regarding the purchase of a Polaris missile system to fire British-built nuclear weapons from five specially constructed submarines. In the end, only four were constructed; HMS Resolution, HMS Repulse, HMS Renown and HMS Revenge. These four submarines were permanently based at Faslane for the duration of their service.
The base is now host to a variety of nuclear submarines and conventional surface vessels, notably minehunters.
Faslane itself was chosen to host these vessels at the height of the Cold War because of its geographic position, which forms a bastion on the relatively secluded but deep and easily navigable Gare Loch and Firth of Clyde on the west coast of Scotland. This position provides for rapid and stealthy access through the North Channel to the submarine patrolling areas in the North Atlantic.