An American Virginia class nuclear submarine is visiting HMNB Clyde at Faslane, near Glasgow.

The US Navy say that port visits “strengthen cooperation between the United States and United Kingdom”, and “demonstrate US capability, flexibility, and continuing commitment to NATO allies.”

The below image was captured by Sheila Weir, a maritime photographer based in the area. You can find her on Twitter here, I recommend you give her a follow.

The Virginia class is a class of nuclear-powered cruise missile-carrying fast-attack submarines. Designed by the General Dynamics Electric Boat and the Huntington Ingalls Industries, the Virginia class submarines are the US Navy’s primary undersea warfare platform incorporating stealth, intelligence gathering and comprehensive weapons systems technology.

The submarine is now berthed at HMNB Clyde. The base is sited 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.

George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. He also works for the NHS. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Andrew Thorne
Andrew Thorne
1 month ago

I really can’t understand why the SNP want to get rid of the nuclear submarines from Scotland. They have the protective unbrella of the US and rest of the UK plus the major financial benefits of hosting a major naval base…Just doesn’t add up to me personally. Do they really honestly believe this will make Scotland safer by getting rid of all nuclear submarines from Scotland. I mean you really have to be stretching things to believe the large economic hit and the lack of a nuclear defence infrastructure will mean that Scotland can be some Utopian neutral country. If… Read more »

DanielMorgan
DanielMorgan
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

You might try reading a couple of history books to understand why so many Scots and Irish hate the English.

Andrew Thorne
Andrew Thorne
1 month ago
Reply to  DanielMorgan

We are talking about recent history not the middle ages or the Jacobite rebellion in the mid 1700s…How long do the Irish and Scots want to keep a chip on their shoulder? I think your reply is very silly to be honest.

GreenJedi
GreenJedi
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

I suggest you take Daniel Morgans advice and catch up with a bit of reading. If you want to understand the present and future… know your past.

Andrew Thorne
Andrew Thorne
1 month ago
Reply to  GreenJedi

My history knowledge is fine GreenJedi. I was making a point that the Scotland should stay within the UK and we’ve turned this into another “chip-on-the-shoulder” rant about how I, as an English person, should read a history book and I don’t understand the pain of the MOPE (Most Oppressed PEople). Not withstanding the point that my point was about Scottish independence and the issue of what we do with the nuclear threat. I was also keen to emphasis how much people like me like Scotland and the Scottish people. I would also have welcomed Ireland back into the UK… Read more »

Tams
Tams
1 month ago
Reply to  GreenJedi

We don’t live in the past.

Being all upset about it is just a waste of everyone’s time and energy, not to mention fuelling division (which adversaries love).

For example, my grandfather had a horrible time in WW2 thanks to the Germans and Italians. Damage to his health he suffered in North Africa may well have made his finals days worse. But I don’t hold any grudge against Germans or Italians over it. It happened and it’s done.

Matt
Matt
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

It’s not really about “Scots”, though – Scots don’t have a chip on their shoulder. It’s about a very small minority of Scots, and probably a significantly small minority of Scottish Nationalists, with a chip on their shoulders and an obsession in their heads too, who had a referendum with everything set up as they wanted, and were told to go away by Scots. They can’t face that they have lost their cause. There is a reason why the circulation of the parish natmag The National is 9101 copies – (Print: 6,663, Digital: 2,438) (as of 2019). That is 0.0017%… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Matt
Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago
Reply to  DanielMorgan

Despite the historical slant aimed against those deemed, or actually ends up the winner real research will tell you that there are two sides to this, as with most history. The Scots in particular are in no position to take the high ground they were at least equally the aggressors over the past 1500 years post the Roman exit. Had it not Been for victory at the Battle of Brunanburh 937 England would have been carved up between the Scots, Irish and Welsh and likely never united and I dare say a different view of history written but there are… Read more »

David Lloyd
David Lloyd
1 month ago
Reply to  DanielMorgan

And the Romans. There was a reason why the Romans built first the Antoine Wall out of turf, then had to retreat 100 miles south where they built Hadrians Wall 20ft high out of stone blocks with watchtowers every couple of hundred yards. And a large milecastle every mile.The Romans kept a garrison of 40,000 men and cavalry at Vindolanda just south of the Wall The Scots came over the Wall in force in 1319 and sacked York. They tried to do the same during the Civil War in 1644 when the city was put under siege. During the Jacobite… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by David Lloyd
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

“And the Romans. There was a reason why the Romans built first the Antoine Wall out of turf, then had to retreat 100 miles south where they built Hadrians Wall” Not correct, David. “Hadrian’s Wall” ( no one knows its real name ) was built first, most likely due to the Emperors reaction to the loss of Legion IX when he visited Britannia. “The Antonine Wall” was built by a later Emperor, Antoninus Pius, when the empire advanced further north. Of interest, in much earlier history the Romans were up the eastern side of Scotland near Inverness, and Agricola circumnavigated… Read more »

David Lloyd
David Lloyd
1 month ago

Ah, nobody is perfect Danielle. It’s been a long time since I learned about the Romans – but their fort at Vindolanda and the museum are well worth a visit

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

Indeed, I’ve stayed in the area when visiting the wall. A great site.

Tom Keane
Tom Keane
1 month ago
Reply to  DanielMorgan

Very well said. Most ‘English’ (British in reality) have no idea how the Scots and Irish were treated throughout History.

It’s not just going back to ‘Culloden’ as the ‘British commentator mentioned, it’s 1916, the 60’s, 70’s etc etc as well.

ExcalibursTemplar
ExcalibursTemplar
1 month ago
Reply to  DanielMorgan

IIRC half of the population of England has at least 1 Irish grand parent. With a quarter having two IIRC.

I don’t know the figures for Scotland but i highly doubt there is a single person up their that’s 100% Scottish and doesn’t have some English in them.

Mark B
Mark B
1 month ago

True. I have both Irish & Scots relatives as have many English people. Indeed I could add to that French & scandanavian. I dare say many of my ancestors have been fighting each other and I’m getting quite bored of these pointless discussions.

Stuart Paterson
Stuart Paterson
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

Wow and there I was thinking that the article was about a nuclear submarine visiting Faslane.

Andrew Thorne
Andrew Thorne
1 month ago

It’s pertinent as if scotland does become independent then we will have to think about where US and UK nuclear submarines will be based. It’s a major cost issue because of the issue of a replacement for coulport. The US submarine visiting Faslane reminded me of the wider implications for the US as well and for NATO. Therefore, very pertinent indeed.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

Yes I am not sure what the long term answer would be, for a while I suspect t they would operate out of the US but that’s hardly an ideal longer term solution. Imagine the costs involved in both this and moving shipbuilding south.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

Attack Submarines until 2017 had a base at Devonport which could do everything including major refits. Decommissioning of SSNs and SSBNs still takes place there. Surely it would not be hard to make Devonport an active base for all of our submarines?

Andrew Thorne
Andrew Thorne
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I would agree with you in part Graham. However, the issue Graham is more about Coulport. There is just no reasonable replacement for Coulport. I agreed about Devonport but where would you store the missiles and warheads? It’s a very thorny issue with obvious perfect solution.

Mark B
Mark B
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

I woyuld be amazed if there were another referendum before 2030 at least and I would expect that the debacle of Brexit would dictate that the terms of departure would be decided upfront. If that means critical defence teritory remains with GB then so be it. Everyone would then know the price of separation.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark B

If that means critical defence teritory remains with GB then so be it.”

Yep. As SBA’s like in Cyprus, or not happening.

That means these sites. Coulport. Faslane. Lossimouth. Kinloss. Buchan. Benbecula. Saxa Vord. Hebrides ranges. Loch Striven. Loch Ewe. Kyle of Lochalsh, and out stations in the lochs. Glen Douglas and Glen Mallen. Crombie. Beith.

All critical to either UK defence, NATO, or both.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago

I forgot one…Crimond.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

but where would you store the missiles and warheads? “

DM Ernsettle, now called DM Plymouth. Like Coulport, it is built into a hill. Unlike Coulort, it does not have the security or other infrastructure that the SSBN ops require. They could be built, but the cost would be great.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 month ago

Good luck selling that to the locals😂😂😂. The U.K. population that is for nuclear weapons are ok so long as they aren’t near anyone of them

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

I know! However, it is there in the right location. Plymouth is in the wrong place!

Crabfat
Crabfat
1 month ago

You and me, both, Stuart I was just going to write the same thing!

Ian
Ian
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

I think you’re over-thinking the submarine issue- it is simply something they believe they can use to stir up discord, given the technophobia that surrounds all things ‘nuclear’ in popular culture.

Andrew Thorne
Andrew Thorne
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian

I think the UK MoD should try and persaude the UK people of the relevance of the nuclear deterrent to today’s world (most people are in favour but no harm reminding them). Maybe a BBC documentary on the Faslane naval base and the wider implications of the UK unilaterally getting rid of its nuclear deterence. I think it would be a popular programme with many in the UK.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

From what I have heard from them I think even Scot’s Nat representatives are finding it difficult to believe in what they are saying about the ND not being a factor in the likelihood of a nuclear strike upon us. The behaviour of Russia makes that argument totally unsustainable to any objective speaker or at least anyone who doesn’t put delusion before expressing the truth, no matter how unpalatable it may be.

Andrew Thorne
Andrew Thorne
1 month ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

I would definitely agree with you. I did hear some of the SNP are beginining to question the logic of their anti-nuclear stance. Let’s hope sensible heads prevail should Scotland go independent.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

Nuclear weapons the most stupid while also brilliant weapons of all time. If they get used we are all dead. If ur still alive u wish you were dead. Some say they have kept the peace? Very hard to tell what the outcomes of last 70 years would of been without them. It’s been ok while only a few states have had them. As more get them the risk multiply dramatically. Where’s the limit and understanding? 2 nukes fired onto foreign soil and we all launch. One on a nato and all get fired? So easy to miss judge. The… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

Surely it is more accurate to say that some of Ireland’s defence comes from the UK – they do have armed forces but of modest capability.

Andrew Thorne
Andrew Thorne
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Yes I would agree Graham. Most of their defence comes from the UK with some smaller forces that they have. I guess they rely upon their neutral stance on global politics as their main shield. However, that neutral stance didn’t look too good in WWII – my note on Éamon de Valera and his well known and documented political relationship with Nazi Germany. I do think when people are getting brutally murdered then a neutral stance looks awful. This will be the future for Scotland as well as they have stated they want to remove the deterent and leave NATO… Read more »

Wolf
Wolf
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

Don’t get me going, the fact is, it doesn’t make sense at all. Apparently Scotland could be “an independent player on the world stage.” It’s a joke and logically makes no sense. People here need to be told more of these truths.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 month ago
Reply to  Wolf

I think the SNP said trident not all nuclear submarines. Second why would an independent country want someone else’s nuclear weapons/ boats on there territory. (Unless it’s for a mutual defence agreement, and that is where it gets complicated. under any terms of an independent Scotland it would have the closest relationship with the rest of the U.K across the world. The independent issue has been done and will not be happen for at least a generation. When it happened last time the U.K. government taking Scotland in a different direction to what the Scottish population had voted for. I… Read more »

Wolf
Wolf
1 month ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Yes, it’s the nuclear weapons that they have a problem with. Let’s just hope our politicians will also put the issue to the side.

Edward Benson
Edward Benson
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

Great stuff ! Gawnyersell big man !

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago

Given how this thread is developing, I think the UK should (re)develop a nuclear basin in England.

Furthermore, given the space freed up by DDH at Barrow, could we build a surface warship building hall at Barrow?

Barrow built the amphibs (yes, it was a tad tight getting out of the sea lock) so we could build T83/4 when the time came.

Puffing Billy
Puffing Billy
1 month ago

Wee Crankie recently said the war in Ukraine increased the need for Scottish independence. I suggest the opposite is true – the importance of staying together in these uncertain times. The balkanisation of Europe would be an easier prey for Russia.

Wolf
Wolf
1 month ago
Reply to  Puffing Billy

Absolutely. This is a time for unification, not division.

Cymbeline
Cymbeline
1 month ago
Reply to  Puffing Billy

When you see how the big militaries in the EU have rushed (not) to support the Ukraine I’d be a tad worried if I thought they were going to be my security blanket. With France the only nuclear power in the EU could you imagine if Le Penn were to get into power in their next election with her ideas of withdrawing from the NATO command structure? Surely it makes more sense to stay in a union that has already worked for the last 300+ years??

Wolf
Wolf
1 month ago
Reply to  Cymbeline

The fact is that the United Kingdom is not just a political union, it’s a country, a nation state. So yes – staying in the UK which has been successful for 300+ years means a lot: defence and security, economic security etc.

ExcalibursTemplar
ExcalibursTemplar
1 month ago
Reply to  Wolf

That’s what I grew up believing. My mam’s English, my dads a Scot both my Grandads were from Northern Ireland and i’m born on St Davids day so I adopted the Welsh. I’ve always classed myself as British and been proud of the fact. The stuff going on with the SNP & Plaid Cymru though breaks my heart. I don’t know about the Welsh, but with the Scots & SNP except for the English hating hardcore a minority. Most of the problems stem from the country being so London centric. As a northerner, I do sympathize because what London wants… Read more »

geoff
geoff
1 month ago

Proud to be British-me too! With regard to Nukes and Scotland, if Scotland were to become independent and banish Trident from Faslane, what would that achieve? I can only think of two possible “reasons”. One-to save Scotland from a retaliatory Nuclear strike. This reason, particularly in view of Satan 2 no longer holds water. There is no way Scotland could avoid Nuclear spillover. Two-to confirm some moral high ground in the nuclear debate. The whole argument of the CND mob no longer has any basis in sense. The world will never be free of Nukes. The ONLY way to have… Read more »

ExcalibursTemplar
ExcalibursTemplar
1 month ago
Reply to  geoff

Agreed.

Wolf
Wolf
1 month ago

Well said.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago

Bravo. I’m the same. I’m a mix of English, Italian, and with heavy doses of Scots. I’m British.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 month ago

Ahh the Scottish Italian. The inventors of the haggis pizza😂😂😂

geoff
geoff
1 month ago

Hello Fellow Brit. Hope you are well Daniele! Worrying times my friend. Down here we have just had the worst floods in living memory with huge damage and 400 dead.
Kind Regards
Geoff

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  geoff

Hi geoff.

I had no idea, so sorry to hear that.

We are well my friend, thank you.

Tams
Tams
1 month ago
Reply to  Puffing Billy

The SNP have a suspicious affinity to Russia in places.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 month ago
Reply to  Tams

Do they?

Frank62
Frank62
1 month ago
Reply to  Puffing Billy

Obviously. Easier too to use blackmail/leverage on loans to smaller states for Chinese/Russian money to gain basing rights. Just like the PRC has done in the Solomons. Thousands of miles away from China but only 1,000 miles from Austraila or New Zealand.

Leslie Leveson
Leslie Leveson
1 month ago

Unfortunately Scotland at present has a first minister who is dedeicated on removing the Royal Navy from Faslane One wonders where her loyalties lie in protecting these Isles from Rasputin who has created a despot objective in his policies, not caring a dam for loss of life.
The need for this facility is needed more now with this crisis surfacing Will it convince this person to rethink her polocies,only she and her entourage csn answer

Richard B
Richard B
1 month ago

As I understand the SNP position they want an independent Scotland to be part of NATO and EU. Plus removing nuclear weapons.
What does this mean for risk of nuclear attack?

The central belt is full of important industry and population. It will be an important part of the EU and NATO capabilities. So central Scotland would be toast – glowing in the dark.
It matters not one jot if Scotland hosts nuclear weapons. Removing the weapons is a sop to a political fringe. Nothing to do with making Scottish people safer.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard B

The l joining EU stance came from Scottish population voting a majority to stay in the EU. So makes sense to follow public opinion. Times change as do policies. It no longer seems to be the snp only goal to have independence like last century. If a effective political party could be made in Scotland people would see that the votes for the snp are not about independence. For the voters the snp can be considered the best of a bad bunch. Who doesn’t want a leader that says they will put what matters to you first and make your… Read more »

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 month ago

Who would have thought an American Virginia submarine visiting faslane would cause so much debate in the comments. I wonder what sub it is?
The independence issue is only one of the main political parties in Scotland policies. It was a once in a generation referendum so has been kicked into the long grass for 20+years

Wolf
Wolf
1 month ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Let’s hope you’re right.

Would the sub have been on Ex. Cold Response?

Deep32
Deep32
1 month ago
Reply to  Wolf

It’s certainly a possibility, but I don’t think there was any mention of it.
Surprisingly HMS Ambush went off the radar after Ex. CR, before popping up in Norway a month later! SMs dont just pop in for a port visit, they are normally v busy assets!!
Read what you will into it, but other possibilities exist.

Wolf
Wolf
1 month ago
Reply to  Deep32

What we do know is that the silent service is there and serving us and our country whether it be seen or unseen to the public eye. But yes, there are many possibilities.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 month ago
Reply to  Wolf

I do love a nuclear submarine. I do wonder how long out of a 25 year life are they likely to be at sea? More than half? Also if the reactor has a 25 year fuel what happens after that? Can it be run to 30 years just getting a bit less power draw? Obviously reactor refit could be done but it’s a huge job for a few extra years. The boats being retired now are running for longer than 25 years. They had refits. Maybe the reactors of the future will be able to do 35 years

Chris
Chris
1 month ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Only US and UK subs can run this long. They use very highly enriched fuel, far higher than anything else in a reactor anywhere in the world. Second only to nuclear bombs really.

It’s fascinating technology.

Wolf
Wolf
1 month ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Maybe – if they get an overhaul or a life-extension then the reactors would probably have a longer life as well.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 month ago
Reply to  Deep32

I think it says ambush was picking up supplies as well. Could it be crew changes? Also I think she was doing perisher so maybe to drop off some officers? I’m guessing with the number of subs just now there will be more spare crews. I don’t know how long a sub can run for before it needs docked for maintenance etc? Years?
With the Virginia boat maybe it’s getting stocked up on haggis amongst other supplies