HMS Ambush is in Grotsund near Tromsø to familiarise the Royal Navy with facilities to sustain submarines in the Arctic.

The Royal Navy say here that the Faslane-based Fleet submarine is the first British boat to use the new facilities, which have been made available by Norway to its NATO allies.

“Ambush, which is the second of four operational Astute-class submarines (three more are under construction), has been working extensively in Norwegian waters over the past month, joining Norwegian-led training, including Cold Response, the largest Arctic exercise staged by Norway in three decades.

Among the key roles Ambush played: serving as a launchpad for stealthy raids by Royal Marines in small boats in the Lyngenfjord, to the east of Tromsø, as well as training tomorrow’s submarine skippers by hosting the ‘Perisher’, the Submarine Command Course, which determines whether British or allied officers possess ‘the right stuff’ to serve as a boat’s executive or commanding officer.”

Ambush is paying a short visit to the port, taking on fresh supplies before resuming patrols.

HMS Ambush’s role according to the Royal Navy website

HMS Ambush is the second boat of the Astute-class.

“Armed with Tomahawk land attack missiles and Spearfish heavyweight torpedoes, HMS Ambush represents the cutting edge of the United Kingdom’s military power. As an attack submarine, her mission is neatly summed up by her motto: Hide and Seek.

The nuclear reactor onboard HMS Ambush will never need to be refuelled during her 25-year service period, while the ability to purify her own water and air mean that her range is limited only by the amount of food onboard. As a result, HMS Ambush is capable of circumnavigating the globe without resurfacing.”

Together with her sister vessels, HMS Ambush is one of the most sophisticated underwater vehicles ever built.

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
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
88 Comments
oldest
newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Martin
Martin
12 days ago

If only we had more, the UK can’t be a super power in all regards but we could fairly easily develop an SSN fleet of 30 boats over time and have a super power naval capability. You could buy all those boats with less than 1 year of the defence budget and you would only need 3000 sailors to crew 30 boats. One yard on a 1 boat per year timescale could build all that. We already have all the tech and capability all we need is a little ambition. This is not much different to Edwardian Britain building 30… Read more »

OldSchool
OldSchool
12 days ago
Reply to  Martin

I’d settle for 8 personally. 30 is just daydream stuff. As for the Edwardian navy – it was very large but the UK was economically much stronger then (in relative terms) and the social welfare bill a pittance compared to today’s.

Ian
Ian
12 days ago
Reply to  OldSchool

It’s also worth looking at the build cost of an Edwardian capital ship, inflation-correcting and comparing to the cost of a modern frigate or destroyer.

Martin
Martin
11 days ago
Reply to  Ian

You need to look at cost adjusted to GDP rather than inflation. £2 million in 1905 vs £1.4 billion today is probably quite similar

Martin
Martin
11 days ago
Reply to  OldSchool

In 1914 the UK was the worlds 3rd biggest economy and today it’s number 5. The only thing that’s changed is our perception.

ExcalibursTemplar
ExcalibursTemplar
11 days ago
Reply to  Martin

Bingo absolutely spot on 👍

If CANZUK actually takes off and there are a lot people in government that support the idea. The UK would arguably be a part of a Super power. With the 3rd largest GDP in the world on £7.5 Trillion. A total landmass of 6,918,417 miles squared, bigger than Russia. With a population of around 138 million. That and a defense budget of $108.2 bill at current rates, 3rd largest in the world.

Martin
Martin
11 days ago

CANZUK would certainly be a major force in the world, with world wide basing second to non and control over almost every natural resource market. It’s beyond me why HMG has not made a push on it already. Seems like a no brained that could be worked out by the four leaders over a weekend. I would particularly like it to focus on sea and space cooperation. Possibly even a single navy.

ExcalibursTemplar
ExcalibursTemplar
11 days ago
Reply to  Martin

👍

It will just take time Covid probably slowed things down a lot.

Terence Patrick Hewett
Terence Patrick Hewett
11 days ago

Yes: there are a lot of us CANZUKers around. My bet it will be Ozuk first, with the rest joining shortly after.

Martin
Martin
10 days ago

It’s seen as a right wing policy in most of the countries, until the left adopts it in Canada, UK and Australia I don’t see it as becoming a reality. When people like Bojo and Moggie are it’s main supporters it seems ridiculous to most people. It needs some serious politicians to back it. A simple enough CANZUK treaty offering free movement of people, free trade with military and space cooperation is not that complicated to do however putting it all in one place backed by clowns is a non starter especially when the left wing press are against it.

Tommo
Tommo
9 days ago
Reply to  Martin

All Anglo , a bit of Boys own paper, someone will moan that it has Echos of Empire all over it lrt them moan The left wing press would rather we all climb into Bed with Russia that’s a worse thought than Boris in his JimJams

UKVoter
UKVoter
11 days ago

Exactly! Polling by CANZUK International shows that support for CANZUK averages around 70% in each of the 4 countries. It is an organisation dedicated to forming CANZUK. A lot of ordinary people simply do lot know about it. Our politicians are useless. They should be talking about it all the time. And our media is so anti UK it makes me sick. They want the country to break apart. CANZUK answers so many of our problems for each country. The most important of which is defence against China and natural resources. Combined we would be a serious force, which in… Read more »

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
11 days ago
Reply to  OldSchool

In Edwardian times many children in city slums went without shoes and these slums produced Flyweight boxers – men smaller than boys. About a third of those presenting for wartime service in the First World War were medically unfit for service. I hope only that Astute has a follow on class ordered in numbers and we see no more of the loss of capability of recent decades.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
12 days ago
Reply to  Martin

What about the trained crews for them? Especially nuclear engineers and other pinch point trades?

I’d settle for getting back to realistic 10 -12.

Is 1 boat a year even doable? I think Deep said a T class every 2 or 2 and a half?

Ian
Ian
12 days ago

Where’s the extra shipyard capacity to do such a thing?

Martin
Martin
11 days ago
Reply to  Ian

You build it.

ExcalibursTemplar
ExcalibursTemplar
11 days ago
Reply to  Martin

Spot on again 👍👍👍

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
11 days ago
Reply to  Ian

You tell me, I wasn’t proposing an expansion to 30!😉

Martin
Martin
11 days ago

You only need 3,000 trained crew for 30 boats. Out of an armed forces of 170,000 that’s not much.

Tommo
Tommo
11 days ago
Reply to  Martin

When at,Dolphin always a lot of trainees until SETT then a few would drop straight out £ 5.00p Extra a day was the going rate wasn’t worth it too some of them when it came to Escape

Deep32
Deep32
11 days ago
Reply to  Martin

To man 30 boats at a nominal 120 per crew you would need 3600 and an additional 2000 minimum so you could rotate people between sea and shore side. That’s an awful lot of extra people, which would be less if you had a split Nuc/SSK force. Where would you base all these boats? Faslane will be full with the 4 SSBNs and 7 Astutes. Guzz could probably accommodate another 10 max, while Pompey is really only a surface fleet base these days. It would leave a very unbalanced fleet, we do need more though. I believe SSN(R) is currently… Read more »

Martin
Martin
11 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

It’s only an unbalanced fleet if you look at it from its current position. 24 escorts 2 carriers 6 amphibs 30 SSN’s and 4 SSBN does not look the unbalanced on paper. In the Cold War the Soviets had a much larger proportion of submarines to surface vessel. Now we are back out of our colonial policing post 1991 mind set and back to great power play with peer forces we need to be honest that the majority of the surface fleet would not survive very long if put in to an offensive position. Submarine forces would fight most of… Read more »

Deep32
Deep32
11 days ago
Reply to  Martin

Got to disagree fella, we need more escorts than SMs, even though we don’t have enough SSNs. The Soviets never had a much larger proportion of SMs to surface vessels in the cold war, their fleet just wasn’t built for ‘blue water’ ops like the US or UK, it was more of a ‘brown water’ navy, with lots of frigate/corvette size vessels and a moderate amount of destroyer/cruiser size ships. Any war at sea between peer nations will involve all three branches of their navies, having the most SMs doesn’t necessarily mean one side is going to win! Agree with… Read more »

Martin
Martin
11 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

We could not afford to have a super power fleet like the US with carriers, escorts etc but we could afford to have a super power number of SSN’s due to low crew numbers in comparison. A large balanced fleet gives you sea control however we don’t need sea control outside of the North Atlantic and Mediterranean. A large fleets of SSN’s gives you the ability to exercise sea denial anywhere in the world. Fighting say China and exercising sea denial in the Indian Ocean and Pacific while maintaining sea control in the Mediterranean and North Atlantic allows the UK… Read more »

ExcalibursTemplar
ExcalibursTemplar
11 days ago
Reply to  Martin

👍👍👍

ExcalibursTemplar
ExcalibursTemplar
11 days ago
Reply to  Martin

69 million mate and rising fast.

Martin
Martin
11 days ago

Actually on track to be the largest population in Europe by the end of the century as Russian and Germany populations tumble.

Tommo
Tommo
11 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

If going down the SSK route Dolphin in Gosport shouldn’t take a lot too bring it back it only went as a docking base when the Upholder class went as the ministry wanted an all Nuclear Sub service oh such foresight

David Lloyd
David Lloyd
11 days ago

Chatham had a fine nuclear Royal Dockyard. Nelson’s Victory was built there. During the Cold War it was run ragged servicing British and American SSN; when Thatcher closed it shortly after the Falklands war a nuclear reactor was found at the bottom of one of the docks, quietly fizzling and glowing an eerie blue in the dark. Another was found buried 12 feet deep on St Mary’s Island, right where the new primary school playground was built. Unsurprisingly people now living on the island are not allowed to grow and eat their own vegetables……. When it closed 8000 qualified shipwrights,… Read more »

Last edited 11 days ago by David Lloyd
ExcalibursTemplar
ExcalibursTemplar
11 days ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

👍

ExcalibursTemplar
ExcalibursTemplar
11 days ago

If you average 1.5 subs a year for 20 years that should give you plenty of time to train them up. It could work out really well as we’re going to need a crap load of nuclear engineers for all the new nuclear power stations we’re going to be building to.

Aaron L
Aaron L
11 days ago

I think that’s what a lot of people forget when they are coming up with these dream numbers regardless if they’re for the Navy, RAF or Army.

People are the key point to a lot of this. RAF fighter fleet is an example of this. 138 F-35 would be great while maintaining our whole Typhoon fleet but where are the pilots going to materialize from for it?

Mark B
Mark B
12 days ago
Reply to  Martin

We must be careful we don’t look like an aggressor. We could apply the same principle across T31 etc Challenger etc. Suddenly the force is not a deterrent anymore but you are going to frighten a lot of Countries not just Russia licking it’s wounds. We need to get to the right number for defending our interests and playing our part in NATO and the pacific but we must not get carried away.

Martin
Martin
11 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

If the USA goes isolationist again which is very possible it would still allow the west to dominate the sea. It’s a big enough threat to keep china permanently in check. In a real shooting war the USN only really values it’s SSN force and at most they might keep 50 boats so us having 30 is a big deal.

ExcalibursTemplar
ExcalibursTemplar
11 days ago
Reply to  Martin

Cracking point and the US does worry me to.

Martin
Martin
11 days ago

Yeah Trump was not the start of something more like a return to normal for US presidents pre 1945. We managed to trick them in 1945 to take over from us but they are wising up now. China won’t provide the Pax for free as the UK and the USA did in the past and the EU is already more isolationist than the USA. The UK is the only major power that goes out of its way to engage at no direct profit to itself.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
11 days ago
Reply to  Martin

Don’t see USA going isolationist. Relatively, her superpower status has declined, so she will need as much help as she can get. The rest of the West has to step up so US feels more assured, and to mitigate against perception that that she ‘stands alone’ as the democratic guarantor; tailor-made to encourage truculent isolationist clamour.

Andy P
Andy P
12 days ago
Reply to  Martin

Its not just the crew though (and a hundred per boat just isn’t workable), SSN’s require a fair bit of shore support when alongside. You’d also need a lot more jetties for them too.

As others have said, 10-12 as we had 20 years ago or so is more realistic. Another option would be 7 (or hopefully more) A boats and some smally diesels for the inshore stuff.

Martin
Martin
11 days ago
Reply to  Andy P

Yes I’m being overly simplistic to make a point. However it’s a superpower level of capability well inside our means if we choose to do it. It’s not like have 20 carriers or a 1 million man army.

ExcalibursTemplar
ExcalibursTemplar
11 days ago
Reply to  Martin

👍

Deep32
Deep32
11 days ago
Reply to  Andy P

Sorry mate, didn’t see ur post until after I replied to @Martin above.

Andy P
Andy P
11 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

No worries, mate, I don’t always get a ‘heads up’ that someone has replied to a post any more so if I’ve not replied to other posts then apologies.

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
11 days ago
Reply to  Andy P

I’m the same. Stopped receiving notifications in my emails when Sombody has replied to me. Anyone else having this problem?

Tommo
Tommo
11 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

Yes Robert when my phone Autu updated

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
11 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

Hi Robert, yes, I’m not getting replies either…I must be saying less these days and more into waiting to see what eventuates. But, I will now contradict myself with some news which has been brought up before on this site. It still
seems like there’s an ongoing issue with the RAN T26s down here. Too heavy, too slow…i think they need remove the “inverted drumstick” radar and reengineer if with something more “Lite”! Anyone know if the Canadians are having similar issues with their T26s?

Ian
Ian
12 days ago
Reply to  Martin

The cost of SSNs has been doubling in real terms from one generation to the next. Until someone figures out how to put a stop to that, increasing the number of hulls significantly is not financially sustainable. The Russians maintain about a dozen SSNs, but most of them are ~30 years old (so are over half their SSKs), because replacing them with modern platforms in similar numbers is unaffordable. Given the stress that a submarine’s hull is subjected to, it’s a state of affairs that would make me nervous.

Martin
Martin
11 days ago
Reply to  Ian

Cost for a Trafalgar to Astute is closer to a factor of 10X rather that 2X. But if SSN(R) was costing £2-3 billion that’s very doable for a slightly enlarged UK defence budget if we focused on one item as we did in 1905.

Sean
Sean
11 days ago
Reply to  Martin

Fantasy fleet, no way the U.K. could support a submarine force nearing half the size of the USN as you suggest. You can’t build an SSN in a year, and it’s a vastly different prospect building an SSN to a dead naught just on sheer complexity of the final product. It’s like comparing the Wright brothers Kitty-Hawk to an F22 Raptor. We are not a super-power in any regard. But we are in the next-tier in military terms, one of the 5 recognised nuclear powers, etc, etc. The USA recognises that the U.K. punches well above its weight in terms… Read more »

Martin
Martin
11 days ago
Reply to  Sean

US yards build an SSN in less than year. Russian yards use to and are targeted to do the same again. No reason why the uk could not do the same by boosting Barrow or putting construction back to Cammel Laird

Marked
Marked
11 days ago
Reply to  Martin

Russian built subs had a tendancy to have fires and dive but not surface again. I’d rather not compare our building times to theirs…

Deep32
Deep32
11 days ago
Reply to  Martin

Not strictly true is it. They have built 2 or 3 in less than a year, but the Virginia class are averaging about 20-24 months per unit overall.
We could certainly improve our build rate over time, we managed about 24-30 months per T boat, but that would be about it unless we had another shipyard set up to build nuclear submarines. A shipyard would be the least of the problems, a skilled workforce to go with it, that’s a different problem altogether.

Martin
Martin
11 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Yes it takes more than a year to build a boat but the yards build more than one boat at a time. The two US yards have been getting close to one boat a year on Virginia. Barrow was suppose to be ideally in a 22 month schedule per boat for Astute build but MOD kept delaying it. Reopening Cammell Laird for SSN production could get us back to one boat a year. It’s not going to happen over night but it could be done over a 5-10 year period with an investment of a few billion a year which… Read more »

ExcalibursTemplar
ExcalibursTemplar
11 days ago
Reply to  Martin

We could easily afford it if the Government stopped pissing away money on waste. If this Rwanda deal works, and we get rid of all the dingy people, there’s £2 billion a year saved straight away just on HOTELS.

Last edited 11 days ago by ExcalibursTemplar
Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
10 days ago

Is that £2 billion saved after you have paid all the costs of Rwanda plan? I would double the government costing at least. If it’s about putting people away somewhere why not use cruise ships? I’ve not looked into this Rwanda thing much at all. I did hear Israel tried this already and it was a bit of a disaster so much that they stopped it all together. Much better idea would be process people rapidly. I don’t know why it takes so long for every case. I’m still of the view that someone who has went through massive hardship… Read more »

Deep32
Deep32
11 days ago
Reply to  Martin

Agree, the more shipyards you have to do the building the more boats you can build in a given time period. However, the faster you build the quicker you reach your target, then what? Astutes are scheduled to last some 25yrs without re-fueling, SSN(R) probably longer,you will need to keep going at that level to sustain your shipyards. Of course, hopefully well before then we will have come up with a way and the vast costs of disposing of the 20 odd legacy SMs we currently have sitting in Devonport and Rosyth awaiting disposal!!

ExcalibursTemplar
ExcalibursTemplar
11 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Build 6 SSN every 4 years for 20 years, then Switch to building 4 or even 6 SSBN over 5 years. Repeat every 25 years Jobs a good one.

Martin
Martin
11 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

The US fleet at present is set to however many boats its yards can build. More boats built just equals a bigger fleet. We could do the same. There is no tasking reason for us to have 7 or 10 or 15 or 30.

Tommo
Tommo
11 days ago
Reply to  Martin

It’s getting the youngsters into Apprenterships for all the key trades for SSN builds that will take time ,with an aging workforce passing on their knowledge is needed before we lose it I know BAE has a scheme for Apprentices 1 to 1 training this is why As are taking time you can’t cut corners

Andy P
Andy P
11 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

“a skilled workforce to go with it, that’s a different problem altogether.” ^^^ This. As I’m sure you’re aware, part of the early delays with the A boats was down to the lack of skilled ‘dockies’ at Barrow after they laid guys off after the V boat build. In fairness, plenty matelots will jump at the chance to work at Barrow, I knew a quite a few of the Barrow ‘dockies’ from their time in the RN, I was sounded out myself as to whether I fancied it when I left. This does lead onto the retention problem, had a… Read more »

ExcalibursTemplar
ExcalibursTemplar
11 days ago
Reply to  Martin

We could build 6 subs every 4 years for the next 20 years and you’ve got your fleet of thirty. That seems very doable to me.

ExcalibursTemplar
ExcalibursTemplar
11 days ago
Reply to  Sean

The Yanks need backing up mate they’re spread to thin and have over spent while the rest of NATO has massively underspent. It’s not just Russia we need to worry about, China is seriously tied in with them to.

Matt
Matt
11 days ago
Reply to  Martin

In 1900-1910 we had an Empire, which was 20%+ of global GDP.

UK was 10% of the global economy. India was another 10%. The rest of the Empire was a further 3%.

USA and China were about 13% each.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)_in_the_nineteenth_century

Now we are at about 3%.

That explains a lot about that comparison.

Martin
Martin
11 days ago
Reply to  Matt

But that empire was a massive peace time cost and contributed almost nothing to the navy. HMS NZ, HMAS Australia and HMS Malaya were very rare examples of colonies paying towards imperial defence and it was less than 10% of the tonnage in the Anglo German Naval arms race. The UK share of GDP is three times lower but only because the world had close to zero economic activity outside of Europe Atlantic area at the time. In 1914 the country faced an existential threat just a few hundred miles off the coast with limited Allie’s to count on. Today… Read more »

Matt
Matt
11 days ago
Reply to  Martin

On the numbers, I think I’d settle for 8+8 (or 10+8) split with Oz on post-Astoot which should be beneficial for costs (once an Iron Maiden has been purchased for BAE Accountants), and a further fleet of 6 (?) coastal / littoral diesel submarines for offshore infrastructure protection and more local work – perhaps via a partnership with Sweden who are still smarting from the German attempt to kill their sub industry, or Japan.

The Swedish Gotland replacement is about 25% of the cost of an Astute, with a crew of around 20-24.

Last edited 11 days ago by Matt
Martin
Martin
11 days ago
Reply to  Matt

If you going SSK then it’s better to just go UUV. SSK just can’t operate as a strategic level platform which is the main reason for Australia to get rid. If you want to park some torpedos near a choke point a UUV can do that just as easily for a fraction of the cost.

Deep32
Deep32
11 days ago
Reply to  Martin

You think thats all SSKs can do? UUVs are not a replacement for manned SMs either Nuc or conventional, even with modern AI. It takes a manned crew to make judgement calls on whether to shoot or not! It takes a manned crew to work out a FCS to fire on, that is after you have positively I’d the target, after you have first detected it, everything your UUV can’t do and will never be likely to accomplish either.

Andy P
Andy P
11 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Yup, as per mate, I’m sure you’re aware of the range of tasks that SSN’s do and mostly it doesn’t involve firing any torpedoes or TLAM. A UK SSK wouldn’t be there for that stuff, we’d have the Blue Water SSN’s for that, SSK’s would be used for a lot of the ‘other’ stuff, you could save a lot of space by not having a big ‘bomb shop’.

Martin
Martin
11 days ago
Reply to  Andy P

what other stuff though? Chasing down Russian SSN in UK waters? They are too slow for that. Delivery of special forces sure if we could get them to the gulf they might be useful once in a while but it’s a long way for an SSK to go. Monitoring of undersea cables or choke points yes but I can get many more UUV for the task for the same price. SSK are great for green water navy’s but rarely useful for blue water navies or at-least so highly niche to not be worth the cost.

Tommo
Tommo
11 days ago
Reply to  Martin

One of either P or O boats did the Gulf for OP Granby and had a wonderful paint job for the task Not your usual Black

Andy P
Andy P
11 days ago
Reply to  Martin

Martin, we used SSK’s for everything ‘back in the day’ before we put a big bit of uranium in the middle bit. As it is, we’ve been using Blue Water SSN’s for tasks in The Gulf when a smaller platform would have done. Not a big deal when we had more of them I suppose but with the reduced numbers now, its a big commitment on our limited assets. There are a lot of things that submarines are used for that fall under the ‘covert’ role rather than the chasing down Russian boats, a lot of the roles aren’t even… Read more »

Martin
Martin
11 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

What would we as the UK use SSK’s for? We don’t have to facedown the Red Fleet anymore, areas of operation in the higher North Atlantic are unsuited to SSK operation and almost all the places we want a submarine are too far for sensible SSK operations. Other than training which is not ideal to train a SSN crew on I just see very little use for them. This was the principal reason the UK and USA got rid of them.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 days ago
Reply to  Martin

We had 28 attack subs (SSN/SSK) in 1982. However there is no way we could justify or afford 30 today.

ExcalibursTemplar
ExcalibursTemplar
11 days ago
Reply to  Martin

I really like your kind of thinking 👍

Ron
Ron
11 days ago
Reply to  Martin

Hi Martin, in some ways I understand what you are saying, and yes to reduce overall cost I would love the RN to have 20 SSNs. However there are several issues, yes we could possibly build the sub every 2 years but the reactors take time. I would like to see a RN sub fleet of 12 SSNs, some for the escort role say four allocated to the carrier and SSBN the rest in the hunter killer role. I would also like to see 16 AIP SSKs with multi mission tubes to operate in the area of Northern Norway to… Read more »

Andy P
Andy P
11 days ago
Reply to  Ron

Ron, for charging about the Atlantic (or Pacific etc) you want a nuke boat, at least for a country like the UK who have the capability and resources to have them. You want the AIP SSK’s for the littoral stuff. The Scandinavian countries are in a different place to us, both in finances and in the role they require their boats to fulfil. One SSN can cover a lot more area than an SSK. SSK’s are smaller and can be utilised for more inshore stuff, stuff that doesn’t require a vast weapons fit. As the UK seems to be looking… Read more »

Martin
Martin
11 days ago
Reply to  Ron

It’s worth noting that Rolls Royce are getting ready to start building atleast 2 400MW SMR per annum soon. Building more of an existing design like PWR 3 is easy in comparison. Obviously it would take 5-10 years to build the extra yard capacity and get production going an reactor production would be increased at the same time.

Jeff Deane
Jeff Deane
1 day ago
Reply to  Martin

Great post and I most definitely agree, but this gov drags its heels over everything

JamesD
JamesD
12 days ago

Yeah apart from the fact they’ll end up serving more than 25 years as usual

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
12 days ago
Reply to  JamesD

That was my first thought. If I remember rightly the current construction rate means that these first 4 boats at least will likely need to go to 30 years… Opps!

Cheers CR

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
12 days ago

Beautiful looking beasts. If the RAN go with an Astute or Astute+ based design maybe there might be an option for an extra 1-2 for the RN sooner than later. Big money items though.

Andrew Thorne
Andrew Thorne
12 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

I suspect the UK will stay at 7 boats. I think we could stretch to 8 but not much more than that. I think have two hunter killers per ballistic missile boat makes sense. I think any more than 8 for the UK would be too much of a push financially. Although an extra boat wouldn’t be – make for the future hunter killer design though.

Andy P
Andy P
11 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

SSN’s are busy platforms and do a lot more than ride shotgun on the SSBN’s going in and out. I know our Fleet boats are being run pretty ragged at the moment and while I totally get your financial argument, we do need more platforms, either SSN’s or SSK’s (the new Gucci ones) as we can’t be everywhere at once.

We really don’t need hoofing big SSN’s in The Gulf, not for what we’re mostly up to in that part of the world, its a bit of a waste of an ‘all singing, all dancing’ asset.

ExcalibursTemplar
ExcalibursTemplar
11 days ago
Reply to  Andy P

The Carriers need an SSN as an Escort to.

Andy P
Andy P
11 days ago

Yes mate, its one of the roles of an SSN, all I’m saying is that without any alternative we’re having to use them for roles that they’re maybe not ideal for, especially as they’re getting larger (and deeper drafted). Submarines are used for a lot of roles we don’t really shout about.

OOA
OOA
11 days ago

Once took Mrs OOA to Tromsø for a romantic weekend in a teepee under the Northern Lights. Minus 17 and a force 7 gale lancing through every tiny gap in the walls meant that any thoughts of my own ambush were thwarted by the composite armour of several sleeping bags and woolen PJs – plus a balaclava-muffled request to ‘bugger off it’s füc&ing freezing’. I doubt the crew’s run ashore was much better at a tenner a pint…

ExcalibursTemplar
ExcalibursTemplar
11 days ago
Reply to  OOA

😂

Tommo
Tommo
11 days ago
Reply to  OOA

NATO has always been Norways cash cow when a runashore for the Lads is on the Cards , Publicans love em

Airborne
Airborne
11 days ago

Got to say the RN are on the ball and working hard with limited, but well planned and organised/crewed assets. Well done all involved, now can some of your head sheds pop down to Land and pass on your wisdom to the bloody Army!