Nuclear submarines from three countries are currently berthed in HMNB Clyde at Faslane near Glasgow in Scotland.

The American submarine is of the Virginia class and the French submarine is of the Rubis class.

The Virginia Class

Nineteen Virginia class attack submarines have been commissioned to date, and they will replace Los Angeles Class submarines as they retire. Virginia-class submarines will be acquired through 2043, and are expected to remain in service until at least 2060, with later submarines expected to remain into the 2070s.

The first was laid down in September 1999 and launched in 2003.

The Rubis Class

The French Navy operates six Rubis Amethyste class attack submarines from the naval base in Toulon. The submarines, built at the Cherbourg Naval Dockyard of DCN, are the Rubis S601 commissioned in 1983, Saphir S602 (1984), Casabianca S603 (1987), Emeraude S604 (1988), Amethyste S605 (1992) and Perle S606 (1993).

The first Rubis hull was laid down in December 1976 and launched in 1979.

The British boats based at Faslane

HM Naval Base Clyde – commonly known throughout the Navy as Faslane – is the Royal Navy’s main presence in Scotland. It is home to the core of the Submarine Service, including the nation’s nuclear deterrent, and the new generation of hunter-killer submarines.

The base is home to Trident nuclear missile-carrying Vanguard-class nuclear submarines in addition to Astute-class attack submarines and a number of smaller, conventional surface vessels.

The Royal Naval Armaments Depot at Coulport, 8 miles from Faslane, is responsible for the storage, processing, maintenance and issue of key elements of the UK’s Trident Deterrent Missile System and the ammunitioning of all submarine embarked weapons.

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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Mazda6
Mazda6
1 month ago

Wow.

Ian M
Ian M
1 month ago

Jimmy will think it’s an invasion.😂

Cymbeline
Cymbeline
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian M

Plenty of photo ops for those pesky Chinese drones then.

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian M

Liberation surely?

Something Different
Something Different
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian M

A rather unthoughtful anti British comment

Bloke down the pub
Bloke down the pub
1 month ago

French forgiven us for AUKUS then?

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
1 month ago

‘fraid Putin does not know how to back off. Every indication of NATO / Allied unity is being cranked up of necessity. China also needs to observe, though I believe she is not as comfortable with the direction Russia has taken.
The current situation could easily spiral, but we will not allow that criminal fcukr to bully us.
Rgs

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Agree

All soft signals of NATO unity are vital.

I wouldn’t be too surprised to see USMC jets back on board one of the QEC’s on the next routine exercise.

Just to remind Mad Vlad that there are three big carriers permanently in Europe (including CDG) and that it doesn’t take that long to fly some F35B’s across the pond….it is quicker than finding a USN carrier storing/retasking it and sending it over.

Sean
Sean
1 month ago

Excellent point! The USMC can quickly deploy their F35Bs to the QE class here, though you’d also be looking at some Galaxy’s to ferry spares, weapons, personal, it would probably faster than getting a US carrier here.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Sean

Well they do have a decent amount of C17 or whatever is needed or TBH if it isn’t going to a hot zone commercial cargo 747 for the bits that don’t go bang?

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
1 month ago

Firstly, a heads up: I’m not getting any email notifs of replies so a bit hit and miss if I acknowledge. Nothing will be meant!
Like the point on USMC.
Of course, Vlad 《the Impaler》 Rasputin – love these ‘epitaphs’ (ok, looking ahead somewhat), but hope they keep on comin’ – could be hinting at nucs with his instant military response to Ukraine aiders remarks, but more likely cyber. Either way, the cnut will fail ultimately.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
1 month ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Ps, is thst new one – Kink Cnut?

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
1 month ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

As I have just been informed, click the bell icon to the left of the submit comment button prior to submitting!

Frank62
Frank62
1 month ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Just checked my emails. Even clicking the bell button I’ve not had any replies notified. The last time was the 2nd March, so the new clunky system isn’t working. Someone need to tell our hard working mate George.

Frank62
Frank62
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank62

Just emailed [email protected] to tell them.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank62

And now? Just received your reply.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
1 month ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

OK, thanks

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

I like Poop Tin, works well for me when describing the shaky handed mad Nazi!

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
1 month ago
Reply to  Airborne

The novo Nazis. Spot on

Caribbean
Caribbean
1 month ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

I find “Le Putomane” quite appropriate, since he seems to talk through his posterior orifice quite frequently.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
1 month ago
Reply to  Caribbean

You and Airborne, evid. 😉

OldSchool
OldSchool
1 month ago

I’m hoping Aus buys Astute subs – France would just go ballistic 😂.

Anyway the UK helped out the Aussies who wanted out of a daft contract (should never have been signed IMHO) – which they had every right to do as they were at a contract gate – (French subs were a complete ripoff cost wise and when nukes were offered up by UK/US no longer made the slightest sense to buy).

Daveyb
Daveyb
1 month ago
Reply to  OldSchool

I think it would be better suited, as its quite a bit smaller than a Virginia Class even without the VLS extension.

Peregrine16
Peregrine16
1 month ago
Reply to  Daveyb

I should think in the vastness of the Pacific extra size would be an asset if it translates into better living conditions and more stores for the crew. The French boats are quite small.

spyintheskyuk
spyintheskyuk
1 month ago
Reply to  Daveyb

For Aus it would be the sensible choice I think, but they have to think about their American ties which whatever words are said are more important to them than ours on the strategic scale Im afraid, we will see. On the French cancellation it would have been pointless throwing good money after bad. When it was signed they narrowly decided to go for DE over nuclear bt in the time that it had already taken the simple fact was the strategic scenario with China had changed massively and China indeed had made direct threats to Australia so it could… Read more »

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  spyintheskyuk

It will be interesting to see the route they go for..

US or UK existing designs, or something new altogether?

I would think it would make the most sense for Australia to go for 8 optimised Block 3 Astute boats, the types 38 weapons load out and stealth would make China seriously sweat!

ExcalibursTemplar
ExcalibursTemplar
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

Would the Aussies not be better of getting in on the new design now for the UK. If we collaberate we might get the cost down and ensure commonality of parts between us.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago

Cost + time certainly = Virginia or Astute built with minor mods.

Astute is cheaper and lower manning levels than Virginia. Key AUS parameters.

But as you say they may decided to go all in on the next UK iteration and maybe get them in the water before the UK does if they have a bare new build capacity to do it.

The only issue is that it is highly non trivial making pressure hulls that go that deep and can withstand the sort of level of blast damage that modern SSN double hulls can withstand.

Branaboy
Branaboy
1 month ago
Reply to  spyintheskyuk

The French sub offered to Australia was a conventional powered version of their new Barracuda class attack sub which is much larger than the in service Ruins class. Currently the French have one of the Barracuda class, the Suffers built. Australia chose the French design because of the smaller manning levels required. Australia also stipulated they wanted a conventional powered sub because of their lack of supporting infrastructure for a nuclear powered sub. The French would have gladly sold them the standard nuclear powered sub. The proposed AUKUS deal sub is going to cost Australia at least 30% more than… Read more »

DanielMorgan
DanielMorgan
1 month ago
Reply to  Branaboy

Manning levels had nothing to do with Australia’s decision to buy French. The decision to choose the French design as opposed to the German or Japanese contenders was a political decision by the then PM and it had to do with jobs, transfer of technology and Australian jobs: i.e, increased re-election chances.

Azincourt
Azincourt
1 month ago
Reply to  Branaboy

The “ Ruins “ class and the “ Suffers “ . I assume these are humorous interpretations of the Rubis & Suffren class ! Suffren is 5 years behind schedule and still not fully operational. The Rubis class are “ mini «  subs at 2600 T of which Rubis the lead boat is in a poor state but the second boat Saphir had to be retired earlier because it was even worse . Perle was effectively destroyed by a fire in dry dock and has since become a hybrid with its rear hull being welded to the front hull of… Read more »

Branaboy
Branaboy
1 month ago
Reply to  Azincourt

Sorry, actually those were errors that seem to be a function of the self correcting spelling algorithm in my tablet. I corrected them a number of times but they seem to revert to those “humorous” spelling when I posted it. I see similar error in my post with regards to use of word Barracuda.

On lateness of the Suffren, the follow on boats (5) appear to be on accelerated delivery schedules with second boat arriving in 2024 and then boats hitting the water every other year.

Frank62
Frank62
1 month ago
Reply to  spyintheskyuk

China recently obtained basing rights in the Solomons Is, just 1,000 miles from Aus/NZ.

Paul
Paul
1 month ago
Reply to  OldSchool

The story is the French offered nuke sub but the Aussies wanted them conventional. That’s for de delay and the coast. Then the US and the UK (English speaking country) came with the Aukus proposal with the condition to buy US or UK made subs.
The Aussies agreed : that was a stabb in the back. Period.

AJP1960
AJP1960
1 month ago
Reply to  OldSchool

I think the groundswell of opinion is talking about a stretched Collins class. Stretched for reactors and poss a VLS.

Makes a great deal of sense. Australia has a lot of experience with the Collins and can tap in to US and UK skills re power plant, VLS and weapons fit

Trevor
Trevor
1 month ago
Reply to  AJP1960

I doubt that stretching an existing SSK design to produce an SSN would make much sense, especially as experience with the Collins itself appears somewhat mixed. In addition, that would not take advantage of commonality with Astute/Virginia design and operating experience.

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago

The UK, France and US just quietly get on and work together well, as they always do, political cock fighting is something quite different…

Always Right
Always Right
1 month ago

French aren’t even in NATO. Doesn’t matter who of if they’ve forgiven…

Nick
Nick
1 month ago

I think we should look at providing the last couple of Trafalgars to Australia as a stop-gap. The Americans could do the same with 688 boats as they are decommissioned.

Stu
Stu
1 month ago
Reply to  Nick

What Trafalgars? Only 1 left in service. They’re all ancient & nearing/at the end of their service life. Hulls worn out & reactors need refuelled – which yards could refuel them? Same likely situation with the 688’s. USN say they only just have enough SSN as it is & have been scrambling to schedule maintainance/refit etc. & extending in service dates (3 years at a time) to ensure their numbers don’t dip. Wish we had the extra subs to give them I would agree (though I’d rather we had extra for ourselves tbh!), but they have to limp along with… Read more »

Andrew Thorne
Andrew Thorne
1 month ago
Reply to  Stu

Good idea to have Australian shipbuilders visit the UK. They would have to vet them carefully as Australia has been heavily infiltrated by Chinese spies though – their parliament especially. However, then again we are the same with Russian and Chinese spies in our parliament and house of Lords…

Always Right
Always Right
1 month ago
Reply to  Stu

3 are, not 1. Since there must be 7 attack subs plus the 4 Vanguard-class.

Stu
Stu
29 days ago
Reply to  Always Right

3? I suppose if we’re being technical but Trenchant & Talent are both alongside pending decommissioning within months. Neither will deploy again. Once they go (inevitable & for all intents and purposes, they already have), that’ll be 1 left. To claim 3 is a bit like Russia claiming they have 16,000 tanks – there are 16k rusting boxes with what used to be a gun, engine and tracks but if it can’t be sent into a fight without a MAJOR overhaul/rebuild, what use is it? “Must be 7” – sorry but where is that written? I’d say 12 but I’m… Read more »

Last edited 29 days ago by Stu
Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 month ago
Reply to  Nick

There is no chance of Trafalgar going to Australia. The trafalgars are spend and already past there design life. Equally the USA boats are all busy. Would have to be a Virginia or astute if anything and that would or th apps only happen if that is the class they were going to use. It’s going to be long time before Australia gets it nuke boats. 2035-40. That timing fits with astute replacement or Virginia. Personally if needed I would look to Japan to supply a few off the shelf boats perhaps on loan if they are willing. That would… Read more »

Mark Franks
Mark Franks
1 month ago

This is nothing new folks rhe French and US SSNs have been visiting for years. Its good PR to get up Putins nose though.

Andrew Thorne
Andrew Thorne
1 month ago

I’m just wondering whether this is related to the Russian threats. Are our subs checking for Russian nuclear submarines more actively now than there were before. I think the threats coming from Russia are unhinged. I do understand their perspective that they feel they were being encircled by NATO but to threaten nuclear war just when the Ukrainian war is a conventional war seems completely mad. No one wins in a nuclear war given that if you have more than 100 nuclear warheads explosions then you produce a nuclear winter and then all life on earth perishes. Is there no… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Andrew Thorne
Cymbeline
Cymbeline
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

I wonder if we would deploy an extra trident sub, so having 2 at sea with a 3rd on immediate standby? I assume we could?? I also see Binden is trying to push through a $33Bn package for Ukraine, Certainly ramping up the pressure on Putin now, he might be prepared to up the stakes and go nuclear but how many of his senior staff are prepared to see their own families wiped out in any response?

Andrew Thorne
Andrew Thorne
1 month ago
Reply to  Cymbeline

I think in the short term I would be keen to have two ballistic missile submarines out on patrol. I also think we should up our nuclear stockpile further (maybe 500 or 1000?). We need should also consider aegis ashore and THAAD as a protective shield for our major cities. I think we don’t have an option but to increase defence spending to 3% of GDP (if that means overseas aid goes in the short term then so be it). I’m not entirely sure the Russian’s are bluffing this time as they may consider NATO encroachment as an existential issue… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Andrew Thorne
Jay R
Jay R
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

“Why doesn’t he consider stating clearly he won’t join NATO as long as he has assurances that Russian withdraws from Ukraine.” If Zelensky did this, Ukraine is no longer a sovereign state, it would mean Russia is controlling the destiny of Ukraine.

Cymbeline
Cymbeline
1 month ago
Reply to  Jay R

Its a moot point, there is no way Putin is going to withdraw Russian forces from Eastern Ukraine and he has closed off the Southern coast line. I still think at some stage the upper echelon of the Russian government will be removed. I’m probably wrong as I always thought as the Falklands task force moved South there would have been a political solution.

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago
Reply to  Cymbeline

I actually think with all this NATO support in equipment and financing there is a good chance Ukraine my bleed russia to a point it has to go. The west is effectively going to have to bankroll Ukraine, but they have the strategic reserves to do that, russia on the other hand is seeing itself cut off from a lot of economic funding streams. So I actual do think in the long Run Ukraine will potentiality win, it aways had the potential to bleed russia if it could resist a beheading movement (which it did). it can’t be isolated from… Read more »

Cymbeline
Cymbeline
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Yes, just all those poor souls who have to pay the price for 1 nutter.

Always Right
Always Right
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

 We need should also consider aegis ashore and THAAD as a protective shield for our major cities”

Why? Got the Type 45s already.

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago
Reply to  Cymbeline

I think that would be seen as a major escalation of any nuclear rhetoric and in reality one or two subs will be functionally irrelevant, if the U.K. uses it nuclear deterrent every one on the planet is on the way out.

Cymbeline
Cymbeline
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Yes, perhaps have 2 boats on standby to sail? But your right of course as soon as 1 nuke goes off I’d say its pretty much game over.

Deep32
Deep32
1 month ago
Reply to  Cymbeline

Im afraid it doesn’t quite work like that, unfortunately. We have 4 SSBNs, one is in refit in Devonport. One is at sea (CASD), one will have got back off patrol and thus entering a maintenance period, whilst the ,4th boat will have finished it’s maintenance period and will be gearing up to eventually relieve the SM that is currently on patrol. As Vanguard has been in refit for over two years, the remains three boats will have been worked very hard to compensate for Vanguard being out of the loop. Generally this leads to extended patrols, which in turn… Read more »

Cymbeline
Cymbeline
1 month ago
Reply to  Deep32

Deep32, thanks for your insight. a specialized subject. I’ve only ever met 1 submariner who used to do the escort convoys up and over to Russia in WW2.

Deep32
Deep32
1 month ago
Reply to  Cymbeline

No worries mate.
Ww2 escort convoys, a bit before my time!!👍

grizzler
grizzler
1 month ago
Reply to  Deep32

So we need a few more boats then…quantity has a quality of its own as they say.

Deep32
Deep32
1 month ago
Reply to  grizzler

Well no, 4 should do it really. If Vanguard was scheduled for a refit, steps will have been taken beforehand to minimise disruption etc, however, she has had to undertake a unplanned refuelling which the reactor core wasn’t designed to have. Thus they have encountered cost and time overruns which has skewed the whole programme.

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

Let me just nip that whole “NATO encircling Russia” meme in the bud, along with NATO being any sort of threat to Russia, outside of NATO responding to Russian initiated aggression. Its nonsense and just used by Putin as a justification and excuse for his actions. Its disappointing how many news sources just repeat this as fact, without any attempt to actually sanity check it or qualify it with something like “Russia claims” or “Russia states”. Russia only has direct land borders with NATO members Norway, Estonia and Latvia. Good luck with invading Russia through those axes. Poland and Lithuania… Read more »

Frank62
Frank62
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

Russian threats are unhinged indeed & we’re stupid to be intimidated so easily. Putin knows that any nuke strike will be returned like for like. So it would be suicidal to actually use any.
So much death & destruction could’ve been averted if we’d stood firm & robust far sooner. We’ve been fools to give so much creedence to Russia’s lies & threats.

Adrian Cotterill
Adrian Cotterill
1 month ago

Because we have no defence like Sam’s or any Awax that can detect low flying skimming bombs coming towards the UK, I am finding this very scary because the Government are cutting back on our Military capabilities. I have seen on YouTube that the Russians have got Sixteen bombers that can hold nearly 200 bombs between them and could fly around the top coast of Scotland. Then release their bombs and turn away in which these are precision guilded weapons that can fly just above the sea 1000 miles off the uk shores and hit their targets. The targets will… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago

Lots and lots of joint SSN activities visiting different ports very openly. A nice clear message that the NATO SSN fleets are all active and working together as NATO should be.

Matt
Matt
1 month ago

BAE working with Microsoft on maritime software.

Oooer.

“Where’s my Tomahawk, Rodney?”
“Sorry, Captain. Blue Screen of Death on the Bridge”.

https://www.navalnews.com/naval-news/2022/04/bae-systems-to-cooperate-microsoft/

AV
AV
1 month ago

Off topic but Naval related at least: Anyone seen the news about Russia deploying trained dolphins to protect their fleet from Ukrainian divers?…
Can’t wait for JohnMKs’ reply to that news!

Cymbeline
Cymbeline
1 month ago
Reply to  AV

Didn’t the Americans try something similar years back? If it works why not.

AV
AV
1 month ago
Reply to  Cymbeline

They did, the Dolphin training has been going on for years. Some was rather questionable basically amounting to Kamikaze dolphins.
Interesting to see what John posts by way of reply 👍

Cymbeline
Cymbeline
1 month ago
Reply to  AV

Well, they’ll be more intelligent than your average Russian squaddie thats for sure.

AV
AV
1 month ago
Reply to  Cymbeline

Very much so lol, but sadly just as sacrificial.

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago
Reply to  AV

I wonder if they will bring back the anti tank dogs.

AV
AV
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

The way things are going I wouldn’t count it out!

dave12
dave12
1 month ago

UKDJ I’VE STOPPED GETTING MY REPLY EMAILS CAN YOU CORRECT THIS PLEASE.

AV
AV
1 month ago
Reply to  dave12

DITTO 👍

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  dave12

Just email George, he probably does not always read all comments.
I did. It hopefully is sorted now.

WSM
WSM
1 month ago

I visited the USN Aquatic Mammal Unit when I was alongside in San Diego (moons ago !) and it was quite an eye-opener with regards to the range of sealife working for Uncle Sam!

Armchair Admiral
Armchair Admiral
1 month ago
Reply to  WSM

Ooh yes..grow a few more of those big ones that attacked the Nautilus…no..hang on..may be getting my facts mixed up a bit.
AA

Jerry B
Jerry B
1 month ago

As an American Bubblehead who stopped in Faslane a few times, it was a great place to visit, a lovely country, and the comradery between the British and American Sailors was world-class. It is great having friends that will go shoulder to shoulder as our two nations do.