Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has announced that the lead boat and class name for the Royal Navy’s new nuclear submarines will be Dreadnought.

According to a Ministry of Defence press release:

“Named fifty six years after the launch of Britain’s first nuclear-powered submarine of the same name, Dreadnought has extensive historical significance, borne by no fewer than nine Royal Navy ships.

A previous Dreadnought sailed with Sir Francis Drake to repel the Spanish Armada; another was present with Nelson at Trafalgar, where her gunnery was acknowledged to be the most devastating of any ship present. But the most famous of all was the ninth Dreadnought, a battleship so advanced that it rendered all others obsolete at a stroke. And it was 99 years ago this December, that the United States Navy sent four of its own dreadnoughts to join the Royal Navy’s Grand Fleet in Scapa Flow.

Such historical resonance will continue through the names of boats, 2, 3 and 4.

Today, the name remains synonymous with technical accomplishment and fighting power: not just in the United Kingdom, but around the world.”

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:

“Every day our ballistic missile submarines are used to deter the most extreme threats to Britain’s security. We cannot know what dangers we might face in the 2030s, 2040s and 2050s, so we are building the new Dreadnought class.

Along with increasing the defence budget to buy new ships, more planes, and armoured vehicles, this commitment shows we will never gamble with our security.”

Construction began last month on the successor programme, which will deliver the most advanced and quietest submarine ever conceived by the Royal Navy, and the first to be designed to accommodate both male and female submariners from the outset.

The press release concludes:

“As part of our £178 billion equipment plan, the programme will be supported by a defence budget that will rise every year until the end of the decade, meeting the NATO commitment to spend two per cent of GDP on defence.

Several hundred suppliers will be involved in the programme at its peak, almost 85 per cent of those based across the UK, securing jobs from Scotland to the South of England.”

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon recently announced that work will start on the UK’s new nuclear missile submarine fleet with a £1.3 billion investment.

The project will now move into the next stage, known as ,Delivery Phase 1′, with manufacturing work beginning on structural steel work for the ‘auxiliary machine spac’ of the first submarine: this contains switchboards and control panels for the reactor. The money will also be spent furthering the design of the submarine, purchasing materials and long lead items, and investing in facilities at the BAE Systems yard in Barrow-in-Furness where the submarines will be built.

Tony Johns, Managing Director of BAE Systems Submarines said:

“This additional financial investment by the MOD is an expression of confidence in our ability to build these sophisticated vessels.

We have been designing the new class of submarine for more than five years and thanks to the maturity of our design, we’re now in a position to start production on the date we set back in 2011. This is a terrific achievement and I pay tribute to all those who have made this possible.”

The programme already employs more than 2,600 people across MOD and industry, including 1,800 at BAE Systems. Thousands more will be employed in the supply chain with an average of 7,800 people expected to be working on Successor each year throughout the duration of the programme.

At peak, in the early 2020s, BAE Systems anticipates employing more than 5,000 people on the Successor programme.

18 COMMENTS

  1. Next three vessels after HMS Dreadnought…
    HMS Destruction – Last in service, 1806.
    HMS Devastation – Last in service, 1908.
    HMS Defiance – Last in service, 1931.

  2. HMS Deluge considering we are dealing with submarines…or HMS Asperse? To asperse is to attack with false, malicious and damaging charges or insinuations. Rather apt no?

  3. If it’s called the dreadnaught class don’t they all start with D?
    So Dreadnaught
    Devastation
    Destruction
    Duke of Wellington

  4. How about Thunderer, long overdue a revival, formally a state of the art 2nd generation Dreadnought with a perfect name for such 2nd generation Dreadnought submarine. And about time surely we had a tribute (with the revitalisation of the area), to the long history of military ship building on the Thames going back to the 16th century that the last Thunderer represented as the very last major warship ever to be built there. To join her Orion and Warspite methinks.

  5. The forthcoming threats will come from space, not from Earth.

    I suggest that you instead construct a space ship version of “HMS Dreadnought”.

    U.K has already the great rocket SABRE engine from Reaction Engines Ltd. The UK government investment in SABRE engine of only £60m has instead to be of £600m.

  6. What about French names, as BAE bought French steel to save some pennies, so they say, but betrayed British industry, that has stood by and supported the military for years, to each other’s benefit. Certainly, not HMS Hood. That name would go to a iconic special ship, and all British!

  7. The last HMS Warspite was a nuclear Hunter Killer, but is still awaiting disposal (that takes some time because of the nuclear fuel). Hence that name is not yet available. It may yet become available if the RN manages to dispose of the sub in time for this new class. Similar circumstances apply to Courageous, Conqueror, Churchill and Valiant.
    Iron Duke is a Frigate (possibly retired now).
    I think HMS Hood is due for a return, as is HMS Lion. The latter was a Battlecruiser of WWI (flagship of Vice Admiral Beatty at Jutland). The fourth sub might be HMS Ramillies (named after Marlborough’s victory at the battle of Ramillies, and a traditional RN name, previously a battleship).

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