Nuclear submarines from three countries were 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 messaging behind this isn’t going to be lost on the powers that be and while the visits themselves may be routine logistics stops, the symbolic image of nuclear submarines belonging to NATO’s three nuclear powers sailing in and out of the same naval base shows serious unity and collective capability.

It is understood that these deployments are not part of any planned exercises (we often report as and when this happens) and are, as said above, routine logistical stops.

This is significant and I cannot remember the last time that nuclear submarines belonging to three western nations were in the same place at the same time, let alone a base so close to where Russian submarines typically operate in the North Atlantic.

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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Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
6 days ago

Must be a hotdog and French fries bbq on faslane menu tonight. Great to see. Local bars will be bouncing this weekend. Local lassies out in force to snare a sailor

Out of interest do Royal Navy and American subs visit Frances nuclear sub base. The only time that I can think of is when a RN and French SSBN had an accidental meeting at sea. Less said about that the better

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

I know US/UK deconflict and submarine ops is one area of the close relationship we have. But not sure if the same happens regards the exact area of our SSBN, even with the US. I don’t think it did with France either, though may be something has been put in place since. AFAIA only the bomber commander and CoS Ops ( RAS ) at Northwood know exactly where the sub is. That the 2 subs briefly came into contact and were unaware of the other shows how quiet they are at those slow speeds and what an effective 1st strike… Read more »

George Allison
Admin
6 days ago

Hi mate, did you get this as a reply notification email?

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
6 days ago
Reply to  George Allison

Hi George did you get notification for this reply? Last time I had one from CMS is April 6th.
Hopefully Daniele with reply shortly as I’ve maybe not pushed a bell or something

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
5 days ago
Reply to  George Allison

Ding dong I got it👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

You should get things now as I emailed George about the issues and the Bell icon is now permanently rung!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 days ago
Reply to  George Allison

No mate. I did get a UKDJ response notification, but not to this post. What I did get is just weird.

“Response by Greg in Harrier 809 by Rowland White”

“This is a test response”

That article was from 2020!? And there is no such post on there so assume that was you fiddling about trying to fix things.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
6 days ago

The SSBNs must be really quiet when running at deployment speed. To isolate every noise from inside the boat and there are lots of them like shaft, propeller, valves any machinery really is a massive achievement. then to keep it quiet throughout its service is outstanding.
Maybe looking for silent spot in ocean is what is looked for now

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Well I suspect they crawl along at a very slow rate of knots. Nor do they communicate if they don’t have to so as to not give away their position. I know they listen in to see if Radio 2 is still there but that’s it!

Chris
Chris
5 days ago

Patrol speed is typically 3 knots.

Chris
Chris
5 days ago

They are all deconflicted by grid squares. Inside the grid square the sub location isn’t known outside the submarine.

Deep32
Deep32
5 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Hi mate, the RN doesn’t visit French sub bases on a regular basis if you will. Toulon is a bit of the beaten track in the med, with Gib being the preferred destination.
We have visited the French SSBN base at Brest (Vanguard??) in the early noughties I think, with a French SSBN coming to Faslane for a visit. Outside of that, can’t remember any other visits.

Sceptre95
Sceptre95
6 days ago

I served on Submarines for 23 years, 16 years in Faslane never heard of British, American and French Nuclear Submarines berthed there at the same time. Not so many local bars in Helensburgh as there was in my time unfortunately though !

DRS
DRS
6 days ago

Comments disappeared again it seems?

Andrew Thorne
Andrew Thorne
6 days ago

Hopefully all these joint operations will indicate to the Russian government to tone down their rectoric because the west has a very big stick if needed. These shows are strength are a better way to show that rather than the rectoric coming from our government ministers like Liz Truss and to a lesser extent Ben Wallace. I also think that Boris needs to use more selective phraseology when talking about Russia. If we don’t give the Russian’s a safe facing option out then it may escalate things unnecessarily. Yes I know everyone will say I’m a Putin apologist I’m not… Read more »

Last edited 6 days ago by Andrew Thorne
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

I agree, I’ve suggested before HMG should shut their mouths a bit with some of the language. And yes, there must be an off ramp for Russia, pushing a dangerous rat into a corner makes it go for you. We don’t want that. That does not make anyone a troll it is just common sense but you know there are plenty of war mongers about who will want to face him militarily.

Speak softly, and carry a big stick. Shouting while beating with that stick is not the way at all.

Ian
Ian
6 days ago

👍

Mark
Mark
5 days ago

Do the French not carry tomahawks? If so how many?

Adrian
Adrian
5 days ago
Reply to  Mark

Not Tomahawks,. They have storm shadow (scalp as the French call it)af

Mark
Mark
5 days ago
Reply to  Adrian

So about 200+ combined land attack between them. Nice show if force.

frenchlivingcheese
frenchlivingcheese
5 days ago
Reply to  Mark

No cruise missile on Rubis class.
1000km class Naval Storm shadow (MdcN) on Suffren class
https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missile_de_croisi%C3%A8re_naval
Aukus may be forgiven the English, not to aussies and americans.

Richard B
Richard B
3 days ago

I live in Ireland. The printed edition of the Irish Times recently had a short article about SNP plans to expel nuclear submarines from an independent Scotland.

Stu
Stu
2 days ago
Reply to  Richard B

Very few people care. .

Last edited 2 days ago by Stu