Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has announced the name of a new Dreadnought class submarine, HMS Warspite.

The Dreadnought class will replace the Vanguard class submarines from 2028 onwards and will host the United Kingdom’s nuclear deterrent.

The United Kingdom’s nuclear deterrent today is hosted by the Vanguard Class submarine. The class has been purpose-built as a nuclear powered ballistic missile carrier, incorporating a selection of successful design features from other British submarines. Due to this it is quite unlike its predecessor, itself an adaptation of the Valiant class.

Click to enlarge.

Government approved initial gate for the Dreadnought submarine programme to replace the the Vanguard class in May 2011.

While details remain sketchy at best regarding the Dreadnought class, one of the key features the new boats will have is a Common Missile Compartment (CMC). CMC aims to define the missile tubes and accompanying systems that would be used to launch new ballistic missiles, successors to the current Trident II/ D5 missile fleet used by the USA and Britain.

British and American collaboration will also benefit and inform the Dreadnought class missile capability. The 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review stated the submarine will have eight operational missiles, carrying no more than 40 operational warheads between them. Furthermore, an important feature of the collaboration between the UK and the US has been collaboration between the UK and the US on the new and advanced PWR-3 pressurised water reactor nuclear.

PWR-3, representing the third generation of British pressurised water reactors, builds on cutting edge nuclear propulsion research undertaken by the MoD and Rolls-Royce in the last few decades and is rumoured to be at a very advanced stage of development.

The exact nature of the UK’s industrial access to US reactor technology remains largely unknown in the public domain, the Royal Institution of Naval Architects reported previously that it is likely that the UK has been given a good look at the S9G reactor design that equips the US Navy’s Virginia Class submarines.

The project has moved into the next stage, known as ‘Delivery Phase 1’, with manufacturing work beginning on structural steel work for the ‘auxiliary machine spaces’ 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.

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Andrew

She looks a beauty!

J Bentham

As expected. Hope to see some names for the Type 31s coming out soon. My preference is on an F-class or R-class for them! Any thoughts on final Dreadnought class name?

Geoffrey Roach

Any bets Churchill for number four?

Pete B

My money would be on HMS Barham, The RN seem to be going back through the old Queen Elizabeth class Battleship names
Queen Elizabeth
Warspite
Valiant
Agincourt (although was cancelled as QE battleship)
Only leaves Barham and Malaya

Steve Taylor

I like Barham but I don’t think it will resonate much with the public.

Paul T

Barham is a place not far from me,interesting choice but id be surprised if it was chosen for the 4th Dreadnought.

andy reeves

i think a new warship, the next to be named, should be h.m.s gibraltar as a two finger salute to the spanish

Stephen

Nelson would be even better.

Steve Taylor

I think the name is stuck with the establishment in Portsmouth now.

(I broke the automatic door in Nelson’s sick bay once………..)

Steven

Churchill ? Too long ago. How about HMS Geoff Hoon ? Our best ever defence secretary 🙂

Keithdwat

Conqueror is my choice, as she is now a famous sub, sinking the belgrano!

Jeff Smidt

How about Ark Royal?

Thunderer would be my choice.

andy reeves

8 operational missiles? new,better? or a step backwards capability wise

Scott

8 missiles carrying a total of 40 warheads with likely 2 ships on active patrol is 80 entire cities reduced to ash… that in combination with the entire US Triad standing along with Briton as a NATO partner, is a pretty damn good deterrent.

Jassy

She’ll have 12 ballistic missile tubes but only 8 will be loaded. which is 4 tubes less than the Vanguard but will allow more space for crew and Royal Marines if needed.. As for the remaining 4 tubes, might remain empty or they be loaded with the same 7 pack TLAM canister used in the 4 SSGN’s in the US Navy, giving the sub 28 TLAM at it’s disposal.. This is speculation at this time however…

Pete B

Good to see a Warspite back in the fleet was my Grandfathers first ship before she was damaged in the Med and he was then transferred to HMS Colossus.

captain P Wash.

Great Name, Fantastic History.

Herodotus

The carriers were not named after the present royals, they are traditional names from past classes of battleships. Unfortunately the POW (A King George 5th class) was sunk by Japanese aircraft in 1941…lack of sufficient anti-aircraft weapons! Not that I’m making a point!

Daveyb069

The main problem was the task group was shadowed by a Japanese submarine, that called in the air strikes. What made the problem worse is that the ships were supposed to be with an aircraft carrier (HMS Indomitable), she couldn’t make it as she was damaged. The RAF were supposed to provide air cover for the ships, who’d been tasked with intercepting troops ships and landing further North of Singapore, but they didn’t.

Tom

Actually it was because shock damaged knocked out the power supply to the AA weapons meaning they had to operated by hand and could not focus the defence.
Also the flooding along the prop shaft eventually caused fatal damage to all power sources.
It is interesting to note that one of the Japanese pilots involved in the attack said the repulse was handled like a destroyer and her captain showed incredible skill in how he handled his ship.

Herodotus

Interesting information…but AA armament was relatively small compared with later ships and redundancy features would have prevented total failures. Even so, it was quite clear that Capital Ships, with big guns, were becoming obsolescent!

Tom

The lead pilot of the attack was in awe of how the repulse was handled and said they feathered the torpedo attacks with elan .
He went on to lead other attacks on naval ships but he said that no other opponents showed the skill that force z showed .
He actually erected a shrine in his family temple in honour of the seamen of force z.

Julian

Let’s hope some of the costs spent on the design work from this, particularly PWR-3 and presumably the latest and greatest stealth/silencing technologies, can be rolled straight onto starting the build program for the successor class for Astute. Maybe reusing some design elements plus practical lessons learned during the Dreadnought builds, plus no gap in Barrow yard utilisation and SSBN design teams already in place to move onto SSN rather than needing to rebuild lost expertise might result in cost efficiencies that could get us some increase in SSN numbers when we get to that point. Do the opposite of… Read more »

GWM

It’s inevitable that Astute replacement will use a lot of Dreadnaught bits as the cost of doing completely new is unaffordable.Doubt they will use anything but torpedo tubes though again for cost reasons.

andy reeves

i’d go for repulse

andy reeves

its time to bin the ‘nuclear only ‘submarine policy, that would allow a LOT of money to be funneled into the surface fleet.£1.4 billion for one astute? the superb gotland class submarine which penetrated the gerald ford carrier screen, and carried out a four shot ‘dummy attack, then slunk away unseen costs just£100 million.the maths would suggest a significant number of conventional submarines could be built for a a far lower cost.putting all the ‘eggs’in one basket is putting handcuffs on yourself!

Icepilot

Then the question becomes, will the UK maintain both nukes & non-nukes? The submarine nuclear deterrent requires nuclear propulsion, along with Arctic & extended range operations. Will the RN Flags (mostly skimmers – U.S. sub slang for all vessels that sink only once) go along w/that kind of investment?

Tom

It did not penetrate the Gerald Ford defensive screen it was the USN Ronald Reagan in 2004 .
Also the French Saphir did the same thing plus sunk most of the escorts of the USN Roosevelt in 2015.

Nick C

Two questions. Is this the second or third boat to be named? And although the standard load out of Trident missiles will be eight, are there more tubes in the CMC, ie the current boats have sixteen, although not all are used all the time? If there are more tubes it would make perfect sense to have some of them with cruise missiles embarked, which would give a useful increase in capability. I do get concerned about this naming of vessels that are not due in the fleet until goodness knows when. Bearing in mind that the Type 26’s have… Read more »

BB85

Third, unless they are naming them out of order again. so Dreadnaught, Valiant and Warspite.

Daniele Mandelli

If Cruise missiles are embarked and we use a Bomber to launch them, does that not reveal the subs position, thus negating the deterrent value of being first strike proof?

Leave that stuff to the SSN’s, defensive weapons like Spearfish for the SSBN.

Julian

Agreed Daniele. The utility of the CMC being able to host cruise if required (and if that requirement actually survived to the final design) seems to me to be more so that the USA, which as already added dedicated cruise launchers to some of its SSNs, can for future SSN classes use CMC in cruise-missile mode for more commonality to reduce costs. Sadly I do agree with GWM’s earlier comment that for the UK’s next-gen SSN budget constraints make it unlikely that we will be able to take up that option. Re one of Nick’s original questions I think the… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli

I don’t agree with all this early naming lark myself.

Were other vessels in the 80’s 90’s named so early?

Herodotus

Bit of a hostage to fortune really. Who knows what our economic position might be when it comes to paying for them? Not going to mention the B word but 2% of a GDP of bugger all….is just that. But worse than that…two of the Labour MP’s that resigned from the party last week stated that Corbyn was a threat to our national security. It was largely glossed over by the press, but what a statement! Unprecedented to call the leader of a major political party a threat to national security. You all know what that means….no Trident replacement and… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli

You tease!

Thanks for the reminder!

Herodotus

Well, I wish I was joking! I went through all this sort of shit in the 1980s with Militant….it isn’t a joke!

Daniele Mandelli

No. It’s not. It scares me.

Is the current version worse in your opinion?

Steven Kirkland

HMS KEEP CALM ?? IS HERE!
HMS GLOBAL BRITAIN
HMS CHURCHILL
HMS HIGHLANDER
HMS ??ALLIANCE ??
HMS SCOTLAND, ENGLAND, WALES, N. IRELAND
HMS BRITANIA

?

MattW

you missed the “Q+” at the end, cant forget the ones who aren’t sure what all the other letters are so needed another and a plus just in case 😉

Mike

It’s LGBTQ now! Need to keep up with the times ?. https://goo.gl/images/e3grze

MattW

Ive never understood the need for all the letters,

L – lesbian which is gay
G – gay
B – Bi so either gay or straight
T – again either gay or straight
Q – Queer, so gay..

so in reality all they need is G?

captain P Wash.

MattW . G – Gender neutral.

Aaron

Q is questioning. Those unsure, in some sort of “try before you buy stage” so about 30% of rampant teenage males.

Daniele Mandelli

I like HMS Highlander, Churchill and Britannia out of those.

Lusty

There can be only one! 😉

Daniele Mandelli

Ah yes. Oooops!

Maybe generally then for RN vessels.

I choose…..Churchill.

Cam Hunter

Yeah HMS Highlander would be great.

GWM

What about HMS Brexit.

Herodotus

Stop it!

Daniele Mandelli

LOL

OOA

Laughing…

captain P Wash.

What’s Brexit ?

Herodotus

A ship with no future CPW….

James O'Shea

This has got to be the best comment ever especially the current TV.

MattW

Id quite like HMS Churchill, just to rub it in the face of all the lunatics who keep proclaiming him a racist and no better than Hitler. (The Black Studies lecturer and that Idiot MP)

MattW

Hahahah….”oooooh yes”

Lusty

It’s okay, HMS Go Compare can help you find the right deal.

Harry Bulpit

While on the subject of ship names, any idea on the class name for Type 31? Empire class sounds good, especially if we plan to station them around the world. I’m thinking the name HMS Conqueror would be good of we plan to base any on the Falklands. Should send the right message.

Herodotus

How about:
HMS Delayed
HMS Deferred
HMS Deleted

Harry Bulpit

Seems appropriate

Daniele Mandelli

This has been covered on these pages before.

The T21 names were popular, as was HMS Gibraltar.

Harry Bulpit

Interesting. I understand the appeal of reusing old names but to copy it straight from another class seems a bit lazy.

Lusty

T26 names have mostly been recycled from the T42 destroyers, and to be honest, it’s not something I’d complain about too much. It’s good to have ships associated with our cities, particularly cities with a naval history.

If the T31 design selected is the ‘Leander’ entry, then I’d support bringing back those names. If ‘Arrowhead’ wins, then following the T21 names makes sense – and it would allow us to finally honour the two ‘A’ ships lost in the Falklands. Names for the third T31 design is debatable.

Keithdwat

If Leander wins, then Leander, if arrowhead wins I’d like to see a battle class-HMS San Carlos, HMS Atlantic, HMS Tripoli, HMS Cadiz, HMS Quiberon Bay or something….
How about both! Leaders and Battle Classes!

Stephen

Probably the names of the major British cities which didn’t get names as Type 26s, i.e. Manchester, Liverpool, Portsmouth, etc.

Stephen

Leeds, Aberdeen, etc.

And a second batch of 3 for 8 total.

Steve Salt

Plymouth ?

Stephen

Great name, I’m glad to have a Warspite back in the fleet.

I think the last one should be H.M.S. Victory, Trafalgar or Nelson. It’s a disgrace that our most famous maritime hero and naval victory do not have ships named after them.

Harry Bulpit

Victory ia still part of the fleet. So i don’t think we can have another.

Herodotus

Yeah, Victory is still technically a commissioned vessel. Would like to see HMS Nelson on a big warship…..just rename the base.

Keithdwat

If there is gonna be a base in the Caribbean, my choice would be Antigua next to the old RN dockyard a bay over where nelson was stationed, so I’d like to see tat called HMS Nelson!

Steve Taylor

Baubles, Bangles, and Beads……

Lee1

Indeed. I am pretty sure you can’t have two ships with the same name as that would get confusing…

Paul T

Lee1 – funny you should say that,by some strange coincidence the RN has HMS Vigilant (SSBN) and the French Navy has FS Le Vigilant (SSBN).

Lee1

I obviously meant in the same navy… However that is interesting.

Stephen

Harry, The name H.M.S. Belfast, the name of the new Type 26 frigate is technicsally also in use, but they are going to get around it by calling the old one H.M.S. Belfast (1938) to avoid any confusion. They could name a new one H.M.S. Victory and call the old one H.M.S. Victory (1765), not that anyone is going to make that mistake in battle in any case (i.e. think they must mean the 1700s sailing ship, lol).

It would be great to have an historic name like H.M.S. Victory back in the fleet, imo.

Stephen

Then name H.M.S. Belfast, I meant at the start of the above post, I wish we had edit on here.

Lee1

HMS Belfast is not still in service!

Stephen

I’m sure there wouldn’t be any confusion!

Tom

HMS Victory is still in commission, she is the flagship of the First Sea Lord and is the oldest commissioned warship in the world .

Daniele Mandelli

Nelson is in use already. Agree with Herodotus though should be a commissioned ship not a “Stone Frigate”

Herodotus

Lets mount a campaign….Nelson is the ultimate naval hero of any nation. Even the Yanks admire the hell out of him. Nelson back on the high seas!!!

Daniele Mandelli

We agree for once….?

Tom

I Cochrane who was a superb frigate captain

Stephen

Agree, Daniele and Herodotus, a ship (or submarine), and an important ship (or submarine) at that.

Lusty

I think Warspite was a given, due to its illustrious and decorated history. It’s good to see it back in the fleet (albeit, the future fleet).

What will the final name be? ‘Swiftsure’ and ‘Revenge’ might be appropriate, though I have a funny feeling that ‘Resolution’ might be selected, due to its history with the nuclear deterrent.

Callum

Revenge was a Polaris submarine as well, and together with Vengeance is quite possibly the greatest name for a second strike weapon platform. I think you’re definitely on the right track though. The theme for the names might technically be historic warships, but it probably isn’t a coincidence that Dreadnought, Valiant, and Warspite just so happen to be the first 3 nuclear submarines in the RN, in that order. That also lends a lot of credence to HMS Churchill, as that was the our 4th nuclear boat, but the issue there is that (aside from Winston) there isn’t any real… Read more »

Stephen

Devastation is a great name for a nuclear submarine too.

captain P Wash.

HMS Gibraltar.

OOA

Warspite is a Proper Name. Doesn’t leave much doubt as to it’s purpose so spot on.

Contrast with the cousins who (and said with all due respect for their awesome capabilities) call their ships USS Random F. Bloke – or similar.

Herodotus

You mean like USS Liberace. A piano shaped cruiser ….with a bit of glitter!

Steve Taylor

The USN honours heroes and worthy persons not random blokes. Those names have a story behind them.

Jonathan

That was a scary thought for a wooden ship….not sure the concept works for naming a nuclear submarine designed to end nations.

captain P Wash.

It’s worth remembering the fate of all the Previous Nuclear Subs though. Can’t remember the Figures, think It’s 9 that are still waiting to be processed with a steady stream of boats to come in the next couple of decades.
When you add the Russian and US Boats plus all the others belonging to other country’s, It’s a heck of a lot of nasty deadly material with untold security issues.

Ian

Warspite will always conjure up the Battle of Jutland for me! Brilliant choice for such a formidable SSBN.

I only hope we’ve passed the point of Corbyn’s reach of scrapping the program, should he ever cast a shadow on the steps of Number 10.

Aeronautical engineer Sir Sydney Camm (designer of the Hawker Hurricane) said of the TSR-2: “All modern aircraft have four dimensions: span, length, height and politics. TSR-2 simply got the first three right.”

Mr Bell

There is a rich history of dreadnought names to choose from
Warspite most famous of all with greatest number of battle honours. She should have been preserved and saved as a national monument.
Iron Duke, although we have a piddly little type 23 with that name currently
Rodney of sunk the Bismarck fame
Nelson sister ship of Rodney sterling service in WW2.
Barham was a great ship of the same class as warspite
Dreadnought as the nameship of the class?

Herodotus

Couldn’t have an HMS Rodney these days without a sister ship HMS Del Boy!

captain P Wash.

Ha, Love It.

captain P Wash.

Or HMS Dave.

Tom

A little known fact during the Normandy landings a 16 inch shell from HMS Nelson blew a tiger tank on to the top floor of local hotel , much to the amusement of the attacking British infantry when they discovered it.

Nick C

RGR. I take your slap on the wrist about glacial pace, if climate change really does come in glacial may take on a whole new meaning. Tectonic it will be in the future. Regarding names, why not revive the names of the Type 14 Blackwood class? They were all named after Nelson’s Band of Brothers, and since HMS Nelson is the barracks in Portsmouth and liable to stay that way, what better way of keeping his name in the forefront. Or perhaps the Battle class, Agincourt, Crecy, etc. It might annoy the French though, which might not be viewed as… Read more »

Pete B

Agincourt already assigned to the last planned Astute, take that Frenchie

Steve Salt

Don`t forget Cochrane after Thomas Cochrane the “Seawolf”, one of the greatest frigate captain`s of the age.

Herodotus

Well, if we want to annoy the French why not call it Mers El Kebir? Actually, that was a bit tasteless even for me!

David

As they being named in the same sequence as the first SSNs from the early 1960s (Dreadnought, Valiant, Warspite) it would be logical for the fourth to be Churchill?

Ken

Anyone know why these subs are so much bigger than the vanguard they replace yet carry 25% less missiles?

David

Resolution class (7500t), Vanguard (12500t) and now Dreadnought (17500t)!

captain P Wash.

David, the Vanguards are @ 16000 Tons.

Julian

One guess for at least a contributing factor would be enhanced crew spaces which, if not mandated in some way (legislation), might have been done with an eye on enhancing crew recruitment and retention. The BAE graphic in the article mentions a few things that all would seem to require extra space, e.g. classroom/study area “set aside” which I take to mean dedicated space, separate female quarters and washroom facilities and the reference to the gym equipment makes me think that space might have got bigger too. From a pure mission perspective I would have thought that bigger would be… Read more »

Steve Taylor

This please me greatly. 🙂

Churchill would be nice for the last one.

Can’t think of any other names that I would like at the moment.

Steve Taylor

A Conqueror or a Princes Royal perhaps?

Steve R

Personally I’d go for ‘Temeraire’ and ‘Revenge’, both got a good bit of history behind them.

Steve Taylor

There is already a Temeraire in Portsmouth home to Director of Naval Physical Development aka the club swingers.

Daniele Mandelli

One of Turner’s best RGR..

Jonathan

What is really scary is that the last Warspite is still sitting by a dock waiting for someone to pay for its decommissioning.

captain P Wash.

Jonathan, I mentioned that earlier, Her and 8 others, All 4 Polaris subs yet to be Decommissioned. It’s a big problem very much Ignored.

Jonathan

Missed that sorry, but Yes it’s got to be sorted, part of the cost of running nuclear boats is safe disposable, if you can,t afford to dispose safely you really should not be in the game. It’s just not moral to knowingly stack up a problem for our children, we have had a bit to much of that going on to make me feel happy.

Helions

An EXCELLENT and gallant name from history that deserves to remain extant!

Cheers!

Stephen

Ark Royal for the last one?

captain P Wash.

I’d prefer to see Hermes rather than another Ark.

Ron

Seen lots of comments on the possible future names for this class, Nelson seems to be one of the more popular ones. If we are going to use Admirals, fighting Admirals at that then why not name one of the subs after a real fighting Admiral, Cunningham. Just not sure what her nickname will be! I also noticed some discussion on the Prince of Wales, I am totally against this name for our carrier, the reason was the nickname given to her after the Bismarck encounter of “cowards ship”. I suppose as I am Welsh we could have an all… Read more »

captain P Wash.

HMS Renown Had a pretty Hectic History. Would fit well with Dreadnought, Valiant and Warspite.

David Hughes

HMS ROYAL OAK. It is now time this mighty battleships name is remembered.

AndrewM

How about HMS Rodney, HMS Royal Sovereign or just because it seems right why not HMS King George VI after our Wartime King.

Jonathan

What about something that really describes what these boats are, they after all are not really warships in the traditional sense but are instead statements of national intent. So I vote for:

HMS burn in hell
HMS Eye for an Eye
HMS from hells heart
HMS for hates sake

Just saying they would at least be thematically congruent for a nuclear deterrent.

Icepilot

The Brits do many things better than the U.S. Navy, not least in how they name their ships.

Basil

The final name will be Courageous.

Basil

It will not be a name linked to a person, mythical entity or Royal title. It will be a descriptor. Courageous is the obvious choice, alas Conquer remains too controversial for the political establishment.