Confirmation of the build of the seventh Astute class nuclear submarine, HMS Agincourt, and a £2.5 billion pounds investment will secure at least 8 thousand jobs at BAE systems in Barrow according to the Defence Secretary.

Agincourt will have provision for up-to 38 weapons in six 21-inch torpedo tubes. The submarine will be capable of using Tomahawk Block IV land-attack missiles with a range of 1,000 miles and Spearfish heavyweight torpedoes.

It is understood that today at the BAE Systems’ shipyard in Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson will say:

“This multibillion-pound investment in our nuclear submarines shows our unwavering commitment to keeping the UK safe and secure from intensifying threats. Agincourt will complete the Royal Navy’s seven-strong fleet of hunter-killer attack subs, the most powerful to ever enter British service, whilst our nuclear deterrent is the ultimate defence against the most extreme dangers we could possibly face.

Todays news supports 8,000 BAE Systems’ submarine jobs, as well as thousands more in the supply chain, protecting prosperity and providing opportunity right across the country.”

The confirmation for the seventh and final Astute class boat was given in the Strategic Defence and Security Review of October 2010, although an order had yet to be placed. On the 6th of March 2018 defence procurement minister Guto Bebb confirmed that the MoD had gained Treasury approval to sign a contract for Astute Boat 7, after a leaked document had suggested it might not be procured as a cost-saving measure.

It is now understood that construction of the seventh submarine has started.

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Barry Hughes

Good news…but I thought it was going to be called Ajax?

Rob

Perhaps its easier to make this sound like a new announcement, as opposed to just confirming that the 7th will be built, if the name is different than already stated.

Good news, though it will not placate those on here who would like to see more boats. I think we can be pretty sure that isn’t going to happen, not until the dreadnoughts are in the water anyway.

Julian

Agreed on all counts. By the time the Dreadnought builds are over we’ll be onto the next generation of SSNs so, unless a miracle happens and HMG/MoD somehow find funding, manpower and capacity at Barrow to slot in an 8th Astute before Dreadnought max-es everything out (all of which are highly unlikely) then there’s no way we’re seeing any more than 7 SSN for the foreseeable future. When we do get to the next generation SSN replacements I suspect we’re most likely to be playing the T26 game, hoping for and originally seemingly getting 1-for-1 replacement of the older generation… Read more »

Alan Reid

Great news – pity about the change-of-name though, I was rather looking forward to an “HMS Ajax” back in the fleet.

Paul.P

Maybe Ajax is being reserved for the Leander class?

Gunbuster

My thoughts as well…T31 going back to Leander names?

Steve10

Someone has a sense of humour

George

Hope the French have one too.

Helions

If I were the suspicious type (I am…) I would guess it’s a veiled jab at the folks on the other side who are doing their best to be difficult…

Cheers!

Chris

The main reason why she’s named Agincourt is that the Army’s new fleet of vehicles to replace the CVR(T) family is named Ajax and so was probably done to avoid confusion.

Paul

Didn’t stop the A400M and Ajax RV both being named Atlas…

andy reeves

i’d like the 31’s to be called the admiral class anson, pellew,hardy,fisher e.t.c and one of the type 26’s called gibraltar(just for the spaniards) and another port stanley(for the argies)

Jack

Great news and just goes to show you shouldn’t believe the scaremongering in the tabloids or from the armchair warriors on this comments section who said the seventh Astute would be be cancelled.
Agincourt, love that name, not pc but who cares.

David E Flandry

I was hoping they would figure out a way to build #8 somehow. They should just build a duplicate of #7, no modifications, no change orders. Then build 4 SSKs. The last defense review by the Labour government stated we needed 8 fleet submarines. No threats have disappeared since then.

Paul

I know its wishful thinking, but I would like to think that one of these days we might get an announcement that has not been pre-leaked to the press. Such as “The name of the 7th Astute Class SSN and that it is this governments intention to procure an 8th and 9th boat in the coming years”

Evan P

That’s extremely wishful thinking. Any extra SSNs could only be built after the Dreadnoughts, by which time the next class of SSNs would be due anyway. The only way that more could be built is if the Barrow hall is extended significantly, or a whole new site is built which would require many more sub orders to be viable. Getting foreign yards to build a couple of boats goes against policy, but would probably be the only way to increase the size of the SSN fleet in the medium term.

Andy Cee

I know it is unlikely to happen, but I’d love to see an 8th boat considered….

Phil

Time to return to the Tory slogan of the 1900’s regarding Dreadnoughts – “We Want Eight, and We Won’t Wait!”

HF

‘We’ve got the ships, we’ve got the men, we’ve got the money too’ after that ?

James

It’s a nice “one in the eye” name for the French, or it certainly will be post-Brexit!

Sceptical Richard

One in the eye for our closest European ally? That’s not very clever…

Helions

SR,

I have no argument with the French people -I DO have low regard for their pols (same goes for most any of them here or abroad)… I had the pleasure of working closely with the French military and think highly of them… I think this is a political message.

Cheers!

Sceptical Richard

Hi Helions. My comment intended for James, not you. I have much the same view of most politicians too. But I think Macron, for the moment, is doing a good job…

Helions

Hey SR! Wasn’t actually reacting to your post (roundabout I suppose) I always try to make a distinction between my perception of French political policies and the actual people and military. In truth, the French government has supported the U.S. in these current fights in a admirable manner. However, I find the PC manner in which the government treats its radicals and the out of control and out of bounds areas of its own cities with a great deal of distaste – essentially sacrificing the lives of innocent citizens on the alter of moral equivalency and worse… Also and particularly… Read more »

Great news for both jobs and our security. We now need to start work on ‘what next’ so that as soon as successor is built we are ready with a new design to give industry a steady stream of work. I would ideally like us to have a small force of ssk to complement astute and think our next generation of subs should be a mix of diesel/ full autonomous loitering subs for home waters and nuclear for carrier duties and strike missions. Hell, we could even have several autonomous subs specifically for carrier duties controlled from within QE. Just… Read more »

Andy G

By then nuclear reactors will be much cheaper and simpler, maybe even a plug in standard container.

Stephen Birt

What a great name…though is this the first RN hull to be named after a place of battle?

geoff

Trafalgar?

Alan Reid

Hi Stephen
Looking back to the late 18th century, this will be the 6th hull named after the battle –
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Agincourt

4thwatch

Battle class destroyers from the ’40’s were a class of about 16 ships with new twin 4.5″ turrets, 10TT and 36kn. Those were the (non-PC) days.

James

HMS Ramillies (07)?

SoleSurvivor

Hastings

Alan Reid

Camperdown (1797)

Helions

As well as her sister ship HMS Victoria (1887) …

Sorry… Couldn’t resist…

Cheers!

Stephen Birt

Living in Holland I like that one!

Thanks for the replies.

HF

WW2 Battle class destroyers – lots of them !

http://www.worldnavalships.com/battle_class.htm

Ian

Relieved that the mad idea of dropping to six has been abandoned.

Seven. That’s still mad though, just not quite as mad as six.

Chris

(Chris H) ian – No 7 is what was deemed necessary in the last SDSR. Like the number of carriers will be 2. Its not mad its what we can afford and its a planned procurement. And as for ‘six’ well who said that? No one with authority. 7 is and has been the number since 2010.

Ian

Each to their own view Chris. Dropping to six was a serious consideration last year. As for SDSR 2010, that was a miscalculation of gargantuan proportions in my opinion. Nothing to do with affordability but priorities. If there was no money then Aid wouldn’t have increased by £8b since 2007. Cameron & Clegg were hell bent on trying to detoxify their image and sacrificed the armed forces to fund that increase in Aid. Anyway, the past is what it is. I am only interested in the future. Look at the navy China is building! China is Russia’s biggest security partner.… Read more »

Chris

(Chris H) Ian – You preface your comments with the assumption that 6 was ‘a serious consideration last year’. Who said it was? What is your source? If it was this fake memo you just made my point for me. Without getting into the politics I am amazed that there are those on here who seriously believe we were not in a very big hole economically in 2010. We had a huge deficit to get under control and do it quickly to retain Bond Market confidence. That yields from those Bonds has remained remarkably low proves what was done was… Read more »

Ian

I was making a specific political point, not party political point scoring. I won’t name names but a former senior cabinet member whom I spent an evening with last year.

Likewise just how close it was that the two carriers came to being sold on – so no, not fake news.

Also, I am fully aware of where the country was in 2010 & it doesn’t alter my view one iota.

Like I also said, it’s about the future now.

I remember the articles going round talking of the potential loss of boat 7 well. Jeez, chill out.

Chris

(Chris H) Ian & T.S – yes much speculation, rumours and all based on a fake leaked memo apparently. While there was much discussion about what should stay and what should go, how many carriers and what to do with PoW carrier while SDSR2010 was being debated when it was decided and published it said 7 Astutes and 2 carriers and that is what is being delivered. Unless of course you have an official MoD document to hand saying otherwise.

One can be perfectly ‘chilled out’ making a point of clarity.

Chris

(Chris H) Aren’t the real questions here: Who leaked a fake memo to cause embarrassment to the new Defence Secretary and why? Once again we have had the ‘hounds running’ following a rumour / story / whatever that has proved to be inaccurate. I hold to the theory expressed by an old Civil Service hand I knew years ago who said “if its an anonymous briefing or ‘noises off’ ignore it until the facts are known”. Politics sadly is a big factor in Defence matters but possibly rightly so as it is all taxpayer’s money. But with that comes all… Read more »

Tinker

with Ivan’s recent agressions and USA getting more unpredictable as an ally it’s a good time for prequrement desicions

Nigel Collins

Finally, something positive!

Chris

So when was the last negative thing regarding Defence? I mean factual not anonymous briefings and rumours.

Andy G

This board lives in the past and sees news through the most skeptical of filters. If there wasnt rumour of cuts this board would be a lot quieter.

I cant stand all these moaning Debbie Downers.

Andy G

There is loads if great stuff happening all the time

Paul

Is anyone able to explain the increase in costs as the various boats have been built? I thought that ships were meant to get cheaper once you got past the first in class?

Probably from the artificial stretching of the build time I would imagine. Pay less in the short term, but hugely more in the long with less to show for it.

BB85

It makes you wonder, I’m pretty sure boat 2 and 3 where £1bn each. So if they hadn’t stretched out boats 4-7 could they have had boat 8 for the same price?

Ian

The first three were c£1.2 each, the rest were between £1.4 and £1.5b each so this about the same. I think there has also been a lot of remedial work done on boats 1-3 so it would not surprise me if they all ended up around the £1.5b mark.

It is one of the consequences of not thinking about whole of life cycle procurement. When it comes to the Navy there is no excuse for this and I blame the politicians for this, not the MoD.

Andrew

Yeah, I was thinking the same thing…. £2.5 billion pounds investment….

Wonder what’s happened to the costs…boat 6 expected costs to completion £1.533 billion…wiki….

Andrew

To Answer my own question….

New topic just posted on UKDJ… £900 million is towards the Dreadnought….rest is for the last Astute….

El Sid

The first one is expensive, but then it’s a race between becoming more efficient and general inflation. Leave it too long and inflation outpaces efficiency gains.

The original budget for Boat 7 was £1.64bn, today’s contract was for £1.5bn of that, plus £900m to BAE and £60m to Rolls Royce for Dreadnought.

F Weber

I hope the government now has far behind they are behind with the ones thy are building now

Daniele Mandelli

Excellent news.

Love the name, surprised me that. Totally un PC and that is excellent!

[…] Secretary named the seventh and final submarine in the Astute class as Agincourt as we reported earlier here. He also formally opened a new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, marking the latest […]

[…] Secretary named the seventh and final submarine in the Astute class as Agincourt as we reported earlier here. He also formally opened a new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, marking the latest […]

Helions

I second that D,

Love the the name, need to have an HMS Orleans in the fleet to rub that in across the channel as well :D. Not too lucid today after a very long flight back…

Cheers!

Stephen G.

WE need a H.M.S. Trafalgar that is our greatest naval victory, I can’t believe we don’t have a H.M.S. Nelson either, he is by far our greatest naval hero.

Steve

Nelson’s the stone frigate in Portsmouth.

Helions

Both would be great names for the upcoming Dreadnought class – however, doesn’t RN naming conventions require the names to all start with”D”?

Cheers!

El Sid

Technically the next letter class should be “F” – so Fearless, Furious etc. But their Lordships have made it clear that the Dreadnoughts will have classic names for capital ships, which don’t have to keep the same initial. So expect something like Dreadnought, Hood, Royal Oak and Warspite. Personally I would have used F names for the T26, G names for the T31 (HMS Garland goes back 800 years but also Glory, Greyhound, Goshawk Glasgow, Glamorgan etc) and then Admirals-beginning-with-H for the SSBNs. You could have had Hawke, Hood, Howe and Horatio or Hardy. As far as battle names go,… Read more »

Sceptical Richard

Probably, but not necessarily. More likely to be called something like Temeraire and Superb? The other obvious name would logically be Bellerophon (known as Billy Ruffian by its crews during Nelson’s time and the ship where Napoleon was held captive for three weeks until shipped to Saint Helena!). The last Bellerophon was a sistership of Temeraire and Superb which in turn followed on from Dreadnought. But it is unlikely to be used. Doesn’t ring well in the modern navy… Then again, we’ve called one of our Astutes Agamemnon, so anything is possible… Unlikely to replicate the already used ‘R’ class… Read more »

Lusty

They did say the others would have ‘names with historical significance’.

HMS Dreadnought, HMS Warspite, HMS Temeraire, HMS Indefatigable – that would be my choice for the class.

Helions

Everytime I hear the name Temeraire I think of that sad painting… 😀 Why hasn’t there been an HMS George VI? The wartime King certainly deserves it and IMO the POW should have been named in his honor.

He deferred the right to have the first of the KGV battleships bear his name instead asked it be named in honor of his father. I think the Queen might have asked the RN to do so as well and the request might well have been granted.

Cheers!

Gunbuster

We have a Temeraire…its where the club swingers live in Pompie.
If they follow on from the Dreadnought theme ( First UK nuke sub) expect to see some of the following Valiant, Warspite, Conqueror, Churchill, Courageous

Lusty

I still think HMS Gibraltar would be good for a T26.

Sceptical Richard

This is fantastic news! The name is immaterial. A day to celebrate! Truly wonderful…

RichardB

The RN’s operational requirement is for at least eight SSN’s, and has consistently been that for 20 years. In 2001 the declared plan was to build eight Astute’s. In 2005 the rider “funding permitting” began to be added to the number. The 2007 MOD Equipment Plan allowed for only seven boats. I suppose it’s a small miracle the number hasn’t been cut further, but on the other hand several hundred million pounds have already been spent on long lead procurement items for Agincourt, and without her to keep the workforce busy at Barrow-at-Furness busy in the early 2020’s, the cost… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli

An un PC name I care not.

The French have a Station called Austerlitz in Paris so.

I did like though how the first Eurostars arrived at Waterloo.

Sceptical Richard

Daniele, why do you persist with this continued hostility against the French? Or are you just taking the Michael?

Daniele Mandelli

SR please!

Just how is mentioning an example of France itself having a Station name that may be controversial to some being hostile?!

This whole thread concerns a similar name for our sub.

I have no more against France than they no doubt have against us.

Example Brits keeping away from liberation of Paris due to certain French sensitivities.

Just cos I can laugh at the irony of French arriving in my country at a Waterloo station does not make me hostile FFS!

I know I’m a proud brexiteer but that is ridiculous!

Chris

(Chris H) SR – We should treat the French with the cynicism they deserve born out of past experiences. Without getting into station names can I mention how the French have shafted us royally over the first version of Tornado, Typhoon and the QE carriers. The SEPECAT Jaguar was a brilliant project with Breguet but since Dassault and therefore French Government direct involvement they simply cannot be trusted. And if you want current examples of their ‘duplicity’ look no further than the joint project with BAE on UCAV ‘drones’ etc. They wait until they know all about Taranis and now… Read more »

Bill Edmead

Well said Danielle although we are sticking in to that smooth chap Macron who is clearly in amour with himself. And Sceptical Richard, Danielle is taking the Michel obviously. Tres Bon!

Sceptical Richard

That’s OK then… ?

Helions

We’ve had several Yorktowns… As well as some Bunker Hills and Lexingtons etc…

Yeah I know… Bloody Dog Eyed Colonials… 😀

Cheers!

Helions

There ought to be an HMS Montreal or HMS Washington DC (which is why we have the WHITE HOUSE after being repainted to hide scorch marks) to stick it to us… 😀

Chris

(Chris H) – In the spirit of good banter I should point out that Washington was actually a rather untrustworthy British Army Officer so I don’t think the Andrew will be honouring him too soon … HMS Detroit would be good but then there could also be an HMCS Detroit and a USS Detroit as its ownership has passed back and forth .. HMS Baltimore would work seeing as it was a British built fort that defeated us …. although we did gift a Royal Navy drinking song to the Colonials for their new Anthem sung to words written at… Read more »

Helions

How about a HMS Benedict Arnold? 😀 With the exception of Yorktown which I believe was a Continental Army (primarily) and La Royal joint victory, I cannot argue with your flawless historical logic sir!

I DO also note that the RN has maintained a shore establishment named HMS President at London complete with the figurehead of our ill fated frigate…

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_President_(shore_establishment)

Cheers!

Sceptical Richard

Following on the names theme, Gunbuster has a point. Dreadnought, Churchill, Courageous, Warspite, Conqueror, Valiant – all good names…

[…] Confirmation of the build of the seventh Astute class nuclear submarine, HMS Agincourt, and a £2.5 billion pounds investment was announced earlier today. […]

HF

Chris – ‘Without getting into the politics I am amazed that there are those on here who seriously believe we were not in a very big hole economically in 2010. We had a huge deficit to get under control and do it quickly to retain Bond Market confidence. That yields from those Bonds has remained remarkably low proves what was done was effective. (It means we pay less to borrow)’ The financial crisis was not caused by the UK’s spending but by rank dishonesty by banks worldwide – banks the tories said were still too regulated. The UK economy was… Read more »

Chris

(Chris H) HF – Sorry but I have deliberately avoided getting into the events prior to 2010 or ‘who could and should have done what’ after. That Sir is ‘the politics’ I am avoiding. So I will not be drawn into your trap thank you. We had a £140 Bn annual deficit. If you think that isn’t a problem and it would not affect military or other spending then I suspect we read different books on economics. The issue I am interested in and was trying to address is what action was taken in military terms, could it have been… Read more »

[…] Confirmation of the build of the seventh Astute class nuclear submarine, HMS Agincourt, and a £2.5 billion pounds investment was announced earlier today. […]

[…] Confirmation of the build of the seventh Astute class nuclear submarine, HMS Agincourt, and a £2.5 billion pounds investment was announced earlier today. […]