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

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 informs 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.


  1. Well huh! I wasn’t expecting that as a name. If they are not sticking to the convention of using the same starting letter for each name I wonder if Conqueror, Churchill or Warspite is in the offing? Or even Ark Royal?!

      • I’d say Conqueror is more likely. Victorious is already a Vanguard class boat, and Barham doesn’t have much historical prominence beyond being sunk.

        Conqueror also fits the submarine theme better. Dreadnought: the first prototype nuclear boat. onlyValiant and Warspite were both previously nuclear boats. The last Conqueror is still the only nuclear submarine with a kill to her name: that’s definitely worthy of recognition.

        • Conqueror is a definite no no.
          Still too raw for the Argentinians and some others. It’s also partly the reason her sister Courageous is the boat preserved and used for museum tours in Devonport rather than her.

          • The Argentinians have had 36 years to get over the what they admitted was a legitimate act of war.

            Regardless, foreign sensibilities have never played a role in RN ship names, and they shouldn’t now. The name has a lot of historical relevance for the Royal Navy, having fought at Trafalgar, Jutland, and of course the Falklands.

  2. So it might be we have a HMS Warpsite and perhaps HMS Barham to follow? The latter is probably to much of an outlier? Perhaps if we are re-using a V name we might get another Revenge?

    Shame Temeraire and Warrior are spoken for………

      • Not necessarily, boat one is Dreadnought, so it’s probable that other names like Warspite will make an appearance.

        It was pretty much a given, as at the time of Dreadnoughts announcement, they did say that all the boats would have names of historical significance. Of course, you can say that about many names, but names like Dreadnought and Warspite do have a special place in the pages of our naval history.

    • Why do you think that?
      Repulse and Renown were both Resolution class boats, only leaving the fleet in the late 90s.
      Renown was a particularly ‘unlucky’ boat too which goes against it as a name.

  3. This Dreadnought program is an example of the MoD’s
    extravagant plan of wanting a Platinum standard for a Nuclear Deterrent. I am all in favour of a sensible alternative deterrent for Britain!
    I very much think the Dreadnought program will be the main source of drain of the Royal Navy’s budget, over the next crucial decade for RN fleet procurement. Priced at around £9 billion per submarine, it is of poor value of money for CASD, and needs to be cancelled. The UK does not need the range of Trident D5 missile. A medium range missile or cruise missile should fit in a ‘stretched Astute class’ submarine will be sufficient to cover the range of the North east Atlantic to Eurasia.
    Because Britain’s most serious adversity at present in the northern hemisphere is Russia.
    Only the USA needs Trident D5 for the range of the transit of the vast Pacific ocean as well as all of the North Atlantic.
    Because USA’s has two serious adversity’s at present, which is China as well as Russia.
    So why not develop the Astute class for CASD with 6 new build ‘stretched Astute’s, including use for SSGN, with a added missile compartment equipped with a new missile. Cost should be around £2 billion per sub.
    All of the money saved should be reinvested in Britain ‘s defences, especially on a more capable mid range fleet escorts and BMD for UK base’s.
    I look forward to more sensible Ideas of a Nuclear Deterrent.

    • IMHO spot on. Is a Nuk stretch Perseus not possible.. Whet expanded capability could you get elsewhere for the £25-30billion of loose change.

    • It doesn’t matter how many times you repeat that it is still not a goer.

      As for an SSGN, We wouldn’t fully populate a Mk 41 / Slyver VLS with ‘cruise missiles’ for cost reasons let alone do it for a submarine a more expensive platform than a surface ship. Heck we didn’t even provide Astute with VLS. That isn’t to say I think you are wrong, more that the bean counters in the MoD wouldn’t do it. Personally I think for the cost we should have built T45 with an aft VLS and licensed built TKAM. Three to four ship’s worth would be less than a few FJ. And would probably balance out the cost of preserving FJ numbers. Of course the thing we lack is our own reconnaissance constellation. Yes, before somebody says the Americans share………but it isn’t the same………

    • Meiron

      A better idea than a stretched Astute would be going to a air launched one. Using a missile such as Storm Shadow as the host carrying a warhead along the lines of the W84. This would give you a weapon of variable yield from 0.5 kilotons up to 150 kilotons. That a Typhoon could carry 6 of depending on distance.
      This could also be used as an excuse to both integrate Storm Shadow onto the F-35B and to make additional orders of Typhoons for deterrent duties.
      While it could be argued they wouldn’t be argued they wouldn’t be as durable as a submarine. This could be mitigated by there being more of them and that they could be dispersed across the UK and overseas territories. In addition to being able to be deployed to forward bases that the UK already possess. While integrating on to the F-35B. Allows for maintaining of at sea deterrence by Carriers.
      The other benefit is keeping the Astute production line hot and increasing the SSN population not just by the money saved on SLBMs but SSBNs allowing for more orders, but also by exchanging the SSBN population over time for SSNs.
      Note not my preferred method. However I believe given the fiscal constraints of the MoD the best way to get most out of limited resources.
      As it allows for more SSNs built with incremental upgrades causing minimal disruption to production, more aircraft procured in British factories, more missile bodies that can take both conventional and nuclear ordnance stockpiled. All for likely less money and using aircraft that could be used for multiple purposes and minimal disruption to the supply chain.

      • It’s been discussed before on UKDJ and I’ll leave the same reply.

        Nuclear tipped cruise missiles are a very dangerous idea. Not just in a proliferation and accident viewpoint. Being thrown around in modern warfare are a lot of cruise missiles and not many ballistic missiles. When your opposition, or another country nearby, sees inbound cruise missiles and knows that your primary delivery method for nuclear weapons is said cruise missile… people get twitchy. ‘Is that a physics package or a big ol lump of rdx, can I take the risk it’s not conventional?’

        Likewise, not using ballistic missiles for anything other than delivery a great big ball of fusion puts people at ease in conventional warfare.

        Now consider the increasingly stealthy nature of standoff weapons and that’s a lot of twitchy fingers in a situation thar can be tense enough without adding grest big balls of fire into the mix.

      • An air launched deterrent isn’t, technically, a thing. It’s certainly not possible in the form you imagine, and in practical terms it’s a worse option than the Dreadnought programme and a submarine based deterrent.

        To be an effective deterrent, it has to be something any potential foe knows, unequivocally, they can’t stop launching a second strike. For decades, submarines have been the best way of doing this, because they can be on station for long periods of time and aggressors have no way of locating and neutralising them ahead of time without giving the game away. MIRV-equipped SLBMs are also still almost impossible to stop, giving them a massive fear factor. Aircraft can’t fulfill this role: they can’t remain on station for very long, and if they did it’s a very aggressive and confrontational posture to adopt. The aggressor also knows where they are based and can take measures to neutralise or counter them.

        Now, onto the specifics. It’s 2300km+ from the UK to Moscow, depending on the base you use, and its about the same from Cyprus. The Typhoon, with 3x tanks, only has a combat radius of ~1400km, so either you’re really dependent on A2A refueling and/or the missile needs a range in excess of 900km. The refueling option isn’t practical for the numbers we’d need without an expansion in the fleet. The missile option: nuclear Storm Shadow is out because it’s subsonic and has a range under 600km. The French ASMP-A is a bit better, being supersonic, but still only has a 500km range. So the Typhoons would have to fly almost into Russian airspace, well within the range of interceptors, and ABMs. They’d be shot down before they could even fire.

        So in summary: instead of building 4 new SSBNs, utilising our existing nuclear stockpile and the pool of missiles we share with the Yanks (a relatively cheap way to maintain a first class, highly effective second strike capability both now and in the future), you want us to either develop our own or buy a French air launched missile, including developing a brand new warhead, and then build hundreds to entirely replace our current arsenal. This would require either buying more Typhoons or designating part of our current fleet to the role (it doesn’t matter if they’re multirole, because you still need to keep the aircraft prepped and ready as a deterrent, meaning they can’t do anything else), and would need an expansion in the tanker fleet and bases across the UK to disperse the launch aircraft.

        Would your way be cheaper? Possibly, but given the amount of development and logistics work that would have to be done in addition to the raw cost of the weapons and aircraft, the difference would probably be minor. Would it be drastically less capable and fundamentally ineffective as a deterrent compared to Trident? Definitely.

        • And just to repeat the point in case it gets overlooked again. The UK pulls its missiles from the same pool that the US does. So with the US using Trident II D5 means the UK uses Trident II D5. The UK then adds its own warheads.

          • I am aware that the UK shares a pool of leased Trident D5 missiles with the USA.
            We only need another unfriendly US President to terminate the leasing agreement, and to deny UK access to the facilities, the game will be over for the UK SLBN deterrent!

    • Because we’re in NATO any potential NATO adversary is a UK adversary. Reduce the range and you decrease where the SSBN will operate from and the enemy can focus its resources into these areas and detect. The point of the deterrent is to deter enemies from initiating nuclear attacks, reduce the range you increase probability your deterrent being detected and neutralised increasing the adversaries likelihood of striking.

      Its quite easy to demonstrate use the link below, pick spot and draw a circle to represent the range, increase the circle size and see how much more ocean is available to hide in.

      • What I am proposing for the ‘stretched Astute class’, is a missile of a range of about 3000 miles. Which should have the range to transit from north east Atlantic to Eurasia.
        Stretched Astute could be deployed with a mixture of medium range SLBM and quad pack cruise missiles.

          • I am going to contact my MP, to get her to ask the MoD, why have they not thought of this idea. And if possible, put it into practice!

        • You keep missing that the UK pulls its missiles from the same pool that the US does. So with the US using Trident II D5 means the UK uses Trident II D5. The UK then adds its own warheads.

      • Have I missed something? I was under the impression that our nuclear deterrent is actually outside of the NATO umbrella. We were taught this in the Andrew. Have things changed somewhat?

    • Ugh, this has been done to death but every single study ever conducted by the MOD and NGO interested in the matter has shown that Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles are the cheapest most cost effective way to maintain a deterrent!

      For a Submarine based Cruise Missile solution to be an actual deterrent would require a vast fleet of Submarines carrying many hundreds of missiles if not more. There are no current Cruise Missile based systems available for the UK to adopt meaning it would have to be developed at great cost.

      So far no ABM system has been shown to be able to counter a MIRV capable SLBM and with one submarine on patrol at all times with missiles that can strike anywhere in the world deterrence is maintained in a non escelatory manner. Any deployment of an a Submarine based or Air based Cruise missile solution could lead to dangerous escalation, it would be impossible to keep it off the news. An air based system would be vulnerable to First Strike as well rendering it useless as a deterrent.

      What people also consistently forget is we already own (well lease) the missiles and the Warheads. The Successor program is purely about building four replacement submarines.

    • Slight problem with that, purely from a tactical reason. If an Astute is detected, then the acoustic signature will be seen as an Astute, (which I am pretty sure the Russians have it logged) but if their are a number of Astutes which have the CASD aboard, the Russians will not know which type it could be, and will obviously got for the worst case scenario, and therefore escalation is an immediate concern. That to me, as a casual observer of the RN, seems a concern which should be a factor to be taken into consideration.

    • Cruise missiles have question marks over their ability to penetrate a modern air defence system so that rules them out.
      The problem with an intermediate range missile instead would be the fact we would have to develop it ourselves which true to mod form would almost certainly not be cheaper than going with trident.
      We don’t really have many realistic options.

    • Weren’t the RN Polaris ballistic missile submarines the same size as the Astute class submarines at around 7.500t. Anyway I’m looking forward to the biggest submarine the RN has ever had at 17,000 plus tons, it will be amazing. Along with the biggest frigate, biggest aircraft carrier, biggest destroyer (I think?), biggest atack submarine that the Royal Navy has ever had, I can’t wait it’s amazing. I just wish we had more numbers, even 5 new ballistic missile submarines like was originally planed with the older ones would be great and would make life allot easier for the crew.

  4. The historical names are nice. However I miss whenever RN ships in the same class or batch all had the same first letter like the R-class, A-class, and D-class etc. It was easier to keep track of and relatively unique.

  5. Is CMC used on the Virginia subs to launch TLAMS, I know they have some fancy VLS for holding them?
    If so I wonder if Dreadnaught will form the base design for the Astute replacement just shorted down with 4 CMC’s.
    Also does anyone know what the advantage is for using VLS for TLAM on a sub vs the traditional tube launched version?

    • No CMC is not used on the Virginia class. Blocks I-II are fitted with 12 VLS for BGM109 Tomahawk. Block III-IV get two of the Virginia Payload Tubes (VPT) forward of the Sail, these are basically a variant of the Ohio class ballistic missile tube with an insert to allow six BGM109 to be installed. Block V will get the Virginia Payload Module (VPM) which consists of four VPT in a drop in hull section aft of the sail.

    • Advantages of VLS are firing rate and ammo capacity. Disadvantages are that they increase the length of the sub and therefore increase overall cost and complexity. In this case let’s compare the Virginia and Astute classes. Astute can launch Tomahawks from it’s six torpedo tubes while Virginia can launch Tomahawks from it’s twelve VLS cells (or in the case of Block III onward from it’s VPT). So the Virginia can quickly fire off twelve Tomahawks (while also keeping it’s tubes available to defend itself if located for counter-strike) while the Astute would need to use all six of it’s tubes, reload, and then fire again in order to launch twelve Tomahawks. This lengthier launch period increases the likelihood of the launch position being located and the area targeted by enemy forces. The Astute also has to make a choice in terms of loadout, deciding how many Tomahawks it wants to carry versus how many Spearfish. Though the Astute could have an advantage in total number of launches if it decides to carry more than twelve Tomahawks, as the Virginia can’t reload it’s VLS at sea, so it’s limited to twelve only. This would cut into it’s Spearfish loadout however.

      Basically Astute is specialized for attacking enemy naval forces with a very secondary land-attack capability while Virginia is more of a generalized platform. In fact Block V Virginias will be able to carry a whopping 40 Tomahawks in it’s VPMs due to the need to fill the role of the retiring Ohio SSGNs. Comparing the two is sort of like comparing the Daring and Burke where both are in the anti-air role, but the Burke also has very many other responsibilities while the Daring is specialized in the air denial and defense role.

    • The VPT (Virginia Payload Tubes) are supposedly similar to the CMC, and were designed by BWX Technologies which also design the CMC I believe. The advantage is that you can keep your torpedo tubes for torpedoes and decoys, making TLAM and ASM strikes much easier and safer since all missiles can be fired almost at once, so there is no waiting to reload the tubes with more missiles with the enemy knowing you’re there. If an Astute wants to carry out a reasonable TLAM attack of say 12 missiles, it is going to have to carry out 3 salvos assuming two of the tubes have Spearfish loaded just in case (the remaining four containing TLAM), each one with a reasonable time ago between it for enemy forces to triangulate a location. If a Virginia Class wants to do the same, it fires 12 missiles all at once with the 4 torpedo tubes containing maybe three Mk 48 ADCAP topedoes and a MOSS decoy, and it runs away. I hope this shows how useful VLS can be.

      • The real issue for the UK is the UGM109 is fast approaching its end of life, any replacement will probably favour VLS if from the US. The only reason the UK has Block IV is the US were willing to adapt it to the TTL canister required to launch it from the Torpedo tubes of Astute.

        If we go with the development of the MBDA CVS401 Perseus that does show a tube launch option.

        • Perseus makes a lot of sense for use across submarine, surface ship and air launch platforms for maximum flexibility and commonality. I also don’t subscribe to the limitations described previously for tube launched missiles in future more intelligent launch solutions.

          For example it may not be easy to identify a launch point until well after the missile is in the air if in sea skimming mode, which can be a long way from the launching submarine when finally detected by radar or other means.

          It also seems perfectly possible to design a system to launch, reload and then launch more missiles via tubes and have the missiles delay their launch from under the water until the complete attack package is ready. More complicated for sure but a submarine in this scenario could actually “launch” the missiles and then depart the area before the missiles actually break surface at some time period later. Or simply have the missiles take different flight patterns in order to arrive simultaneously although hypersonic ramjets may be more of a challenge in this respect.

      • The latest USN projections on the future sub force shows the successor to the Virginias will not have VLS making them pure attack boats. The land attack mssion is planned to be filled by modified Columbia class boats fitted for land attack missiles as the four Ohio class SSGNs are now. I think it’s a good idea to make our attack boats more like the Astutes. Hunter Killers with few distractions mission wise.


        • Do you have a source on this? As far as i’m aware through the 2050s at least the plan is for Virginia subs with VPM to fill the land attack role.

      • There will also soon be 2 Belfasts, to avoid confusion they are going to refer to the old one as H.M.S. Belfast (1938). They should do the same with Victory, call the old one H.M.S. Victory (1765). It would be absolutely great to have an H.M.S. Victory in the fleet again, no name is more historically important and iconic.

        • There wouldn’t be 2 commissioned Belfast’s though IWMs Belfast justhas permission to be named as such. HMS Victory is a commissioned ship with a Captain.

  6. Didn’t Prince Philip serve on the battleship Valiant during WWII? I believe he was mentioned in dispatches during the Battle of Matapan. Could this be the RN honoring him before he passes? If it is, I think it’s a grand gesture to him.


  7. I’ve said it before, if the vanguards are still in sound condition when replaced by successor, we should look at the potential of converting them to cruise missile barges. Most other major nations keep there subs going for decades and decades, so why can’t we? This would boost our sub numbers, freeing up Astute for what it was primarily intended, and increase our ability to carry out major land strikes from the sea. Ok, Astute has this capability, but as discussed here above, it is compromised and limited. It would also reduce the need to have large vls numbers on our surface fleet and save money there.
    They would only have low intensity use, but I bet as our gold plated deterrent, they have been very well maintained and with a decent refit could go on for a lot longer. Older uk designed and built subs have been kept relevant and competitive by Australia and Canada far longer than we could have thought, so we should do it. We have to think about maximising their use to get best value and bare in mind the future cost of decommissioning the nuclear reactors. Might as well push that point back as far as possible.

  8. The whole point of retiring the vanguards is that they will be beyond economical running, requiring another refuel, with hull life going past survey limits requiring an almost strip bare survey. The cost to run them on would be far too high. They have served their purpose, just as the R boats before them.

    • So why is it America and Russia seem to run their subs far longer? Sometimes decades longer? Are we saying then that the stuff we build is inferior in build, design or material quality? I doubt it!
      When you factor the huge cost of decommission in, I would think it’s better value to refit and run them longer, just with less intensive duties. They could add some serious teeth to our rather toothless fleet.
      I know the moneys not there, but it should be. Our ability to attack enemies is becoming very one dimensional with strategy hinging on one platform or capability being able to win out, but there’s no plan b if it doesn’t. Not enough depth in numbers, not enough options in weaponry or method, and most of our naval platforms are defensive in nature.
      Imagine having a vanguard with 100 naval cruise missiles that could sneak within range of an enemy fleet and unleash, taking the whole lot out in one strike! Serious power, and fitting for the 5th largest economy in the world.
      What would they cost to convert? Say £400 million each, so for the cost of one new astute, we could potentially have 4 hugely powerful subs to add to the fleet strength as we enter a very uncertain period which may require military action at some point.

      • “So why is it America and Russia seem to run their subs far longer? Sometimes decades longer?” –

        The US and Russia build hulls with a longer life and for a greater number of dives. In respect of the US they also build far more of a single class meaning spares availability is easier as there is more incentive for manufacturers to continue manufacturing spares. In respect of Russia, I do think some of their submarines have been run on longer then is safely sensible. There is also the issue of keeping Barrow busy which leads me to your next question.

        “Are we saying then that the stuff we build is inferior in build, design or material quality?” –

        Short answer, no. Long answer; if we hold submarines in service longer then there is less work for our sole remaining Submarine building yard. The idea that actually broke with the Astute class is the yard is kept busy rotating between building Attack subs and Bombers. Roughly twenty five years for a vessels service life suits the industrial requirements of keeping Barrow busy.

        “When you factor the huge cost of decommission in, I would think it’s better value to refit and run them longer, just with less intensive duties. They could add some serious teeth to our rather toothless fleet.” –

        The cost of decommissioning is already factored in, holding them in service could actually push those costs up. Each refit is progressively more expensive especially when you have to consider a possible Nuclear refuel. Some systems like the Primary coolant system are too radioactive to just rip out and replace. In the environment they work in there is no such thing as ‘less intensive duties’. The Submarine service is struggling to crew the boats we have let alone keeping on some elderly Bombers. The Submarine service as it stands is certainly not toothless and arguably its only peer rival is the USN.

        “I know the moneys not there, but it should be. Our ability to attack enemies is becoming very one dimensional with strategy hinging on one platform or capability being able to win out, but there’s no plan b if it doesn’t. Not enough depth in numbers, not enough options in weaponry or method, and most of our naval platforms are defensive in nature.” –

        In this period of extreme austerity what do you propose is cut?

        “Imagine having a vanguard with 100 naval cruise missiles that could sneak within range of an enemy fleet and unleash, taking the whole lot out in one strike!” –

        I can imagine it but that doesn’t get around the crewing and budgetary issues that prevent it happening.

        “Serious power, and fitting for the 5th largest economy in the world.” –


        “What would they cost to convert? Say £400 million each, so for the cost of one new astute, we could potentially have 4 hugely powerful subs to add to the fleet strength as we enter a very uncertain period which may require military action at some point.”

        I would rather have one new Astute. Failing that I could see the argument for a couple SSGN derivatives of the Dreadnought class being built, it would fit easier into the build schedule keeping Barrow working, allow time for the RN to have crew available and ease the pressure to get started on the Astute replacement program. A Dreadnought sub variant fitted with the VPM as fitted to the Virginia Class and a dedicated hanger area for ROVs and Special Forces like the Multi Mission Platform (MMP) fitted to the Seawolf class USS Jimmy Carter would make for a far more useful asset than trying to keep the Vanguard class going.

  9. No, our subs are of the highest standard. As a general rule the Russian submarines are far inferior, particularly in material state and operational condition. The Americans have a very large submarine refit and maintenance infrastructure that allows reduced pressure of operations within a much larger pool of boats, alas the UK fleet is far more modest in size however operates at a high tempo thus wearing out far more quickly ( very basic description), four boats are the bare minimum required to keep one vessel constantly on station.

  10. there seems to be an assumption that we can simply lobb a few cruise missiles on a redundant SSBN to make an effective SSGN, not so. The SSBN is designed to silently lurk at a certain depth in specific places far off the beaten track, operating in silence across almost all communication mediums. A cruise missile submarine on the other hand is a tactical weapon needing to be used closer to land in shallower water and crucially in a more crowded scenario, hence a large converted SSBN is not ideal. The Russians developed specific SSNG (oscar) for this very reason. The US are the only country converting SSBN and the jury remains out on thier combat effectiveness. All that is shiny is not gold.

      • Yeah we should have one parked up as a museum right next to Hms Belfast… it would pull in the tourists and look pretty cool. But no we will scrap them with No trace left! Like almost all of our major naval assets before them…. they have arguably protected Britain all their life’s we should atleast protect 1 for future generations….

    • Jury still out for combat ops is correct if viewed through the lens of a peer to peer conflict anyway. There is no way the USS Florida could have maintained relative station in the Med and fired ~ 96 TLAMs at Libya if we were engaging the Chinese…


  11. Given the decision to call the first boat Dreadnought, after a ship renowned for it revolutionising warship design, I would have expected them to stick with that theme; eg HMS Warrior, HMS Devastation, etc. (The latter seems most appropriate for an SSBN…)

  12. Valiant was the RN’s second SSN so expect the next name to follow to be warspite.

    The RN is so small now no need to use weak names, just use all the good ones.

    I’m still hoping for HMS Thunderchild.

  13. Over recent years the process of naming of UK warships has been a struggle between political gain, heritage and naval tradition. Just as in social society words and meanings change in time, hence we won’t be seeing a class of vessels named akin to the Gay class of MTB’s, also colonial names would now be politically difficult. With the exception of a few naval hero’s and significant Royal titles we have wisely steered clear of political figures, Churchill being an exception. This leaves geographic locations and features which can be politically manipulated, classic case being the carefully selected Cities for the T26 class. As for descriptive names such as Dreadnought & Valiant, these combine strong charactor descrpters embodying strength, power, integrity etc… Without being linked to any person or political scenario, hence Courageous is likely to be a future name, however Conquerer possibly not. Conquerer has a overtone of invasion/ aggressor it is also linked to the Belgrano sinking which remains a problem for some minds. Warspite is interesting, significant pedigree, not linked to politics and a generally neutral descriptor albeit the word War might attract comment from the ultra soft and fluffy. I would not be surprised if the future RFA store ships pick up the Resource, Retainer, Reliant names and the type 31 return to coastal towns, akin to the Whitby / Rothesay. Only my opinion but an interesting area to attempt to double guess the naming committee.

  14. It is neutral with regard being an initiator to aggression or seen as being dominant, the spiteful angle is response to war situation it is could to be in, almost bordering on revenge.

  15. HMS Warspite was the name of a Royal Navy Battleship that saw service in two Word Wars, She and all her Crew Stood up to all that was thrown at Her/Them. I for one regard Her and those who served and Died on her, In the utmost highest esteem. She and those who served on her didn’t start those Wars but they sure did help finish them. We should Respect her Memory and those who gave their lives for this Country and not argue about the meaning of her Name. There can be no better tribute than naming one of our new Submarines after her.

    • Warspite’s story and service is far more interesting than that of Hood. The latter’s end was tragic but I never understood frome where the romance for the ship herself came.

      Warpsite hunting Germans in the fjords is one of my favourite WW2 stories…….

  16. Invincible, Fearless. these two names make most sense if you take the view that the names need to embody the idea of deterrent

    What an awesome sounding class. Dreadnought, Valiant, Invincible and Fearless.

    Other great names that fit ‘deterrent’ could include Undaunted, Implacable, Defiance and Resolute

    Would love Ark Royal, but maybe another day.

  17. Pugwash. I am not arguing about the ship Warspite, if you read my initial post you would see reference to her historic pedigree. The discussion was about the words and meaning, as well as the thought process that goes into the decision making. Please read people’s posts properly before casting aspersions.

      • What’s in a name ? Well I understand the Thought process that goes into the decision making, a great example of which has been demonstrated in the new RAF Protector program. It has moved from being an aggressive Predator B, to a less aggressive Protector. does the same job though.

  18. The new elected US Congress is getting twitchy over ND costs, wants Gov. to revisit Nuclear Posture Review.
    If US cancels Ohio successor program, DoD will retire Trident as well at end of next decade. US will most likely
    replace Ohio’s with more new Virginia class of VL submarines and with a new missile.
    If this happens, the MoD will need a Plan B for UK ND.


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