Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has today announced a major step forward for Britain’s new nuclear submarines, say the Ministry of Defence.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

“Our nuclear deterrent is our ultimate defence from the most extreme threats while our attack submarines are busier than ever providing unprecedented levels of protection across the world.

A Royal Navy submarine is on patrol 24 hours a day, every day of the year, protecting our way of life. These advanced and complex vessels are more important than ever as the world becomes an increasingly dangerous place and establishing this new Agency sends a clear signal of our commitment to continue deterring conflict and protecting the nation.”

According to a press release from the Ministry of Defence:

“The SDA will procure and project manage the construction of future Royal Navy submarines, and support those in-service, working with Navy Command and the newly established Defence Nuclear Organisation. The vision of the SDA is to lead a high-performing industrial enterprise to deliver and support the UK’s submarine capability safely, securely and more effectively and cost efficiently.

Headed by Chief Executive Officer Ian Booth – who has a wealth of experience in delivering complex private and public sector procurement programmes – the SDA employs around 1,300 people and already has a talented and extremely knowledgeable workforce, including some of the nation’s most experienced nuclear experts. The Agency will have the authority and freedom to recruit and retain the best people to manage the Submarine Enterprise. The majority of SDA staff will be based in Bristol, with other colleagues located at sites such as Barrow, Derby, Devonport, Rosyth and Faslane.”

Chief Executive Officer of the Submarine Delivery Agency, Ian Booth said:

“The SDA is to lead a high-performing industrial enterprise that is committed to strengthening the safety, availability, reliability and security of UK submarines, including our Continuous At Sea Deterrent. The Agency will draw on best practice from both the public and private sectors with a focus on cost effective and timely delivery to achieve the best possible outcomes for Defence.”

The press release concludes:

“The SDA has learnt from other successful programmes of a similar scale and complexity such as the 2012 Olympics and Crossrail. It will maintain vital links with industry and public sector partners to preserve the UK’s technology advantage and skills-base and to ensure submarine manufacturing and maintenance capability is sufficient to support the UK’s submarine requirements.

A key facet of the SDA is to manage the Dreadnought and Astute nuclear submarine programmes to time and budget, alongside providing day-to-day support to the in-service fleet of Trafalgar, Astute and Vanguard Class submarines. As a responsible nuclear operator, the organisation will also manage the decommissioning and disposal of submarines in a safe and environmentally sound way.”

38 COMMENTS

  1. So they’ve changed the sign on the front door from Submarine Operating Centre within DES to this new agency.

    Will it actually save any money or is it just a rebranding?

    Also, is the all important Strategic Systems Executive also a part of this new entity or remains separate?

    • Time to move the whole thing out of the core budget and hand it to the Cabinet Office.
      If this the first step on that journey 🤞🏻

  2. …has the 7th Astute class boat been confirmed yet?

    And by that I mean contracts signed, sealed & delivered, not some glib statement in the house Of Commons by a junior minister.

    The MOD said it would come before the end of the financial year, but then the MOD says lots of things.

  3. Shame. At first I thought this was only for the Dreadnought builds and the CASD operation and the dreamer in me thought this might be a structural prelude to removing Dreadnought/CASD from the defence budget. Then they mentioned Astute and my hopes were dashed. Oh well. We live to fight another day.

  4. Bearing in mind the current activities at Faslane, amid media speculation about the deployment of the new pods alongside the Joint Warrior exercise, I’m wondering when Gavin Williamson will be announcing the new Royal Navy program for detection of undersea threats, communication of up to date intelligence and preventative defence of the Clyde and waters around Scotland, called STOP – Submarine Trained Orca Protection? Or is this actually top secret?

  5. Can I say that the upcoming Dreadnought’s as well as the Vanguard’s are just much sleeker designs that our Ohio’s and planned Columbia’s. Nice looking boats (not that appearance has any operational advantages). Good looking boats.

    Speaking of the Vanguard’s what ever happened to “Party Boat Vigilant’s” characters?

    Cheers!

  6. Hi with regards to astute no 7 think you will find that long lead items for her build have been ordered and their was a guarantee from the mod that it will be built

  7. The government are applauding the organisation of the Olympics and Crossrail, the security of the Olympics was a complete farce, the governments preferred security company G4S were totally inept and Crossrail is currently months if not years behind schedule. So the SDA have a lot to live up to.

  8. It was the safe decommissioning and disposal that made me wet myself with laughter. I thought we had a policy of just leaving them in devonport to slowly dissipate into the environment over a few thousand years or so.

    • It’s almost as if the MoD is bringing back the special tricks operations from WW2 where they made all those fake planes and tanks to fool the enemy. There have been a few times when I’ve seen photos of Devonport and for a second thought “wow, I never knew we had so many subs”.

        • They have them at both, the rosyth 7 boats have all had their Fuel removed The Devonport 13 boats are a mix some with fuel removed 4 and 9 still fuelled.

          Since we don’t have a licence facility to defuel any more and never had facility to brake up the hulls we are just leaving them in nice lines to rot. We do maintain the hulls in a safe state at quit a cost.

          Bit of a national fuck up to tell the truth.

  9. Yes lets create another bunch of unproductive civil servant jobs, with index linked salaries and pensions, to cover the huge costs in the manufacture of a (very) few submarines.
    Madness wins again in the MOD.
    The Israelis seem to do a lot with their armed forces, but we prefer to make a civil servant job creation scheme.

  10. Next up, some small to medium ssk’s or invest in loitering fully autonomous networked swarming subs. Keep the Ruski’s far from our shores.

  11. “while our attack submarines are busier than ever providing unprecedented levels of protection across the world”

    • “while our attack submarines are busier than ever providing unprecedented levels of protection across the world”

      More than when there were 12 SSNs?

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