HMS Vanguard, the lead boat of the Vanguard-class ballistic missile submarines, has rejoined the Royal Navy fleet after a maintenance period.

In December 2015, HMS Vanguard entered a ‘Long Overhaul Period and Refuel’, which was expected to take about 3 years and cost around £200m. It took almost seven years.

Back In January 2012 radiation was detected in the vessel’s PWR2 reactor’s coolant water, caused by a microscopic breach in fuel cladding. This discovery led to Vanguard being scheduled to be refuelled in its next deep maintenance period, as mentioned above due to last 3.5 years from 2015, and contingency measures were applied to other Vanguard and Astute-class submarines. This was not revealed to the public until 2014.

On July 16th this year, a rededication ceremony was held welcoming the vessel back into the Royal Navy fleet.

“REDEDICATION CERTIFICATE

Whereas Her Majesty’s Submarine VANGUARD is to be rededicated in Her Majesty’s Naval Base Devonport on Saturday 16th July 2022, or as soon afterwards as circumstances permit, you are to proceed forthwith to prepare for Service.

On rededication you will be under my Full Command. You are to bring to my immediate notice, through the Commander of the Submarine Flotilla and Commander Operations, anything which gives you cause for dissatisfaction with the Submarine or any other matters of importance, in particular those relating to the welfare of your personnel.

May God’s blessing be upon the Submarine and the personnel hereby entrusted to your Command and may your joint endeavours to uphold the high traditions of the Royal Navy in the service of Her Majesty The Queen be crowned with success and happiness.

Given under my hand this 27th day of June 2022.

Vice Admiral Andrew P Burns CB OBE
To: Commander Ben Smith Royal Navy”

The cost of refuelling HMS Vanguard was originally announced as £200 million but industry sources said the deal was not a fixed-price contract and it is now costing more than £75 million a year, potentially pushing the bill to more than £500 million.

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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. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Tams
Tams (@guest_659151)
1 year ago

Better late than never.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_659152)
1 year ago

Great to see another serviceable sub in the fleet.

Nicholas
Nicholas (@guest_659182)
1 year ago

And some much valued extra experience and knowledge.

Nicholas
Nicholas (@guest_659183)
1 year ago
Reply to  Nicholas

By that I meant nuclear experience.

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake (@guest_659154)
1 year ago

I cannot help but wonder if it had of been a fixed price if the repairs would have been finished a few years ago. But that said once she is back up to speed and accepted back into the fleet the next vessel can then start its maintenance. I just hope it is on a fixed price and the difficulties experienced with this refit do not reappear with her sister.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_659164)
1 year ago

How do you take on a job that hasn’t been done before on a fixed price?

#2 can be done that way as you can say ‘how much to do the same again’

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake (@guest_659238)
1 year ago

We have refuelled SSN’s and SSBN’s in the past so have a good idea of what that entails the only class that is specifically designed to not be refuels mid life are the new Astute’ s but we will see if their replacements are delayed like the Dreadnoughts then we may see the Astute’ s having to be refuelled.
#2 we now have 3 more V’ s to refuel as they have to go on in service to the mid 2030’s at least due to the slow build rate of the new D’ s

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_659248)
1 year ago

While that is true it is also very type specific and not, in this day and age, something for improvisation.

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake (@guest_659301)
1 year ago

You are right, I just hope that the powers that be have learnt some lessons from the Vanguard refuelling to get the dry dock time down to 2 years each for the remaining 3 V’s rather than 7 years for Vanguard.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider (@guest_659167)
1 year ago

My understanding is that the V-class were not going to be refueled and Vanguard only had to be refueled because of the radiation leak.

Of course, with the class having to service beyond their planned OSD more may need to be refueled.

Cheers CR

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker (@guest_659196)
1 year ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

That was my understanding that only HMS vanguard is to be refuelled. I guess time will tell but I think the other boats have the lifetime core in them so they will get a normal refit.
This has been a massive job undertaken on HMS vanguard. God bless her and all who sail in her.

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake (@guest_659239)
1 year ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Your second point is spot on as the V’s are expected to be in service until the mid to late 2030′ s so the 3 remaining V’s will need to ne refuelled.

Tim
Tim (@guest_659242)
1 year ago

I would think that Vanguard will be assigned long patrols and the others will now do shorter ones to help preserve life on them. Vanguard is now likely to be the last one in service until the fourth Dreadnought is operational.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_659262)
1 year ago
Reply to  Tim

Might be limited by dive cycles?

It would be odd for the oldest boat to be that last in service?

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake (@guest_659300)
1 year ago
Reply to  Tim

Victorious, Vigilant and Vengeance have had to take up the strain with extra patrols and longer patrols while Vanguard has been in dry dock. With the extra time spent on patrol all 3 will need extra time in the dry dock but hopefully there is a lessons learnt package that was learnt with Vanguard so fingers crossed the dry docking time for each should be much less than Vanguard.

Dan C
Dan C (@guest_659185)
1 year ago

What do you do with a technician who builds or maintains nuclear submarines when they are no nuclear subs needing maintenance or build. Stretch out any build or maintenance programme to keep everyone a little bit busy. No point rushing it and risking de-skilling the workforce or redundancies

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake (@guest_659381)
1 year ago
Reply to  Dan C

That one is an easy one to answer, build more SSN’s and SSBN’s so the workforce has a constant supply of work after all we only have 4 SSBNs on order and 4 in the water also at the moment we only have 5 SSN’s in the water with 2 on order. There is room for at least 1 more SSN probably more as ideally we would need 12 but I would like to see 8 SSNs and 4 SSKs but who the hell am I to say such things!!!

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay. (@guest_659258)
1 year ago

I imagine the pandemic slowed things down somewhat during 2020/21

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake (@guest_659303)
1 year ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

Yes the Pandemic can be blamed for at least 1 to 1.5 years of the refit but Vanguard moved to dry dock in 2015 and was expected to be there for no more than 2 years unfortunately it took 7 years to get her back into service.

James
James (@guest_659335)
1 year ago

Maybes finding a way to repair the microscopic leak was not exactly a quick welding job and had not been done before.

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake (@guest_659352)
1 year ago
Reply to  James

With-out a doubt there was a lot more work that had to be done but with no accountability the people sitting on the out side like a good percentage of the people on this site we will never know what a realistic cost or time scale should have been as all the people involved in the project cannot talk openly about it. I just hope that the powers that be can keep the time and costs down for the other 3 V’s when they go into refit.

Lanky
Lanky (@guest_660119)
1 year ago

They won’t refit all of the remaining 3, they won’t refuel any of the remaining 3. Vengeance and potentially Vigilant won’t get another refit, as they will decommission to provide crew for Dreadnought and then Valiant.

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake (@guest_660167)
1 year ago
Reply to  Lanky

Well thing must be changing fast as Dreadnought is previewed to launch in 2027 and in service date no sooner than 2030 and it is normally 1 for 1 so as to keep the rotation of 4 on going. Maybe you ae right but there would have to be a radical shake up at the top the RN to loss 2 boats and gain one.

Lanky
Lanky (@guest_660208)
1 year ago

What has changed? First Resolution boat, Revenge, to decommission was in 1992, with Vanguard commissioned in 1993. Second Resolution, Resolution, decommissioned in 1994, Victorious commissioned in 1995. The last two resos went in 1996 with Vigilant and Vengeance commissioning in 1996 and 1999.

Expect a similar pattern this time, Victorious will likely be the last Vanguard class boat to have a refit.

Lanky
Lanky (@guest_660210)
1 year ago

As for refuelling, it was never expected to refuel Vanguard. RR have already said they won’t refuel another based on the evidence found on Vanguard.

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake (@guest_660223)
1 year ago
Reply to  Lanky

Well I guess it a case of watch this space then.

David
David (@guest_659158)
1 year ago

Speaking of the nuclear deterrent, why are we still paying this out of the MoD budget? It accounts for ~10% and if it was brought back under the Treasury’s responsibility, it would free up a lot of cash that is sorely needed.

Thank you Mr. Hammond….

Martin
Martin (@guest_659166)
1 year ago
Reply to  David

It was not Hammond, it was George Osbourne who decided. No idea why people think the Tory’s are ‘big’ on defence.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach (@guest_659181)
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin

I think it’s traditional Martin, but compared to what Labour are capable of. Boris did put a big chunk of money in and we have an increase, albeit not enough.

Martin
Martin (@guest_659193)
1 year ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

First time ever and he was only putting it back up from what they had chopped off before but it was welcome and one of the few good things the Bojo government achieved.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach (@guest_659215)
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin

No argument . the sad reality with all sorts of government is . how can we save money. oh I know defence. Cameron and Osborne had no strategy about defence at all, just chop off billions but you can co back to government after for bad decisions.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker (@guest_659197)
1 year ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

Maybe I’m not old enough to know this labour on defence spending thing. I didn’t see any budget cuts from Blair/brown and before that is it 1977 or something since labour were in power

Martin
Martin (@guest_659207)
1 year ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Every major defence cut of my life has been a Tory cut and many like 2010 and 1981 were brutal and conducted with no thought to the security situation.

Ross
Ross (@guest_659216)
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin

Martin, It would be very disingenuous not to mention why the Conservatives were elected just prior to that…to be clear, the economy had failed on both occasions. All very well bashing Tory’s but lets not take things out of context shall we.

Martin
Martin (@guest_659225)
1 year ago
Reply to  Ross

The economy “fails” every 5-10 years on average it’s called the business cycle. Did gutting the defence budget solve any issues? Not really non of those a Tory governments achieved SFA through those cuts.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_659244)
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin

“Every major defence cut of my life has been a Tory cut” Were you born in 2010 then? The cuts of 97 were bad enough, but that review was actually the last well thought out review of the militaries needs, it was just never resourced. 2004 “New Chapter” was a massacre and to me as demoralising as 2010 was. And another for you, army wise this time, 2004 time frame. https://api.parliament.uk/historic-hansard/lords/2004/dec/16/army-restructuring The Future Army Structures review that, I shall mention highlights, converted an Armoured Brigade to Mechanized ( in reality a cut to its tanks and guns as the CS/CSS… Read more »

FOSTERSMAN
FOSTERSMAN (@guest_659255)
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin

Surely an uplift in defence budget would grow the economy!, Make it so the majority of the money is spent within the UK that means more jobs and more people to pay the tax for the uplift in the first place??

Tams
Tams (@guest_659249)
1 year ago
Reply to  Ross

Which had almost nothing to do with Labour. Or did you miss that it was the Global Financial Crisis?

Oh, and Black Wednesday happened under the Conservatives. Speaking of which, it’s the 30th anniversary of that in a couple of months.

Ross
Ross (@guest_659256)
1 year ago
Reply to  Tams

Tams, I don’t believe I so much as mentioned Labour, nor blamed them in fact. Though I could well get into that, particularly the humiliation of the 70s Labour government going to the IMF for a bailout just prior to Margret Thatcher being elected in 1979…but I shan’t. Of perhaps we could discuss the utter shame that was the equipment provided to the British Army being deployed to Iraq without body armour, or Afghanistan without proper helicopter support, and all on peacetime budget? Careful about idealising a party whose leader only in 2019 was believed NATO was a problem, the… Read more »

Ross
Ross (@guest_659257)
1 year ago
Reply to  Ross

(correction) * often without body armour

Last edited 1 year ago by Ross
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_659266)
1 year ago
Reply to  Ross

Bravo.

Ross
Ross (@guest_659267)
1 year ago

Cheers Daniele

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_659220)
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin

Have a read of the cuts of SDSR 1997 and the “New Chapter” of 2004 on Wiki.
Also read up about DS Gareth bloody Ainsworth cutting the Sea Harrier fleet and closing RAF Cottesmore, and saying the saving would enable more Chinooks to be ordered. They never arrived.
The cut to the Harriers is constantly blamed on the Tories. Reality is 1 Squadron remained when 2010 arrived.

I have corrected posters here on that before.

Both Labour and the Conservatives have a bad record on defence stretching back to 91, I do not include the Cold War years.

Simon
Simon (@guest_659802)
1 year ago

SDSR 1997 was about a change in direction which got totally knocked of course by 9/11 and the Iraq and Afgan.Delivering Security in a Changing World 2003 was a money saving exercise, just like Options to Save Money ( sorry was that Options for Change) Over most of that time 1997-2009 the budget was growing, it just got eaten up by two wars or wasted

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_659219)
1 year ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

I’m old enough, shall I list the cuts from Labour 1997 to 2010 MS? Many here have short memories or like you were too young. The fast jet squadrons dropped from 23 to 12 and the RNs escorts from 35 to 23, never mind all the rest. Budget cuts from Brown? The SABR rotorcraft programme for starters and billions removed from the helicopter budget. They ended up using existing Merlins rather than replacing the CHFs HC4s. A cut. The defence blog I posted on at the time, UK Defence Management, had all the posts we read here today on the… Read more »

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay. (@guest_659263)
1 year ago

Well said pal, Labour made a mess of defence during their 13 years. But both parties are just as bad. Short sighted decisions, and they know if they make defence cuts, 100,000 protesters aren’t going to desend on Whitehall in protest. The odd retired Admiral moans on the news, and that’s about it.

Andrew Deacon
Andrew Deacon (@guest_660016)
1 year ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Labours cuts were just slower and stealthier , their 97 review showed that 30 escorts were required for the navy , by the time they left power in 2010 , there were 23 I believe, same happened for the other services. Simple truth is the equipment has got more expensive and the budget smaller as a % of gdp , like every other peer country. (Exception being rise of new superpowers china and India, even then India’s airforce is shrinking due to new planes being far costlier than the hundreds of migs, jaguars etc that need replacing).

Tom Keane
Tom Keane (@guest_659208)
1 year ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

“Compared to what Labour are capable of” Labour ordered 2 aircraft carriers. The tories got it, and slowed down the carrier build, suggesting one might even be mothballed. Labour ordered newer/more/extra Nimrods, and not long after they took power, the tory party trashed them with JCB’s. It always happens when the tories are in control. They run the arms forces into the ground.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_659221)
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom Keane

Hi Tom. I suggest you take the rose tinted glasses off and look with a little less bias the period 97 to 2010. Things were no better then.
“The tories got it, and slowed down the carrier build,”

Sorry, incorrect, DS Hutton of Labour delayed the carrier build during the G Brown years, adding over a billion to the costs.

Yes the Tories have cut, and so did Labour, repeatedly.

The army only escaped because of the wars Blair and Brown got them into in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_659222)
1 year ago

And as an example, a simple google search gets this report from 2008.

https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/uk-news/aircraft-carriers-project-could-be-delayed-74554

Be careful what you claim!

Tom Keane
Tom Keane (@guest_659443)
1 year ago

“Be careful what I claim”… careful?? Or what?? Maybe you should listen to your own advice, and stop with the snarly, crusty clearly ‘tory’ arrogant reply. Hutton of Labour nor anyone else had no effect what so ever, on the building, completion and subsequent use of those two carriers. The ‘claim’s’ I made were totally correct thank you kindly! You missed the part about the JCB’s trashing the Nimrods. Just wondering, is that tory forgetfulness? I suggest you take a look at the following. This will give a little idea, as to what your precious tories are truly like. Afterwards,… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_659460)
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom Keane

So, we have some one who cannot take a correction without lashing out butt sore. Oh good, this will be fun. So lets dissect that rant. ““Be careful what I claim”… careful?? Or what?? Maybe you should listen to your own advice, and stop with the snarly, crusty clearly ‘tory’ arrogant reply. Advice? Yes, you’re on an internet forum potentially read by millions, you should really learn your subject before posting, you really should, otherwise some one who does know the correct answer to a comment might say otherwise. Your comment was wrong and I corrected you, and kindly supplied… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_659462)
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom Keane

Sorry, I forgot to reply to this gem.

Afterwards, you can stop spouting trash and tory supporting comments to me thank you kindly!”

If you want, sure.

Is that because your worried I may blow more of your facts out of the water? Or can you not cope at having someone else of knowledge on a forum?
🤔

Tom Keane
Tom Keane (@guest_659480)
1 year ago

Ahhh there it is! You do yourself no favours, in attempts to turn this into a personal trashy belittling, of another ‘occasional’ contributor to this website.

Absolutely shocking behaviour! Shameful!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_659489)
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom Keane

Not meaning to belittle anyone Tom, it is you coming out with the hand bag deflecting replies. And indeed you’ve not answered any of my points from my last post to your offended remarks to me, nor accepted my offers. Occasional or regular posing has no bearing either. You could just agree with me that both sides are as bad as the other, but maybe you’re like J in MK on the other thread and cannot bring yourself to? I’m not playing at your slanging match game to deflect any longer, have a good evening Tom. And some links for… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_659490)
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom Keane

Just replied, but my post had links in it so I guess the mods will have a read first and it may take a while to appear.

Do stop digging a hole for yourself.

Ian M
Ian M (@guest_660097)
1 year ago

Stick to your guns Daniele.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_660098)
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian M

👍Thank you Ian.

Dern
Dern (@guest_659224)
1 year ago

And Iraq and Afghan landed the Army with an unmodernized armoured fleet, and a huge list of UOR’s to fund.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_659243)
1 year ago
Reply to  Dern

Morning Dern. Yes, as you correctly point out, upgrading the conventional armoured forces was put to one side to concentrate on fighting wars the army was not set up to fight. Future Army Structures of 2004/5 springs to mind that also started the rot reducing the armoured capabilities, merging infantry regiments, and reducing Tanks and SPGs. Some of those legacy UOR fleets from those wars have at least found use going forward and are in core budget. I understand political bias but when it comes to defence people just don’t seem to care, recall or even remember how the military… Read more »

Sean
Sean (@guest_659245)
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom Keane

Labour wasted £3.5billion on the doomed Nimrod MRA4 programme, and if it hadn’t of been scrapped then even more would have been wasted. Continuing work had no guarantee of success and wouldn’t probably have resulted in cuts other areas, such as F35s or T26s.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_659511)
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom Keane

Regardless of the issues with the wings, the order had already reduced from 21 to 18 to 16 to 12 to 9, or something like that.

Bloody Tory cuts!

Tams
Tams (@guest_659247)
1 year ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

Labour cocked up equipment supply for Afghanistan and Iraq, though even there to be fair the UK had had no recent experience in such conflicts at the time. It’s the Conservatives (and ashamedly the Lib Dems letting themselves be dragged into it) and their Strategic Defence and Security Review 2010 that has led to such a decline in the UK’s forces. Going back further, if it weren’t for the Falklands War, Thatcher would have also cut our forces. In fact, she and the Conservative government did. It was only lucky timing that meant most of the cuts hadn’t taken effect… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Tams
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_659269)
1 year ago
Reply to  Tams

and their Strategic Defence and Security Review 2010 that has led to such a decline in the UK’s forces.”

Yes, but they were cutting what was already cut making a bad situation worse.

The RN had 23 escorts when Cameron came in, have 18 now, yet at the start of Labour in 1997 the RN had 35.

So Tory cut – 5, Labour cuts – 12.

Fast Jets, in 1997 there were around 23 Squadrons, by 2010 there were 12.

So Tory cut – 4, Labour cuts – 11.

Are Labour the party of defence Tams?

Chris
Chris (@guest_659296)
1 year ago

At times I wish this site still had a voting function, a thousand upticks for you, Sir.

David Barry
David Barry (@guest_659585)
1 year ago

Well, haven’t the electorate bought into our warp speed fleet can be everywhere at once? 😉

the present Cons have done little for defence, your NI has gone up but they are giving you a tax cut in the future.

this present PM has grasped at straws to stay afloat.

personally, I want to hear ANY candidate talk of 3% def spend or will not serve.

simples.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_659644)
1 year ago
Reply to  David Barry

Morning David. Penny for me. She seems the most “normal” ? In Sunak I fear the electorate just see another tory toff with a billionaire wife who’s already been in the news for tax issues, was fined alongside BJ, and it would be same old, same old to many. He was also resisting the settlement the MoD did get. “Well, haven’t the electorate bought into our warp speed fleet can be everywhere at once?” You can joke, which I appreciate. But there are posters ( see above ) who are either don’t reply with a yawning silence or throw toys… Read more »

David Barry
David Barry (@guest_659819)
1 year ago

I wonder. One decent bloke was knocked out by MPs who seemed divorced from reality. The Country might vote for Sunak, having trouble thinking Cons Home would. I think Tugenghat would have been an excellent foil to Starmer. The Navy. 25, twenty five years ago is a lifetime and needs context. Subs though, need longevity in comment. I was at Duxford yesterday, with a B52, “mini me” could not understand the Trigger’s broom analogy – I wanted him to think Hurricane and the 86 Czech pilots who were in BoB, defending our Isle and the ability to give him, his… Read more »

Keith j Kellett
Keith j Kellett (@guest_659223)
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin

Totally agree, political history has often shown that a Labour Government actually increases Defence spending as well as making decisions on various Defence issues, far quicker than the Tory Government.

James
James (@guest_659339)
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin

As you are such a Labour fan, what was Crobyn’s stance on the defence budget exactly?

Steve
Steve (@guest_659250)
1 year ago
Reply to  David

I would flip that, why wouldn’t it be in the defence budget? Logically it fits there.

The issue isn’t that it’s in the defense budget, it’s that the funding required wasn’t transferred when they made the catorgisation change. If they had moved the funds over at the same time, then no one would care.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_659270)
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve

I agree it fits there, but simply regards its upkeep via AWE and its operation by the RN and MoD.

The ownership of nukes is also a political choice to allow the UK to sit at the UNSC top table, the MoD should not carry the bill.

Your 2nd paragraph is a good point, actually.

Steve
Steve (@guest_659271)
1 year ago

I think it goes further than just being on the top table, although I’m sure that has a significant weight to it. It depends if you really consider nukes as a deterrent or not. It also depends if you really believe the US would counter attack if the UK was nuked, but the US was not. My opinion is the US wouldn’t necessarily. The choice to them is fire and guarantee total destruction of the US, or not fire and have a risk of it. Any sane person would go for risk over certainty. I can’t be the only person… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_659289)
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve

Yes, I can agree with that. As I support having the capability and agree with the concept of MAD to deter a 1st strike, yes it is a deterrent.

I think having a well resourced military with the ability and will to use it is also a deterrent in itself bar the nuclear option.

Which is why I get N Korea wanting them, for example. The US would have bombed them like Iraq long ago.

madhatter
madhatter (@guest_659349)
1 year ago
Reply to  David

Because the treasury would reduce the MOD budget by at least 11%

D Coles
D Coles (@guest_659964)
1 year ago
Reply to  David

Anything the Government can include as Defence spending to get to the magic 2%. So nuclear deterrent, pensions, child pupil premium, indirect council spending in the vicinity of Defence Estates & military families, upkeep of playgrounds near barracks etc you get the point. I hope if/when we move to 2.5% (3%?) it is actually more weapons, people & capability NOT more magic with spreadsheets & transferred OGD spending.

Airborne
Airborne (@guest_659159)
1 year ago

Very expensive and time consuming but essential.

Martin
Martin (@guest_659168)
1 year ago

I’m secretly hoping that we retain two of the vanguards refulled as SSGN’s and drone deployment ships. HI Sutton had a MOD briefing on it. Then we get 5 dreadnaughts class with the last two turned to SSGN that can be easily converted back to SSBN Should we ever need more than 4 SSBN.

Martin
Martin (@guest_659169)
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin
Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker (@guest_659203)
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin

Wishful thinking. I think while mr Sutton says it would be cheaper than building a new sub I’m not so sure.
If it was a commitment now and either they were dreadnoughts design with some tubes swapped out or an astute with a hull plug and parts added in. Probably the dreadnought would be easier.
At least then it would have a 30-40 year life. I can’t see a vanguard rebuilt having much life left in them. 5-20 years?

Martin
Martin (@guest_659209)
1 year ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Retaining vanguards in SSGAN role is the only chance we have of increasing Submarine numbers this side of 2045. I agree it’s fanciful but I think it’s doable. Also building 5 dreadnaughts instead of 4 and using two as SSGAN gets us a major world leading capability on a small budget increase as two SSGAN is enough to guarantee that one is available while 3 SSBN would be enough for CASD as long as you have a spare in the background in case one sinks. The SSGAN could fill this role easily.

Tom Keane
Tom Keane (@guest_659210)
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin

If the tories remain in power, that idea for the vanguards wont even be looked at, let alone be considered.

Martin
Martin (@guest_659212)
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom Keane

If they won’t even consider a rise in defence spending after a Russian invasion of Europe I agree not much chance of further rises. The vague promises made by Bojo last week will rapidly be forgotten to cut 1 % of corporation tax.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_659246)
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom Keane

Well that again makes no sense, as regardless of whoever is in Downing Street the MoD Capabilities Directorates will still looking at that sort of thing and indeed plan capabilities decades in advance of service.
The Civil Service continues regardless of which party is in power.

It is then put to ministers to make a decision to fund, and that is where your political bias might then come into play and the SoS for Defence does not green light it.

James
James (@guest_659346)
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom Keane

Regardless of who is in power they wont remain in service that long, every piece of equipment has a limit for how long it can be used for. Submarines are definitely the one thing you do not want to take the p*ss with on time in service!!

Jon
Jon (@guest_659235)
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin

As I understand it, one of the major delays in the Dreadnought program has been the capability of Rolls Royce to fuel the PWR3s, because they are reusing buildings and skilled people from PWR2. Refuelling Vanguard took several extra years of PWR2 work and the PWR3 was delayed.

Now they are working on PWR3, I don’t think PWR2 refuelling is possible without huge extra expense. Unless it’s aligned with Australia getting Astutes, I doubt refuelling other Vanguards is practicable.

Barry Larking
Barry Larking (@guest_659171)
1 year ago

Well, it is not as though we don’t need Vanguard today. Covid will have placed restrictions and subsequent delays.

Deep32
Deep32 (@guest_659176)
1 year ago

It will be a while before Vanguard goes back into the ,’programme’ so to speak. She will need to complete a full trials period, work up package (2 crews?) and Daso over in the States. Early next year might be a reasonable estimate, as she also has to get out of Guzz first, and that requires a v high tide.
Can’t come soon enough as far as the other 3 boats are concerned I imagine.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker (@guest_659204)
1 year ago
Reply to  Deep32

That’s a lot of stuff to get done. 7 years is a long time to be missing a boat.

Deep32
Deep32 (@guest_659206)
1 year ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

You said it MS, 7 years is a long time to be out of the loop, that’s why it needs doing.

David Barry
David Barry (@guest_659184)
1 year ago

Should reactor exchange now be certified, it makes you wonder if the V boats could converted into SSGM as the oft cited reason for ending SSN boat service is the number dives. Not something that really applies as much to the V boats; and what a firepower increase they would bring as well as relieve some pressure on the Astutes.

Now, where would we get the crews?

Martin
Martin (@guest_659194)
1 year ago
Reply to  David Barry

The MOD has a proposal on the cards to do just that.

David Craig Stevens
David Craig Stevens (@guest_659192)
1 year ago

Well those D5 tridants with DK 1000 should put the fear of God into anyone who apposed them.hypersonic munitions are what the trident class used to pack.maybe some nice D5 stabilizers and D5 anticatalists or D5 anticholinergic or D5 atropine.good luck.come to halifax our colonial bastion of brittania.good fish an chips gravy all over no bones we fillip differently.beers better 5% Ipa ez.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_659228)
1 year ago

keh?

David Craig Stevens
David Craig Stevens (@guest_659233)
1 year ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

It’s all militairy Sci fie to me.i was just being sarcastic about thier ordinances apologies.

farouk
farouk (@guest_659200)
1 year ago

I still laugh at how the other year, the then leader of the oppostion stated that if he became PM, he would get rid of the Nuke subs, then when the Unions mentioned the job losses, he changed that to, I would keep the subs, but do away with the missiles.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker (@guest_659205)
1 year ago
Reply to  farouk

It’s a tough question and I really wish all leaders would leave it like it used to be. No comment on when or if they would use the missiles. At least he stuck to his principles and let’s face it if they are launched are lives are all over anyway.
Labour and con are both willing to push launch buttons now.

Tams
Tams (@guest_659251)
1 year ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Yes, the best answer to that question is, ‘I’m sorry but I can’t answer that question. Ask me anything else, but I can’t answer that question. The uncertainty as to what I would do as leader is the greatest strength of our nuclear deterrent’.

James
James (@guest_659348)
1 year ago
Reply to  farouk

I think he meant he would keep the missiles without the warheads or the submarines.

dan
dan (@guest_659211)
1 year ago

After the Brits get their new SSBNs a couple of these old boats should be converted to TLAM shooters like the USN has done. Just a pipe dream I know. lol

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_659229)
1 year ago
Reply to  dan

Dan, like it, but would there be enough UK TLAMs left to fill these extra boats? Lol.

Bryan Jones
Bryan Jones (@guest_659231)
1 year ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

jonesbry

Bryan Jones
Bryan Jones (@guest_659232)
1 year ago
Reply to  Bryan Jones

Observations on the urgent situation for SSN production for the RAN, RN & possibly USN. 1/ The Royal Australian Navy urgently needs 8 (really 12) SSN to defend against the aggressive expansion of the Chinese (and possibly Russian navies. 2/ The current and future size of the Royal Navy fleet of 7 SSN is far too small for covering the North Atlantic, Artic etc. And supporting AUKUS in the Indo-Pacific. 3/The quickest fix would be to build extra Astute SSNs for the RN & the RAN. This could be achieved by building half of all SSN sections from reactor compartment… Read more »

Jon
Jon (@guest_659236)
1 year ago
Reply to  Bryan Jones

The point of AUKUS is that the US/UK export restrictions no longer apply to Australia.

Longstanding agreement from the 1950s means military reactors built in the UK follow the same restrictions as those in the US, which is why the US could veto our exporting nuclear submarines for Canada in the 80s. It’s also why the Yanks feel comfortable about sharing their reactor designs with the UK.

FOSTERSMAN
FOSTERSMAN (@guest_659259)
1 year ago
Reply to  dan

Or a drone carrier? Time to think outside the box. If the US and russians can make there legacy platforms last then why can’t we? But the other issue as stated is that we do not possess enough TLAMS to equip 1 fully as they are spread thinly around the fleet.

FOSTERSMAN
FOSTERSMAN (@guest_659260)
1 year ago
Reply to  dan

The other option would be to make the new ships coming for the surface fleet to except TLAM would probably be a better option but again run into the same issues of lack of missile’s

Jon
Jon (@guest_659234)
1 year ago

Yay! Welcome back, Vanguard.

geoff
geoff (@guest_659240)
1 year ago

Good Morning Gents. A couple of questions the answers to which are probably classified(!) but nonetheless, as with other RN assets, numbers of ships and subs listed in the Fleet compared to numbers actually available illustrates just how lean a navy is actually combat ready! With the Trident subs, so one has actually been out of service for many years effectively leaving only 3 to operate the continuous Nuclear deterrent role. So with one sub always at sea, where are the other two based? Are they on standby? do we have four crews available in the unlikely event that all… Read more »

Meirion X
Meirion X (@guest_659241)
1 year ago
Reply to  geoff

The answer to all those questions, is only for those that Need to know. So that rules out everyone on this forum.
Vital information known by posters and posted on here will also be seen by the Moscow trolls.

Last edited 1 year ago by Meirion X
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_659261)
1 year ago
Reply to  Meirion X

Agree, but lets be realistic and keep things in perspective for the sake of discussion of topics we share an interest in. Much of relevance to his questions is open source info in the public domain and as such is no use to Moscow Trolls, so I’m happy to reply to geoff with what I knew and my own opinions if it is public knowledge and relevant. I left out naming certain places and 2 organisations in my expansion of his points that again could probably be worked out by someone who bothers to look, never mind the KGB who… Read more »

David Lloyd
David Lloyd (@guest_659282)
1 year ago

All OSINT One of the Vanguards is always on patrol with the starboard crew – usually under the North Pole ice cap (what’s left of it) mapping polynas through which is can rapidly surface and launch the full load of MIRVed warheads. Which are made in Britain. This boat will be accompanied by an Astute One of the Vanguards will be on its way out with the port crew to relieve the first one, also accompanied by an Astute. The third will be alongside being maintained etc. The RN operates their missiles from a shared pool, together with the Atlantic… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_659294)
1 year ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

“usually under the North Pole ice cap (what’s left of it) mapping polynas through which is can rapidly surface and launch the full load of MIRVed warheads.” Speculation is fun, but nobody will know that for sure, save the CMOps and I believe the SoS. But I would be surprised if they do. Our SSN go there and they have operated in that area before. The Russians don’t have as much choice with the amount of ice free sea they have, after all, unless they hide closer to the coast in the Kara Sea. The concept of a Russian SSBN… Read more »

Tams
Tams (@guest_659252)
1 year ago
Reply to  geoff

No one here is going to know the answers to most of that, and if they do they aren’t going to share it.

Not that I think the Russians are too much of a threat navy wise anymore. China are more of a concern, but a) they are mostly the US and Japan’s area and b? their capability is questionable as well; they may be just as bad as Russia.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_659253)
1 year ago
Reply to  geoff

😎 Morning my friend! Yes, we have the red zone warnings, hopefully sunny Surrey avoids the worst of it. Gardens were watered at 6am and curtains drawn. “So with one sub always at sea, where are the other two based?” No idea, and the MoD does not often comment on the silent service, unless like at Gibraltar where TLAM loading was highlighted for political purposes. I know a man and organisation who does, maybe write a FOIA to them with some carefully worded questions! Commander Maritime Ops ( and at one time RA Submarines ) at CTF 345 at Northwood.… Read more »

geoff
geoff (@guest_659288)
1 year ago

Daniele my friend-thanks for comprehensive answers and to other friends on this forum. Regarding your heatwave, 40 degrees C is serious heat especially when you guys are not geared for it. The silver lining is that it should only be for a short spell at that level. We had Christmas lunch here at 40 degrees a few years back(I think I may have told you that before) but we are certainly more geared for high temps.
Sunscreen,wide brimmed hats and no going out in the mid day Sun!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_659295)
1 year ago
Reply to  geoff

Yes, I’m indoors. Glad I’m not on shifts dealing with buckling rail lines today and tomorrow, as you say our infrastructure struggles with extremes.

geoff
geoff (@guest_659302)
1 year ago

I read talk in the UK press that tarmac might start to melt but I can remember as a young boy in the 1950’s seeing tar melting in the street in Ealing west London!

Paul T
Paul T (@guest_659274)
1 year ago
Reply to  geoff

For my twopenn’orth worth,if you only have 3 Submarines available then your mission planning and maintenance schedules have to be water tight ( excuse the pun ).When the renewal programme for the Vanguard Class was discussed and debated in Parliament ,and in the echelons of the MOD there was an idea to reduce the fleet to 3 in the interests of budget and cost savings,so in operational terms it could be done.Luckily this was rejected in favour of the now normal 4 due to the extra insurances it gives to the fleet,as has been proved with HMS Vanguards long unpredicted… Read more »

Deep32
Deep32 (@guest_659285)
1 year ago
Reply to  geoff

Morning Geoff, We have 4 SSBN’s so we can keep CASD going with 3 SMs. Vanguard has been out of the loop for 7 yes, the remaining 3 will be delivering CASD. One is always at sea on patrol. One is getting ready to deploy, with the other o e having returned from patrol going into a leave/maintenance period having handed over to the off crew who didn’t do the patrol. Unless things have changed recently, we have 7 crews for our 4 SSBNs, with the single crew boat being the one in refit. Vanguard will come out with one… Read more »

Deep32
Deep32 (@guest_659284)
1 year ago

SMs move continuously, if not they’d sink-its all about buoyancy.
When about to launch their missiles, they come into what you might term a launch window.

Deep32
Deep32 (@guest_659313)
1 year ago
Reply to  Deep32

In short Jay, No.

Rob No.1
Rob No.1 (@guest_659864)
1 year ago

No information as to what created the delay from 3-5 to 7. That’s some crazy estimating and forecasting.