Two of the Royal Navy’s Trafalgar Class nuclear powered but not nuclear armed submarines will be moved to the Clyde from Devonport, the Defence Secretary has confirmed. The moving of the hunter-killer fleet north is expected to bring an extra 1,500 jobs to the region.
HMS Talent and HMS Triumph will have moved north by 2017. The other two vessels in the class, HMS Torbay and HMS Trenchant, are to remain at Devonport until they are decommissioned in 2017 and 2019 respectively. It is another step towards Clyde becoming the Royal Navy’s Submarine Centre of Specialisation, according to the Ministry of Defence, the long term intention is for Faslane to be home to all of the UK’s submarines.
HMS Torbay will be decommissioned in 2017 and the Trenchant in 2019 with the Talent and the Triumph expected to be decommissioned in 2021 and 2022 respectively. They are being replaced by the more capable Astute class.
Faslane is the biggest single-site employer in Scotland. Direct employment alone is around 6,500, with many more thousands dependent on the base for jobs through the supply chain, around 11,000 both directly and indirectly. The annual spend in the local area is more than £270 million per year.
The 5,200 tonne Trafalgar class submarines are being replaced by the 7,800-tonne Astute class with seven scheduled to be built.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:
“This decision balances the Royal Navy’s operational requirements with giving more clarity to our servicemen and women to plan their family lives.”
Commodore Graeme Little, Naval Base Commander Devonport said:
“The decision for HMS Torbay and HMS Trenchant to remain in Devonport reflects the operational and support demands of the boats and minimises potential disruption and uncertainty to our submariners.”
Commodore Mark Adams, Naval Base Commander Clyde, said:
“Several years of hard work have already gone into preparing HMNB Clyde to be the home of the UK Submarine Service. The base regularly successfully hosts Trafalgar Class submarines for both routine visits and to undertake periods of extended maintenance and we are delighted to welcome HMS Talent and HMS Triumph on their move from Devonport. HMNB Clyde and the surrounding Argyll and Bute communities are renowned for their hospitality so the crews and their families can be assured of a warm welcome.”