The US State Department has approved the purchase of Dreadnought trainer upgrades and training for strategic systems programmes for the UK.

According to the contract notice posted earlier today, General Dynamics Electric Boat has been awarded a $7,658,054 contract  to provide various labour and material items in support of the US Strategic Weapons Systems Ashore system, US Navy SSGN Repair efforts and importantly, Dreadnought trainer upgrades and training for ‘Strategic Systems Programmes’ for the United Kingdom.

“Work will be performed in Groton, Connecticut (44 percent); Cape Canaveral, Florida (12 percent); Kings Bay, Georgia (12 percent); Bangor, Washington (12 percent); Faslane, Scotland (12 percent); and Washington, District of Columbia (8 percent), with a completion date of April 30, 2021.

Fiscal 2018 United Kingdom funds in the amount of $4,811,449; fiscal 2018 research and development test and evaluation funds in the amount of $2,771,780; and fiscal 2018 operations and maintenance (Navy) funds in the amount of $74,825 are being obligated on this modification. Funds in the amounts of $74,825 will expire at the end of fiscal 2018.  The Navy’s Strategic Systems Programs, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity.”

HM Treasury last year approved the Initial Gate Business Case for the new submarine school to be built at Scotland’s largest military establishment, Faslane. The new school will provide academic and technical training for all Royal Naval personnel entering the submarine service from 2022.

All 11 Royal Navy submarines will be based at HMNB Clyde from 2020, seeing the number of people employed at the base will rise from 6,800 people to 8,200. The school will support the Astute hunter killer submarines, as well as the delivery of training for the new Dreadnought nuclear deterrent boats, which provide the United Kingdom with its continuous nuclear deterrent.

Head of the Submarine Service, Rear Admiral John Weale said:

“Our new single integrated operating base will make significant improvements to the work-life balance of our 5,000 submariners.

By putting our boats and training in one place, our submariners can put down roots in Scotland knowing that they are no longer required to commute from one end of the country to another.”

The re-location of submarine training from HMS Sultan and HMS Raleigh is consistent with the Better Defence Estate Strategy, published in November, which set out the department’s plans sets out plans to achieve a more efficient, modern and capability focused defence estate and bring greater harmony to Service families, according to the Ministry of Defence.

46 COMMENTS

  1. This is A bad Move you should never have everything in the same place…… Just one big cost Cutting and Cut backs….. This Government is Putting Saving Money first and us Totally Defenceless Second……. R. I. P Royal Navy Submarine Service……

  2. So the submarine school in Raleigh will close i worked on that when it was being built everything in there was top notch even the plant room pipework was stainless steel it must have cost a fortune well at least they got twenty years out of it,hopefully it will be put to use for something else.

  3. Just hope our crazy foreign policy of backing Iran over the US does not impact negatively on our relationship here…May and Hunt (and the FCO) playing with fire on this front…

    • They are not backing Iran, they are backing the worlds agreed policy (Including the US before Trump) on dealing with Iran, they are very different things…

      • Trump saw it for what it was,a one sided deal negotiated by cretins you know the same type of entitled elitist twerp dealing with our exit from the EU.

      • The world can go f*** itself. Siding against the US on this issue is emphatically siding with Iran. If that is the horse you want place your bet on so be it. One normally doesn’t bet on a long shot headed for the glue factory but hey to each there own. Just don’t whine about the consequences.

      • Don’t count on it. Americans have never and likely will never forgive Iran for the hostage crisis and later funding of bombing of American embassies in other countries, in addition to the bombing of the Beirut barracks causing the death of 241 US Military personnel. Then constant Iranian funding, supplying, and training of insurgents in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. This is a very short list of reasons for Americans to despise Iran. While also holding Europe who have always helped Iran even during the hostage crisis in utter contempt.

  4. Problem with all this musical chairs of moving things is it costs money shirt term before long term savings arrive.

    Also. Despite the RN Submarine School being at HMS Raleigh the SETT has always remained at Gosport at the old HMS Dolphin / Fort Blockhouse.

    Will they move the SETT to Scotland too? If they are making a big issue if having all in one place you’d think they would.

    • No they wont move SETT from Gosport
      The ultimate aim is silently and gradually removing everything from in and around Devonport so that they can close it for good
      It was said i an earlier comment about “all egss in one basket” well with Devonport closed all the surface fleet will then be based at Portsmouth

      • If Devonport closes, it will be the end of Plymouth. The submarine refit contracts have kept the city alive upto this point.

  5. Not if you are an American they are not. We need to be more aware of the impact of our strange alignment with Iran from our most important security partner’s perspective. Especially when we threaten global US dollar hegemony (which is one of the foundations of their economy) (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-45634448).
    Trump or no Trump – we should be very careful not to bite the hand that feeds us (in military and security terms).

    • We should also not be bullied by a clear lunatic. When a new President comes in they will likely move back into line with the rest of the world again. The British Government are simply balancing their opinion so as not to offend Trump too much while also not isolating ourselves from the rest of the world. Dealing with a moron like Trump is tricky business as you never know what his exact opinion is going to be from one day to the next.

        • Great Job! Wow! If only I could get away with ruining everything, saying such idiotic things that I get laughed at by all my peers and still be considered to be doing a great job… My life would be easy then…

          In all seriousness I can’t understand how anyone thinks he is doing a great job. He has systematically taken apart environmental legislation, installed people around him that genuinely think the sea levels are rising because rocks are falling into the sea! He has or has tried to remove anyone trying to investigate his possible misdemeanours and claims that anything said against him is “FAKE NEWS” (Even things that can clearly be observed as true by people with working eyes…). He has then bowed to corporate pressure to ensure net neutrality is abolished and in doing so has caused a number of states to enact their own laws in an attempt to protect their citizens and has started a trade war with most of the world…

          Yep. Great Job!!!

          This is the man who owned a Casino business that went bust and he himself would have been bankrupted if he had not been able to effectively shift his debt on to others with the help of his lawyers. He basically all but stole his money from other people.

          This is the man who appears to think the stealth means invisible…

          This is the man that actually said this!
          ““You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything….Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.”

          And this
          “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”

          And this…
          “I was down there, and I watched our police and our firemen, down on 7-Eleven, down at the World Trade Center, right after it came down”

          I could go on but I will stop there for now.

          • Respectfully, and I do respect your view, I would counsel extreme caution in terms of picking ”winners’and ”losers” in terms of the various Presidents elected by the people of the US. Regardless of your political persuasion – the reality is that our existence at the top table of world security matters is in many ways founded upon our relationship with the US. Trident, 5 eyes, (recently) the QE CBG and F35 program.
            Iran is without doubt not an ally of the UK. We are standing with Iran – against the US. That is the fact. Forget Trump – it’s the Republican Party view – and they are the party in power.

          • Absolutely. And the UK Government is treading a careful line right now. They are trying to both not stray away from the most sensible way forward that the US and the Rest of the world agreed to while still not criticising Trumps current policy too much. They are likely thinking that in a couple of years the next President will stand a good chance of returning to the previously agreed world view so will not want to abandon that completely.

          • Your ilk lost get over it,the man will prove to be a great president unlike what’s his face you know the bloke,the one married to the tranny he goes around the world still thinking anyone cares about what he has to say.

          • Lee1
            Yes let’s point out some key things.
            “Grab them by the pussy WHEN THEY LET YOU.” In other words when they consent. Legally did they say no? Did any accuser come forward at the time or later with evidence proving Trump did anything without consent? No they did not and every accuser from the 2016 election disappeared like that type of accuser always does the day after the election. Your inability to see through political Kabuki theater is astounding.
            As for Atlantic City everybody lost money there. The casinos were built quickly and were hoping to be the only place besides Las Vegas to gamble. For a few years it worked but not long enough for the developers to pay off the building of massive casinos (in a high labor cost State like New Jersey). Then multiple States legalized casinos in some form along with multiple Indian Reservations. So it became a question if “I am going to take vacation for the sole purpose of gambling would I go to Vegas or Atlantic City?”.The answer was Vegas every time. Vegas has the prestige and mystique that Atlantic City never had. No one ever wrote a song about Atlantic City, how many can you find about Las Vegas.
            As for net neutrality? You mean the thing Google argued for. Net neutrality gave them near monopoly especially after they bought YouTube. Then de facto partnered with Amazon for shopping by boosting it in search results for money. Then Facebook and Twitter who both had vested interests in keeping Net Neutrality because Net Neutrality killed competition. It killed competitiveness in many areas from service providers to server farms being built. Contrary to socialist belief competition lowers prices while intervening to stop it increases it. As for countries protecting their citizens after President Trump getting rid of it no they have not. What they have done in Europe and the UK for that matter is start to jail and fine people over social media posts. Claiming they were “hate speech” not “free speech”.

            Also according to the same morons pushing Climate Change now we should all be dead by now. In the 60s and 70s it was global cooling and we would all be in an Ice Age by 2000. Then it was peak oil about the same time and we all would have Nuked each other into a Mad Max type world over a few gallons of gas by now. Then when that didn’t happen they came up with Global Warming but when temperatures stopped rising and New Yorkand Florida were not in fact underwater in 2014 and Polar Bears were very much not extinct they started calling it the “Pause”. Then when they decided on Climate Change so they could argue more. You know what you call temperatures shifting? Weather along Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter.
            As for it being a foreign conspiracy to destroy American industries? Well isn’t it a interesting coincidence that every climate pact made from Kyoto to Paris punishes the US more than China or India who both have sh** environmental laws. While also favoring European countries who import their energy and rely on public transport that would be completely unworkable either geographically or socially in America.
            And really jumping on a slip of the tongue there wit the date. It is established fact he was in New York the day the towers fell. As for relative amount of job standing and ability to say things. When was the last time you made few billion in your personal life. While also lowering the unemployment rate lower than any country in Europe. Along with increasing defense spending. Further Americans in industrial States LIKE the trade wars and view Washington as having screwed them over for 30 years so Trump is popular there.

  6. Rob you comment on Russia levelling Faslane in event of war. At least during cold war it came out that they would wipe out every fixed wing air base in Western Europe on first day of a war with NATO. You can probably add naval bases too. In that scenario any Army unit not deployed, any aircraft not air or seaborne and any ship not at sea would be a sitting duck. It would be a question of numbers how many Russian surface to surface missiles versus how many targets. Grim I know.

    • From what we have seen from ww2 to Ukraine is that Russia have mastered the covert attack tactic. The problem with our defences is we are not prepared even slightly for a surprise attack. All our tactics are based on getting birds in the air, ships to sea and tanks forward deployed. If tomorrow Russia surprised us with an attack, we would have pretty much zero land based air defence, zero ships guarding the North sea and our troops all clustered in a limited number of barracks. It would be a very easy win.

      We should have multiple subs always patrolling our waters, land based air defence at every base and radar station and key assets distributed across the whole UK.

      The ICBMs are great but the risk is someone is willing to take a realistic gamble that they would not be used, and I don’t think that is too far fetched a gamble.

      • Steve. Until we have some means of shooting down SSMs (no time soon if not for the foreseeable future we’re virtually defenceless) Dispersion is all we’ve got. Just hope the chiefs are basing our war plans on what will happen not on what we hope will happen.

        • You don’t attack a country to level it, you attack because you want the resources or land, which rules out russian nukes and leaves conventional weapons. I would hope that land ceptor or whatever it’s now called, would be able to have a reasonable chance of intercepting any cruise missiles or similar

          • Except that Land Ceptor is to be deployed with the field army not as the air defence of the UK so unlikely to be in position.

          • Agree and also we are unlikely to be buying enough to cover the key locations in the UK, even if they were in position.

  7. I very much think the Dreadnought program priced at around £9 billion per sub. 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 Trident C4 or like type missile should fit in a Astute class sub. and will be sufficient to cover the range of the North east Atlantic to Eurasia.
    So why not develop the Astute class for CASD with 4 new build ‘stretched Astute’s with a added missile compartment equipped with a new missile. Cost should be about £2 billion per sub.
    Maybe UK could buy USA’s old C4 missiles and upgrade them.
    Only USA needs trident D5 for the range of the vast Pacific ocean as well as all of the North Atlantic.
    The some of money save should be spent on more escorts and BMD for UK base’s.

    • Presumably cost per sub would go down further if more than 4 Stretched Astutes were built, e.g. 8, 4 for CASD and 4 to boost the SSN fleet with a new more capable Batch 2 that could host TLAM in the CMC instead of C4. It’s probably too late to cancel Dreadnought but if it wasn’t then it probably wouldn’t be too late to also cancel the 7th Astute so that that build could be changed to a Batch 2 boat to make it a more capable TLAM platform.

      I assume that such a stretched Batch 2 Astute would pick up the PWR3 reactor design for its safer design, longer life and lower maintenance requirements.

      The first Dreadnought is supposed to enter service in 2028 at which point HMS Astute will have been in service for 18 years (originally commissioned August 2010). By the time all 8 of the Astute Batch 2s had been built a few years after that (early to mid 2030s?) the production line could be kept rolling because the Batch 1 Astutes would be getting to the end of their service lives by then.

  8. Personally I would keep the CASD provided by the forthcoming Dreadnought boats, especially with a more active Russia and ever expanding Chinese military. A strategic or “political” weapon it may be, but it certainly provides food for thought for any potential enemies. We have wasted too much treasure on this to cancel it both in development of the actual vessels and in infrastructure improvements.

  9. So many unread words, so much unheeded and impotent advice, so many problems. I’m so glad I’m a simple self employed man without the worries borne by followers of this website.

  10. The astute stretched is a non starter in my opinion. Let’s say it was discussed in government, it would effectively put the decision on which option into the long grass and probably 10 years or more before a decision is made, resulting in a significant gap in capability. I question if nukes are really needed, but if you accept they are, then any capability gap is a serious problem and likely to result in either war (unlikely) or more likely the capability being ruled out of date and cut entirely.

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