The Ministry of Defence has reaffirmed its commitment to enhancing the capabilities of the nation’s nuclear-powered submarines, as detailed in a recent parliamentary response.

Damien Moore, the Conservative MP for Southport, sought clarity on the steps being taken to bolster the UK’s nuclear submarine fleet.

Moore asked, “What steps his Department is taking to increase (a) the number of UK nuclear-powered submarines and (b) their capabilities?” This inquiry reflects the ongoing interest in the strategic development of the UK’s underwater defense assets.

In response, James Cartlidge, the Minister of State for the Ministry of Defence, reiterated the government’s dedication to its current submarine build programmes. He stated, “The Department remains committed to its submarine build programmes. Details can be found within the recently published Defence Nuclear Enterprise Command Paper: Delivering the UK’s Nuclear Deterrent as a National Endeavour (CP1058).”

While Cartlidge did not specifically confirm an increase in the number of nuclear-powered submarines, his reference to the Defence Nuclear Enterprise Command Paper highlights the Ministry’s focus on maintaining and upgrading its existing fleet.

While the Ministry of Defence has not explicitly stated plans to expand the number of nuclear-powered submarines, it has confirmed its ongoing commitment to enhancing the capabilities of its existing fleet.

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Lisa has a degree in Media & Communication from Glasgow Caledonian University and works with industry news, sifting through press releases in addition to moderating website comments.
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Jim
Jim (@guest_821836)
1 month ago

If they are not going to increase the fleet why is there a massive increase in facilities and personnel at Barrow,

Building the reactor compartment for the Australian boats can’t explain nearly doubling Barrow in size.

Personally I think no matter the cost the UK should double or triple the SSN fleet.

SSN’s are the one platform we have that will always guarantee the UK’s security no matter who may threaten us and it’s the one capability the USA will always be short on.

Hugo
Hugo (@guest_821842)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim

Tell that to the Gov, they’ve got to cough up the bill for double or triple the subs.
Expansion can mostly be related to updating the facilities and ensuring we can build the astute replacements in good time.

Jim
Jim (@guest_821868)
1 month ago
Reply to  Hugo

They are mass hiring as well. So far every time the government been asked to stump up cash for submarines it’s done so quickly.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_821871)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim

A lot to do with Australian funding.

dc647
dc647 (@guest_821881)
1 month ago
Reply to  Hugo

Can I just point out it’s not the Government that will cough up but the tax payers, as the Government does not have any money of their own. The money belongs to the citizens of the UK, the Government miss mangers it on our behalf.

Jim
Jim (@guest_821884)
1 month ago
Reply to  dc647

That’s completely inaccurate, money is a medium of exchange created by the government.

Jim
Jim (@guest_821885)
1 month ago
Reply to  dc647

Another AI bot

Mark B
Mark B (@guest_821888)
1 month ago
Reply to  dc647

😂That sounds a little pedantic😂

Technically the money belongs to the crown. Which effectively means the state. Parliament is sovereign thus it controls all the assets and parliament is controlled in turn by MPs which are elected by the people. The Prime Minister is appointed by the king who selects someone who commands the support of the house of commons. The PM forms a Government. Thus everything is controlled by the people. It is perfectly normal to get mismanagement because people are fallable.

😂 Now I’m being pedantic.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_821988)
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark B

That was a good read Mark! If I can be an extra bit pedantic. Have I got this right, the PM is elected/chosen by the party but “appointed” by the King? That last bit we don’t have here in 🇦🇺. Lol 😁

Last edited 1 month ago by Quentin D63
Iain
Iain (@guest_822035)
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Really? When did you elect a president to replace your current head of state?

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_822082)
1 month ago
Reply to  Iain

No, no president, just a Prime Minister down here. Tomatyr has just reminded me of the GG’s function below.

DJ
DJ (@guest_822136)
1 month ago
Reply to  Iain

In Australia, the Governor General appoints the PM. The King has no say whatsoever. However the King appoints the Governor General (usually on advice from the Australian PM). Also, only the King can dismiss the Governor General (usually on advice from the Australian PM). All of the “usually” parts can technically be overridden by the King, if he so wishes. Not the same, but not overly different.

DJ
DJ (@guest_822143)
1 month ago
Reply to  DJ

Sorry Ian, was replying to Quentin, not you.

Tomartyr
Tomartyr (@guest_822074)
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

“That last bit we don’t have here in 🇦🇺”
That function is performed by the governor-general, the representative of the monarch.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_822085)
1 month ago
Reply to  Tomartyr

Thanks as I’d forgotten about the GG! Apologies to the 👑! 😆

Iain
Iain (@guest_822254)
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

That’s a relief. Despite all the banter banter between the old country and our antipodean cousins we would really hate to lose you.
I mean who else is going to show us how to BBQ properly while we are lambasting your beer 😂. I don’t count the US because they finally figured out how to make a decent ruby ale. Only took 250 years.

Mark B
Mark B (@guest_822286)
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

The PM is not really elected by anyone just appointed by the King. However the King is duty bound to appoint a person who has the support of the house of commons – effectively the majority of MPs. In most cases that person will be leader of the largest party. Although not necessarily so. Sometimes the minor parties or independent MPs might tip the balance and in some cases the leader of a particular party might not be able to depend on his/her own MPs. 😂 It is understood that the King will summon the most likely candidate and will… Read more »

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_822314)
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark B

Thanks for the detailed reply. Yes, to be able to remove any mad/bad PM if necessary would be essential but in turn the monarchy themselves also needs to be held accountable and fair to its people. Almost a parallel/shared leadership of sorts.

Mark B
Mark B (@guest_822804)
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

We have actually had the dubious pleasure of a mad king (George III) if my memory serves me well. The benefit of an unwritten constitution served us well and the country simply carried on regardless. The sane monarchs know what is expected of them and if they abuse their powers then the combined efforts of parliament, Government etc. cna overide them – so it hasn’t happen at since Charles I and he didn’t fair that well.😂

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_822348)
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

After a G.E. the King invites the Leader of the largest party in Parliament to form His Majesty’s Government. That Leader is automatically PM by virtue of being the Head of Government.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_822346)
1 month ago
Reply to  dc647

True, the Government just owns assets and the National Debt.

Bob
Bob (@guest_821864)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim

You might also want to remember that 4 Astute class submarines are roughly the same cost of building the two carriers so this quality obviously comes at quite a substantial cost

Last edited 1 month ago by Bob
Coll
Coll (@guest_821954)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim

Isn’t Australia building their subs in Osbourne?

Jim
Jim (@guest_821969)
1 month ago
Reply to  Coll

Yes which is why massive staff increases at barrow make no sense unless we building more for the UK.

Coll
Coll (@guest_821995)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim

BAE Systems withdrew its expansion planning application to build the Ramsden Dock Facility (RDF) on land at Dova Way in Barrow in February. I did try to find an explanation but couldn’t find any.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_822350)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim

Surely you take on new staff if you are embarking on new work such as building Dreadnought SSBNs and anything for the Aussie subs. It does not mean you are building an 8th or 9th Astute; we would have heard about that from the Tories.

Bazza
Bazza (@guest_821962)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim

My personal theory is that the Vanguards are in a much worse state than they let on. This of course means that our nuclear deterrent is threatened and so we need the Dreadnought class boats ASAP.

That in my mind is the mosy likely thing that explains the current investment in getting things moving.

That or they do not think Australia will be in a position to make their own Aukus boats, which means we would either have to build an extra 5 or more boats, or let the programme die. That would require masssively investing in our own industry.

Jim
Jim (@guest_821970)
1 month ago
Reply to  Bazza

That makes no sense, increasing the work force now won’t do much to speed up dreadnaught and why put the Vanguard’s into deep refit if they are knackered. If they are knackered would they be sending them on 6 month patrols.

TR
TR (@guest_822270)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim

They wouldn’t be having to send them on 6 month patrols if they were working well.. the fact they are (and putting the extra strain on that boat) suggests things are pretty desperate.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_821980)
1 month ago
Reply to  Bazza

The uplift in investment will insure that this does’t happen again. Dreadnaught is on track and the present investment will not effect it.

TR
TR (@guest_822268)
1 month ago
Reply to  Bazza

The Vangiards are already thought to be in a pretty terrible state (hence the need for one of them to do a 6 month stint last year.

Jon
Jon (@guest_822380)
1 month ago
Reply to  TR

HMS Vanguard was in refit and refuel for longer than it took to build it in the first place, and they’ve been cycling three boats for over eight years. Now Vanguard is back and recertified, they’ll be a period where they will try to undo some of the damage and get the three other boats back into shape. Then hopefully we’ll see shorter deployments again.

Rob N
Rob N (@guest_822221)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim

Because they have to build SSN AUKUS….

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_822345)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim

Is the US really short of SSNs?

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_822527)
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Yep big style ! They ran their capacity to build into the ground and now the huge fleet of Ohios and Los Angeles boats need replacing at the same time.
The new boats are bigger, way more complex and expensive than the old and they just cannot get up to the build rate required. What makes it worse is that the active fleet is in trouble due to the maintenance backlog. Boats tied up and unable to deploy because they didn’t invest in facilities for 20 odd years.

FOSTERSMAN
FOSTERSMAN (@guest_821876)
1 month ago

What are the realistic options here? *Astute batch 2? I’m guessing with the current build rate and long lead parts orders that this will probably be a decade out. *Dreadnought class extension? Currently in full rate build so isn’t entirely out of the question to say build a couple more and convert into a TLAM carrier. Probably the least probable as will be the most expensive route. *Aukus submarine? If they can set a single design this might turn out to be the most cost effective build but will be the longest to enter service. I’d like to see more… Read more »

Paul T
Paul T (@guest_821887)
1 month ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

There is no chance of an Astute Batch 2,Dreadnought and AUKUS/SSNR will use the new PWR3 Reactor,RR can’t build any more PWR2’s,and PWR3 won’t fit in the Astute Hull,it has to be a clean sheet design.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_821974)
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul T

Correct it’s impossible.

James Hogan
James Hogan (@guest_822510)
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul T

Can I ask why they can’t build any more PWR 2s please?

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_822531)
1 month ago
Reply to  James Hogan

PWR3 is much bigger reactor than PWR2 and to build it every single part of the 2 separate processes carried out on site have to be re designed, replaced or reengineered.
To do the change over took damn near 10 years of planning and several years to carry out and cost nearly £400 million.

You may as well ask the Aero side of RR to knock the factory down, bin the labs and test beds and start building Merlin’s again.

Mark B
Mark B (@guest_821893)
1 month ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

Sounds to me like the three countries will be pooling their skills so the next generation of boats won’t necessarily be the same but will be similar. There will be a committment somewhere to a minimum number. It is in everyone’s interest to have high quality kit defending as many oceans as possible.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_821982)
1 month ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

Oh good grief we do not and cannot build PWR2 reactors anymore ! So forget Astute the world has moved on. The future is Dreadnought followed by SSN(A) powered by PWR3 !

Dominic Davis-Foster
Dominic Davis-Foster (@guest_822090)
1 month ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Why not? Did all the people with the knowledge of how to build them get hit by a bus?

Bob
Bob (@guest_822102)
1 month ago

Safety has moved on, the design would no longer be approved for use.

DJ
DJ (@guest_822154)
1 month ago

There is a design flaw in the PWR2. It also has a shorter lifespan than the PWR3. Since the flaw is now recognised, they can work around it (mitigate the risk), but can’t make it go away. PWR3 does not have this flaw. Why would you want to build more of a faulty design (remember this is nuclear reactors we are talking about)?

TR
TR (@guest_822273)
1 month ago
Reply to  DJ

This does seem like something that’s going to come back to bite us.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_822349)
1 month ago

I can’t remember the No 73 AVIVA bus knocking down any of RR’s workforce as they get to and from Raynesway.
Just checked the Derby Evening Telegraph Archive, and nope no record of mad Bus Driver mowing down engineers, but lots of moans about the Potholes on the slip road 🤣

It’s just not possible nor advisable when your proposal would actually deliver an old Submarine design at later date and at a hugely higher cost then the far superior PWR3 ones that are already in build.

Jon
Jon (@guest_822382)
1 month ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Although it wasn’t a bus that did it, I’d expect buildings will have been knocked down, or at the very least gutted to make way for the facilities where PWR-3 is being built.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_822528)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jon

Correct and there is one part of the process that cannot be reconfigured due to the nature and mass of the material handling.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_822101)
1 month ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

It’s like a broken record over and over again mate….you’ve explained it enough times.

Jg2144
Jg2144 (@guest_821878)
1 month ago

I used to be involved in the operational side of things. We need to at least double the fleet and figure out how to staff them.

GR
GR (@guest_821879)
1 month ago

It takes at least 20 years to complete any major complex weapons program from concept to commission. If the got started now we wouldn’t be able to expand the fleet until well into the 2040s.

PaulW
PaulW (@guest_821895)
1 month ago

I’m a fan of bringing back conventional SSK subs. They are good for shallow water work in and around the North Sea and Baltics. They would also offer a career ladder for crews to climb. Prove themselves in a small electric boat first before promotion to SSN.

Hugo
Hugo (@guest_821901)
1 month ago
Reply to  PaulW

SSKs would be useful but we’re stretched on getting SSNs, let alone a whole different sub

Rob Young
Rob Young (@guest_821907)
1 month ago
Reply to  PaulW

Agreed.

Dahedd
Dahedd (@guest_821908)
1 month ago
Reply to  PaulW

Agreed. A fleet of say 5 or 6 SSK to patrol the North Sea, Baltic & GIUK gap. Frees up SSN to go further afield & is a great first step for crews & officers. Something like the Swedish Gotland class fits the bill.

Last edited 1 month ago by Dahedd
Roy
Roy (@guest_821928)
1 month ago
Reply to  Dahedd

There is no money for either new SSKs or additional SSNs. Even existing projects aren’t funded.

Labour will have a range of spending priorities outside of defence. There will simply be no money for and SSN (or SSK) buildup.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_821909)
1 month ago
Reply to  PaulW

There are 3 western powers that operate Nuclear boats (soon to be 4) all of them decided to not have any SSKs. It’s regarded as a complete waste of money as it reduces the budget available for the far more capable SSNs.
Which is why only 4 out of the intended 12 Upholders were built and then when the Cold War ended rapidly ditched.
NATO has lots of SSKs to work in shallow waters and we don’t need to duplicate that capability.

Jim
Jim (@guest_821972)
1 month ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Exactly, SSK’s are a total waste of time for the UK. Upholder made sense because we had to hold back hundreds of Soviet subs and could not build enough SSN’s.

Trevor G
Trevor G (@guest_822802)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim

Plus very quiet and therefore well suited to picket duty in the GIUK gap.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_822008)
1 month ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Personal estimate of 8-10 RN SSN(A) class, ultimately. Nine would provide the basis for three to be deployed on average: 1 NA, 1 Indo-Pacific, 1 (other theater commitments and special ops).

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_822351)
1 month ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Odd fact RN doesn’t like odd numbers, Historically the favourite number was 8 (Flotilla). So when you see us having odd numbers it’s usually down to a cut.
T45 went 12 down to 8 and then only 6.
T23 was 16, we sold 3 so need 13 replacements.
Astute was 12 down to 8 and only 7 ordered.
I’m going for 10 and a small increase in Frigates. But 10 years down the line.

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah (@guest_821906)
1 month ago

I think it is fairly certain in most strategists and military experts (professional and arm chair) minds that the defence budget needs to go North of 2.5% maybe even 3% perhaps for a period to re equip. With the twin competing theatres of the Pacific and the Atlantic we do not have enough to cover all our bases. Taiwan must not fall into Chinese hands, the repercussions to the world economy would be castrophic. Meanwhile Russia will continue to be a pain in the rear end and our undersea infrastructure is very vulberable. We just don’t have enough to cover… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_821910)
1 month ago

I hope so!
I choose an SSN over escorts every time.
One of our aces.

John
John (@guest_821932)
1 month ago

Too much common sense in that sentence.

Pete
Pete (@guest_821960)
1 month ago

Presumably varies with purpose and threat. SSN to deter an approaching surface fleet or SSN/SSK threat. Difficult for SSN to deter / defend against airborne threats. Balance, balance balance

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_822105)
1 month ago
Reply to  Pete

Yes, one needs escorts.
Although if those airborne threats have been negated up threat, so nearer to Russia’s back yard, they won’t be arriving in the first place.
I believe that is NATO doctrine.
An SSN, like a Carrier and it’s aircraft, is a sea denial asset in a way a frigate can never be.
Which is why I support having both over any number of Frigates.

Pete
Pete (@guest_822115)
1 month ago

Frigates I agree. AAW Destroyer to deal with fast incoming missiles is essential. Carrier aircraft can’t react quick enough..unless they happen to be airborne.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_822127)
1 month ago
Reply to  Pete

Yes, but I don’t mean aviation/sea denial just from an air defence perspective, I mean to project and dominate a wider area to deny it’s safe use. So ASM on our carrier aircraft, strike at range against shipping or land targets, with P8s as MPA, in conjunction with sub sea denial using SSN. All far more useful than a frigate. True, an escort can have TLAM, NSM types to also add another option. Sea denial, not sitting there waiting to be attacked like our Frigates at San Carlos. What I’m trying to say is, I’d rather have fewer escorts if… Read more »

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_821973)
1 month ago

I agree with you, but from what I can see the T26 gets about as close to an SSN for ASW as can possibly be achieved. They are a complete uplift in capability and as long as they have Merlin’s are a a very good substitute.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_822003)
1 month ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Perhaps that reality will eventually cause Uncle Sugar to an open recompete for a Batch 2 Constellation Class. Not probable, but not impossible. 🤞🤞

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_822004)
1 month ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

…to conduct an…🙄

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_822058)
1 month ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Morning mate. Yes, T26 is superb.
I learned v early that the best ASW asset is another sub. Our SSN should ideally be in the Barents and Norwegian sea doing just that, which I believe was their main cold war role until it went hot and the USN CBGs destroyed the aviation assets on the Kola.

Bill
Bill (@guest_821945)
1 month ago

‘Tight lipped’ ? Well, let’s have a wild stab shall we? No funding for further Astutes, that’s done. 4 Dreadnoughts……check. Any additions to 11 fleet subs in total? Highly unlikely. Too much previous with HMG and the MOD.

DeeBee
DeeBee (@guest_821948)
1 month ago

It really is time for the UK to scrap Trident, a super expensive weapon, designed for a superpower, which the UK is not, our conventional forces ( far more useful than Trident) have been cut to the bone due to the cost of us keeping such an unaffordable nuclear deterrent, the Billions saved by ditching Trident could be used by rebuilding our Tiny Army, air force & navy.

Hugo
Hugo (@guest_821950)
1 month ago
Reply to  DeeBee

Trident is the one thing that isn’t going to be scrapped so good luck with that. Seeing as were building the Dreadnought class it’s basically guaranteed for the next 20-30 years

Also, you can’t compare them in usefulness, they’re for completely different things. Trident is, and does prevent war with Nato.

Last edited 1 month ago by Hugo
DeeBee
DeeBee (@guest_821952)
1 month ago
Reply to  Hugo

Yes I’m aware that Trident is going to be scrapped ( more so the pity), you say that they can’t be compared in usefulness, I disagree, how useful was Britain being a nuclear armed power during the Falklands war? How useful were Nuke’s to the soveits during their war in Afghanistan/ Ukraine? To the USA during Vietnam?

DeeBee
DeeBee (@guest_821953)
1 month ago
Reply to  DeeBee

* Not

Hugo
Hugo (@guest_821956)
1 month ago
Reply to  DeeBee

Nukes are to deter wars of annihilation against powers like Russia and World wars. Even without trident, and increased conventional forces, that kind of conflict would be horrific in losses.
Yes that does come at the cost of smaller and regional conflicts. But there’s not much to be done about it.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_821976)
1 month ago
Reply to  DeeBee

Mmm the problem with that argument is that their invisible presence was in itself a deterrent. The Callaghan government deterred an earlier threat by just hinting (via the tabloid press) that there was a U.K. SSN sitting waiting their move,

DeeBee
DeeBee (@guest_821998)
1 month ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Didn’t deter the Argies though did it?

DJ
DJ (@guest_822158)
1 month ago
Reply to  DeeBee

Once the Belgrano went down, Argentine navy basically headed for port & stayed there. Sometimes a little demonstration is needed (in the case of boomers, just surfacing in an unexpected place is enough).

Frank62
Frank62 (@guest_822615)
1 month ago
Reply to  DJ

Some careful judicious against Russian forces occupying UKR might have stopped the invasion in its tracks or make both Russia & China scale back on their aggressions.
Backing off, cutting forces & leaving engaged/threatened nations starved of what they need works perfectly for Russia & China.

TR
TR (@guest_822275)
1 month ago
Reply to  DeeBee

Actually it did, not the strategic deterrent but an SSN was dispatched to the South Atlantic in 1977 in response to Argentinian preparations for an invasion, Argentina was warned it was there and would engage and they stood down (they also called off an invasion of Chille in 1979 after Chille put forces in place to oppose it) all of which makes it more surprising (sic) that Maggie cut HMS Endurance and didn’t respond to the Argentinian forces landing on the South Sandwich Islands prior to the invasion.

Jon
Jon (@guest_822404)
1 month ago
Reply to  DeeBee

Deterrence comes in two parts: capability and will. We signalled ahead of time that we didn’t want to defend the Falklands. Some said that was deliberate by the Foreign Office. If true, that casual belief it was okay to give up territory unsanctioned by the cabinet, caused a lot of unnecessary death.

From everything we heard about Gibraltar recently, I’m rather glad negotiations have been paused for now.

Enobob
Enobob (@guest_822479)
1 month ago
Reply to  DeeBee

In 1977 it did, yes.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_822007)
1 month ago
Reply to  DeeBee

Unilateral nuclear disarmament may not be the wisest possible course, given current geopolitical reality.

Jon
Jon (@guest_822407)
1 month ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Giving up capability creates its own geopolitical reality. Not many countries have given up their nuclear weapons. One is a vassal state of Russia, one has been invaded by Russia, and one walks on eggshells following the Russian troops that quelled dissent inside its borders a couple of years ago, and the distinctly unfavourable public impression of Russia post the Ukrainian invasion. Which of them, had they their time again, would give up their nukes unilaterally?

Jim
Jim (@guest_822037)
1 month ago
Reply to  DeeBee

And how would your army defend against a nuclear armed Russia.

Peter S
Peter S (@guest_822084)
1 month ago
Reply to  DeeBee

Trident is just about the most expensive way of having a credible nuclear deterrent. I am not convinced that is the only choice for the UK. Look how effective North Korea’s presumably basic nuclear capability is in ensuring it is not attacked. The arguments used to justify the replacement of the CASD with an even bigger and more expensive boat were wafer thin. Britain could deter a nuclear attack with a far less expensive land based system.
But simply abandoning any deterrent would be crazy.

DJ
DJ (@guest_822159)
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter S

UK is a relatively small country in geographical terms. A few nuclear hits & it’s gone. Even much larger France still has boomers. They have the land based systems you mentioned, but still consider it not enough.

The biggest threat to Comrade Kim is not SK, but NK.

Peter S
Peter S (@guest_822161)
1 month ago
Reply to  DJ

True, France has kept an air launched option but deleted its land based missiles.But we are relying on a single boat at sea to deter an attack from a country large enough to maybe run the risk of a counterattack. We would only retaliate after we have been hit, when the first aim of deterrence has already failed. A land based system would have to launch on warning. It is debatable which approach has the better deterrent effect.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_822200)
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter S

That warning may be false, like the Soviet 1983 incident.

TR
TR (@guest_822279)
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter S

Time of flight from Russia to the UK versus time to launch an ICBM makes land based “launch on warning” ineffective for the UK plus you’re assuming there is a warning and someone doesn’t just detonate a bomb from the back of a transit. The whole point of the SSBNs are that people can’t find them.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_822199)
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter S

A land based system, I assume you have a mobile one in mind, will be tracked by the 5th columnists/CND/Peace/SWP lot. Not too many places they can lose themselves compared to Russia.
If they only used MoD land to disperse, that narrows down their chances of getting taken out first.
I prefer the SSBN option, but yes hideously expensive.

TR
TR (@guest_822277)
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter S

How? Land based defence wasn’t an option in the 1960s, which is why Thor was retired and the Vulcans were technically plausible but it would have been close.

TR
TR (@guest_822274)
1 month ago
Reply to  DeeBee

Essentially Trident is the only thing guaranteeing that Russia doesn’t nuke us….

Coll
Coll (@guest_821955)
1 month ago

Is Canada joining? or has that been dismissed already?

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_821979)
1 month ago
Reply to  Coll

Sad fact is Canada and Defence are now 2 words that don’t coincide. And as a lot of of my Scottish family died as Canadians makes my heart bleed. 😞

Jim
Jim (@guest_822038)
1 month ago
Reply to  Coll

As of April Canada is actively considering joining AUKUS to buy subs.

Hugo
Hugo (@guest_822061)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim

Theyve also been talking to Korea and some others i think, so they could very much end up getting more SSKs

TR
TR (@guest_822280)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim

Last I heard Canadas subs hadn’t gone to sea in 2 years, that’s a lot of capability to build up…

Donaldson
Donaldson (@guest_822298)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim

Was this April 1st by chance?

John Fedup
John Fedup (@guest_822379)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim

Not a chance in hell of Canada getting AUKUS subs. Even SSKs will be a struggle to get funded. Tier 2 AUKUS membership might be an option once junior is gone.

Alabama Boy
Alabama Boy (@guest_821959)
1 month ago

A radical thought – our defence spending should
be sufficient to counter/deter the likely
threat.
 
There isn’t a right number 2% 2.5% 3.0%
—10%. of GDP. We don’t coordinate with our enemies to ensure they threaten us
only to the value of 2.5% of GDP.
 
We don’t put this arbitrary limit on Health
spending we give it what we can afford and it keeps expanding and demanding more
because the UK population is growing and through the success of the NHS people are living longer and demanding more complicated and expensive tratments..

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_822006)
1 month ago
Reply to  Alabama Boy

Virtually any increase in UK defence spending would be welcomed and appreciated by your NATO allies.

Jim
Jim (@guest_822040)
1 month ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

I’m guessing the reason the UK has made the 2.5% pledge is so the US and UK can both now push for 2.5% at the next NATO summit.

D.Roberts
D.Roberts (@guest_822077)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim

Poland is up to 4%. We need 3% minimum

Jon
Jon (@guest_821977)
1 month ago

Off Topic: Did my ears decieve me? Tories want mandatory National Service!

Hugo
Hugo (@guest_821991)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jon

I mean unless they can turn this crisis around, National Service will be required or the military will become non functional

Jon
Jon (@guest_822023)
1 month ago
Reply to  Hugo

You’d get a choice of a year in the armed forces, which is only of use if they can get people to sign up afterwards, or one weekend a month in emergency services/NHS. It would be a drain on the military to have a one year conscription without appropriate funding and a significant increase in the regulars/reservists to help train and wrangle. As always though, they don’t follow the idea though. This is for upcoming 18 year olds, ie those who don’t have a vote right now. If this was sensible for 18 year olds, why not for thirty year… Read more »

Paul T
Paul T (@guest_822041)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jon

Interesting idea but completely one for the Bird’s, think the Tories will come out with all sorts of ideas that they know they will not be in a position to implement.

D.Roberts
D.Roberts (@guest_822079)
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul T

Yup they will spew any old rubbish now until they are finally gone

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_821989)
1 month ago

And if there’s an increase, will there be any diesel subs in the mix? Could be good for coastal, North Sea and infrastructure patrols.

Hugo
Hugo (@guest_821992)
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Why would there be diesel subs in the mix. They’d be building more Aukus subs, no plans for conventional

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_821996)
1 month ago
Reply to  Hugo

I was thinking of BMT Vidar/SSGT type subs as a tier 2 type forces to complement the Astute’s and bulk up the sub fleet sooner and for more subs able to be at sea. More for coastal, regional, type patrols allowing the others to go further afield.

Jim
Jim (@guest_822042)
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

NATO has loads of SSK’s but no where near enough SSN’s

Hugo
Hugo (@guest_822060)
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

No i get that, but i dont think its anyhere in the plans, plus if we build more SSNs the design will get cheaper, rather than hoping onto a whole different design.

Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_822172)
1 month ago

I did read a very very interesting paper last week that is part of a set that has tracked the technology around nuclear submarines..and specifically the detection and counter detection technology race…the three papers boil down to: The 2030s will be the high point of counter detection technology over detection technology but by the 2050s the ocean will be essentially completely opaque and very specificity submarine based nuclear deterrents will be unable to hide…as detection technology will have moved away from sound based detection. Essentially they predicted that the new generation of nuclear ballistic missile subs would probably be the… Read more »

Oli G
Oli G (@guest_822187)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I think you mean the ocean would become transparent – as that means you can see clearly through it.

Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_822216)
1 month ago
Reply to  Oli G

Indeed I had a brain fart.

Jon
Jon (@guest_822412)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I’m tracking the same “nowhere to hide” paradigm.

The other side of the coin is the Digital Ocean: the idea that data can be passed anywhere from seabed to space with relative ease. The same technologies that allow undersea assets to be spotted also allow our own underwater assets to communicate.

Last edited 1 month ago by Jon
Bazza
Bazza (@guest_822552)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Counter point: The countries with the most advanced technology in this area, the US and China, are also heavily investing in submarines. So they obviously don’t think submarines will become useless any time soon.

Last edited 1 month ago by Bazza
Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_822630)
1 month ago
Reply to  Bazza

30 years is not soon, but from the point of view of the strategic deterrent it’s worth noting that on 30 years we may need have a different capability….SSNs will be less of an issue as that vast majority of nations will not have the new satellite based detection systems…but the major powers ( as in the key nuclear powers the deterrent is aimed at) possibly will…what is useful in this generation may well not be in a future one…always worth remembering.

David Owen
David Owen (@guest_822182)
1 month ago

More numbers will make a difference, nuclear power and some diesel electric/electric/hydrogen run subs that would be interesting, big nuke class international stuff ,diesel electric or alternative power as I have wrote could patrol our own waters and around the North Sea near to home waters ,I know with alternative power subs have a limited time at sea due to its power source but at least there would be a greater deterrent (ie guard dogs 🐕 😉)and creep up on the Russian bxxxxxds to send a very clear message to puppet putin ,WE ARE READY AND WAITING and send them… Read more »

TR
TR (@guest_822267)
1 month ago

Presumably there are the dreadnoughts to build then the Aukus boats, it’s going to be difficult to justify the UKs position in Aukus if they stop at 6 hunter-killers for the lifetime of the Astutes, personally think a return to 12 (another 6 of the aukus class) would be wise.

Will
Will (@guest_822359)
1 month ago

Would it be possible to build a number of SSKs for patrolling the North Atlantic and the Med to release more of the nuclear boats for patrolling further afield?

Geoffi
Geoffi (@guest_822918)
1 month ago

Personally I’d go for half-a-dozen off-the-shelf 212As to bolster the sub fleet strength in the relative short-term.

They could work closer to the UK coast for security and leave the SSNs for the deep sea missions

Last edited 1 month ago by Geoffi