Work has started at the BAE Systems shipyard in Barrow-in-Furness as part of a £300m investment in preparation for the UK’s next generation of Trident missile carrying nuclear submarines.

Prime Minister David Cameron had previously confirmed that Britain will order four new Successor nuclear submarines to replace the Vanguard class vessels currently in use.

The work begins at the Central Yard Complex and is the first step of the site’s redevelopment which will be ready for use by the end of 2017.

Project manager Phil Aspden said:

“The commencement of the Central Yard Complex work is the culmination of three years’ planning and preparation. It marks a milestone as the first major development on the site in many years.

The 10-strong BAE Systems project team, who all have roots in the local area, are committed to delivering a building which will secure submarine boat building capability in the yard for the next 25 years and beyond. The Central Yard Complex is the first major development within the shipyard as part of the eight-year site redevelopment programme.”

Trident carrying Successor is now in the detailed design stage and it is expected to begin delivery in 2028. It is expected to be the most technologically advanced submarine in the history of the Royal Navy, the name of the class has not yet been revealed.

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Craig Gibson

I know there designed solely for the nuclear deterrent but it’s a shame they couldn’t be multi role seeing as we’ve got so few subs!

Damian Ross

I agree, I don’t understand why they can’t…could convert all our subs to be multi role surely make more sense

Chris Power

Didn’t the USN convert some of the Ohio SSBN’s to Tomahawk carriers?

Sandy Buchanan

?

UK Defence Journal

Hi Sandy, how can we help?

Sandy Buchanan

The Government intends to order the subs, but the Trident replacement hasn’t been debated through parliament yet. Is this a bit premature ?

UK Defence Journal

I wouldn’t say so, the government have a majority and as such wouldn’t have an issue given the projected support for the system among MP’s if there was to be a vote. It should be noted however that they are under no legal or constitutional obligation to debate the replacement, let alone hold a vote.

Sandy Buchanan

Personally I see it as an obscene waste of money. I would also consider it undemocratic if the government did not debate the replacement

Damian Ross

It’s needed. Imagine one day if Russia or China decide to attack us. Our defence is already fairly small in comparison to what they could attack with. Nuclear deterrent is definitely not a waste of money especially given how unstable the world seems at the moment. One can only hope we never need to use it l.

UK Defence Journal

They’ll debate it, it’s not necessary to do so though.

James Gale

What price freedom? Personally we should invest in carrying a big stick but walking softly

J.Higgins

I agree with you James. I think that’s what we try and do. If you want peace prepare for war…

Sandy Buchanan

And why would Russia or China attack us ?

david southern

You can apply that logic to any major conflict and you’ll have your answer. Russia under Putin is a dangerous place which is prepared to push around anyone who is weak enough not to fight back.

Richy Joyce

I’d rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

Damian Ross

It’s needed. Doesn’t mean we need to ever use it hopefully but stops any countries wanting to attack us

Sandy Buchanan

If we have to use these they’ve not been much of a deterrent. And everyone on the planet would be dead anyway.

UK Defence Journal

Well, that’s kind of the point isn’t it? To stop that kind of thing.

Sandy Buchanan

No, because having the weapons in the first place increases the risk of using them.

Chris Opie

I’d rather we hit back hard, it is a deterrent and I don’t know how you can’t say it isn’t

Sandy Buchanan

Because if we use it it hasn’t worked as a deterrent. It also didn’t stop Argentina invading British territory did it.

Chris Opie

We kicked their arses though?

Sandy Buchanan

So wasn’t a deterrent ?

UK Defence Journal

Sandy, nuclear deterrents exist to deter nuclear aggression not conventional conflicts.

UK Defence Journal

Indeed, what would have stopped Argentina according to their naval commander after the was the Ark Royal, gunboat diplomacy is one of the reasons the new Queen Elizabeth class may come in handy in that respect.

Sandy Buchanan

So even with Trident we are at risk from a conventional Russian or Chinese attack ?

Sandy Buchanan

The only country to have used nuclear aggression is America. Perhaps we should be deterring them ?

david southern

Why would the US want to attack the UK? We hold similar values and have a long relationship based on trust. We do not have that trust with China and Russia. China at least is stable; Russia is not!

UK Defence Journal

I’m not sure why the “even” qualifier is necessary, no one has ever said the system is designed to deter conventional conflict. I will point out too that those nations do not have the power projection capability to launch an effective conventional assault against the UK.

Chris Opie

Damn right they don’t

UK Defence Journal

Sandy, was that a serious question? We both know that the global proliferation of the weapons doesn’t boil down to who used them first, I sincerely hope you’re joking.

Sandy Buchanan

The point is, why do we need them ? Our ‘perceived’ enemy is who ? It is fact that the only country to aggressively use nuclear weapons is America. The idea that nuclear weapons make us ‘safe’ is incredibly naive

J.Higgins

The U.S. did use them first yes. The reasons why have been debated long and hard ever since. I hold it that when a c-in-c weighs up his options his own casualties must be accounted for in terms of deciding when how or where. The decision was taken. Since then, apart from testing no one, including the Americans, having seen the results of the first miniscule (by todays terms) atom bomb, have decided to go again. Then though we lived in a world where the nuclear club all played basically by the same rules. Even the Soviets. Today the world… Read more »

UK Defence Journal

On the contrary, the concept of Mutually Assured Destruction is a sound strategic concept with decades of proof and case studies. Many of our team, including myself the social media manager, don’t back renewal but to deny their strategic use is dishonest.

Chris Moss

Be cheaper to deliver a nuclear response by DHL and build a decent fleet for the threats that already exist.IMHO

Ben Mahon

Hahaha ?

Eileen Lewis

I believe we should have more of these, they are a deterrent imo, and we should not be short in coming to use them when required. Also, would make people think twice about launching an attack on UK if we do have a decent and effective military. All of our stocks should be built up with the latest equipment instead of things coming through on UOR’s when the shit hits the fan. Defence equipment doesn’t just grow on trees

andy hutchinson

i am not a fan of nuclear weapons….but we live in a world where other countries have or are looking at nuclear power…it,s only right we keep ours,heaven forbid north korea grows some nuts and does what it,s been shouting about because i don,t think for one minute they would go conventional they would push the button,plus you have russia flexing it,s muscles i don,t think they would use them but god knows what goes on in putins mind…

Neil Marsden

What constitutes a ‘multi role’ submarine in your opinion? As both the SSBNs and SSNs have an ASW and Land Attack capability albeit on a different scale, it is after all a question of scale, an SSBN by necessity is over twice the size of an SSN to accommodate the weapon system, it must also operate submerged for its entire patrol, whereas the SSN can do this but the duration and nature of their deployments differ considerably, including port visits to replenish supplies and to allow personnel some down time. The purpose of the SSBN precludes this.

Rosie Macaulay

Do you think they will finish building them on time.

Jean Webb

I do agree with you there David.

Jean Webb

Might need them, the way things are going.

David L Thomas

I more concerned about internal or home grown terrorists than Russia.

J.Higgins

You’re telling me…

David L Thomas

Nice looking Submarin and means business.

Tim Gilroy

Sandy,
Can you assure me that Saddam did not fear a limited retaliation in the first gulf conflict if he used his chemical weapons. Recall please he WOULD use them, people tend to think others think in a similar manner to themselves. Additionally our own forces recovered Kuwait in the knowledge we had the capability to deter him. So in essence Trident WAS used. As it IS used every day.