Entire UK submarine fleet to be based in Scotland

UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon beginning construction of the Royal Navy's Dreadnought nuclear submarine at Barrow in November. Photo: Crown Copyright

All eleven Royal Navy submarines will be based at HMNB Clyde in Scotland from 2020, UK defense secretary Michael Fallon has announced.

In addition to this, the UK is also investing near £4 million in the building of a single UK hub for Royal Navy’s submarine service at HMNB Clyde.

HM Treasury this week approved the Initial Gate Business Case for the new submarine school to be built at Scotland’s largest military establishment this week. Final design approval is expected soon, which will allow work to begin later this year.

The new schools will provide academic and technical training for all Royal Naval personnel entering the submarine service from 2022. It is an important step for both the Royal Navy and Scotland as it means all submariners’ careers, whether afloat or ashore, will be principally conducted from Faslane as part of a £1.3 billion investment in making the Clyde Britain’s submarine hub.

With all of the Royal Navy submarines based at HMNB Clyde from 2020, 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.

“Our new single integrated operating base will make significant improvements to the work-life balance of our 5,000 submariners, head of the submarinesService, Rear Admiral John Weale said.

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.

Key milestones in the development of a Submarine Centre of specialisation at HM Naval Base Clyde include:

Arrivals of the last four Astute class submarines on the Clyde due to be commissioned into the Royal Navy between 2018 and 2024 (eventually replacing the Trafalgar class).

The move of the last two Trafalgar class submarines, HM Submarines Talent and Triumph, to the Clyde in 2019 and 2020 from Devonport (Plymouth). On current plans, the end of service date for Talent is 2021 and for Triumph is 2022.

The move of the Submarine Escape Rescue Abandonment and Survivability Training capability from Hampshire to the Clyde by 2019.

A new Nuclear Support Hub, providing modern standard effluent disposal by 2020 which will remain compliant with Scottish and UK environmental standards.

The Faslane Nuclear Infrastructure Continuous Availability Programme to replace or refurbish Nuclear Facilities by 2024.

The four Dreadnought nuclear deterrent submarines will start to arrive at Faslane from the early 2030s (replacing the Vanguard-class boats).

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