Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has revealed the name of the third Dreadnought submarine as HMS Warspite during a visit to award a £235 million contract to support naval reactor plants.
The name Warspite goes back to 1595 and was the last ‘great ship’ to be built during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. Warspite has been carried by eight Royal Navy vessels. The last being the UK’s third nuclear submarine which operated for over 20 years at the height of the Cold War.
The Defence Secretary was at Rolls-Royce’s site in Raynesway, Derbyshire to announce a multi-million pound agreement with Rolls-Royce Submarines which will provide the support, advice and material required to ensure the continued safety and availability of nuclear power plant systems on board the current fleet of Trafalgar, Vanguard and Astute class submarines until 2022. The contract will sustain around 500 UK jobs.
The Defence Secretary said: “This year we mark half-a-century since British nuclear-armed submarines began patrolling waters around the world. This would not be possible without the skills and ingenuity of our industry partners who supply and maintain equipment, supporting almost every aspect of the operation.”
In December 2018, the Defence Secretary announced a £400m funding boost for the Dreadnought programme alongside a £25m BAE Systems Academy of Skills and Knowledge in Barrow that will upskill employees working on Royal Navy submarines. The continued progress of the £31bn Dreadnought programme ensures the UK’s nuclear deterrent at sea for decades to come.
The Dreadnought programme replaces the four Vanguard class submarines which have provided CASD since 1992 with four new cutting-edge vessels.