U.K. to Relocate Two Attack Boats to Scotland by 2020

December 1, 2014 9:54 AM
Trafalgar-class attack submarine HMS Triumph, glides into HM Naval Base Clyde. Royal Navy Photo
Trafalgar-class attack submarine HMS Triumph, glides into HM Naval Base Clyde. Royal Navy Photo

The U.K. Royal Navy plans to relocate two Trafalgar-class nuclear attack boats (SSN) from the Southern England to the service’s primary submarine base in Scotland, the U.K. Ministry of Defense (MoD) announced last week.

HMS Talent and HMS Triumph will move from Her Majesty’s Naval Base Devonport near Plymouth to HMNB Clyde outside of Glasgow by 2020, according to the announcement.

The two older Trafalgar-class boats — HMS Torbay and HMS Trenchant — will remain in Devonport and decommission in 2017 and in 2019.

The moves of Talent and Triumph will make HMNB Clyde — comprised of the Faslane submarine base and the Naval Armaments Depot at Coulport — the Royal Navy’s sole submarine base by the start of the next decade.

“Our commitment to Faslane becoming home to all Royal Navy submarines from 2020 will bring hundreds of jobs and investment to the West of Scotland,” according to the statement.
“There is no change to the decision to make HMNB Clyde the single integrated submarine operating base and submarine center of specialization by 2020.”

The 5,800-ton Trafalgar boats are planned to be replaced by seven larger 7,400-ton Astute-class SSNs. Two — Astute and Ambush — have already entered the fleet and are based in Faslane.

Earlier this year, the question of U.K.’s submarine basing was in doubt due to the referendum for Scottish independence.

There’s a popular movement in the region to evict nuclear warheads and submarines from Clyde that has persisted following the failed vote to make Scotland an independent country.

Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone is the editor of USNI News. He has covered legislation, acquisition and operations for the Sea Services since 2009 and spent time underway with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Navy.
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