The second of the Royal Navy’s planned Dreadnought-class submarines has been named HMS Valiant, the Defence Secretary, Gavin Williamson, has revealed.
Speaking as he opened a new training academy at BAE Systems site in Barrow-in-Furness, Williamson also announced a £400m investment into the building of the new class of submarines. The funding helps to protect more than 8,000 jobs across the UK as well as at the Barrow site. Work on building the new submarines began in October 2016.
The £31bn Dreadnought and Trident programmes should see four new nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines built to replace those of the Vanguard-class, with the first of the new submarines, Dreadnought, expected to enter service in 2028. They will carry Trident missiles, continuing Britain’s continuous-at-sea policy of nuclear deterrence.
Each of the new submarines are planned to have names with ‘historical resonance’, and Valiant will be the seventh vessel of that name to serve with the Royal Navy. The name dates back to 1759, and has been used by a Queen Elizabeth-class battleship that served in both World Wars, as well as by the Royal Navy’s second ever nuclear-powered submarine – which entered service in 1966 and saw service during the Falkand’s conflict of 1982.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “Next year marks half-a-century since British nuclear-armed submarines began patrolling the waters in response to the danger posed by the Cold War – and the world is again facing a raft of intensifying threats… This £400m investment will ensure the Dreadnought programme remains on track, so we continue to have a nuclear deterrent at sea for decades to come”
He added: “Not only does today’s news see us safeguard 8,000 jobs right now, but I have also opened a brand new multi-million-pound facility to train Britain’s submarine engineers of the future.”
The Submarine Academy for Skills and Knowledge will help to develop the workforce completing the Dreadnought and Astute build programmes with with invaluable skills and training as the UK’s submarine building industry expands.