The Royal Navy has all its nuclear attack submarines docked

Thursday, November 30, 2023

The Royal Navy has all its nuclear attack submarines docked

Along with the French Navy, the Royal Navy is the only European fleet to have a nuclear attack submarine. These are, in this case, the last ship of the Trafalgar class, the HMS Triumph, and the five SSN of the Astute class, pending the delivery of the 6th unit, the HMS Agamemnon, expected for 2024 , then HMS Agincourt, in 2027.

Exceptional thing, and at least unexpected in these times of tension with Russia and its powerful submarine fleet, it seems, according to surveys carried out by independent observers, that the six ships are currently simultaneously docked on the naval bases HMNB Davenport and HMNB Falslane.

Although surprising, and undoubtedly temporary, this situation was nevertheless predictable. Indeed, the Royal Navy is simultaneously facing exceptionally long returns from deployment of some of its ships, as well as a certain saturation of its maintenance infrastructures.

The 6 Royal Navy SSNs docked at Davenport and Falslane

Thus, HMS Audacious recently returned to Davenport following a 403-day deployment in the Mediterranean Sea, just a few weeks before the return of HMS Triumph, after a mission of more than three months, probably in the same theater.

The Royal Navy has its 5 Astute at dock
The 5 Astute of the Royal Navy are today docked at Davenport and Falslane.

However, the maintenance infrastructures necessary to rehabilitate these ships are already in demand by other vessels, forcing the two submarines to wait at the dock while waiting for a place to become available.

The situation of the 4 Astute based in Falslane is more confused, but just as disturbing. Indeed, HMS Astute has returned from another very long-duration mission between 2021 and 2022, HMS Astute appears to have remained docked for several months, with the exception of a brief outing in July.

The other three ships, for their part, seem to have been inactive for several months (HMS Ambush and HMS Artful), while HMS Anson, the most recent, is not yet ready to put to sea.

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Fabrice Wolf
Fabrice Wolf
A former French naval aeronautics pilot, Fabrice is the editor and main author of the site. His areas of expertise are military aeronautics, defense economics, air and submarine warfare, and Akita inu.

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