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Such a shame we are not getting 12 A-boats. I could find work for 16 on a 4 for 1 basis….

We shall see what the submariners can get out of them availability wise.


Make’s me feel proud that despite the “woke” World that we live in we are beginning to take a stand once again as independant nation



Craig M

Woke world! What are you blathering about?


Wake up dog, soon you’ll be surrounded and won’t have a clue what hit you.

Craig M

I’ll go back to my first response to you. What are you blathering about?


Yes, it makes me revisit my thinking of the UK well done.

Lionel messias

Good for u. Ignore that idiot please


As i commented on UKDJ the other day it’d be interesting to know how many SSN’s the RN have at sea on a good day. It can’t be more than 2 or 3. Once all 7 Astute’s are in service I imagine availability will rise a little but such a small fleet will still leave very slim pickings for the level of operations the RN is increasingly undertaking globally.

An educated guess would be that on a normal basis there’s 1 to support CASD and monitor Russian movements close to home, 1 to shadow the CSG / act as the TLAM boat East of Suez…..and that’s about it!


Submarines are very complicated. Four for one is optimal. The RAN with their 6 Oberons managed three for one but they were pushing it with a much simpler platform. We will probably have something between a high one point something to high two point something! But you can’t deploy point of something. Then there is a question of depth. Let us say their is heightened tension in the Indian Ocean do we have the units to rotate through. And if this is stand off with China and Russia what about Atlantic (both end!) Who knows? SSN’s are global platforms. If your only SSN in the Indian Ocean has to go to a base for a repair you can’t have another there in an instant. That’s why not replacing Diligence is the height of stupidity. That’s why not declaring to replace Scott is the height of stupidity. Once T26 is in service I suppose they will be firing TLAMs as you can’t have you ASW cover scurrying off even at their high speed. As I said I can see work for 4 (4 for 1 with 16 hulls).

Last edited 1 year ago by X

Would the deployment rate increase if there was complete spare crew for the existing boats as a group. Not the same as the old days of ‘blue and gold’ crews for each SSBN, which shows what could be done if the energy and funding was applied to a simple problem


You are going to get 6 months approximately. Remember when one bomber is alongside for 10 to 12 weeks there is another one at sea. Then there is self-refit for 4 to 6 weeks and then the next crew goes to sea. That way the sailor is at sea for 6 months per year. The SSBN’s are babied. Compare with HMS Tireless that was away for 10 months. Trickle drafting must have meant that crew was changed partially. They are complex machines operating in a hostile environment that is very arduous on the crew.


Thats why I raised the complete ‘spare crew’ idea to increase the time both boat is deployed and crew has at home. Clearly theres always more bodies in submarine service than places on the boats, but often its the people who ready and trained for sea service and have done their shore posting rotation.
One thing thats cropped up elsewhere is how well fitted the russian subs are for their shared crew cabins, its almost at standard of a surface ship. My first reaction is at those Kola submarine bases its so basic facilities and remote that the crew live on board while they are in port- which is often. Only for shipyard visits or home leave do they go elsewhere ….maybe others have views ?


The RN Submarine bases, especially Faslane are basically spare crew facilities to answer your question. So are most US Navy Submarine bases although they have several that are solely dedicated to refit and training.

Trevor H

How many submarines do the French have. They are an ally… They have work to do in concert to us, and NATO. Is there a French version of Navy Lookout where little Gallic people are demanding 16 nuclear submarines?
America is our ally, how many nuclear submarines do they have.

And tell us how many attack nuclear submarines Russia has that oppose NATO?


You look it up. Yawn.


You beat me to it. 👍


I have never known a site plagued with stupid trolls like this one whose ignorance is only match by their arrogance and ill mannered behaviour in its greatness.

captain p wash

Try the UKDJ…………. lots of trolling on there mate. Multiple accounts too.


I got banned from UKDJ a few months ago for talking about Holocaust with someone… now there’s someone else called Cam…


Ah. So that’s not you back on there then mate – good to know!


At the very least getting the once hoped for 8 Astute’s would have provided 2 active boats continuously with a bit more give in the regeneration cycle to enable another to be hurriedly deployed in an emergency.

That ship has long sailed and whilst a few conventional subs would be lovely the money clearly isn’t there without a serious increase in defence spending or the scrapping of some other major capability. Plus there’s no capacity now to build anything other than the Dreadnoughts at Barrow for the next 15 or more years so they’d have to be purchased off the shelf which would be controversial.

Best that can be hoped for now is that the autonomous Manta demonstrater bares fruit and the RN can get a few for some of the more routine surveillance tasks closer to home.


To be honest we are lucky we got boat 7.


7 Astute in fleet should be enough to keep at least 2 active, unless unfortunate enough to have a very serious problem with two boats at the same time.

There are four SSBN to allow 3 for 1 on a guaranteed basis, the fourth boat is a spare in case a boat gets damaged or delayed in refit, as Vanguard has.

So if you have 7 Astute that’s still 6 for 2 active plus one spare. Don’t see that you need two spares?

That’s my understanding anyway.


A rough guide is not 1 hull for 4 friend. I served on Oberons and that platform was 50% in refit (full cycle or other) and 50% capable of sea duties. The US Navy quote 50/50 for their SSNs and Boomers as well. Not 25% operational and 75% in refit as you claim. In any event in a conflict situation at sea nuclear submarines have about 3 to 1 advantage over surface assets. Even the technologically inferior Russian and CCP submarines would wreak havoc on surface assets.

Trevor H

Yawn. Why not 24?

Supportive Bloke

I would be surprised if the Astute replacement program wasn’t more like 12 units.

Given that the penny appears to have dropped re drum beat with HMG as well as unit costs of a program are largely around unit #1……

But there again who knows what underwater warfare will look like when Astute reaches OOSD.


Reality is each replacement cycle the numbers ‘drop’, To do that sort of program would require a launch every 18 months or so. They are down to one every 4 years ?
Money is going into ULUV and those are the ‘SSK around coastal waters’ people talk about


This shouldn’t be big news, this should be business as usual.


Surprised we don’t buy 3 -5 Aip subs off the shelf to use locally in the Atlantic. A couple one in the med and another in the gulf to free up astutes to look after the CSG and further afield duties.

Last edited 1 year ago by Teves

Another example of people living in the ‘glorious past’, the reality is in late 70s the % of GDP for Defence was just over 4.5% and NHS was almost 5% . Now the NHS is over 10% and Defence is 2% ( more likely under without creative accounting).
Indeed the Conservative party came to power and cut even the numbers from that of early 2000 decade


No spending 6 bill on 2 oversize carriers not to mention the over priced opv’s and the type 26 are mis management of funds as is all the cancelled projects. If they sorted out the financies they could easily afford additional hulls. Our minimum GDP should be 3% on defence if we want to be taken seriously.


The defence budget is already second only to the USA in NATO. Does that mean we shouldn’t take any NATO military, bar the USA’s, seriously?


It’s always about what your strategical requirements and goals are. And UK trying to play global power with barely assets is bold…


Said it before & I’ll say it again:
1) We need to decide what we want to be (bit player & just defend home or “Global Britain” or anything in between)
2) then we need to get better value for money (compare the assets and forces we get for our budget against most developed nations – e.g. Japan – for less) by sorting procurement & management out,
3) then get a grip and pay for it (if that’s 2%, cool. If 3% so be it).

As for increased hull numbers for subs, I think we need them. And Teves may be right; AIP may be a possible solution for shorter term increase & should be explored to see if it could be a cost effective solution. We’d need to answer “1)” first though…


I have never understood the complexity is costing defence to be honest. You need a scale of equipment, you need so many personnel to man it, you need so much to exercise it and train it, you need so much in depth to keep it deployed for so long. And so on.

To me there is too much political whataboutary. Take for instance 40mm CTAS, why didn’t we just buy something off Bofors? Or somebody else? Why? Politics. Same with all this talk of exporting frigates, for what we are making it matters not a jot. Why are we doing it? Politics. And so on.


Some years back there was a Ch 4 or 5 documentary series about a T class sub; tv crew aboard through the Med, the Canal, but then offloaded due to secret tasking. I remember the boat had great difficulty with heat stress on the crew, as the A/C etc systems were not up to warm water ops ie system design, rather than breakdown. I do hope that lessons learnt from such experiences have been addressed properly in the Astute class.

Paul barker

Rule britania , we may have a smaller navy but by God the punch is mighty and i think anyone who think they could take us on would live to rule day , i know we need to project our sea power , we made a mistake with not having a proper strong naval force taking on the argies in the falklands we won from the sheer proffessionalism of all our forces and the bravery of our pilots in the task force
Regarding the A submarines we need more it unerves potential averseries wondering where they are at any one time , im not a navy man but i use to think when the labour party were in charge i was in despair when our navy was cut the bone m but to see our aircraft carriers and ships and the A subs makes me proud of our royal navy and its men and women serving their country with pride


Your words…

“… anyone who think they could take us on would live to RULE day, ”

Hopefully, not Freudian and not apposite given our pitiful numbers.

Just finished reading Harrier 809 and he references the THREE subs that were in the Atlantic and another going to the Arctic to take on a Russian tasking… the future lies in our history but, do we learn the lessons?

Supportive Bloke

Three nuclear subs plus a couple of O class were in theatre.

Less complex subs though and given the war footing anything that floated and worked was sent.

In an emergency, rules change, I’m sure we could generate 4 subs and a boomer could always be tasked with sitting and listening in deep water – they are good at that.


A couple of O boats?

Supportive Bloke

Sorry I got that wrong. My bad.

Only one O boat.

HMS Onyx was there for sure: plus 4 to 5 nuclear subs depending on when.


Think you may be mis-informed about the actual numbers down there at the time.


there is no doubt in my mind that the astute are far more lethal than the carrier, and for me the uk should have at least 10 if not 14 of this fantastic assets.

I know money is tight, but the technology within these is now planned to make a key contribution to the UK’s energy generation mix as RR as looking to create 25+ small nuclear power stations using what I assume is this technology.

going forward I see salt Matrox reactors being used on our subs, perhaps that is for the next batch..

Nigel Collins

“There is no doubt in my mind that the astute are far more lethal than the carrier, and for me, the UK should have at least 10 if not 14 of these fantastic assets.”

Agreed, Australia is planning to build twelve 4,500-tonne Attack-class submarines.

Last edited 1 year ago by Nigel Collins

I hope they get their problems sorted. I think they will end up with 8 not 12 because of the mess they are in. Should have bought Japanese and let the Japanese build them.


From a post I made earlier this year:

Let’s look at SSNs from other navies around the world, not including the USA because let’s face facts. Their budget is so much higher, so we would never be able to compete on numbers 

France – 2 classes. 4 are from the Rubis Class sub which first entered service almost 40 years ago. 1 is from a new class, Barracuda of which 6 are planned.

China – Difficult to assess, but according to the IISS, they have up to 9, some of which would be SSGNs.

Russia – Again difficult to assess due to maintenance and availability issues. Akulas, 4 active – 6 on modernisation. However, there is a question mark as to how many of these will see service with the Russian Navy and how many will be leased to India. 2 Serria class subs and 2 Victor class.

India 1 Akula class sub leased from Russia, with a deal to lease another Akula in place by 2025

I’m more than happy to hold my hands up and admit that this was put together after a quick trawl through the internet, so they might not be the exact numbers. However, they do show that Royal Navy can more than match it’s peers in terms of numbers and quality.


That doesn’t take into account that China, Russia and India also operate SSK’s and how many SSN’s they are building and planning to have in service.


Your numbers are wrong for Russia. Looks like you only included the Northern Fleet.

As Challenger says, you’re also ignoring SSK’s & future SSN numbers. I get that your going for an apples to apples comparison with SSN’s, but you can’t ignore the utility and danger an SSK brings – especially the modern ones.

I prefer to think of things as ‘what do we want/need?’ rather than ‘what have they got?’ & to answer that, you have to ask ‘what do we want to be in the world?’. If we just want to defend home waters as part of NATO, then 6 could do it. If we want to project power, protect the carriers, influence events & maintain an active presence globally…. numbers matter.


We need to get TLAM’s into VLS cells on T26 and a long range ASM onto F35’s to release the SSN’s to focus on the ASW mission which they can fo better than any other platform


I’d “thumbs up” but we can;t anymore so – I agree! Get them on T45 if we can too.
Free the SSN! 🙂


Would be cool if we could get some smaller cheaper Aboats..about 7 again for home waters and possibly forward based to gib, falklands ect.


At the latest published costs, we could have 4/5 additional Astutes for the price of one Dreadnought. The SSBNs have one purpose- deterrence. But they didn’t deter Argentina. On the other hand, a couple of torpedoes from Conqueror completely neutralised the Argentine navy.
I am aware of the official line that to guarantee CASD we need 4 boats. But looking at deterrence in its widest sense, would UK be better off with 4/5 more Astutes, with weapons we might use, than committing to 4 Dreadnoughts on the off chance 3 are out of action at the same time?


CASD wasn’t meant to deter acts like the Falklands. It was at the time contributing to deterring the USSR; well more contributing to the balance of power or terror depending on your point of view.

In theory there are two V-boats available. One will be on patrol. One will be alongside in self-refit. But one will be working up (two crews) or more complex repair. And one will be in deep refit.

We are now re-entering a period where the international system will be once again become bi-polar. Perhaps we need CASD now once again? It is the only system we have that does what it says on the tin and actually came in under budget.

I am not sure how you arrive at 5 Astutes. It seems many here just pluck numbers out of the air when it comes to procurement. As described above there has to be so many hulls to guarantee one deployed for front line units. And also there has to be consideration for crew training and resting. We will end up with 7 Astutes by accident and by interference from politicians not good sense. Ideally we needed 8.

Astute should have been built with VLS from the get go. The main platforms for a ‘day one bombardment’ should be surface ships mostly due to the number of missiles that would be needed. But being able to launch missiles from submarines is be useful too for many reasons. Plus without the hassle of moving them around the torpedo room…….


I agree the CASDs main purpose was to deter nuclear attack. It still is, though,interestingly, the current government has refused to commit to a no first use strategy. The USN has 14 SSBNs and manages to keep at least 8 at sea at any one time. Do we really need 4 to maintain CASD?
The costs I used were from published sources not plucked out of the air. The relative acquisition cost of SSBN and SSN seems similar for the USA.


Originally the RN wanted 5 R-boats to ensure 1 was deployed. Look at the problems with Vanguard. Ohio deployment figures mean a boat in service is roughly at sea 50% of the time which is roughly the same as Vanguards. Also consider there is work up and trials and then there is being on patrol. The USN has more resources to throw at turnarounds too.

The numbers I was referring to were hull numbers not costs.

Deterrent can and is achieved without first use as we see day in day out.

There are lots and lots of papers written on deterrence and they do tend to the hypothetical.

All I have seen with S-boats, T-boats, German SSK’s, Dutch SSK’s, and museum boats are very complicated machines which technology aren’t making simpler.

Last edited 1 year ago by X
john kennedy

World class


I shake my head at the thought that at some point, Australia may have a larger attack submarine force than the UK. While I don’t think they’ll end up with the 12 desired assets, even 8 would be significant.

I do think there is an opportunity for AIP-equipped submarines to complement the SSNs, and think that the RN should seriously consider that, both for more localized operations, but also to increase the number of units on patrol at any one time. Consider it a high-low mix with industrial benefits.

Last edited 1 year ago by DaSaint

Numbers wise we are at parity with the Australia now. Capability wise they are poles apart, but to be fair it’s horses for courses where propulsion systems are concerned. Australia have decided not to go down the Nuclear route, where perhaps geography and distance probably means that it would have been a better option for them!
The increase A class SSN numbers ship has long sailed, adding mass now to the UK SM flt could only be accomplished via a buy of SSKs, personally, I would have some 5/6 SSKs to supplement our A boats (Soryu/A26 is my preferred choice). Unfortunately it’s not going to happen whether or not we all might think it’s a good idea.


US prevented Canada from getting nuclear boats , either french or british back in 60s-70s ? when a chief of navy was seriously looking at it. Some would say the USN didnt want a near peer knowing what they are doing in the Arctic region but may have been more complex than that, but theres a bit of mythology in Canada about US killing off its favoured defence projects


Have to admit that’s something new to me. We operate with the US all over the place, including the Arctic, we are all part of ‘5 eyes’ projects, so imagine it might well be something else! Have to admit though that the US comes across very protectionist WRT defense equipment et al !!!


I’m not with you here , your protectionist comment is at odds with the5 eyes mantra.


They probably need both far more than we do (apart from training for us).

They need SSN for the Indian Ocean and the Pacific. And conventional boats for the maze of islands to their north.

I think they will get 8 somethings.


Well, however many they eventually get, they will be SSKs. I imagine they will probably get the cluster that is their replacement programme sorted. Agree with you, they should have gone with the Japanese option when they had the chance, believe they had a good hard look at it. Not sure why it didn’t go ahead, only they would probably have had one close to completion by now if the had. Politics I assume!!!


South Australia is a critical state for the current government, so they need this more than the French

EDGAR Baumanis


John Dawkins

The modern SSN is the true ‘battleship’ of today. It carries out most of the roles of its surface predecessor, but with a much longer, more lethal reach.

Last edited 1 year ago by John Dawkins

As an ex-submariner I can categorically state that a submerged RN SSN is the most lethal silent ship killer and asset any strike group can have. The CCP would also know this. Also the most obvious ports aside from US territories for HMS/M Astute to reprovision would be Australia, especially Darwin and and HMAS Stirling in Perth Western Australia.