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It is truly sobering to think that the submarine fleet awaiting disposal is twice the size of the RN’s active subs. Bloody sad.


Quantity does not equal quality. Our new boats are VASTLY superior to these old boats.


But can only be in one place at one time.


Facing a fraction of the Soviet fleet of the Cold war era
They had a total of 244 decommissioned nuke subs ( some sunk in Ocean)


And? A hull can only be in one place at any one time. Our flotilla is a fraction of that of the Cold War era FWIW. The Russian navy has what 12? SSN’s and 6 SSK’s in our region.


If you include our SSK force from the 80’s, we are probably running at about 30% of what we had available to us then. Quantity has a quality of its own.


Definitely need some ssks


Well, if we had the money it would be the most realistic best to increase numbers. Of course then we have the issue of where to build them! Like our WS production, HMG would no doubt like to keep it in country. Unfortunately we currently don’t have enough expertise spare to start this either.


Yes and UK had a defence budget that was 4% of GDP in that era too.


We have more Subs in storage than in service…sad state of affairs.


For Russia its over 200 decommissioned nuke submarines lying around
Thats the whole point no one has a Cold war sized navy anymore.


No they don’t, but both China and Russia are increasing their numbers, especially SSNs, while we in the West are only replacing the numbers we already have. Result is a net loss in actual units avail to the West to counter this increase.


Eat your heart out, another new class of SSK from PLA Navy, beside the 68 SSN and SSK already in service.

Last edited 2 years ago by Slimak

PLA Navy has now 350 ships and that is more than Cold War size.

Last edited 2 years ago by Slimak

Sorry for being impatient but how long until we see that promised article on the 57mm Bofors gun?


would like to say i was surprised about the can kicking…..but id be lying….. like everything else people only want to pay for things deemed useful….. its just inconvenient to spend money disposing of things that are no longer relevant…. just these days we can no longer solve the issue by just parking them somewhere noone will find and scuttle them…. 😉

Last edited 2 years ago by fearlesstunafish

Because it is a sensitive topic, the MOD decided to make the decisions about the process in Devonport accessible to the community. This prompted certain individuals of a CND persuasion to inveigle themselves in the committee with the openly stated purpose of slowing the process down so that it would make the Government think twice about commissioning further Nuclear Submarines.


Is it possible to convert any to museum ships or does the radioactive % of the subs mean that’s just not even an option?


Courageous is a museum, however only the Forward end is exhibited. Hope this helps…


They won’t let you near the kettle for a variety of reasons.


Would be great to see the insides of pieces of great Britain’s military subs like these. Should keep at least a few to place at a museum or something so people can visit & explore inside them. Or even just some pictures of them inside before they get turned to razer blades & put to waste!


Trenchant can’t be reactivated for the Aussies? If they’re serious about their own SSN fleet, they better take the lessons from the RN and start thinking of how they will dispose of their fleet. Maybe they can form an agreement where in exchange for dumping spent fuel/materials for both the RN and RAN in Australia, the UK will transfer the Talent and Triumph in short order.


I believe the idea is to send the reactor part back from whence it came. Australia is sort of leasing the reactor (thereby avoiding NPT). A sealed reactor with bomb grade fuel will be supplied, same sealed reactor will be returned at EOL. PWR2 reactor is no longer manufactured (too short a lifespan anyway). PWR3 won’t fit. So that really only leaves the S9G from the US, fitted to either Virginia block IV or Astute.

Either way, it’s likely a US problem (with invoice attached no doubt).


The T-boats are worn out.

Steven Alfred Rake

How about reactivating a few of the T boats for our selves even if we use them for the SF similar to the USN have converted a few of there SSBNs for SF delivery

Brett Mitchell

I think must be to considered very carefully.

HMS Trenchant is still a commissioned boat in the RN, albeit tied up and not active.

The hull was stress tested by an Arctic ice breaking surface in 2018. Last refit completed in 2016. She’s good to go to late 2030s. As long as there is either remaining nuclear fuel of course.

The RN should sell the 7th Astute, Agincourt to Australia, refuel HMS Trenchant (if even required), and start building two more Astutes; all the above, immediately.

John Hartley

Have we looked at the dots on the map still British? Thinking of South Georgia. No permanent residents to complain. The old whaling station an asbestos hazard already. Dig a nice big trench nearby. Put the reactor compartments in that. Declare that part of the island off limits, with the overwhelming bulk of the island a protected wildlife park.


I was wondering the same thing myself. UK is not the only country worried about nuclear waste (both military & civilian). There is money to be made for anyone that can come up with a secure out of the way location for such a facility. Yes, it will cost, but the more that sign up, the more affordable it becomes. Anyone stupid enough to go there & break in, deserves the consequences.

Harold Slach

The US shipyards have come a long way regarding disposal of subs. One key factor that greatly reduced costs was finding a smelter that would take much heavier pieces requiring less dismantling. Hull structure is even cut mechanically not with torches. With all the fuel removed storage is not as great a problem. The reactor is sealed like a tin can. This article mentions removing the steam generators. Why is that necessary? The US does not.

Graham Rogerson

If the UK were to build a salt reactor, no sure if Dunreay is still going, the the disposal of high level waste would be easier as these reactors reduce HLW to LLW

John Hartley

You have also got the Advanced Fuel Candu Reactor (AFCR) & the GE-Hitachi Prism.