Royal Navy warship collides with Russian nuclear submarine
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As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine threatens security around the world, and particularly in Europe, Britain is building a deterrent in the form of the Dreadnought submarines, which will be the largest submarine ever built for the Royal Navy. Rolls Royce and BAE Systems have been awarded contracts worth £2billion by the Ministry of Defence to replace the UK’s current Vanguard-class submarines with four new Dreadnoughts.
This third phase of the combined £30billion programme, which is described as the “most significant stage of the Dreadnought programme” is expected to deliver the first submarine for trials at sea by 2030.
Defence Procurement Minister, Jeremy Quin said: “The Dreadnought-class will be crucial to maintaining and safeguarding our national security, with the nuclear deterrent protecting every UK citizen from the most extreme threats, every minute of every day.”
This new spending on nuclear deterrence comes as Putin’s invasion of Ukraine raises fears of a nuclear conflict.
In yesterday’s Victory Day parade in Moscow, the Russian leader showcased his thermonuclear RS-24 Yars missile, which can travel at speeds of up to 24,500 kilometres per hour and reach London in minutes.
Britain has also bolstered its defences by awarding a £160m Dreadnought crew training contract to Raytheon UK, which will take place at HM Naval Base, Clyde.
Frances Tusa, an independent defence analyst, said that these contracts are a clear signal that the Royal Navy is confident in its nuclear deterrents.
The Telegraph reported him saying: “The fact that they are signing training contracts is important because it shows they know they are getting closer to the delivery of the boats.
“In the past, they’ve been faced with a situation where equipment is delivered and they actually don’t have any trained personnel.
“I would take that as a sign of confidence in the programme.
“They are trying to harmonise the training programme with the delivery of the boats.”
The dreadnought submarines have an impressive arsenal, including four torpedo tubes that can fire BAE’s Spearfish heavyweight torpedoes, which are considered to be one of the best heavyweight torpedoes deployed anywhere in the world.
The submarine also comes equipped with 12 ballistic missile tubes that act as the nuclear deterrent and can fire up to 12 Lockheed Trident II D-5 submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), each carrying eight warheads.
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The submarine will also use Rolls-Royce’s signature miniaturised nuclear reactors to power the vessel.
The Dreadnought rivals Moscow’s Borei class submarines, which is Russia’s fourth generation of nuclear-powered submarines that can carry 16 missiles at a time.
Putin has previously announced plans to deliver up to 10 Borei-class submarines by 2027, to be deployed by the Russian Navy.
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