UK begins funding and developing new Successor nuclear submarine for planned 2028 delivery

The UK Ministry of Defense is set to give manufacturers of the Royal Navy’s next nuclear submarine class $1.32 billion for early development funds for the program

The funds for Rolls Royce and BAE Systems is the first tranche of funding of a planned $40 billion following the House of Commons validation of the U.K.’s Trident nuclear deterrent in mid-July.

“So far [$5.2 billion] has been spent. Industry sources said the new round of funding would be used for continued design work and to order components that take a while to manufacture,” wrote the paper.

The Successor boomer – the first set to deliver to the Royal Navy in 2028 – will field Trident II D-5 ballistic missiles with domestic warheads and replace the four Vanguard boats currently in service.

The Successor boats are being built in conjunction with the U.S. Ohio Replacement Program – set to be called the Columbia-class USNI News reported last week.

he Successor-class is a proposed replacement for the Vanguard-class of ballistic missile submarines which entered service in the United Kingdom in the 1990s with an intended service life of 25 years. They will carry Trident D-5 missiles – the vehicle for delivering the UK’s nuclear weapons

Since the Strategic Defence Review, the UK has maintained a stockpile of around 200 warheads. In a policy known as “Continuous at Sea Deterrence”, at least one Vanguard class SSBN (nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine) is kept on patrol with up to 16 Trident missiles sharing up to 48 warheads from the stockpile at any given time. The SDR considered this was the minimum number of warheads adequate for deterrence. It is collectively known as the Trident system.

SOURCES -USNI, Wikipedia