According to the Royal Navy website:
“The Astute-class are the largest, most advanced and most powerful attack submarines ever operated by the Royal Navy…”
The fleet was planned to comprise of seven nuclear-powered submarines, seen as fundamental to maintaining the safety of the UK, as made clear in the National Security Strategy:
“We judge that a minimum, credible, independent nuclear deterrent, based on Continuous At Sea Deterrence and assigned to the defence of NATO, remains vital to our national security.”
This policy promise to complete the fleet comes against a long history of delays and overspend for the submarine project.
“to manage the Dreadnought and Astute nuclear submarine programmes to time and budget”
Subsequently, in May 2018, the government announced a £1.5 billion contract with BAE systems for the final Astute class submarine, indicating a strong likelihood that the fleet will be completed.
We will consider this ‘done’ when the final submarine is commissioned. Until then, we’re marking it as ‘in progress’. We’ll continue monitoring the construction process. Follow this policy to get the latest information.
Be completely astute, get the details
- Astute class – Royal Navy
- National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015 – Gov.uk
- Ministry of Defence: The Major Projects Report 2011 – National Audit Office
- Defence Secretary marks major step forward for UK’s nuclear submarine capability – Gov.uk
- Defence in the Media: 14 May 2018 – Gov.uk
- Submarine Delivery Agency: Framework Document – Gov.uk