This year marks the 50th anniversary of Continuous At Sea Deterrent – CASD50 – the longest unbroken operation ever delivered by the UK. It is known as Operation Relentless.
For five decades we have worked side-by-side with the Royal Navy to help keep our nation safe. At BAE Systems, we are proud of our heritage in manufacturing and engineering excellence, of our role in delivering the world’s most advanced and complex defence programmes and of the dedication, passion and innovation of our people.
Today, we remain as proud to work alongside the Royal Navy in defending our nation as we design, build and deliver the next class of deterrent submarines – Dreadnought. Over the next five weeks we will be shining the spotlight on our heritage, our people, our use of technology, our contribution to the UK and the future of our business.
The Defence Secretary has announced the fourth Dreadnought submarine as HMS King George VI ahead of a special service at Westminster Abbey today to recognise the Royal Navy’s Continuous at Sea Deterrent (CASD) over the past 50 years.
Since April 1969, a Royal Navy ballistic missile submarine has patrolled every single day, without interruption, providing the nation’s deterrent and helping keep the UK and our allies safe. This is the UK’s longest sustained military operation ever undertaken and is known as Operation Relentless.
Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt said: «Operation Relentless has seen generations of submariners from HMS Resolution to HMS Vengeance on constant watch, for every minute of every day for the last five decades. This is the longest military operation we have ever undertaken and continues right this minute deep under the sea. We pay tribute to those incredible crews, their supportive families, the Royal Navy and the thousands of industry experts who will continue to sustain this truly national endeavour for many years to come».
CASD50 provides a chance to not only remember the national endeavour of the past half century but to look to the next-generation of ballistic missile submarines, the Dreadnought class. This will consist of four boats helping to ensure the security of generations to come. The Dreadnought-class are expected to enter service in the early 2030s, helping to maintain Operation Relentless.