Tag Archives: Dreadnought-class


On February 9, 2023, BAE Systems has marked the start of construction of the third Dreadnought Class submarine, HMS Warspite, at its shipyard in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria.

HMS Warspite
Construction starts on the third Dreadnought Class submarine

HMS Warspite is the third of four Dreadnought Class ballistic missile submarines being designed and built by BAE Systems. Due to enter service from the early 2030s, the boats will carry the UK’s nuclear deterrent and be the biggest, most powerful and technically advanced submarines ever delivered to the Royal Navy. Construction of the first two boats, HMS Dreadnought and HMS Valiant, is already well underway.

Steve Timms, Managing Director of BAE Systems’ Submarines business, said: «Today’s milestone is a really significant moment for the thousands of employees here at BAE Systems and across the submarines enterprise who are working together to deliver the Dreadnought Class. We are immensely proud of the role we play in delivering this truly national endeavour for the Royal Navy and our contribution to protecting national security».

Attending today’s ceremony, Defence Procurement Minister Alex Chalk KC MP, said: «Our nuclear deterrent protects every UK citizen from the most extreme threats, every minute of every day and progress on the Dreadnought Class is crucial to maintaining our national security. This milestone is a significant step forward in the Dreadnought programme, supporting thousands of jobs and apprenticeships across the country and protecting the UK and our allies for decades to come».

BAE Systems Submarines makes a significant contribution to the UK economy, supporting more than 11,000 jobs, the vast majority of which are in Barrow-in-Furness, in the north west of England. The business is continuing to grow its workforce and this year it expects to recruit more than 2,000 new employees. In addition, a record number of apprentices and graduates will join the business with more than 800 roles available in 2023. This early careers population will learn their trade working on one of the world’s most complex engineering programmes.

Over the life of the Dreadnought programme, an estimated £7.5 billion will be spent with UK suppliers, supporting upwards of 11,800 jobs in the supply chain.

Alongside the Dreadnought Class, BAE Systems is delivering seven Astute Class hunter killer submarines, four of which are in-service with the Royal Navy. Design and concept work is also underway on the Submersible Ship Nuclear Replacement (SSNR) programme, the eventual replacement to the Astute Class.

HMS King George VI

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.

Continuous At Sea Deterrent
Continuous At Sea Deterrent

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.