The UK Royal Navy will name its second Dreadnought class nuclear ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) as HMS Valiant, the UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson announced.
The announcement was made during the Defence Secretary’s visit to BAE Systems’ site in Barrow-in-Furness on Dec. 6.
The Defence Secretary also announced a £400 million funding boost for the Dreadnought program and unveiled a £25 million BAE Systems academy that will upskill employees to work on Royal Navy submarines for the next two decades..
The first two ships to bear the name Valiant were wooden ships of the line and amassed 7 battle honours dating from Belle Isle in 1761 to Basque Roads in 1809.
The third Valiant, commissioned in 1863, was one of the Royal Navy’s first Hector-class ironclad battleship, followed in 1914 by the fourth, a famous Queen Elizabeth-class battleship that saw action at Jutland in 1916 and then went on to earn eight more honours in World War II as she distinguished herself in battle from Norway to the Pacific.
The last Valiant was the second Royal Navy nuclear powered submarine – HMS Valiant (S102). Launched in 1963, she took part in the Navy’s first tactical exercise under the Arctic ice and played an important role in the Falklands War, deterring the Argentine surface fleet from closing the islands.
The Dreadnought class is the future replacement for the Vanguard class of ballistic missile submarines operated by the UK Royal Navy. Like their predecessors they will carry UGM-133A Trident II (D5) submarine launched ballistic missiles (SLBM).
Once built, the submarines will measure 153.6m long, with a displacement of 17,200 tonnes. They are being delivered by the newly-formed Dreadnought Alliance, a joint management team established between the UK MOD, BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce.
Initially named Successor class, it was officially announced on 21 October 2016 (to mark Trafalgar Day) that the first of class would be named Dreadnought, and that the class would be the Dreadnought class. The next three boats will also be given names with “historical resonance”.
Construction on the first of four new Dreadnought submarines started in October 2016 at the Barrow-in-Furness shipyard operated by BAE Systems Maritime – Submarines. The first submarine was initially expected to enter service in 2028.
The start of construction of the second phase was announced in May 2018. As of 2018, the Ministry of Defence expects the submarines to enter service in the early 2030s, for a cost of £31 billion.