UK Nuclear Submarines to Reportedly Be Fitted With Additional Ballistic Missiles

© Photo : US Department of DefenseTrident II (D-5) missile underwater launch
Trident II (D-5) missile underwater launch - Sputnik International, 1920, 21.05.2022
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Earlier this month, London’s Ministry of Defence awarded contracts to Rolls Royce and BAE Systems to build four Dreadnought-class submarines, designed to replace Britain’s current Vanguard vessels armed with Trident nuclear warheads.
The US’ leading submarine builders, General Dynamics Electric Boat (GDEB), has backed a $313.95 million contract modification to a strategic weapon programme with UK Regulators Network (UK RN), according to Shepherd News.
Neither the Pentagon nor the UK Ministry of Defence have commented on the matter to date.
According to the publication, the contract stipulates the production of additional kits for both the UK’s Strategic Weapon Support System and “submarine industrial base development and expansion”, as well as part of the US Navy’s plan to support Columbia-class ballistic missile submarines.
From a UK perspective, GDEB’s kits will be used in the Trident II D5 submarine-launched ballistic missiles currently carried by the country’s Vanguard-class subs.
Trident Nuclear Submarine, HMS Victorious, on patrol off the west coast of Scotland - Sputnik International, 1920, 02.09.2021
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The four Dreadnought-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines currently being built to replace the Royal Navy’s Vanguard-class vehicles are also due to be equipped with between eight and 12 Trident II D5s.
Earlier in May, The Telegraph reported that Britain has invested £2 billion ($2.4 dollars) to “forge ahead with its new nuclear deterrent”.
Recently, BAE Systems and Rolls Royce were awarded Ministry of Defence contracts to upgrade the Royal Navy’s Vanguard-class submarines to Dreadnought-class vessels, which will be armed with Trident nuclear warheads.
According to The Telegraph, the 153-metre-long Dreadnought subs are manned by 130 sailors and will be on a par with the US’s Ohio ballistic carriers, France’s Triomphant-class and Russia’s Borei counterpart subs.
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