Name Of Third Dreadnought Nuclear Submarine Revealed

The Dreadnought-class submarines will replace the Vanguard-class, becoming the largest submarines ever operated by the Royal Navy.

A CGI image showing what a Dreadnought-class submarine may look like once completed (Picture: MOD).

HMS Warspite will be the name of the third Dreadnought-class submarine, the Defence Secretary has confirmed.

Gavin Williamson made the announcement while also revealing a multi-million pound contract for nuclear propulsion systems.


The Dreadnought-class submarines will form part of the UK's nuclear deterrent programme when they enter service in the early 2030s.

They will replace the Vanguard-class submarines, becoming the largest submarines ever operated by the Royal Navy.

Mr Williamson also announced a £235m contract with Rolls Royce Submarines Limited to support submarine nuclear propulsion systems.

The deal will provide the support, advice and material to continue the safe running of systems on the current fleet of Trafalgar, Vanguard and Astute class submarines until 2022.

The contract will also sustain around 500 UK jobs.

“This year we mark half-a-century since British nuclear-armed submarines began their continuous patrol of waters around the world," Mr Williamson said.

"This significant milestone for the Royal Navy would not be possible without the skills and ingenuity of our industry partners who supply and maintain equipment.

“Rolls-Royce plays a critical role in supporting our submarines and I’m pleased this contract will sustain 500 highly-skilled jobs that help protect our country.”

Steve Dearden, Rolls-Royce Submarines President, said: “This new contract includes exciting innovative technology employing Rolls-Royce’s digital capability which will enhance the service we provide and we look forward to continuing our support for the next 50 years.”

In December, Mr Williamson also confirmed £400 million in funding for the Dreadnought submarine programme while on a visit to Cumbria. 

Royal Navy Vanguard Class submarine HMS Vigilant MoD
Vanguard class submarine, HMS Vigilant (Picture: MOD).

History Of The Name

The name, HMS Warspite, chosen for the third Dreadnought Class submarine has a history, as Admiral Sir Philip Jones, First Sea Lord, explained on Twitter on Monday.

"The first ship to bear the name," he explains, "was a galleon commissioned in 1596 which served as Raleigh’s flagship in the Battle of Cadiz, where she earned the first of 25 battle honours."

Other noteable ships also called Warspite include vessels used in the Anglo-Dutch War and the Seven Years War.

More recently, the last vessel called Warspite was a Royal Navy submarine commissioned in 1967.

The Dreadnought Class submarines will be powered by the next generation of nuclear reactor, allowing the submarine to patrol the oceans silently for months at a time.

The Submarine Delivery Agency’s Future Submarines Team is overseeing the Dreadnought programme in collaboration with partners across the UK industry.