The Ministry of Defence has announced that two of the Royal Navy’s Trafalgar class submarines will move from their current base in Devonport to the Clyde as part of a long-term scheme to station all the Navy’s submarines at a single base.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon confirmed that HMS Talent and HMS Triumph will move to HM Naval Base Clyde by 2020, making the Scottish base the home port for all the UK’s nuclear powered submarines.
Two older submarines, HMS Torbay and HMS Trenchant, will remain at their current base at HM Naval Base Devonport in Plymouth until they are decommissioned in 2017 and 2019 respectively.
The MoD plans aim to provide submariners and their families with certainty over future basing arrangements whilst at the same time meeting the Royal Navy’s operational and financial requirements. Keeping HMS Torbay and HMS Trenchant stationed at Devonport until they decommission is deemed to represent better value for money than to move them to a new base as the end of their service lives approaches.
Under current plans the Faslane naval base on the Clyde estuary will become the Navy’s single integrated submarine operating base and submarine centre of specialisation by 2020.
Trafalgar class submarines currently in service will eventually be replaced by new seven Astute class submarines, but delays in bringing the first of the Astute class boats into service have resulted in uncertainties over the precise dates when the older vessels will finally be withdrawn.