The onshore infrastructure
12. The submarine fleet is supported by an extensive
13. The Vanguard SSBNs and the Swiftsure SSNs are
based at HM Naval Base Clyde at Faslane. The new Astute-class
SSNs will also be based at Faslane. At present, the Trafalgar-class
submarines have their base port at HM Naval Base Devonport, in
14. Routine maintenance of the submarines is carried
out at their base ports. For the Vanguard SSBNs, maintenance is
carried out at the HM Naval Base Clyde at Faslane by Royal Navy
and civilian personnel. Faslane is managed under a partnership
arrangement involving the Royal Navy and Babcock Naval Services.
HM Naval Base Clydewhich includes the Royal Naval Armaments
Depot (RNAD) Coulport as well as Faslaneemploys around
15. Refit and maintenance of nuclear-powered submarines
is carried out by Devonport Management Limited (DML) at Devonport
in Plymouth. DML has £1 billion worth of dedicated, and unique,
facilities which are essential for submarine refuelling and refitting.
It has five basins for submarine refit, with a dedicated section
for the Trident SSBNs. It is currently involved in two submarine
refit streams, for the Vanguard and Trafalgar classes. It is also
involved in upkeep work and capability upgrades on surface ships
and in providing onsite support and fleet management to the Royal
16. Devonport currently employs 5,200 staff, of which
4,700 are permanent staff. DML is owned by KBR (a subsidiary of
Halliburton) which holds a 51% controlling stake, the Weir Group
and Balfour Beatty.
17. The UK's nuclear-powered submarines are designed
and built by BAE Systems Submarines at Barrow-in-Furness, in Cumbria.
Barrow is the only UK nuclear-licensed site for the construction,
testing and commissioning of nuclear-powered submarines. Barrow
(then under the ownership of VSEL) built the Vanguard class submarines,
and is currently involved in the design and build of the first
batch of Astute-class SSN submarines. It also carries out design,
build and conversion of surface ships for the Royal Navy (recently
HMS Albion, Bulwark, Ocean) and it is planned that it will build
a section of the future aircraft carriers. It employs around 3,500
people, and dominates the local economy.
18. Fifty per cent of the prime contract value for
a nuclear powered submarine is subcontracted to the supply chain.
The top 10 companies, including BAE Systems, account for around
80% by value of a nuclear-powered submarine.
Key suppliers include Rolls- Royce, Alsthom, L3, MacTaggart Scott,
Sheffield Forgemasters, Thales, Wellman, Weir Strachan and Henshaw,
19. The Nuclear Steam Raising Plants, or reactors,
as well as a range of other equipment, for nuclear-powered submarines
(both SSNs and SSBNs) are built by Rolls-Royce at Raynesway in
Derbyshire. Rolls-Royce is currently involved in designing and
manufacturing the Nuclear Steam Raising Plant (NSRP), fuel cores,
propulsors, flexible couplings and turbogenerators for the Astute-class
submarine. It also provides in-service support to the existing
fleet, including the Vanguard-class submarine, and is responsible
for design improvements, inspection, refurbishment, condition
monitoring and continuous safety review of the NSRP. Rolls-Royce
is involved in concept design and assessment of future submarine
propulsion options. It also manages the Royal Navy's Vulcan Shore
Test Facility at Thurso in northern Scotland. Rolls-Royce employs
910 staff in its submarine business.
20. The nuclear warheads for the Trident D5 missiles
are manufactured by the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) at
Aldermaston and Burghfield, in Berkshire. The AWE also carries
out scientific research, stockpile management and warhead decommissioning,
and seismological research in support of the verification of the
Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. The AWE is managed under a Government-owned,
contractor-operated arrangement by AWE plc. It employs around
21. The nuclear warheads are fitted to the UK's Trident
D5 missiles at RNAD Coulport, at the HM Naval Base Clyde. The
Trident D5 missiles, which carry the UK-built warhead, are procured
from the United States.
The Naval Base Review
22. The Ministry of Defence is currently conducting
a review of UK naval bases and this may significantly affect the
submarine onshore infrastructure. The recommendations from the
review, which is being undertaken by the Defence Logistics Organisation,
are expected to be finalised in Spring 2007.
3 HC (2005-06) 986, paras 126-138 Back
For Vanguard class out-of-service dates, see Cm 6994, paras 1-3.
For Trafalgar class, see HL Deb, 14 March 2005, col WA116. For
Swiftsure class, see HC Deb, 7 January 2004, col 414W. For in-service
dates, see HC Deb, 26 January 2005, col 335W. For Astute class,
see HC Deb, 20 April 2006, col 769W and HC Deb, 9 December 2004,
col 687W. Back
Ev 53 Back
HC Deb, 18 September 2006, col 134WS Back