The UK’s new nuclear-powered submarine is to be named HMS Dreadnought, it was announced today to coincide with the anniversary of the Navy’s victory at the Battle of Trafalgar.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon revealed that the Queen has given her approval for the lead boat to become the latest in a long line of ships bearing the name.
According to the Ministry of Defence, nine Navy vessels have been named Dreadnought previously, including one that sailed with Sir Francis Drake to battle the Spanish Armada in 1588.
Another was present with Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 and Britain’s first nuclear-powered submarine, launched 56 years ago, also bore the name.
And the HMS Dreadnought commissioned in 1906 was one of the most feared battleships to take to the seas.
Construction began last month on the successor programme, which aims to deliver the largest and the quietest submarine conceived by the Royal Navy, a Ministry of Defence spokesman said.
The submarine will take the title when it is finally commissioned and successive submarines built in the programme will take Dreadnought as their class name, as in ship-naming tradition.
Mr Fallon’s announcement coincides with Trafalgar Day, which marks 211 years since the Navy’s victory under the command of Nelson against the French and Spanish fleets.
He said: “Every day our ballistic missile submarines are used to deter the most extreme threats to Britain’s security.
“We cannot know what dangers we might face in the 2030s, 2040s and 2050s, so we are building the new Dreadnought class.
“Along with increasing the defence budget to buy new ships, more planes and armoured vehicles, this commitment shows we will never gamble with our security.”