The 'Strategic Defence and Security Review' is now in its implementation phase.The first annual review was published at the end of 2011.
SDSR's committment to deliver 7 astute class submarines and proceed to initial gate of the successor submarine project is welcomed by KOFAC. To read the KOFAC team's submission on SDSR click here
The KOFAC team had met Peter Luff MP Minister for Defence Procurement at MoD on 20th September 2010 to make the case for sustaining the submarine industrial base of the UK and ending uncertainty over the successor programme - they also asked for initial gate to be completed by the end of 2010.You can see the key points made to the Minister here (click).The Minister followed up the september meeting by visiting Barrow shipyard in January 2011when he toured Ambush and met with trade union leaders.
The implications of the Government's decision to put off Successor submarine main gate until 2016 is still being evaluated by KOFAC.
This means investing today in our sovereign submarine industrial base for tomorrow because Britain, like the USA faces increased tactical and strategic threats worldwide.
The Royal Navy needs a submarine fleet to perform a wide range of strategic roles in support of the UK's National Security Strategy including :
- Sea denial
- Sea control
- Anti-submarine warfare
- Protecting expeditionary forces
- Support of special operations
- Intelligence gathering
The Royal Navy submarine fleet because the submarine service is operating at a high tempo; is stretched to meet its current commitments already and has to largely rely on an ageing fleet of Swiftsure and Trafalgar class submarines.New boats are essential and will improve affordability and reduce through life cost.
Notwithstanding the re-balancing of the Astute submarine build programme from a 22 to a 26 month drumbeat, announced in 2009, there should be a commitment now to building 8 Astutes and a commitment now to build the Successor submarine fleet.
'The Royal Navy currently has 85 warships in service' (Hansard Col.123W,1 June 2009,). KOFAC believes there should be no further reduction in this number.