Britain's entire nuclear-powered submarine fleet is to be based at the Faslane naval base on Scotland's Clyde estuary.
Faslane naval base, photo credit: www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk
Three Trafalgar class submarines, currently based at Devonport in Plymouth, southern England, will begin joining the Vanguard fleet based at Faslane in about five years time with the last arriving in 2017. The reason for the five year wait is to ensure navy personnel receive “proper notice of these changes,” according to Bob Ainsworth, Armed Forces Minister.
Britain's Future Deterrent submarines will eventually replace the Vanguard class at Faslane, and the new Astute class boats are also to be based on the Clyde when they enter service. “We undertook this extensive review to ensure that we match the infrastructure in place at the naval bases to the needs of the Royal Navy of the future. The changes we have announced will enable us to provide that support more efficiently by reducing overheads and excess infrastructure,” said Ainsworth.
He added that, subject to Ministry of Defence investment decisions, Devonport would remain the dedicated home for the amphibious fleet and survey vessels, along with a force of Royal Marines landing craft and personnel while Portsmouth, another naval base in southern England, would be home to the new class of frigates, known as the Future Surface Combatant (FSC).
Of course, if Scotland were to become completely independent from England, then I suppose the submarines, and their personnel, would all have to move back south again...