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Dreadnought Class SSBN

Contains threads on Royal Navy equipment of the past, present and future.
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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: Dreadnought Class SSBN

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 13 Jan 2018, 10:50

shark bait wrote:
cky7 wrote: It's a national, strategic and political asset and not something that ought to be funded by the RN budget.


Often commentators here criticize the government for cooking the MOD's books, now in this instance we're actively encouraging it. See the issue?

Actually, I don't see it as an issue, but as one solution
- we have even built up an organisation that in the MoD structure*) is on par with the four frontline Commands
- so, if they are accountable, why not let them have their own budget line?

*) details e.g. in the Telegraph (or MoD BizPlan, for that matter):
Apr 14, 2017 - The £500,000-a-year job as SDA chief executive is one of the highest paid public roles, reflecting the immense importance of the Trident programme to the UK's security, with the Navy tasked with keeping one submarine armed with nuclear missiles at sea at all times.

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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: Dreadnought Class SSBN

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 27 Jan 2018, 09:36

Old RN wrote: What was standard was the refuelling of submarines with new cores. The early UK boats had Core A, which required replacing every 3 years or so. From the Swiftsure class onwards there was Core B, which needed refuelling every 7 years or so, with the Core A boats getting Core B at their first opportunity. Core life has got longer with as technology improved to the current state where full life cores are possible. Back in the 1970s Rolls Royce Derby must have been building more than 5 cores a year (12+ SSNs, 4 SSBNs and a new boat every 12-18 months).


The year-old discussion is now being continued on the fantasy fleet -thread, while the topic is actually very much about stark reality.

"Does anyone know the status of the build for boat 7, how far along is it? What (expensive) long lead items have been purchased? What large contracts have been signed? Surely dropping it now would entail large financial penalties.
Considering the current argument being that the Russians submarine fleet are more active..."

It is not that simple, as there is only one queue (supply) for the nuclear cores [we have moved from A's and B's to H's since the days that the first quote is referrring to] but many takers [ as in new - and old - submarine classes]. This recent exchange sums up well where the real bottle neck is; the question was asked in three different flavours, but only received one, rather tight-lipped answer:

"Q
Asked by Ruth Cadbury
(Brentford and Isleworth)
Asked on: 18 January 2018
Ministry of Defence
Trident Submarines
123646
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what estimate his Department has made of the potential cost to (a) Devonport Royal Dockyard, (b) Rolls Royce in Derby and (c) elsewhere for refuelling operations to extend the lifespan of the Vanguard-class submarines until the Dreadnought submarines are built.
A
Answered by: Guto Bebb
Answered on: 26 January 2018

A decision on whether to refuel HMS Victorious is to be made later this year and therefore estimated costs related to the refuelling operations have yet to be finalised.

There are currently no plans to refuel HMS Vigilant or HMS Vengeance." The latter addition referring to the fact that Vanguard already needed this rejuvenation "op".
Grouped :) Questions: 123641 | 123645

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Re: Dreadnought Class SSBN

Postby PAUL MARSAY » 28 Jan 2018, 23:51

If Vigilant and Vengence were to be refueled would that allow more A boats to be built, 8,9 or maybe 10 ?

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Re: Dreadnought Class SSBN

Postby PAUL MARSAY » 28 Jan 2018, 23:56

Lay down dreadnought next A boat 8 then dreadnought 2 followed by A boat 9 and so forth .

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Re: Dreadnought Class SSBN

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 29 Jan 2018, 05:39

PAUL MARSAY wrote:Lay down dreadnought next

... and then the next; in order to avoid Vigilant and Vengeance to be refueled . I believe it is £300m per "hit".

After all the "hall" allows for up to three in there
-slow down A7 (to be named Ajax), and fund the latter 50% of its build with the savings from above

As its all down to single bottle neck (which sequence number of the H-reactors gets allocated to which boat).

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Re: Dreadnought Class SSBN

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 31 Jan 2018, 16:56

Well, above a hot tip for £600m cost avoidance as per NAO
"costs for the
Dreadnought and Astute projects have increased by £941 million since the 2016 Plan.
The Department is reviewing the reliability of forecast costs for all of its nuclear projects
and expects that updated costs as a result of this exercise will be incorporated into
the 2018 to 2028 Plan"
- it is simply a matter of moving one lego and two dublos around, within that time frame

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wirralpete
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Re: Dreadnought Class SSBN

Postby wirralpete » 28 Mar 2018, 12:45

Hot tip been covered by announcement in House of Commons today by PM of extra £600m of funding direct from Treasury and £200m carried over from previous year of savings to fund extra astute and dreadnought costs hopefully in year savings will fund extra costs upto rebalancing of mod budget later in year :clap:

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Re: Dreadnought Class SSBN

Postby dmereifield » 28 Mar 2018, 13:00

Positive, but just papering over the cracks...hopefully this is sufficient to keep things stable until the outcome of the upcoming review when longer term and sustainable funding increases are announced...

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Re: Dreadnought Class SSBN

Postby benny14 » 28 Mar 2018, 13:32

wirralpete wrote:Hot tip been covered by announcement in House of Commons today by PM of extra £600m of funding direct from Treasury and £200m carried over from previous year of savings to fund extra astute and dreadnought costs hopefully in year savings will fund extra costs upto rebalancing of mod budget later in year :clap:

It has been mentioned that the "extra" £600m may merely be the MOD been allowed to bring forward its own contingency fund for trident. Which is not new money, they are merely taking reserve money from future years to pay for trident now. I would love for this to be wrong.

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Re: Dreadnought Class SSBN

Postby Caribbean » 28 Mar 2018, 13:49

Sounds more like the central contingency fund coming into play. As I understand it, that usually only happens when there is a genuine prospect of further funding becoming available during the next budgetary round (though that may only be sufficient to cover the "loan" from the contingency fund, so not getting my hopes up).
The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
Winston Churchill

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Re: Dreadnought Class SSBN

Postby SKB » 15 Jun 2018, 16:03


Image

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Re: Dreadnought Class SSBN

Postby jedibeeftrix » 17 Jun 2018, 08:00

do we have any useful news on the reactor?

a few years ago i heard they'd decided to jump from PWR2+ (safer version of PWR2), to PWR3 (longer service life next-gen), but heard nothing since.

Are the last Astute's still going to use PWR3 as a risk reduction measure for the dreadnought class?
Are PWR3 driving the size (cross-section) of dreadnought, the same way that PWR2 drove the size of Astute?
Do we know anything of the fundamental technology and its characteristics vis-a-vis older generations of reactor?
Is it PWR3 that RR are considering for their commercial mini-civ reactors, or some derivation of the PWR2 series?

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Re: Dreadnought Class SSBN

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 17 Jun 2018, 08:15

That bottleneck is kept under wraps, so after that "safety-based" switching decision (+£300 mln) the idea was still to switch the single production line over from the older type to the new one. But re-corings that were not in the plans have pushed delays up, and I have understood (between the lines; nothing written in an upfront way) that some parallelism will be introduced (which facilities of course will cost extra, until the "clean & crisp" switch-over will have been accomplished).
- the shore-based test facility was discontinued (a saving) on the basis that the new reactor type could be considered to be "in production"

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Re: Dreadnought Class SSBN

Postby Ron5 » 17 Jun 2018, 15:17

jedibeeftrix wrote:do we have any useful news on the reactor?

a few years ago i heard they'd decided to jump from PWR2+ (safer version of PWR2), to PWR3 (longer service life next-gen), but heard nothing since.

Are the last Astute's still going to use PWR3 as a risk reduction measure for the dreadnought class?
Are PWR3 driving the size (cross-section) of dreadnought, the same way that PWR2 drove the size of Astute?
Do we know anything of the fundamental technology and its characteristics vis-a-vis older generations of reactor?
Is it PWR3 that RR are considering for their commercial mini-civ reactors, or some derivation of the PWR2 series?


Dunno, yes, PW3 is quieter, no, no.

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Re: Dreadnought Class SSBN

Postby NickC » 07 Aug 2018, 13:54

DefenseNews - The Trident missile tubes in the quad packed Common Missile Compartment for use in Dreadnought are imported from US, the same as used in the new USN Columbia class SSBN's, manufactured by BWXT Inc., before outfitting by GD Electric Boat, are being scrutinised for sub-standard welds. All BWXT welding requiring volumetric inspection has been halted until the investigation is complete.

Not known as yet if it will inject delays to programme as the impact to the delivery of missile tubes to the UK will be assessed upon completion of GDEB’s investigation.

Defiance
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Re: Dreadnought Class SSBN

Postby Defiance » 07 Aug 2018, 15:20


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Halidon
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Re: Dreadnought Class SSBN

Postby Halidon » 07 Aug 2018, 15:38

Second time recently that a subcontractor has been shipping crappy welds to the prime on a sub program. And second time there was inadequate inspection/test of the final product before it was delivered to the prime. Pretty good thing the Navy and EB are paranoid enough to catch this before the tubes were inside finished hulls. I'm a disciple of the book of Rickover, so right now I'm in the mood to start removing heads from shoulders until this gets sorted.

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Re: Dreadnought Class SSBN

Postby bobp » 07 Aug 2018, 15:58

First the story says that the test equipment used to test the welds was faulty, meaning re-testing was needed. But then goes on to say the welds are faulty so which is right? If rework is needed then the implications are pretty serious.

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Phil R
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Re: Dreadnought Class SSBN

Postby Phil R » 07 Aug 2018, 17:07

bobp wrote:so which is right?

Probably both true to some degree.

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Re: Dreadnought Class SSBN

Postby bobp » 07 Aug 2018, 17:20

Phil R wrote:Probably both true to some degree.


Good job that the issues have been detected, at this early stage, rather than later on in the build.

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Re: Dreadnought Class SSBN

Postby NickC » 09 Aug 2018, 12:20

Pic of BWXT missile tubes, understand BWXT involved in building USN nuclear reactors.
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Re: Dreadnought Class SSBN

Postby RetroSicotte » 09 Aug 2018, 13:50

It looks like a boy band album cover.

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Re: Dreadnought Class SSBN

Postby Digger22 » 09 Aug 2018, 14:45

Album name?
Tubular Boys

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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: Dreadnought Class SSBN

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 17 Sep 2018, 10:21

Officially, the sharing between ours and theirs is CMC (joint construction) and the new reactor (sovereign build, but a shared base design).

Are these dates (comparisons are always of interest) in existence for the Dreadnought Class
"The USA aims to begin construction of the new SSBN in 2021, and have the new type enter service with the fleet in 2031. A total of 12 boats would be produced, with the last boat expected to leave service around 2085."
or are we running in "silent mode", well submerged?

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Re: Dreadnought Class SSBN

Postby NickC » 05 Oct 2018, 12:10

October 1st, USN contract, possible future Hypersonic missile, possible Dreadnought ?

“The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, Cambridge, Massachusetts, is awarded a $13,380,171 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to provide research into the applications of technologies to meet guidance requirements for operations on the Common Missile Compartment for the U.S. Columbia-class program and the United Kingdom Dreadnought-classprogram; provide specialized technical knowledge and support for the hypersonic guidance, navigation and control application; provide technical and engineering services to support the Guidance, Navigation and Control system that will support the Navy’s hypersonic flight experiments. "
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