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Submarine Service future charted at annual conference

20 June 2016
Two hundred submariners of all ranks gathered for their annual conference, hosted by Commander Submarine Flotilla Commodore Mike Walliker OBE, at HM Naval Base Clyde on Wednesday, 15 June 2016.

They considered the theme of ‘The Submarine Service today, tomorrow and towards 2030’ as it works towards making HM Naval Base Clyde being the Royal Navy’s Single Integrated Submarine Operating Base by 2020.

The Base will become Home of the UK Submarine Service with the last two Trafalgar class boats moving from Devonport to the Clyde by 2019, the final four Astute class will join  their three sister boats there by the mid-2020s and the Successor class of deterrent submarines expected in service from the early 2030s.

Indeed, Naval Base Commander Clyde, Commodore Mark Gayfer, addressed the audience about how his team are working to deliver the £1.3bn of improvements and upgrades to the Faslane sites over the next decade across its waterfront, engineering support and accommodation services.  

This is one of the key events in the Submarine Service regimental calendar.

Commander Jerry Bernau RN

Rear Admiral Submarines, John Weale, remarked on the operational focus of the Submarine service, from Continuous at Sea Deterrence to intelligence gathering and maritime security.

Innovation, he said, was essential if the Royal Navy was to retain its world class capability.

Conference organiser Commander Jerry Bernau said: “This is one of the key events in the Submarine Service regimental calendar. 

"The format will be developed for next year in order to ensure these important messages reach as many of our fellow submariners as possible.”

Key note speaker Sarah Kenny, Managing Director of QinetiQ Maritime, Land and Weapons, highlighted some of the key unclassified areas where technology was likely to influence maritime operations underwater.  These included:

•             advanced materials and manufacturing
•             energy management and battery development
•             autonomous systems, especially their management and operation
•             big data analytics in particular smart pattern analysis
•             Cyber and Electronic warfare
•             Human computer integration and human augmentation

In the past, the conference was restricted to submarine commanding officers, but the event has evolved over the last three years and is now open to all submariners.

The next Submarine conference will be hosted at HMNB Clyde in summer 2017.

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