Skip to content
Recruiting now.Explore navy careers

Submarine Service launches new tartan to celebrate Scottish links

25 January 2017
The Royal Navy’s Submarine Service revealed its new official tartan yesterday on the eve of Burns’ Night.

The tartan was commissioned to celebrate more than a century of links between the submarine service and Scotland, ahead of HM Naval Base Clyde becoming the UK’s single integrated submarine operating base from 2020.

From then all of the UK’s submarines will be based in Scotland, with HM Naval Base Clyde’s workforce increasing to 8,500 by 2022 as a result.

These personnel will support the introduction of the Astute-class attack boats by the mid-2020s and the new Dreadnought class of deterrent submarines from the early 2030s. The construction phases of this work are expected to support a further 1,000 contractor jobs.  

Submariner Warrant Officer 1 Stephen Thomson revealed the first ever kilt manufactured from the new tartan at the Base, Scotland’s largest military establishment.

He explained, “The colour scheme of the new tartan has been designed to represent submarines’ environment: the dark green represents the sea; navy blue, red and white to represent the colours of the Royal Navy; and yellow to represent the coveted golden ‘Dolphins’ badge worn with pride by all qualified submariners.”

Scotland and the Submarine Service have benefited from each other for over a century

Rear Admiral John Weale, head of the Submarine Service

“Scotland and the Submarine Service have benefited from each other for over a century,” said Rear Admiral John Weale, head of the Submarine Service.

“Defence brings many highly skilled jobs and technologies to Scotland, and in turn Scots based submariners, MOD civilians and our industrial partners make a vital contribution to UK Defence and national security.”

The tartan has been designed and woven exclusively by House of Edgar in Perth, and is available to all submariners, both serving and retired.

The Royal Navy Submarine Service tartan has been registered with The Scottish Register of Tartans, and has registration number 11,556.  

Some of the Royal Navy’s earliest submarines, notably WW1 K-class boats were built on the Clyde, with their sea trials taking place on the Gareloch, near Helensburgh, which is now home to HM Naval Base Clyde at Faslane.

Through both World Wars, the Cold War right up to the present day, submarines have been based in Scotland and a very substantial proportion of those serving in submarines live and work in Scotland.

Related articles

Navy News Magazine

We bring you the latest news, features and award-winning photographs from the front-line. Navy News has been reporting on all that happens in the Royal Navy and its wider community since 1954.