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Dreadnought on the move as largest submarine section yet is completed

Dreadnought on the move as largest submarine section yet is completed
18 October 2023
Protected against the elements by what must be the world’s largest black bin bag, this is a huge section of HMS Dreadnought on the move.

In fact, this section of the first of the Submarine Service’s next-generation strategic deterrent boats is the largest segment or ‘mega unit’ of Dreadnought yet completed.

It’s also the longest section of a submarine moved through the streets of Barrow-in-Furness from BAE Systems’ fabrication facility to the cavernous Devonshire Dock Hall which dominates the skyline of the Cumbrian town.

No-one at BAE Submarines has moved a submarine section of this size (22 metres long) in 30 years, when a low-loader carefully transported the 34-metre-long fore-end ‘mega unit’ of HMS Vengeance, the last of the Vanguard-class submarines.

With those beginning to near the end of their active lives, four successors will be built, of which Dreadnought leads the way, ahead of HMS Warspite and Valiant (also under construction), with work yet to start on Boat No.4, HMS King George VI.

All will be assembled under cover in the dock hall – 260 metres long, 58 wide and 51 high, making it almost large enough to accommodate the Titanic – where the final two Astute-class submarines, HMS Agamemnon and Agincourt, are in the later stages of construction/completion, and where the ‘mega unit’ will take its place on the Dreadnought build line.

Dreadnought is due to enter service in the early 2030s while the V-boats begin retiring after four decades carrying out Operation Relentless, the UK’s strategic deterrence mission.

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