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Defence Secretary reaffirms nuclear deterrent commitment

Defence Secretary has visited the home of the Royal Navy’s submarine service to make clear the Government’s commitment to the nuclear deterrent.

Michael Fallon met submariners today (Thursday) and visited the Vanguard class submarine HMS Vigilant at HM Naval Base Clyde, at Faslane near Glasgow.

Vigilant is one of the four 16,000-tonne vessels which patrol the oceans and make up the UK’s independent strategic nuclear deterrent, which the Royal Navy has operated for more than 40 years.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon visiting HMNB Clyde. Crown Copyright.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon visiting HMNB Clyde. Crown Copyright.

Mr Fallon was briefed on the submarine’s operations by Vigilant’s commanding officer, Commander Dan Martyn, who guided him through the boat’s control room, missile compartment and missile control centre.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:

Around the clock nuclear deterrent is as crucial to Britain’s defence now as it has ever been. It is the ultimate guarantee of the nation’s security.

We use our nuclear deterrent every day to deter a nuclear attack, nuclear blackmail and extreme threats that cannot be countered by any other means.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon visiting HMNB Clyde. Crown Copyright.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon visiting HMNB Clyde. Crown Copyright.

The Defence Secretary also had a chance to take in some of the infrastructure and world-class training facilities at the base.

Rear Admiral John Weale, Rear Admiral Submarines, said:

As a highly professional Service, the Royal Navy is entrusted with safely delivering continuous at sea deterrence. Since 1969 we have ensured at least one submarine was deployed at all times, as the nation’s ultimate security insurance policy.

We are now witnessing a resurgence in the Submarine Service; new submarines and driven personnel. Within the next four years all the UK’s submarines will be based in Scotland. This will lead to the creation of 1,400 new jobs taking the total number employed at HM Naval Base Clyde to 8,200 by 2022.

Commander Dan Martyn, Captain of HMS Vigilant, said:

The men and women of the Vanguard class submarines fully understand their role and responsibility in ultimately protecting the people of the United Kingdom.

The Submarine Service’s absolute professionalism ensures that the country’s nuclear deterrent provides safety and security for us all every hour of every day.

Vanguard Submarine infographic. Crown Copyright.
Vanguard Submarine infographic. Crown Copyright.