The British Royal Navy has announced that the fourth Dreadnought-class ballistic missile submarine will be named HMS King George VI.
This means the fourth Dreadnought-class submarine becomes the first Royal Navy vessel to be named in honour of King George VI, father of the Queen and a former naval officer.
The name was revealed by UK Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt ahead of a special service at Westminster Abbey. The service was held to recognise the Royal Navy’s Continuous at Sea Deterrent (CASD) or Operation Relentless over the past 50 years.
The service was attended by George VI’s great-grandson and Duke of Cambridge, Prince William.
CASD has seen at least one Royal Navy ballistic missile submarine patrolling the seas and oceans unseen and undetected every single day since April 1969, keeping the UK and allies safe.
Mordaunt said: “Operation Relentless has seen generations of submariners from HMS Resolution to HMS Vengeance on constant watch, for every minute of every day for the last five decades. This is the longest military operation we have ever undertaken and continues right this minute deep under the sea.
“We pay tribute to those incredible crews, their supportive families, the Royal Navy and the thousands of industry experts who will continue to sustain this truly national endeavour for many years to come.”
Other vessels in the Dreadnought-class are HMS Dreadnought, Valiant and Warspite. These ships will replace the navy’s existing Vanguard-class submarines.
Dreadnought-class vessels are expected to enter service in the early 2030s and will support Operation Relentless.
First Sea Lord admiral Sir Philip Jones said: “Today’s announcement that the fourth of our future ballistic missile submarine fleet will be named HMS King George VI follows a long tradition of naming capital ships after our country’s monarchs; together with her sisters Dreadnought, Valiant and Warspite these submarines represent the cutting-edge of underwater capability and will meet the awesome challenge of continuous at sea deterrence into the second half of the 21st century.”
BAE Systems is the industrial lead for the Dreadnought programme. The company is working with partners Rolls-Royce and the Submarine Delivery Agency (SDA) on designing and constructing the vessels.
The ships are said to be the largest submarines ever built for the Royal Navy.
Measuring 152.9m in length, the Dreadnought-class submarines will have a displacement of 17,200t.
In December last year, the UK Government announced a further £400m in funding for the Dreadnought-class programme.