Revealed: ALL of the Royal Navy’s attack submarines are currently confined to port leaving the country unprotected from Russian vessels loitering off UK
- The situation has emerged as Grant Shapps was selected as Defence Secretary
Every British nuclear attack submarine is in port – leaving this country unprotected from Russian vessels loitering off the UK.
The Mail on Sunday can reveal that not one of the six available Royal Navy attack boats is at sea, with most docked awaiting repairs.
Fixing the submarines is taking longer due to shortages of naval engineers and dry dock facilities.
The shocking situation has emerged as military novice Grant Shapps, who has no Armed Forces experience or expertise, was chosen to become Defence Secretary.
The alarming capability gap, which effectively offers the Kremlin’s submarines the freedom of the North Atlantic, is one of many maritime issues which Mr Shapps must confront. The Royal Navy also has a chronic shortage of destroyers and frigates – with only ’11 or 12′ available for operations, according to the Chief of the Defence Staff, Admiral Sir Tony Radakin.
The five Astute-class submarines unavailable are HMS Astute, Ambush, Artful, Audacious and Anson. The unavailable Trafalgar-class boat is HMS Triumph.
Altogether, the six submarines are parked at Devonport, Clyde and Plymouth respectively. Most are awaiting maintenance, while Anson is undergoing trials.
Work is ongoing at Devonport to upgrade its dry dock so it can support refits for Astute-class submarines. However, this is expected to take another year.
Last night, official naval sources acknowledged that the submarines were not at sea, but insisted the Royal Navy was fulfilling its operational requirements.
Two more Astute-class submarines, HMS Agamemnon and Agincourt, are being built and are not expected to be available before 2026.
The lack of submarines comes despite the Royal Navy launching Project Resolution to ensure more submarines and surface ships are ready for action more of the time.
Last night, the Royal Navy said: ‘We do not comment on submarine operations.’