When they enter service in the early 2030s, replacing the Vanguard Class, they will be the largest submarines ever operated by the Royal Navy.

Our timeline so far

March 2007

Work begins on the concept phase of the ‘Successor’ programme, with the project following agreement in the House of Commons on the general principle of whether the UK should retain a strategic nuclear deterrent beyond the life of the current system

April 2011

Concept phase passes its Initial Gate and enter a five-year assessment phase focused on the design of the Successor platform

July 2016

The House of Commons approves the decision to maintain the UK’s nuclear deterrent beyond the early 2030s and the programme moves into its manufacturing phase.

September 2016

Delivery Phase 1 officially begins

October 2016

Construction of the first submarine begins with cutting of the steel
The Right Honourable Sir Michael Fallon MP, then Secretary of State for Defence, visited Barrow-in-Furness shipyard in October 2016 to commence the first metal-cut for the Dreadnought programme – this followed UK Government commitment of £1.3 billion funding.

April 2018

The Submarine Delivery Agency becomes an Executive Agency of the MOD

The Dreadnought Alliance is formed In tandem with the creation of a new delivery body, the MOD also established a new alliance with its two key industrial partners on the dreadnought programme: BAE Systems and Rolls Royce,

Julie Morris OBE is appointed as the Dreadnought Alliance Managing Director

May 2018

The MOD signed contracts for the second phase of the build programme.

Delivery Phase 2, which is expected to be a three-year phase of work under the management of the Dreadnought Alliance, will continue the design and build of the first Dreadnought submarine and commence the build of the second, including furthering the design and manufacture of the nuclear propulsion power plant.

September 2018

Sir Peter Gershon was appointed as the Independent Chair of the Alliance Leadership Board.

December 2018

Update to parliament that the programme remains within its cost estimate and that £5.5 billion had been spent so far on the concept, assessment and early delivery phases of the project.

May 2019

MOD confirmation that the programme is currently on schedule

December 2019

Update to parliament that the programme remains on track and within budget. Full report can be found at the link below:

Update to parliament
“The Dreadnought programme is a true national undertaking and of huge prestige for all involved. We are leading the way on this exciting challenge which will define a generation of engineers, project managers and procurement experts.”
Julie Morris OBE, Dreadnought Alliance Managing Director