The number of US Navy nuclear-powered submarines visiting the British Naval Base Clyde in Faslane (Scotland) has doubled in 2022. This is reported by UK Defenсe Journal.

Since the start of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, US Navy submarines, including the state-of-the-art Virginia-class submarines, have called at the Scottish port 85 times, compared to 43 times in 2021. Clyde Faslane Naval Base is home to the UK’s nuclear fleet and the main base for NATO submarines in the South Atlantic.

At the same time, we are talking not only about attack submarines of the Los Angeles, Seawolf, and Virginia classes, but also about submarine missile carriers of the Ohio class, each of which carries 20 UGM-133 Trident II ballistic missiles with several (from 1 to 12) thermonuclear warheads with individual guidance.

The number of US Navy nuclear submarines off the coast of Europe has doubled

In July 2022, Faslane was visited by two Ohio-class submarines at once – USS Georgia and USS Rhode Island. Before this, an Ohio-class submarine, namely the USS Alaska, visited Faslane base only three years ago, in July 2019.

It seems that the USA has brought closer to Europe not only second aircarft carrier strike group led by the supercarrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), but also nuclear missile carriers.

Currently, the US Navy has 18 Ohio-class submarines, 14 of which carry ballistic missiles, and 4 carry BGM-109 Tomahawk cruise missiles. The oldest subs of this class are already more than 40 years old, so new Columbia-class missile carriers are being built to replace them. The first of them, District of Columbia, was laid down on June 4, 2022.

The number of US Navy nuclear submarines off the coast of Europe has doubled

As for nuclear attack submarines, the US fleet includes 29 Los Angeles-class submarines, 3 Seawolf, and 22 Virginia-class submarines, which began entering the fleet starting in 2004. The last Virginia – USS Montana joined the fleet on June 25, 2022, with 7 more subs under construction. All US nuclear attack submarines are armed with BGM-109 Tomahawk cruise missiles and UGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missiles.

The US Navy is also working on the project of new SSN(X) class submarines as part of the Next-Generation Attack Submarine program. The construction of watercraft to replace the Los Angeles-class submarines will start in 2031.