Nearly two and a half centuries after plucky American soldiers fought for and won their independence from England, the two nations enjoy one of the closest military alliances on the planet.
That relationship is on full display as the U.S. and British militaries complete the design of a new class of nuclear-powered submarines.
In the ‘Dreadnought’ spirit
Military history buffs might immediately spot the connection to a 1906 battleship when they learn that the joint effort is being dubbed the “Dreadnought Alliance.”
For everyone else, here’s a brief recap of why the HMS Dreadnought was so influential:
- It included five separate turrets, each housing two 12-inch guns.
- It boasted new advancements including steam turbines and fire control.
- It forever changed the model on which militaries created warships.
Just as the HMS Dreadnought revolutionized naval warfare when it was introduced by the British Royal Navy, both nations now believe that the latest ballistic-missile submarine will redefine how battles can be conducted beneath the ocean’s surface.
The powerful name lives on
After the HMS Dreadnought debuted, its impact was immediate — in fact, experts began to classify ships into either the “Pre-Dreadnought” or “Dreadnought” eras since everything fundamentally changed.
Decades later, the name resurfaced in connection to a 1960s nuclear-powered submarine … and now it’s back in connection with yet another leap forward in naval warfare.
BAE Systems and Rolls Royce are working in tandem to provide all of the components necessary for the “Dreadnought Alliance.”
When complete, the new class of submarines will be the largest ever built by Britain, with a 500-foot-long structure and 17,200 tons of displacement in the water.
They’re expected to last 30 years and, with power from Rolls-Royce’s new nuclear reactor and a turbo-electric motor, these subs will boast a quiet but mighty presence.