The greatest name in the history of the Royal Navy in the 20th Century will be resurrected in the 21st. The third next-generation nuclear deterrence submarine will be named HMS Warspite, Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson announced on Monday, carrying on the tradition of breathing new life into first-generation hunter-killer names.
The boat will take her place in the Fleet in the 2030s, alongside HMS Dreadnought, Valiant and a fourth, as yet unnamed, submarine, each carrying Trident nuclear missiles on deterrence patrols for three months at a time.
She’ll be the eighth warship to bear the name, tracing her history back to the final years of Elizabeth I’s reign.
Most famously, the sixth Warspite, a Queen Elizabeth-class battleship, earned more battle honors than any other single warship in Royal Navy history.
She served through both World Wars, was badly damaged at both Jutland and Crete, mauled the Germans at Narvik, the Italians at Matapan, was hit by a guided bomb off Salerno, and hammered the defenders of Normandy – truly living up to her motto belli dura despicio (I despise the hard knocks of war).
Most recently, Warspite No.7 was a Cold War warrior: a Fleet/hunter-killer nuclear-powered submarine built to protect UK’s then-new nuclear deterrent, serving between 1967 and 1991.