Ministry of Defence
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Trident submarine in three year overhaul

Trident submarine in three year overhaul

MINISTRY OF DEFENCE News Release (048/2009) issued by COI News Distribution Service. 2 March 2009

The strategic missile submarine HMS Vigilant will be kitted out with updated weapons systems and a new nuclear reactor core under a refit contract worth in excess of £300 million, Secretary of State for Defence John Hutton announced today.

The 16,000 tonne submarine is expected to spend around three and a half years under refit by Babcock at Devonport Royal Dockyard in Plymouth. The work is expected to sustain employment for around 1,000 people in the dockyard and another 1,000 across the industry at its peak.

During a visit to the Naval Base today Mr Hutton said:

"This substantial contract, providing over three years of work at the dockyard and sustaining many jobs across industry including small and medium enterprises, is a crucial part of our commitment to updating our submarine fleet. Maintaining the effectiveness of our nuclear deterrent is one of MOD's highest priorities.

"The highly sophisticated nature of the work involved is testament to the experience and skills of the workforce here in Devonport and is the latest in a steady stream of packages to be carried out in the dedicated submarine refit facilities here. Both HMS Victorious and HMS Turbulent have recently left Devonport following successful overhauls, with HMS Triumph making progress in her maintenance period as we speak."

MOD Chief of Materiel Fleet Vice Admiral Sir Trevor Soar said:

"The major overhaul will furnish Vigilant with the latest reactor core, as used in the new Astute class submarines, fuelling her for life. Several other important updates to both her self defence systems and her Trident missile system are also included, significantly updating the combat ability of this 21st Century warship."

The accommodation and mess areas that cater for the 135 strong ship's company will receive a makeover. A major revalidation of the submarine safety systems will see Vigilant returned to the fleet in 2012 at very high safety standards, ready to carry out her role in the Strategic Deterrent programme.


Notes to Editors:

1. Babcock Marine will carry out the LOP(R) package at Devonport Royal Dockyard and Rolls Royce (Derby) will supply the new reactor core.

2. Vigilant is 149.9m long x 12.8m x 12m

a. 15,980 tonnes (dived)

b. She has a speed of more than 20 knots

c. 16 Trident II D5 missile launchers

d. Spearfish torpedos

e. In service 1996

f. Based at Faslane.

3. Vigilant is the third of four submarines in the Vanguard class. The class is equipped with the Trident weapon system for her deterrent role. The submarines are also equipped with a comprehensive range of sensors, decoys and a powerful torpedo armament for use in self-defence.

4. For further information please contact Sally May, DE&S Press Office on 07747 726178. Imagery is available from the MOD Image Database at

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