HMS Vengeance, one of the UK’s nuclear missile-carrying submarines, has completed a four-year overhaul and returned to sea to start trials ahead of re-joining the Royal Navy fleet.
The Vanguard-class submarine has been out of service since 2012, undergoing a £350m refit and refuelling in the Devonport dockyard in Plymouth, which will now commence similar work on Vengeance’s sister vessel, HMS Vanguard.
The HMS Vanguard refit, worth £200m, will involve replacement of the nuclear reactor core powering the 16,000-tonne vessel as well as refurbishment of the missile launch system and upgrades of computer and communication technology.
The Ministry of Defence said the project will secure more than 2,000 jobs at Babcock in Devonport and additional work for about 100 subcontractors.
"As well as securing 2,000 highly skilled jobs at Devonport dockyard, this contract forms part of our £178bn plan to ensure our armed forces have the equipment they need and typifies what has proven to be a very successful programme of refuelling our fleet of nuclear submarines which helps ensure their service into the 2030s,” said defence minister Philip Dunne.
The four Vanguard-class submarines, including HMS Vengeance and Vanguard, form the UK nuclear deterrent. Each of the submarines carries up to 16 Trident ballistic missiles
"The departure of HMS Vengeance after the successful completion of her refit at Devonport, followed by the arrival of HMS Vanguard now at the beginning of her four-year Deep Maintenance Period, highlights the expertise of the workforce in Devonport which makes it the centre of excellence for this type of hi-tech work," said Commodore Ian Shipperley, commander of the Devonport base.