One of the Royal Navy's four Trident-carrying submarines will be put through a multi-million pound upgrade programme, it's been announced.
The £350m retrofit will give HMS Vengeance advanced new computer systems, an entirely new equipment package and an overhauled missile launch system and its announcement will serve to boost the British defence industry.
491 feet long and with a maximum speed of 25 knots, HMS Vengeance carries a total of 135 Royal Naval personnel, including 14 officers. Like HMS Vanguard, HMS Victorious and HMS Vigilant, Vengeance serves as a Trident SLBM (Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile) carriage and launch platform and represents one element of the UK armed forces' persistent maritime nuclear deterrent.
HMS Vengeance Upgrade
The HMS Vengeance upgrade is set to carry on through 2015 and, at its conclusion, will have involved no less than 2.5 million man-hours of related work.
HMS Vengeance is a Vanguard-class submarine and it officially joined the Royal Navy in February 2001, having been built by Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering - the forerunner of BAE Systems Submarine Solutions. The last of four Vanguards to be constructed and declared operational, it is nuclear-powered and, so, capable of sustained underwater voyages, only reappearing above the waves when crew changes are needed.
Another aspect of its upgrade will be an upgraded reactor core which, when fitted, will allow HMS Vengeance to carry on serving the Royal Navy, unrefuelled, right up until its OSD (Out-of-Service Date).
Trident Submarine Upgrade
The Trident submarine upgrade programme was announced by Philip Hammond, the UK Defence Secretary, on 26 March 2012.
"As well as securing 2,000 UK jobs, this contract will ensure the nuclear deterrent submarine fleet can continue to operate safely and effectively to maintain a continuous at-sea deterrent", Hammond was quoted as having said in a Ministry of Defence press release.
"As we stabilise the Defence Budget we are increasingly able to commit to equipment projects to safeguard the UK's national security", he added.
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