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Vanguard Class Nuclear Ballistic Missile Submarine (SSBN) (RN)

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Vanguard Class Nuclear Ballistic Missile Submarine (SSBN) (RN)

Postby SKB » 01 May 2015, 23:01

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Introduction
The Vanguard-class is a British class of nuclear-powered inter-continental ballistic missile submarines (SSBN) in service with the Royal Navy. Each submarine is armed with up to 16 UGM-133 Trident II missiles. The class was introduced in 1994 as part of the UK government's Trident nuclear weapons programme. The class includes four boats built at Barrow-in-Furness by Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering between 1986 and 1999, which is now owned by BAE Systems. All four subs are based at HM Naval Base Clyde (HMS Neptune), 40 km (25 mi) west of Glasgow, Scotland

Development
Since the late 1960s, the UK had operated four Resolution class submarines armed with US-built Polaris missiles under the terms of the 1963 Polaris Sales Agreement.

On 10 July 1980, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher wrote to US President Carter to request the supply of Trident I (C4) missiles on a similar basis for the United Kingdom's next generation ballistic missile submarines. However in 1982 Thatcher wrote to US President Reagan to request the UK be allowed to procure the improved Trident II (D5) system, which had been accelerated by the US Navy. This was agreed in March 1982. Under the agreement, the United Kingdom made a 5% research and development contribution.

Lady Thatcher laid the keel of the first boat, HMS Vanguard, on 3 September 1986. 1992 saw a debate over whether the fourth vessel should be cancelled, however the Ministry of Defence ultimately ordered it in July 1992.

Operational history
The Trident II D-5 achieved an initial operational capability with the U.S. Navy in March 1990. Following launch and commissioning the vessels deployed on Demonstration and Shakedown Operations (DASOs) which included test firing of Trident missiles at the United States' SLBM Launch Area, Eastern Test Range, Cape Canaveral, off the coast of Florida.

In February 2002, Vanguard began a two-year refit at HMNB Devonport. The refit was completed in June 2004 and in October 2005 Vanguard completed her return to service trials (Demonstration and Shakedown Operations) with the firing of an unarmed Trident missile. During this refit, Vanguard was illegally boarded by a pair of anti-nuclear protesters. Mid-life refits for Victorious and Vigilant followed, with Vengeance currently undergoing this process.

In 2002, protesters from Trident Ploughshares breached security at Faslane Naval Base where the Vanguard submarines are based. Two protesters managed to spraypaint Vigilant with the CND symbol and the word "Vile".

On 4 February 2009, Vanguard collided with the French submarine Triomphant in the Atlantic. She returned to Faslane in Scotland, under her own power arriving on 14 February 2009.

On 31 March 2011, Vengeance returned to Faslane naval base on the surface after developing mechanical problems while on a training exercise. According to the MOD the problems were not nuclear related.

In June 2012, Vigilant completed a three-year-long refit which included refuelling of her nuclear reactor and cost over £300 million. In October 2012, the submarine sailed to the USA where it successfully test fired an unarmed Trident II D5 SLBM. However, two months later it was learned that shortly afterwards the submarine suffered unspecified problems, allegedly involving her rudder, prompting an unscheduled stop at the US Navy's Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay in order to carry out repairs.

In January 2012 radiation was detected in the PWR2 test reactor's coolant water, caused by a microscopic breach in fuel cladding. This discovery led to Vanguard being scheduled to be refueled early and contingency measures being applied to other Vanguard and Astute class submarines, at a cost of £270 million. This was not revealed to the public until 2014.

Characteristics
The Vanguard class was designed and built at Barrow-in-Furness by Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering, now BAE Systems Submarine Solutions. The Devonshire Dock Hall was built specifically for the construction of the submarines. The missile compartment is based on the system used on the American Ohio class, although only 16 missiles are fitted, rather than the 24 equipped on the Ohio class. The Vanguard submarines were designed from the outset as nuclear-powered ballistic missile platforms to accommodate the Trident D-5 submarine-launched ballistic missile. This required the boats to be significantly larger than the previous Polaris-equipped Resolution class, and they are some of the largest submarines ever built, only eclipsed by the American Ohio-class, and Russian Typhoon- and Borei-class submarines. In addition to the missile tubes, the submarines are fitted with four 21 inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes and carry the Spearfish heavyweight torpedo allowing them to engage submerged or surface targets at ranges up to 65 kilometres (40 mi; 35 nmi). Two SSE Mark 10 launchers are also fitted allowing the boats to deploy Type 2066 and Type 2071 decoys, and a UAP Mark 3 electronic support measures (ESM) intercept system is carried. A 'Core H' reactor is fitted to each of the boats during their long-overhaul refit periods, ensuring that none of the submarines will require further re-fuelling for the rest of their service lives.

The boats are capable of deploying with a maximum of 192 independently targetable warheads, or MIRVs, with immediate readiness to fire. However, as a result of a decision taken by the 1998 Strategic Defence Review this was reduced to 48 warheads with a readiness to fire reduced 'to days rather than minutes'. Furthermore the total number of warheads maintained by the United Kingdom was reduced to approximately 200, with a total of 58 trident missiles. The reduced warhead load per missile allowed the development of lower-yield non-strategic warheads loading options. The 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review reduced this number further and the submarines will put to sea in future with a reduced total of 40 warheads and a reduced missile load of 8 (from a maximum possible 16). The number of operationally available nuclear warheads is to be reduced 'from fewer than 160 to no more than 120' and the total UK nuclear weapon stockpile will number no more than 180.

Vanguard, Victorious, Vigilant and Vengeance were commissioned in 1993, 1995, 1996 and 1999 respectively.

A new pressurised water reactor, the Rolls-Royce PWR 2, was designed for the Vanguard class. This has double the service life of previous models, and it is estimated that a Vanguard class submarine could circumnavigate the world 40 times without refuelling. The reactor drives two GEC steam turbines linked to a single shaft pump jet propulsor giving the submarines a maximum submerged speed of 25 knots (46 km/h; 29 mph). Auxiliary power is provided by a pair of 6 MW steam-turbine generators supplied by WH Allen, (later known as NEI Allen, Allen Power & Rolls-Royce), and two, 2 MW Paxman diesel alternators for provision of backup power supply.

A specialised Submarine Command System (SMCS) was originally developed for the Vanguard boats and was later used on the Trafalgar-class.

The submarines carry the Thales Underwater Systems Type 2054 composite sonar. The Type 2054 is a multi-mode, multi-frequency system, which incorporates the 2046, 2043 and 2082 sonars. The Type 2043 is a hull-mounted active/passive search sonar, the Type 2082 a passive intercept and ranging sonar, and the Type 2046 a towed array sonar operating at very low frequency providing a passive search capability. The fleet is in the process of having the sonars refitted to include open-architecture processing using commercial off the shelf technology. Navigational search capability is provided by a Type 1007 I-band navigation radar.

Two periscopes are carried, a CK51 search model and a CH91 attack model. Both have TV and thermal imaging cameras in addition to conventional optics.

Replacement programme Discussion Thread: viewtopic.php?f=41&t=23
A decision on the replacement of Trident was made on 4 December 2006. Then-Prime Minister Tony Blair told MPs it would be "unwise and dangerous" for the UK to give up its nuclear weapons. He outlined plans to spend up to £20 billion on a new generation of submarines for Trident missiles. He said submarine numbers may be cut from four to three, while the number of nuclear warheads would be cut by 20 percent to 160. Blair said although the Cold War had ended, the UK needed nuclear weapons, as no-one could be sure another nuclear threat would not emerge in the future.

The 2006 white paper stated that the option of reducing the Trident carrying submarine fleet from four to three submarines, as part of plans to cut costs and to promote nuclear disarmament, would be considered. On 23 September 2009, Prime Minister Gordon Brown confirmed that this reduction to three submarines was still under consideration. In February 2011, the Defence Secretary Liam Fox stated that four submarines would be needed if the UK was to retain its current capabilities. On 18 May 2011 the British government approved the initial assessment phase for the construction of new Trident submarines, paving the way for the ordering of the first long-lead items and preparations for the main build to begin in the future. The new submarine class will retain the current Trident II missiles, and will incorporate a new 'PWR3' nuclear reactor as well as technology developed for the Astute-class SSNs. The final decision whether to build three or four submarines will be taken in 2016. The cost for four boats is estimated to be £15–20 billion at 2006/7 prices, and they will have a projected life span of more than 25 years.


Vanguard Class SSBN fleet:

1. HMS Vanguard (S28) Commissioned 1993
2. HMS Victorious (S29) Commissioned 1995
3. HMS Vigilant (S30) Commissioned 1996
4. HMS Vengeance (S31) Commissioned 1999


Builders: Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering, Barrow-in-Furness, England
Operators: Royal Navy
Preceded by: Resolution class Thread: viewtopic.php?f=41&t=221
Succeeded by: Trident replacement Thread: viewtopic.php?f=41&t=23
Cost: Over £1,500M each; Total programme cost £15 billion
In service: 1993–present
Completed: 4
Active: 4
Class and type: Nuclear-powered Ballistic missile submarine
Displacement: 15,900 tonnes, submerged
Length: 149.9 m (491 ft 10 in)
Beam: 12.8 m (42 ft 0 in)
Draught: 12 m (39 ft 4 in)
Propulsion:
1 × Rolls-Royce PWR2 nuclear reactor
2 × GEC turbines; 27,500 shp (20.5 MW)
1 × shaft, pump jet propulsor
2 × auxiliary retractable propulsion motors
2 × WH Allen turbo generators (6 MW)
2 × Paxman diesel alternators; 2,700 shp (2.0 MW)
Speed: In excess of 25 knots (46 km/h; 29 mph), submerged
Range: Only limited by food and maintenance requirements.
Crew Complement: 135
Sensors and processing systems:
BAE Systems SMCS
Kelvin Hughes Type 1007 I-band navigation radar
Thales Underwater Systems Type 2054 composite sonar suite comprising:
Marconi/Ferranti Type 2046 towed array sonar
Type 2043 hull-mounted active and passive search sonar
Type 2082 passive intercept and ranging sonar
Pilkington Optronics CK51 search periscope
Pilkington Optronics CH91 attack periscope
Electronic warfare and decoys:
Two SSE Mk10 launchers for Type 2066 and Type 2071 torpedo decoys
RESM Racal UAP passive intercept
Armament:
4 × 21 in (533 mm) torpedo tubes for: Spearfish heavyweight torpedoes
16 ballistic missile tubes for: 16 × Lockheed Trident II D5 SLBMs (carrying up to 8 W88 warheads each)


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Re: Vanguard Class Nuclear Ballistic Missile Submarines (SSBN) (RN)

Postby WhitestElephant » 16 May 2015, 22:40

Excellent video, gives me the patriotic chills at 1:05...

I didn't know Simon Pegg was in the Royal Navy either :twisted:
Though we are not now that strength which in old days moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are. - Lord Tennyson (Ulysses)

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Re: Vanguard Class Nuclear Ballistic Missile Submarine (SSBN) (RN)

Postby SKB » 09 Jun 2015, 17:49

Vanguard class introduction updated ^ ;)
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Re: Vanguard Class Nuclear Ballistic Missile Submarine (SSBN) (RN)

Postby SKB » 11 Dec 2015, 10:09

Image
HMS Vengeance sailed out of Devonport Dockyard ready to take to the sea again - as her sister ship HMS Vanguard came in.

More: http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/nuclear ... z3u0TD3QL3

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Re: Vanguard Class Nuclear Ballistic Missile Submarine (SSBN) (RN)

Postby arfah » 11 Dec 2015, 10:14

Is HMS Vanguard about to commence refit?

I thought her home port was Faslane?
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Re: Vanguard Class Nuclear Ballistic Missile Submarine (SSBN) (RN)

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 11 Dec 2015, 11:01

SKB wrote:In June 2012, Vigilant completed a three-year-long refit which included refuelling of her nuclear reactor and cost over £300 million. In October 2012, the submarine sailed to the USA where it successfully test fired an unarmed Trident II D5 SLBM. However, two months later it was learned that shortly afterwards the submarine suffered unspecified problems, allegedly involving her rudder, prompting an unscheduled stop at the US Navy's Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay in order to carry out repairs.

In January 2012 radiation was detected in the PWR2 test reactor's coolant water, caused by a microscopic breach in fuel cladding. This discovery led to Vanguard being scheduled to be refueled early


A three year cycle, I have not seen any details on Vengeance refit (refuelling included or not; did she come out early to make space for Vanguard?).

This other snippet "the Vulcan Naval Reactor Test Establishment will not be required to
support reactor core prototyping activity beyond 2015, as set out to Parliament on 2 November
2011 (Official Record, Col 37WS). It is anticipated that defueling and fuel management activities
will continue at the site until 2022" in theory leaves space for two refuellings that can still be done. Equally well the latter half of the remaining time could just be the long tail of fuel management.

http://www.parliament.uk/documents/comm ... eactor.pdf

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Re: Vanguard Class Nuclear Ballistic Missile Submarine (SSBN) (RN)

Postby arfah » 11 Dec 2015, 11:24

............
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Why this forum is pish!

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Re: Vanguard Class Nuclear Ballistic Missile Submarine (SSBN) (RN)

Postby The Armchair Soldier » 15 Jan 2016, 11:34

So the Vanguards are armed with Brimstone. Who knew?

Image

Image from The Sun.

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Re: Vanguard Class Nuclear Ballistic Missile Submarine (SSBN) (RN)

Postby Engaging Strategy » 15 Jan 2016, 12:16

The Armchair Soldier wrote:So the Vanguards are armed with Brimstone. Who knew?


Of course they are! It's all very hush hush at the moment but the UK is currently moving to an all - Brimstone armed forces. #BrimstoneFacts
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Re: Vanguard Class Nuclear Ballistic Missile Submarine (SSBN) (RN)

Postby arfah » 24 Jan 2016, 18:55

............
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Why this forum is pish!

1: Ineffective moderators
2: Too many fantasists ruining dedicated equipment threads with notions of what gun/mortar/artillery/missiles the equipment should have because it makes their panties moist.


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Re: Vanguard Class Nuclear Ballistic Missile Submarine (SSBN) (RN)

Postby lordroel » 22 Jan 2017, 08:46

dmereifield wrote:http://news.sky.com/story/no-10-covered-up-botched-missile-test-weeks-before-trident-vote-10738472

So the United Kingdom almost nuked Florida.

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Re: Vanguard Class Nuclear Ballistic Missile Submarine (SSBN) (RN)

Postby arfah » 22 Jan 2017, 09:04

............
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Why this forum is pish!

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Re: Vanguard Class Nuclear Ballistic Missile Submarine (SSBN) (RN)

Postby lordroel » 22 Jan 2017, 09:13

arfah wrote:
lordroel wrote:
dmereifield wrote:http://news.sky.com/story/no-10-covered-up-botched-missile-test-weeks-before-trident-vote-10738472

So the United Kingdom almost nuked Florida.


Warhead not loaded.

A reliable missile type developed a fault during a 'test.'

The missiles are from a shared pool with the USN (which we evil Brits have access to).

Cue anti-deterrent lobbyists...

It was good that Trump was than not in charge, he would not like this.

But what happened to the missile, did it self destruct.

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Re: Vanguard Class Nuclear Ballistic Missile Submarine (SSBN) (RN)

Postby arfah » 22 Jan 2017, 09:24

............
-<>-<>-<>-

Why this forum is pish!

1: Ineffective moderators
2: Too many fantasists ruining dedicated equipment threads with notions of what gun/mortar/artillery/missiles the equipment should have because it makes their panties moist.

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Re: Vanguard Class Nuclear Ballistic Missile Submarine (SSBN) (RN)

Postby bobp » 22 Jan 2017, 13:29

Surely this is the reason we have tests, to iron out any problems either in the launch process or guidance afterwards. There have been failures before this is not something new.

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Re: Vanguard Class Nuclear Ballistic Missile Submarine (SSBN) (RN)

Postby arfah » 22 Jan 2017, 14:13

-<>-<>-<>-
-<>-<>-<>-

Why this forum is pish!

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Re: Vanguard Class Nuclear Ballistic Missile Submarine (SSBN) (RN)

Postby whitelancer » 22 Jan 2017, 14:32

While we certainly need to find out what went wrong and rectify any faults (the US will be just as eager to solve any problems), its really all about perception. Their will always be those who will spin such a failure to support their own agenda so it is important that a new test firing is conducted as soon as possible, praying of course that it is successful.

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Re: Vanguard Class Nuclear Ballistic Missile Submarine (SSBN) (RN)

Postby Timmymagic » 22 Jan 2017, 16:22

arfah wrote:I'm not aware of many Trident failures, particularly the D5 variant.


Has there ever been a Trident D5 failure? Can't recall any?
I was under the impression that it was the most reliable rocket system ever created with over 50 launches and no failures prior to this. It's a worry, but 1 failure out of 50 plus, if properly investigated and any mitigation's taken (which I'm sure they will be) is still pretty exceptional.

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Re: Vanguard Class Nuclear Ballistic Missile Submarine (SSBN) (RN)

Postby xav » 22 Jan 2017, 17:29

These thing happen... Bulava as mentioned... or even M51.

it IS rocket science after all

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Re: Vanguard Class Nuclear Ballistic Missile Submarine (SSBN) (RN)

Postby Caribbean » 22 Jan 2017, 17:33

From a comment just made on Sky News, the error appears to have been a fault in a "data acquisition" system that lead the range controller to make the decision to terminate the flight. It was also denied that the missile had gone off course
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Re: Vanguard Class Nuclear Ballistic Missile Submarine (SSBN) (RN)

Postby Gabriele » 22 Jan 2017, 17:35

Timmymagic wrote:
arfah wrote:I'm not aware of many Trident failures, particularly the D5 variant.


Has there ever been a Trident D5 failure? Can't recall any?
I was under the impression that it was the most reliable rocket system ever created with over 50 launches and no failures prior to this. It's a worry, but 1 failure out of 50 plus, if properly investigated and any mitigation's taken (which I'm sure they will be) is still pretty exceptional.


I'm told there was a failure in 2012 that ended a streak of 135 successful tests since 1989. The test tally now stands at 161 or 162, and this might be the second failure on that total number of launches.
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Re: Vanguard Class Nuclear Ballistic Missile Submarine (SSBN) (RN)

Postby Ron5 » 22 Jan 2017, 18:06

Corbyns angry, thinks the launch failure should have been fully discussed in Parliament.

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Re: Vanguard Class Nuclear Ballistic Missile Submarine (SSBN) (RN)

Postby SKB » 22 Jan 2017, 22:21

HMS Vengeance at Port Canaveral, Florida in June 2016.

HMS Vengeance docks at the Naval Ordinance Test Unit at Port Canaveral, Florida. HMS Vengeance (S31) is the youngest of four strategic missile submarines and is the fourth and final Vanguard-class submarine of the Royal Navy. It carries the Trident Ballistic Missile, the UK's nuclear deterrent. The Vehicle Assembly Building at launch pads of Kennedy Space Center can be seen in the background.

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Re: Vanguard Class Nuclear Ballistic Missile Submarine (SSBN) (RN)

Postby SKB » 22 Jan 2017, 22:54

'Defence Of The Realm' - BBC Documentary (1996)
HMS Victorious


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