Churchill Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (1970-1992) (RN)

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SKB
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Churchill Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (1970-1992) (RN)

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Image
^ HMS Conqueror (S48), the submarine which sank the General Belgrano. Note the 'Jolly Roger' flag flying.

Introduction
The Churchill class were three nuclear powered fleet submarines which served with the Royal Navy from the 1970s until the early 1990s. The Churchill class was based on the older Valiant class, but featured many internal improvements.

The lead boat was named after the former Prime Minister and First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill. HMS Conqueror was the most famous of the class, sinking the Argentinian cruiser ARA General Belgrano during the 1982 Falklands War. As of 2015, this is the only instance of a nuclear-powered submarine of any nation sinking an enemy ship by torpedo.

Design
The Churchills carried a crew of 103 and had a full load displacement of 4,900 tons whilst dived. They were 86.9 metres long, had a beam of 10.1 metres and a draught of 8.2 metres. Their single pressurized water-cooled reactor supplied steam to two English Electric geared turbines, producing a total of 20,000 shp (15,000 kW) for the single shaft and resulting in a maximum of 28 knots submerged. One Kelvin Type 1006 surface-search radar was fitted. The ships were built with a Type 2001 sonar array, but this was replaced in the late 1970s with a Type 2020 array and a Type 2026 towed array. Weapons included Mark 8 torpedoes, Mark 24 Tigerfish torpedoes, and Sub-Harpoon anti-ship missiles. Six 21-inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes fired from the bow.

Like all nuclear-powered submarines the Churchill class could remain submerged almost indefinitely, with supplies of food being the only limiting factor.

HMS Churchill evaluated both the American Mark 48 torpedo and the UGM-84 Harpoon missile, though only the latter was adopted by the Royal Navy. She was decommissioned in 1990 and is laid up at Rosyth awaiting disposal.

In 1981 HMS Courageous became the first British submarine to carry the Sub-Harpoon missile. She was decommissioned in 1992 and is at Devonport Dockyard serving as a museum ship.

Service history
HMS Conqueror was the most famous of the class (nicknamed 'Conks'), sinking the Argentinian cruiser ARA General Belgrano during the 1982 Falklands War. She did not fire again during the war, but provided valuable help to the British task force by using her monitoring equipment to track Argentine aircraft departing the mainland. After the war Conqueror returned to Faslane; the sinking of the Belgrano had provoked controversy in Britain and Conqueror was criticised for flying the Jolly Roger on returning to port, as Royal Navy submarines customarily did on returning after scoring a kill. She is the only nuclear-powered submarine of any nationality to have engaged an enemy ship with torpedoes. She was decommissioned in 1990 and as of 2015 is awaiting disposal. Conqueror's periscope can be viewed at the Royal Navy's museum in Portsmouth.

Churchill Class

1. HMS Churchill (S46) Commissioned 1970. Decommissioned 1991.
2. HMS Courageous (S50) Commissioned 1971. Decommissioned 1992.
3. HMS Conqueror (S48) Commissioned 1971. Decommissioned 1990.

Displacement: 4,900 tonnes
Length: 86.9 m (285 ft)
Beam: 10.1 m (33 ft)
Draught: 8.2 m (27 ft)
Propulsion: One nuclear reactor, one shaft
Speed: 28 knots (52 km/h) submerged
Range: Unlimited, except by food supplies
Complement: 103
Armament:
6 × 533 mm tubes capable of firing:
Mark 8 torpedoes
Tigerfish torpedoes
RN Sub Harpoon Missiles

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SKB
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Re: Churchill Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (1970-1992) (RN)

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Re: Churchill Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (1970-1992) (RN)

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Re: Churchill Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (1970-1992) (RN)

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The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
Winston Churchill

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