HMS Vengeance (S31)

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For other ships with the same name, see HMS Vengeance.
Image of HMS Vengeance returning to HMNB Clyde, after completing Operational Sea Training MOD 45159434.jpg
HMS Vengeance returning to HMNB Clyde in 2007
United Kingdom
Name: HMS Vengeance
Laid down: 1 February 1993[1]
Launched: 19 September 1998[1]
Commissioned: 27 November 1999[1]
In service: 12 February 2001[2]
Homeport: HMNB Clyde
Motto: Safe by my strength
Badge: Vengeance crest.jpg
General characteristics [1]
Class and type: Vanguard-class submarine
Displacement: 15,900 tonnes, submerged[3]
Length: 149.9 m (491 ft 10 in)
Beam: 12.8 m (42 ft 0 in)
Draught: 12 m (39 ft 4 in)
Speed: In excess of 25 knots (46 km/h; 29 mph), submerged
Range: Only limited by food and maintenance requirements.
Complement: 135
Sensors and
processing systems:
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
  • Two SSE Mk10 launchers for Type 2066 and Type 2071 torpedo decoys
  • RESM Racal UAP passive intercept

HMS Vengeance is the fourth and final Vanguard-class submarine of the Royal Navy. Vengeance carries the Trident ballistic missile, the UK's nuclear deterrent.[4]

Vengeance was built at Barrow-in-Furness by Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering Ltd (now BAE Systems Submarine Solutions), was launched in September 1998, and commissioned in November 1999.

Before she was commissioned, the British Government stated that once the Vanguard submarines became fully operational, they would only carry 200 warheads.

Vengeance carries the unopened "last instructions" (letters of last resort) of the current British Prime Minister that are to be used in the event of a national catastrophe or a nuclear strike.[5]

Operational history[edit]

On 31 March 2011, while on a training exercise Vengeance suffered a blockage in her propulsor causing a reduction in propulsion. The boat returned to Faslane naval base on the surface under her own power. According to the MOD the problems were not nuclear related.[4][6]

In 2012, Vengeance started a 40 month refit at HMNB Devonport near Plymouth[7] which refueled her reactor and re-newed her machinery and electronics. During that period her sister ship Vigilant took her place in the patrol rotations.[8] She sailed from Devonport on 4 December 2015, her place in refit being taken by Vanguard.[9] Vengeance then went through trials from January 2016 to June 2016 and fired an unarmed D5 missile during her Demonstration and Shakedown Operation (DASO) which allowed her to return to the fleet. Whilst the firing of the missile was a success, the missile itself suffered a failure during flight and the test was terminated.


General characteristics[edit]

  • Displacement: 16,000 tons submerged
  • Propulsion: Rolls-Royce PWR2 reactor, two GEC turbines, single shaft, pump jet propulsor
  • Electrical Power: two Paxman diesel generators, two WH Allen turbogenerators
  • Speed: 25 knots (46 km/h; 29 mph) submerged
  • Complement: 14 officers, 121 men
  • Strategic Armament: 16 Lockheed Trident II D5 ballistic missiles
  • Defensive Armament: four 533 mm (21-inch) torpedo tubes, Spearfish torpedoes

See also[edit]


External links[edit]