|HMS Splendid (S106)|
|Name:||HMS Splendid (ex Severn)|
|Launched:||5 October 1979|
|Commissioned:||21 March 1981|
|Badge:||File:HMS Splendid creset.jpg|
|Class & type:||Swiftsure-class submarine|
|Displacement:||4,900 tonnes (dived)|
|Length:||82.9 m (272 ft 0 in)|
|Beam:||9.8 m (32 ft 2 in)|
|Draught:||8.5 m (27 ft 11 in)|
One Rolls-Royce pressurised water nuclear reactor (PWR1) |
Two WH Allen turbo generators
One Paxman diesel alternator
One emergency drive motor
|Speed:||In excess of 20 knots (37 km/h), dived|
|Complement:||116 officers and men|
5 × 21 in (533 mm) torpedo tubes|
RN Sub Harpoon missiles
Tomahawk cruise missiles
HMS Splendid was a Royal Navy nuclear-powered fleet submarine of the Swiftsure class. HMS Splendid was launched at Barrow on 5 October 1979, by Lady Eberle, wife of Admiral Sir James Eberle, then Commander-in-Chief Fleet. The boat was built by Vickers Shipbuilding Groups and was under the command of Commander R C Lane-Nott.
Since her launch in 1979, she has taken part in many conflicts involving British forces around the globe.
Her first major conflict came in 1982 when Argentinian forces invaded the British held Falkland Islands. Splendid was one of the first submarines to reach the islands, arriving mid April, after sailing from Faslane. Unlike HMS Conqueror, Splendid did not directly engage Argentinian forces, she did however provide valuable reconnaissance to the British Task Force on Argentine aircraft movements. Splendid's presence along with HMS Conqueror effectively restricted the freedom of action of the Argentine Navy which spent most of the war confined to port.
In the late 1990s, Splendid became the first British ship to be armed with American-built Tomahawk cruise missiles. In 1999 the BBC were allowed on board to record her firing Tomahawks in battle against Yugoslav targets in Belgrade during the Kosovo War, becoming the first British submarine in the conflict to do so. She again fired these weapons against Iraqi targets in the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
In July 2003, HMS Splendid returned to her home at Faslane Naval Base on the River Clyde in Scotland. She was decommissioned in HMNB Devonport, Plymouth in 2004 due to defence cuts. Commander Burke was later awarded the OBE for his leadership of HMS Splendid in the Gulf.
Involvement with the sinking of the Kursk
HMS Splendid was present, along with the US Navy submarines the USS Memphis and the USS Toledo at the Russian war games during which the Russian submarine Kursk exploded and sank, resulting in the loss of that submarine and all 118 sailors and officers on board. Despite the conclusions of independent forensic inquiries and the eventual corroborating admission by the Russian Navy that the explosion was triggered by a faulty torpedo onboard the Kursk, various conspiracy theories posit that Kursk was actually sunk by one of the US or British submarines. This may partly stem from the Russian Navy's initial attempts to shunt away criticism of its failed efforts to rescue the surviving crew members from the ocean floor and of the generally poor condition of its own equipment, which was eventually found to be the cause of both the sinking and the failure of the Russian rescue attempts. In the days immediately after the explosion, Russia suggested that the cause of the disaster was a collision with one of the US or British submarines present. Though the accusation proved to be unfounded, conspiracy theorists have inevitably picked up on and elaborated it in various directions over time.
|1987||1988||Commander Mark Stanhope RN|
- Hero's welcome for sub crew
- "Russia Identifies U.S. Sub". New York Times. 2000-09-01. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C06E7D61530F932A3575AC0A9669C8B63. Retrieved 2008-12-19.
- Gentleman, Amelia (2002-08-24). "Fire down below". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2002/aug/24/highereducation.kursk. Retrieved 2008-12-19.
- "Cohen Press conference at the U.S. Embassy, Tokyo". US Department of Defense. 2000-09-22. http://www.defenselink.mil/transcripts/transcript.aspx?transcriptid=1821. Retrieved 2008-12-19.
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