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HMS Valiant (S102)
HMS Valiant S102 01.jpg
Valiant in Florida in 1994
Career (UK) Royal Navy Ensign
Ordered: 31 August 1960
Builder: Vickers-Armstrongs
Laid down: 22 January 1962
Launched: 3 December 1963
Commissioned: 18 July 1966
Decommissioned: 12 August 1994
Status: Laid up
Badge: File:Valiant crest.jpg
General characteristics
Class & type: Valiant-class submarine
Displacement: 4,200 long tons (4,300 t) surfaced
4,900 long tons (5,000 t) submerged
Length: 285 ft (87 m)
Beam: 33 ft 3 in (10.13 m)
Draught: 27 ft (8.2 m)
Propulsion: 1 × Rolls-Royce pressurised water reactor
2 × English Electric steam turbines, 15,000 hp (11 MW)
2 × Paxman diesel-electric generator
1 shaft
Speed: 20 knots (23 mph; 37 km/h) surfaced
28 knots (32 mph; 52 km/h) submerged
Range: Unlimited, except by food supplies
Complement: 116
Armament: 6 × 21 in (533 mm) bow torpedo tubes

The sixth, and most recent HMS Valiant was the second of Britain's nuclear-powered submarines, and the first of the two-unit Valiant class. She was ordered on 31 August 1960, laid down 22 January 1962, launched on 3 December 1963 by Lady Thorneycroft, and finally entered service 18 July 1966.

Operational history

She was refitted in 1970, 1977 and 1989, and participated in the Falklands War in 1982, when she transmitted more than 300 early air-warning alerts and spent 101 days on patrol off Argentina's Patagonian coast. Valiant suffered minor damage when an Argentine aircraft coming back from a mission jettisoned its bombs near the submarine.[1]

Valiant at HMNB Devonport Navy Days on 26 August 2006

In November 2010, it was reported in Hansard that Valiant had ran aground in the North Norwegian Sea in March 1991.[2]

Following the development of engine trouble[citation needed] in June 1994, she was paid off 12 August 1994.

Her hull and reactor are currently laid up afloat at Devonport Dockyard, Plymouth, Devon until facilities are available for the long term storage of her radioactive components. During the HMNB Devonport Navy Days 2006, one of the members of the team working on the restoration of Courageous pointed out that Valiant was one of the first Royal Navy submarines to have her reactor removed (hence the box-like structures that are visible in the 2006 photograph, which penetrate deep into the pressure hull, later attempts on other vessels didn't require these structures). As Valiant had been cosmetically wrecked by this work, Courageous was selected for the museum ship to represent the SSN fleet of the Royal Navy during the Cold War. Components were removed from Valiant to restore Courageous.[citation needed]


  1. West, Nigel (2010). Historical Dictionary of Naval Intelligence. Scarecrow Press, pp. 63-64. ISBN 0-8108-6760-5
  2. Commons Debate, 2 November 2010


  • Moore, John, (1982). Janes Fighting Ships 1982-83, Jane's Publishing, p. 547. ISBN 0-7106-0742-3

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