Military Wiki
HMS Vigilant (S30)
Trident boat.jpg
A Vanguard-class submarine seen from ahead
Career (UK)
Laid down: 16 February 1991[1]
Launched: 14 October 1995[1]
Commissioned: 2 November 1996[1]
Homeport: HMNB Clyde
Status: Trials after refit
Badge: File:Vigilant crest.jpg
General characteristics [1]
Class & type: Vanguard-class submarine
Displacement: Dived: 15,900 long tons (16,200 t)
Length: 149.9 m (491 ft 10 in)
Beam: 12.8 m (42 ft 0 in)
Draught: 12 m (39 ft 4 in)
  • 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: Dived: 25 knots (46 km/h; 29 mph)
Range: Unlimited distance; 20–25 years
Complement: 14 officers
121 enlisted
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
  • 1 × Pilkington Optronics CK51 search periscope
  • 1 × Pilkington Optronics CH91 attack periscope
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
  • 2 × 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 torpedoes
  • 16 × ballistic missile tubes for 16 x Lockheed Trident D5 SLBMs carrying up to 192 warheads
  • HMS Vigilant is the third Vanguard-class submarine of the Royal Navy. Vigilant carries the Trident ballistic missile, the United Kingdom's nuclear deterrent.

    Vigilant was built at Barrow-in-Furness by Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering Ltd (now BAE Systems Submarine Solutions), was launched in October 1995, and commissioned in November 1996.

    Peter Hennessy reporting for the Today programme on BBC Radio 4, reported from Vigilant on 28 December 2007. He reported that there is a grey safe in the control room that has an inner safe that only the commanding officer and executive officer can open. In that safe is a letter from the current Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, the letter of last resort, which contains guidance and orders to be followed should the United Kingdom be attacked with nuclear weapons.

    The French Navy also have a SSBN in service called Vigilant.

    Operational history

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

    Vigilant arrived at Devonport on 11 October 2008 for a major refit.[2] Vigilant returned to the fleet on 27 March 2012 after her £300m refit.[3][4]

    General characteristics

    • 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) 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


    External links

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