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HMS Warspite (S103)
49 HMS Warspite entering Gibraltar Feb1970.jpg
HMS Warspite
Career RN Ensign
Name: HMS Warspite
Builder: Vickers-Armstrongs
Launched: 25 September 1965
Commissioned: 18 April 1967
Decommissioned: 1991
Fate: In storage, awaiting disposal
Badge: 100px
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)
1 × 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
24 torpedoes
Later equipped with:
• RNSH UGM-84 Harpoon (RN version of underwater launched cruise missile)
Tigerfish torpedoes
• Main Sonar system 2001

The latest HMS Warspite was the third of Britain's nuclear-powered submarines, and the second (and final) of the Valiant class. She was launched on 25 September 1965 by Mary Wilson, the wife of the then British Prime Minister Harold Wilson, and entered service 18 April 1967.

Warspite underwent a two-year refit, which was nearing completion just as the Falklands War started. After the war ended she carried out a record breaking patrol around the island and the Argentine coast.[1]

She was also part of a BBC television documentory called Submarine.

The submarine was decommissioned due to mechanical failure associated with the reactor in 1991. Mainly operated out of HMNB Clyde, at Faslane (the former Clyde Submarine Base) with the Third Submarine Squadron. Her hull and reactor are currently laid up afloat at Devonport Dockyard, Plymouth until facilities are available for the long term storage of her radioactive components.

Notable commanders of this vessel include Sandy Woodward.[1] Woodward went on to command the Falklands Conflict battle group, became Commander-in-Chief Naval Home Command and rose to the rank of admiral.

Warspite (left) and Conqueror (centre) with Valiant (at rear) at Devonport Navy Days, 26 August 2006.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Ballantyne, Iain (2001). Warspite Warships of the Royal Navy. Pen & Sword Books Ltd. pp. 206–207. ISBN 0-85052-779-1. 

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