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Trafalgar Class Submarine Updates

The Sound Room on HMS Torbay
The Sound Room on HMS Torbay

HMS TorbayAttack Submarine HMS Torbay, pictured here off Plymouth, has rejoined the active fleet following a £240 million update and reactor fuelling HMS Torbay has returned to the fleet after a £240 million upgrade, which is part of the Swiftsure and Trafalgar Update Final Phase (S&) project to update three other submarines, HMS Trenchant, HMS Talent and HMS Triumph.

S&P Programme manager, Captain Ian Hughes RN said, "HMS Torbay is the first of four Trafalgar Class submarines to re-enter service under this £600 million programme, which will give these boats effectively the same very advanced combat capabilities intended for the much larger Astute class, now in build."

The new upgrades include

  • a new Command Console
  • an upgraded Submarine Command System
  • a new Tactical Weapons System Highway
  • upgraded communication system, RICE10
  • new Propulsor and new Flexi couplings
  • upgraded Signature reduction measures.

Also included as part of the programme, is the introduction of the fully integrated Sonar 2076 composed of a bow, flank and towed array sensor. Captain Hughes added "Its performance is greatly enhanced over that of current equipment fitted to attack boats. A good analogy for the performance of Sonar 2076 is that if the submarine was in Winchester it would be able to track a double decker bus going round Trafalgar Square.

HMS Torbay has now been fitted with this new sonar developed by Thales Underwater Systems Limited which contains 13,000 sensitive hydrophones and has the equivalent processing power as 60,000 PCs.

HMS Trenchant is the next submarine to complete the update. She is due to be ready for operations later this year.