One of the most advanced submarines in the British royal Navy, the Trafalgar class attack submarine HMS Turbulent has left Devonport Naval Base following a series of successful enhancements.

Key upgrades, along with routine service and maintenance, were incorporated during a 15-month package delivered by Babcock Marine at Devonport, which will extend the submarine’s operational life by two years.

Upgrades were made to the communications system, which will significantly improve interoperability with allied forces on deployed operations. A newly installed IT system will provide ship-to-shore connectivity when she is in port.

The IT systems inside the submarine have been upgraded with the installation of the Defence Information Infrastructure network, which provides a common communications platform.

Minister for Defence Equipment and Support Baroness Ann Taylor said that equipping submarine crew with the latest technology is an important investment.

“This not only facilitates operations, but also provides links back to land for those serving in the unusual conditions aboard a submarine which can give a real boost to morale,” Taylor said.

Director of Defence Equipment and Support’s in-service submarines team Alasdair Stirling said that effective communications are one of the most challenging aspects of submarine operations.

“The upgrades that we have installed have made HMS Turbulent one of the best connected submarines in the Navy,” Stirling said.

The submarine has also been fitted with the latest Tomahawk block IV cruise missiles, which have three times the range of their predecessors. The missiles can also be retargeted in flight, and can relay images to aid battlefield intelligence.

By Daniel Garrun.