The third Vanguard-class ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) HMS Vigilant (S30) has been officially handed over to the UK Royal Navy following the successful completion of a £350m long overhaul period (refuel) (LOP(R)) programme.
Carried out by Babcock, the three-year refit and refuel programme involved installation of modernised strategic weapons equipment, as well as integration of the tactical weapons and submarine command systems.
Simon Lister, director of Submarines for the Ministry of Defence rear admiral, said: "A project of this size and complexity introduces many demanding challenges and the highly sophisticated nature of the work involved in the deep maintenance of these magnificent vessels is testament to the experience and skills of all those involved."
HMS Vigilant also has been equipped with a new reactor core, allowing it to function without refuelling again until the end of its operational life.
"The dedication, determination and synergy of Team Vigilant has ensured that she has been returned to full operation in excellence condition in the shortest of timescales," Lister added.
Since November 2010, the submarine has been undergone testing and sea trials and involved around 200 design alterations and additions (A&A), as well as class modifications to enhance the submarine's operational capability.
As part of its final preparation, HMS Vigilant is scheduled to undergo demonstration and shakedown operations (DASO), during which the vessel will fire a dummy Trident missile down the US test range, prior to returning to the operational deterrent patrol cycle.
All four Vanguard-class submarines, each capable of carrying 16 missile tubes and Trident 2 D5 nuclear missiles, are currently based at HMNB Clyde.
Image: Royal Navy's Vanguard-class ballistic missile submarine, HMS Vigilant can carry Trident 2 D5 nuclear missiles. Photo: Royal Navy.