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Postby aukepalmhof » Sun Feb 21, 2021 8:25 pm

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2020 Vanguard class Submarines.jpg
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Details of the Vanguard-class are:
1993 In service.
Submerged displacement 15,000 tonnes, dim. 149,9 x 12.8 x 12m. (draught surface)
Armament 16 Trident 2 (D5) submarine-launched intercontinental ballistic missiles and 4 - 533 mm torpedo tubes for Spearfish torpedoes.
Powered by a nuclear reactor? MW, speed 25 knots submerged.
Crew 132.

Unlike its Polaris missile-armed predecessor the Resolution class the British Vanguard-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) is a completely new design. It has, however, utilized several of the successful design features from previous SSBNs.

The Vanguard-class is the largest submarine type ever constructed in the United Kingdom, and the third-largest type of vessel in Royal Navy service. However, it is cloaked in tight secrecy. Despite the ending of the Cold War and the downgrading of its strategic mission, details on Vanguard weapon systems and patrols are still highly classified.
All four of the boats, HMS VANGUARD, HMS VICTORIOUS, HMS VIGILANT, and HMS VENGEANCE, were built by Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering Limited (now BAE Systems Marine) at its dockyard in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria. Such was their size that a special production facility, the Devonshire Dock Hall, had to be constructed. The boat's large hull was prompted by the Trident II D5 Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM), of which it can deploy 16. However, these boats patrol with a smaller complement of the crew than that of the previous Resolution class (132 as opposed to 149).

The first major transition from Polaris to Trident occurred in 1996 when HMS VICTORIOUS was deployed on patrol with a complement of Trident SLBMs. Trident has since become the sole component of the UK's nuclear deterrent, following the decommissioning of the WE177 nuclear bomb by the Royal Air Force in 1998, as part of the UK Strategic Defense Review. Furthermore, the Vanguard-class boats had their readiness to fire changed from a matter of minutes to a matter of days according to the UK Secretary of State for Defense.

The Vanguard-class missile suite contains 16 tubes and is based on the 24-tube design which the US Navy deploys on its Ohio class boats. The Trident II D5 missiles are built by Lockheed Martin in the US. However, the British missiles use different locally built re-entry vehicles. British missiles are not limited by nuclear arms reduction agreements and can carry up to 12 warheads per missile.
Missile maintenance occurs in the US. However, the UK Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston undertakes all the design, construction, installation, and maintenance of the warheads.

Each Vanguard-class submarine can carry a maximum of 192 nuclear warheads, although the Royal Navy originally insisted that each boat would carry no more than 96, deployed across eight missiles. Since the Strategic Defense Review, this has been further reduced to 48 warheads per boat, spread across four missiles. Although the Ministry of Defense refuses to comment on how many missiles are deployed when a boat is on patrol, it has indicated that the complement of Trident missiles now only carries one warhead per missile, which is probably in the sub-strategic kiloton range. A single Vanguard-class boat is on deterrence patrol at any one time, and a reserve boat is also available.

As well as having a new strategic weapons system, the Vanguard also features several other new systems. These include a Rolls-Royce nuclear-pressurized water reactor propulsion system, a new tactical weapons fit including Tigerfish and Spearfish heavyweight torpedoes for short and medium defense. Tigerfish had a range of 13-29 km depending on the homing configuration and could dive down to 442 m, though these torpedoes were withdrawn from the Royal Navy in 2004. The Spearfish has a range of up to 65 km and are significantly faster than Tigerfish. The submarine also features a greatly improved Electronic Counter Measures (ECM) suite, and state-of-the-art attack and search periscopes. These are fitted with a TV camera and thermal imager as well as the traditional optical channel.

The Vanguard-class boats were originally intended for a service life of 25 years. So the lead boats are approaching the end of their planned service life. It is expected to remain in service until 2019 without the refit. Currently, a new Dreadnought class of ballistic missile submarines is being constructed in the UK. Construction of the lead boat commenced in 2016. It is expected to be commissioned with the Royal Navy in 2028. It is planned that 4 Dreadnought class boats will be built to replace the Vanguard-class on a 1-on-1 basis. However, the new boats will carry only 12 Trident II ballistic missiles.

Name Laid down Launched Commissioned Status
HMS VANGUARD (S28) 1986 1992 1993 active, in service
HMS VICTORIOUS (S29) 1987 1993 1995 active, in service
HMS VIGILANT (S30) 1991 1995 1996 active, in service
HMS VENGEANCE (S31) 1993 1998 1999 active, in service
Sierra Leone 2020 LE14500 sg?, scott? Although this issue was authorized by the postal administration of Sierra Leone, the issue was not placed on sale in Sierra Leone, and was only distributed to the new issue trade by Sierra Leone's philatelic agent.)
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