HMS Talent, one of the Royal Navy’s Trafalgar class submarines, has begun training after an extensive refit in Devonport.

After said programme, she will be declared operational, and will rejoin the frontline operational fleet.

This article was submitted by Henry Jones. Henry is a student based in the UK. His interest in defence is derived largely from family connection, as well as studying international security. He has previously written for The People’s News, and is the grandson of Lt Col ‘H’ Jones VC, killed in the Falklands War.

Although scheduled to be decommissioned in 2021 and replaced by an Astute class submarine, likely HMS Audacious, she has been fitted with Sonar 2076.

Sonar 2076 is a new sonar detection system designed by Thales for the Royal Navy. Described as “the world’s most advanced, fully integrated, passive/active search and attack sonar suite” by Thales, it is no doubt a valuable asset.

The upgrade comes at a critical period in submarine warfare. At a RUSI conference on sea power earlier this year, Gavin Williamson warned of increasing Russian submarine activity around Britain.

He also commented that “in 2010 a Royal Navy ship was called on just once to respond to Russian Navy ships approaching UK territorial waters. Last year we had to respond 33 times.”

Whilst the MoD rarely comments on submarine operations, much like special forces, it is likely that with the increase Williamson cites, there has also been increased pressure on the submarine fleet.

As Russian activity increases, and the war in Syria winds down, the Trafalgar class may again be called upon in the Mediterranean. It is highly unlikely that between now and her decommissioning, HMS Talent will remain quiet.

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I have noticed that as well. I can’t be sure, but it seems to have happened around the time that UKDJ did the live coverage of the F35Bs arrival in Britain, or at least it was just after that I noticed it. I thought it might have been my PC but my second PC is doing the same.

Nigel Collins

It appears to be a caching error.

Steve M

Yeah it seems as though the page isn’t refreshing its cache. Manually doing so is the solution temporarily, however annoyingly. Hit Ctrl+F5

It’s also the same to update comments too.


Thanks, Steve. 🙂


Will any more Trafalgars be refitted prior to oos?

Sceptical Richard

Julian, my understanding is that they’ve all (3) been or are being upgraded. Real shame we will get rid of these last three boats. They are really excellent submarines. How I wish we could keep them for longer and run a ten strong SSN force for the foreseeable future. These, together with our Special Forces, represent Britain’s greatest contribution to the Alliance.


Is there any prospect of keeping any of the T boats in service to extend fleet numbers? Having had some involvement with the construction of the A boats I find it difficult to believe that enough parts don’t exist among the retired fleet to keep 1 or2 boats capable of home waters patrol?

Sceptical Richard

Money and people. A shortage of both. Technically possible, practically not. A great shame.


So, a major refit just three years prior to decommissioning…

Anyone close enough to understand if Talent could last beyond three years?

We’ll not build quick enough to increase fleet size beyond seven for well over a decade, I wonder if Canada having extended the life of their old RN subs again using BAE means there’s an opportunity to create some overlap and thus create a larger fleet….

John Clark

The Trafalgar’s could potentially carry on a for a fair bit longer, after all, they have spent the last 20 years mainly in shallower water, not playing cat and mouse with the Russians in the wild depths of the North Atlantic. It depends if the maintenance money and the crewing issues could be overcome. There’s certainly an increasing and very good reason to bring the SSN fleet back to 10 at least. The Trafalgar’s are excellent and highly capable boats, especially refitted with some of Astutes world beating systems. Persinally, I would love to have seen three more Astutes built… Read more »


I would love to see the RN make a special case for these three and use the same method as the USN to retire them. The USN actively monitors the vessels themselves to se if they can be extended instead of setting an arbiatry figure. That being said we have no crew to man what we do have much less a 30% increSe in SSN hulls. We should now focus on developing a UUV like the Boeing Echo Voyager that we can send out by the dozen into the North Atlantic to track Russian submarines. They can be unarmed in… Read more »


Superb picture!


‘It is highly unlikely that between now and her decommissioning, HMS Talent will remain quiet’ – it better had !


I see stories day about a lack of personel for ships, subs etc. Would it be possible to use sailors from other NATO countries to pad the numbers out and do the less skilled or demanding roles or train Gurkhas to sail?