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.