Following an extensive period in maintenance and a number of equipment upgrades, HMS Triumph has rejoined the front-line fleet.
After a short but welcome break in Faslane the submarine returned to sea. Using an exercise scenario Triumph entered the final phase of sea training. The submarine was required to conduct tasking as directed by the embarked training staff and this ranged from simulated Tomahawk missile strikes, to basic intelligence takes of passing shipping, and photographs of installations ashore.
HMS Triumph is a Trafalgar class nuclear submarine and is due to be the last of the Trafalgar class submarines to be decommissioned, scheduled for 2022.
In March 2011, she participated in Operation Ellamy, firing Tomahawk cruise missiles at Libyan air defence targets. One of these strikes hit a command and control centre in Colonel Gaddafi’s presidential compound.
Some improvements over the Swiftsure class include its reduced acoustic signature, thanks to the hull being covered in anechoic tiles which are designed to absorb sound rather than reflect it, making the boats quieter and more difficult to detect with active sonar.
Like all Royal Navy submarines, the Trafalgar class have strengthened fins and retractable hydroplanes, allowing them to surface through thick ice.
Four boats of the class -Torbay, Trenchant, Talent, and Triumph- have been fitted with the Sonar 2076 system, which Thales describes as having a “reputation as the world’s most advanced, fully integrated, passive/active search and attack sonar suite”.
Beginning in 2014, the last four boats of the class underwent a communications package upgrade.
The Trafalgar class is equipped with five 21-inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes with accommodation for a mixture of up-to 30 weapons including the Tomahawk Block IV cruise missile and Spearfish heavyweight torpedo.
The Tomahawk missiles are capable of hitting a target to within a few metres, to a range of 1,000 miles.