HMS Vanguard, the lead boat of the Vanguard-class ballistic missile submarines, has rejoined the Royal Navy fleet after a maintenance period.
In December 2015, HMS Vanguard entered a ‘Long Overhaul Period and Refuel’, which was expected to take about 3 years and cost around £200m. It took almost seven years.
Welcome back HMS Vanguard rejoining the fleet, families witnessing divisions followed by tours of the submarine. Many activities,dress up, sphero balls, rockets bouncy castle, snap circuits to name a few for those that couldn’t go onboard. @BrigJkFraserRM @RoyalNavy pic.twitter.com/gZKItelUBe
— Alex Orr (@AlexOrr81) July 16, 2022
Back In January 2012 radiation was detected in the vessel’s PWR2 reactor’s coolant water, caused by a microscopic breach in fuel cladding. This discovery led to Vanguard being scheduled to be refuelled in its next deep maintenance period, as mentioned above due to last 3.5 years from 2015, and contingency measures were applied to other Vanguard and Astute-class submarines. This was not revealed to the public until 2014.
On July 16th this year, a rededication ceremony was held welcoming the vessel back into the Royal Navy fleet.
Whereas Her Majesty’s Submarine VANGUARD is to be rededicated in Her Majesty’s Naval Base Devonport on Saturday 16th July 2022, or as soon afterwards as circumstances permit, you are to proceed forthwith to prepare for Service.
On rededication you will be under my Full Command. You are to bring to my immediate notice, through the Commander of the Submarine Flotilla and Commander Operations, anything which gives you cause for dissatisfaction with the Submarine or any other matters of importance, in particular those relating to the welfare of your personnel.
May God’s blessing be upon the Submarine and the personnel hereby entrusted to your Command and may your joint endeavours to uphold the high traditions of the Royal Navy in the service of Her Majesty The Queen be crowned with success and happiness.
Given under my hand this 27th day of June 2022.
Vice Admiral Andrew P Burns CB OBE
To: Commander Ben Smith Royal Navy”
The cost of refuelling HMS Vanguard was originally announced as £200 million but industry sources said the deal was not a fixed-price contract and it is now costing more than £75 million a year, potentially pushing the bill to more than £500 million.