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Monday, March 8, 2010

HMS Triumph attack submarine sails marking end of an era

Nuclear powered attack submarine (SSN) HMS Triumph sailed from Devonport Royal Dockyard today (Thursday 4 March) following a successful Long Overhaul Period (Refuel) [LOP(R)] by Babcock – the last Trafalgar class submarine refit and refuel to be undertaken.

The extensive four year, 2.75 million manhour refit has included some significant capability improvements, as well as reactor refuelling, refurbishment work on all submarine systems, and addressing considerable emergent repair work.

Capability improvements have included installation of the latest sonar 2076 bow, flank and towed array systems, and upgrade for Tomahawk land attack cruise missile systems. A new command and control system has been installed, as well as a new internal fibre optic computer systems network and enhanced satellite communications system. An additional ballast pump has been installed to aid rapid deballasting, and a number of safety improvements incorporated to fire fighting and escape capabilities. Major equipments have been upgraded to support both efficiency and obsolescence management programmes, such as the chilled water plants.

The LOP(R), which saw some 30,000 work instructions raised and issued, and over 75,000 items of equipment overhauled, has included a number of challenges that were successfully met. Among these was the need for new inspection equipment to be designed, manufactured and commissioned to carry out surveys on the reactor systems. This required close working between Babcock, the MoD design authority and Rolls Royce to minimise programme impact. Additionally, repairs were successfully carried out by Babcock to both torpedo tube air ram cylinders which were far more extensive than anticipated before being surveyed at the start of the LOP(R). Further challenges included equipment obsolescence issues, often requiring fault diagnosis and resolution without original manufacturer’s drawings.

Commenting on the LOP(R), Babcock submarine operations director, Devonport, Gavin Leckie, said: “The quality of HMS Triumph as she leaves for sea trials, and timely completion of this extensive refit, is testament to the skill, dedication, and close teamwork by all involved. The significant safety and capability improvements undertaken during this substantial overhaul programme have fully equipped the submarine for her next commission.”

Superintendent Submarines, Captain Mike Robinson, said: “Despite this being the last Trafalgar Class submarine LOP(R) the project has had to overcome some significant emergent technical challenges and this has required close co-operation between the MoD and Babcock. The output of much hard work is an extremely capable submarine ready for her next commission.”

HMS Triumph will now undergo a three month sea trials programme before returning to the Fleet for operational duties.

Source (defpro)