HMS Trafalgar (S107)

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HMS Trafalgar SSN cropped.JPG
HMS Trafalgar, 2008
United Kingdom
NameHMS Trafalgar
Ordered7 April 1977
BuilderVickers Shipbuilding and Engineering, Barrow-in-Furness
Laid down15 April 1979
Launched1 July 1981
Commissioned27 May 1983
Decommissioned4 December 2009
HomeportHMNB Devonport, Plymouth
FateAwaiting Disposal
General characteristics [2]
Class and type Trafalgar-class submarine
  • Surfaced: 4,500 to 4,800 t (4,700 long tons; 5,300 short tons)[1]
  • Submerged: 5,200 to 5,300 t (5,200 long tons; 5,800 short tons)[1]
Length85.4 m (280 ft)[1]
Beam9.8 m (32 ft)[1]
Draught9.5 m (31 ft)[1]
  • 1 × Rolls Royce PWR1 nuclear reactor
  • 2 × GEC steam turbines
  • 2 × WH Allen turbo generators; 3.2 MW
  • 2 × Paxman diesel alternators 2,800 shp (2.1 MW)
SpeedOver 30 knots (56 km/h), submerged[1]
Electronic warfare
& decoys
  • 2 × SSE Mk8 launchers for Type 2066 and Type 2071 torpedo decoys
  • RESM Racal UAP passive intercept
  • CESM Outfit CXA
  • SAWCS decoys carried from 2002
  • 5 × 21-inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes with stowage for up to 30 weapons:
Service record
Operations: Operation Veritas (Afghanistan)

HMS Trafalgar is a decommissioned Trafalgar-class submarine of the Royal Navy. Unlike the rest of the Trafalgar-class boats that followed, she was not launched with a pump-jet propulsion system, but with a conventional 7-bladed propeller.[3] Trafalgar was the fifth vessel of the Royal Navy to bear the name, after the 1805 Battle of Trafalgar.

Operational history

In 2012 a Royal Navy submariner was jailed for 8 years for trying "to pass secrets to the Russians that could have undermined Britain's national security"; one element of this was information on "a secret operation undertaken by HMS Trafalgar."[4]

Combat history

After Operation Veritas, the attack on Al-Qaeda and Taliban forces following the September 11 attacks in the United States, Trafalgar entered Plymouth Sound flying the Jolly Roger on 1 March 2002. She was welcomed back by Admiral Sir Alan West, Commander-in-Chief of the fleet and it emerged she was the first Royal Navy submarine to launch Tomahawk cruise missiles against Afghanistan.[5]

Grounding incidents

In July 1996, Trafalgar grounded near the Isle of Skye in Scotland.[6]

In November 2002, Trafalgar again ran aground close to the Isle of Skye, causing £5 million worth of damage to her hull and injuring three sailors. She was travelling 50 metres below the surface at more than 14 knots when Lieutenant-Commander Tim Green, a student in the "Perisher" course for new submarine commanders, ordered a course change that took her onto the rocks at Fladda-chuain, a small but well-charted islet. Commander Robert Fancy, responsible for navigation, and Commander Ian McGhie, an instructor, both pleaded guilty at court-martial to contributing to the accident. On 9 March 2004 the court reprimanded both for negligence. Green was not prosecuted, but received an administrative censure.[7]

In May 2008 it was reported that the crash was caused by the chart being used in the exercise being covered with tracing paper, to prevent students marking it.[8]


Trafalgar was decommissioned on 4 December 2009 at Devonport.[9]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Bush, Steve (2014). British Warships and Auxiliaries. Maritime Books. p. 12. ISBN 1904459552.
  2. Jane's Fighting Ships, 2004-2005. Jane's Information Group Limited. p. 796. ISBN 0-7106-2623-1.
  3. Graham, Ian, Attack Submarine, Gloucester Publishing, Oct 1989, page 12. ISBN 978-0-531-17156-1
  4. Hopkins, Nick (13 December 2012). "Jail for submariner who tried to pass secrets to Russians: MI5 agents Vladimir and Dimitri fooled petty officer: Eight-year sentence given for serious betrayal". The Guardian. London: Guardian Newspapers Limited.
  5. Trafalgar Returns
  6. House of Commons Hansard Written Answers (
  7. "Latest Scotland, UK & World News - The Daily Record". Retrieved 7 August 2016.
  8. Dawar, Anil (23 May 2008). "Submarine's £5m repair bill blamed on tracing paper". Retrieved 7 August 2016 – via The Guardian.
  9. BBC News Submarine's final sailing to base

External links