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A Triumph Of Refurbishment
by James Dunnigan
April 11, 2010

The British SSN (nuclear attack sub) Triumph just completed its mid-career refueling and refurbishment. This is the last of the Trafalgar-class boats to go through this process, which took nearly five years and 2.75 million man hours. There were some 30,000 tasks on the to-do list, and 75,000 items on the boat were repaired, replaced or otherwise meddled with. As a crew was reassembled, they spent thousands of hours on control room and equipment simulators, preparing to take the  refurbished boat out for three months of trials, to make sure everything still works. The Triumph will then be able to serve for another twelve years.

This Trafalgar-class of seven boats is considered on par with the American Los Angeles class. Armed with five 21-inch torpedo tubes, the Trafalgar carries Spearfish torpedoes, along with the Harpoon and Tomahawk missiles. The lead ship of the class, the HMS Trafalgar, was decommissioned three months ago.

The Trafalgar-class subs (and the Astute-class, an evolved Trafalgar design) are much smaller in number, however, their edge lies in the training of their commanding officers. The British “Perisher” course is arguably the best training for a submarine commander in the world. The first of seven Astute class boats enters service this year, using many officers and NCOs who learned their craft on Trafalgars..


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