Submarines: HMS Torbay Gets A Touch Up


October 21, 2011: A 24 year old British SSN (nuclear attack submarine), HMS Torbay, is undergoing a refurbishment (Revalidation and Assisted Maintenance Period, or RAMP). This will require 300,000 manhours to complete, and will keep the sub fit for duty until its scheduled retirement in another decade or so. Or maybe a lot less. Currently, the official retirement date is 2015.

A Trafalgar class boat, HMS Torbay is a 4,700 ton, 85.4 meter (280 feet) long sub with a crew of 130. The boat is armed with five 21 inch (533mm) torpedo tubes and two smaller tubes for torpedo decoys. The Trafalgars can carry 30 torpedoes, Harpoon anti-ship missiles or land attack cruise missiles.

The RAMP process will improve communications, stealth (via a new paint job and quieter operation), and mechanical reliability. Previously, Torbay had been out of action from 1998-2005 for maintenance.



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