Swiftsure Class (1973) SSN
Fleet Attack Submarine

A total of six Swiftsure Class boats were completed. They were developed from the previous Valiant Class, having a parallel-sided hull instead of the humpback whale appearance of the Valiant's. This gave the Swiftsure's more internal space.

The Swiftsure's broke new ground in their operational capabilities, from the previous Churchill Class.

The name boat, Swiftsure was retired early, and the remaining five together with the Seven Trafalgar Class boats provide the Royal Navy's Fleet submarine  capability until being replaced by the Astute Class in the first decade of the 21st century.

Swiftsure was retired early, partly because she carried out a series of proving deep dives. But also because it is said that during one of these she dived accidentally to 50% more than her rated crush-depth. During a refit in October 1988 which was planned to last 30 months, cracks were found in her reactor pressure vessel. She was taken out of service in May 1992.

The exact duties of these boats are as usual shrouded in secrecy. Perhaps details will emerge in time.


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This page last edited - 28 February, 2013.

Copyright Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.