Vanguard Class (1993) 
Submarines SSBN

This Vanguard Class comprises four nuclear powered submarines armed with 16 Trident II D5 missiles. They are tasked with maintaining the United Kingdom's independent strategic nuclear deterrent. 

The first boat HMS Vanguard was commissioned in 1993 and the class was complete in 1999. They replaced the previous Resolution Class (1968) SSBN boats which were armed with shorter ranged Polaris Missiles.

Each Trident Missile can carry up to 12 MIRV's (Multiple Independently-targeted re-entry Vehicles i.e. Warheads), each with 100-120 kiloton nuclear warheads.

However as a result of Strategic Arms Limitation Treaties, each submarine carries a maximum of 48 warheads. 

Also, since 1996, low yield, non-strategic warheads have become available.

All boats are in Service at Apr-2011.


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This page last edited - 10 February, 2013.

Copyright Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.