HMS Sovereign (1974) 
Fleet Attack Submarine SSN  (9th)

This HMS Sovereign was laid down on 17-February-1973, launched 11-July-1974 and claims ancestry from previous Royal Sovereign's.

Although she does not carry the word Royal in her name as launched, correspondence dated 11-June-1976 from the MOD to Cdr P R Compton-Hall MBE RN (Rtd), at HMS Dolphin, advised that "... the present Sovereign should inherit all the Battle Honours of her ancestors." and that a new Honours Board would be manufactured and supplied to Sovereign
Also, when the five (later reduced to four) Polaris nuclear submarines were built they were given traditional 'R' class battleship names, but Royal Sovereign was omitted. 
In addition early nuclear submarines were regarded as a modern day capital ship equivalent to a Battleship and nearly all names were former battleship ones. (More traditional submarine names have reappeared in later classes.) 
So this is just one of many strange things which happened during the latter part of the twentieth century when British politicians tried to wish the world at peace and unilaterally reduce British armed forces rather than accept the world as it was. 
Historically, following the restoration of the Monarchy, after Oliver Cromwell's Commonwealth, it became the practice to re-affirm loyalty to the crown by prefixing warships' names with 'Royal' or 'Loyal', to commemorate some act of allegiance.  For example Royal Oak, Loyal London. Royal Sovereign is in this tradition. 
Ships of the Royal Navy have been named Sovereign of the Seas as a mark of their great size or majesty, or just plain Sovereign. Either way they are all manifestations of the same continuity of lineage, and form a bond between the wooden walls of the sixteenth century and nuclear submarines of the twenty first century. 

Sovereign is a nuclear powered fleet attack submarine, in service 2004. Little is published about her exact duties and operations.

Took part in the Trafalgar 200 Fleet Review.

Decommissioned 11-Sep-2006


Other HMS Sovereign
- 1st  HMS Trinity Sovereign
- 2nd HMS Royal Sovereign
- 3rd HMS Royal Sovereign
- 4th HMS Royal Sovereign
- 5th HMS Royal Sovereign
- 6th HMS Royal Sovereign
- 7th HMS Royal Sovereign
- 8th HMS Royal Sovereign
- 9th HMS Sovereign

- Swiftsure Class (1973) SSN
- Specifications
- Ships
- Plans/Schematics
- Pictures
- Full Battle Honours

Outside Links
- Official Website
- Associated Sites
- Related Sites

This page last edited - 12 January, 2013.

Copyright Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.