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HMS Victorious’ £560m refit to ready her for future operations

HMS Victorious’ £560m refit to ready her for future operations
1 March 2024
Submarine HMS Victorious will return to the Royal Navy modernised and ready for future operations thanks to a half a billion pound life extension programme.

Babcock and the UK’s Submarine Delivery Agency have agreed a contract worth an estimated £560m to deliver the planned deep maintenance and future-proofing of the Vanguard-class boat.

The nuclear submarine arrived in Plymouth last year to prepare for the programme which will enable her to continue operational patrols well into the 2030s. Work on HMS Victorious is already underway.

The boat is the second Vanguard-class submarine to undergo a life extension package at Babcock’s Devonport facility.

She and the rest of the Vanguard fleet are key components in the UK military’s longest operation - Operation Relentless. Since 1969, at least one nuclear-armed ballistic missile submarine is maintaining the continuous at sea deterrent posture at all times, deterring the most extreme threats to the UK and our way of life.

Second Sea Lord Vice Admiral Martin Connell said: “The Royal Navy performs no more important mission than Operation Relentless, the continuous at sea strategic deterrent patrols which have been performed by our submariners uninterrupted since 1969.

“The mission requires an unprecedented national effort in support, maintaining our Vanguard-class submarines to the very highest engineering standards.
“The overhaul of HMS Victorious will allow the boat to carry out deterrent patrols until the next generation of submarines, the Dreadnought-class, enter service.”

The programme is being delivered at Babcock’s facility in Devonport which is seeing significant investment in the naval base’s facilities. As well as supporting the maintenance of existing and future classes of submarine, it will also enhance Devonport Dockyard’s ability to deliver major defence projects.

Through the maintenance work on HMS Victorious, more than 1,000 jobs will be sustained in the south west.  Alongside this, Babcock is continuing to build its workforce through its Plymouth-based Babcock Skills Academy, which includes a focus on submarine support and the critical nuclear skills required to perform deep submarine maintenance.

The Vanguard fleet will be replaced by the Dreadnought-class submarines from the early 2030s.

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