19 August 2016
A nuclear-powered Royal Navy attack submarine is ready to return to action after being given a major upgrade in Plymouth.
Hunter-killer submarine HMS Trenchant was re-dedicated today, Friday, in a special ceremony with the crew and their families, marking the vessel's reintegration into the fleet.
It comes after one of the largest and most complex maintenance upgrades to a submarine ever undertaken at Devonport Naval Base, with new weapons and sensors being installed.
It is hoped the new upgrades will see the boat through until it is decommissioned in 2019.
Commander Rob Watts, captain of HMS Trenchant, praised the crew for their professionalism and thanked their families for their constant support.
"I have much faith in this finest of crews will see out Trenchant's final chapter with professionalism and pride," he said at today's re-dedication service.
"It is with much pride I have in showing you off to our sponsor and your families and friends.''
Returning to the fleet with the most modern equipment available, HMS Trenchant is capable of
conducting a range of complex tasks including underwater and above water warfare as well as long-range strikes, landing troops and intelligence collection.
The work included a double motor generator change in dry dock, external hull paint, main battery exchange, extensive hull surveillance work, wide-ranging system surveys and a package of planned maintenance on the reactor system – amounting to more than 650,000 direct labour hours.
Babcock direct submarine support, Gavin Leckie, explained: "The completion of this project is a reflection of the strong cooperation of the joint Babcock, MoD and ship staff team who have overcome a number of significant technical challenges to deliver HMS Trenchant back to the Royal Navy in an excellent material state, and I'm grateful to all involved for their support in achieving this milestone."
Among the families in attendance at today's parade was Kirsty Gregory, wife of radio engineer artificer Neil, and their four children Nancy, seven, Lulu, 12, and Owen, 12.
"This is a good fun day for the children and me," she said.
"Trenchant is a very good submarine as far as families are concerned. We get lots of support while they are deployed.
"We are not forgotten and our role in looking after the home and children is appreciated and recognised by the command.
"The families of submariners are all one big family.
"The children grow up with others from other families over the years and it all works when we support each other when our husbands are away for months.
"Having an event like this and visiting the submarine gives the children a chance to understand why daddy goes away.''