The Royal Navy Trafalgar class submarine HMS Triumph arrived at its base-port HM Naval Base Devonport (Saturday 2nd) following operations in the Mediterranean in the past two weeks.
Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles fired by HMS Triumph were part of the coalition cruise missile strikes designed to defeat Colonel Gaddafi’s air-defence system. The targets were carefully selected to avoid civilian casualties and strike a blow at the key military installations in Libya as part of a co-ordinated coalition plan to enforce the UN Security Council Resolution and protect Libyan civilians.
The submarine was flying the Jolly Roger flag on the fin as it entered Plymouth to demonstrate a successful operation including combat, using stealth and bravado for which the ‘silent service’ is renowned. In this case the submarine fired and targeted its missiles successfully, as directed by higher command, and returned without being detected by any air, land or maritime units.
HMS Triumph’s Commander Rob Dunn praised his crew for their professionalism and expressed his pride in them: “I am proud of my ship’s company. They went about their duty and carried out all I asked of them in the most professional way. They are naturally satisfied that they carried out an operational tasking using our Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles weapon system, which does not happen very often, but for which they are highly trained and prepared for at any time.
“This was a short-notice tasking for which the HMS Triumph and the ship’s company were perfectly ready for in terms of the crews’ training and the boat being at a the peak of combat readiness and at sea. We received our orders and made at high speed to our location to carry out our duty as only the unique capabilities of a Royal Navy submarine enable us to can do.”
The returning submariners were met by families and loved ones on the jetty.
In recent history HMS Triumph joined her sister-ship HMS Trafalgar in a task group participating in Operation Veritas – the British contribution to the invasion of Afghanistan. HMS Triumph’s main contribution during this period was to successfully fire Tomahawk Cruise Missiles at targets inside Afghanistan.
The current HMS Triumph is the seventh Trafalgar Class submarine and is the nineteenth nuclear powered boat built by the Royal Navy. In February 1991 she was launched by her sponsor Mrs Ann Hamilton who was the wife of the then Armed Forces Minister Archie Hamilton. Following her commission in October 1991 she completed work up and deployed around the World. In 1993 she conducted a 41,000 mile submerged transit to Australia which was, and remains, the longest unsupported solo passage by a nuclear submarine. She has since been refuelled and refitted, enabling her to provide at least 15 years’ more active service.