HMS Trafalgar (S107)

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HMS Trafalgar, 2008
United Kingdom
Name: HMS Trafalgar
Ordered: 7 April 1977
Builder: Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering, Barrow-in-Furness
Laid down: 15 April 1979
Launched: 1 July 1981
Commissioned: 27 May 1983
Decommissioned: 4 December 2009
Homeport: HMNB Devonport, Plymouth
Fate: Awaiting Disposal
Badge: 100px
General characteristics [1]
Class & type: Trafalgar-class submarine
Displacement: 5,300 tonnes, submerged
Length: 85.4 m (280 ft)
Beam: 9.8 m (32 ft)
Draught: 9.5 m (31 ft)
Speed: Up to 32 knots (59 km/h), submerged
Range: Only limited by food and maintenance requirements.
Complement: 130
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
  • 2 × SSE Mk8 launchers for Type 2066 and Type 2071 torpedo decoys
  • RESM Racal UAP passive intercept
  • CESM Outfit CXA
  • SAWCS decoys carried from 2002
  • 5 × 21-inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes with stowage for up to 30 weapons:
Service record
Operations: Operation Veritas (Afghanistan)

HMS Trafalgar is a decommissioned Trafalgar-class submarine of the Royal Navy. Unlike the rest of the Trafalgar-class boats that followed, she was not launched with a pump-jet propulsion system, but with a conventional 7-bladed propeller.[2] Trafalgar was the fifth vessel of the Royal Navy to bear the name, after the 1805 Battle of Trafalgar.

Operational history

In 2012 a Royal Navy submariner was jailed for 8 years for trying "to pass secrets to the Russians that could have undermined Britain's national security"; One element of this was information on "a secret operation undertaken by HMS Trafalgar."[3]

Combat history

After Operation Veritas, the attack on Al-Qaeda and Taliban forces following the 9/11 attacks in the United States, Trafalgar entered Plymouth Sound flying the Jolly Roger on 1 March 2002. She was welcomed back by Admiral Sir Alan West, Commander-in-Chief of the fleet and it emerged she was the first Royal Navy submarine to launch tomahawk cruise missiles against Afghanistan.[4]

Grounding incidents

In July 1996, Trafalgar grounded near the Isle of Skye in Scotland.[5]

In November 2002, Trafalgar again ran aground close to the Isle of Skye, causing £5 million worth of damage to her hull and injuring three sailors. She was travelling 50 metres below the surface at more than 14 knots when Lieutenant-Commander Tim Green, a student in the "Perisher" course for new submarine commanders, ordered a course change that took her onto the rocks at Fladda-chuain, a small but well-charted islet. Commander Robert Fancy, responsible for navigation, and Commander Ian McGhie, an instructor, both pleaded guilty at court-martial to contributing to the accident. On 9 March 2004 the court reprimanded both for negligence. Green was not prosecuted, but received an administrative censure.[6]

In May 2008 it was reported that the crash was caused by the chart being used in the exercise being covered with tracing paper, to prevent students marking it.[7]


Trafalgar was decommissioned on 4 December 2009 at Devonport.[8]

In fiction

Trafalgar is featured in the novel Red Storm Rising by Tom Clancy, in which the submarine is sunk by a Soviet mine.[citation needed]


  1. Jane's Fighting Ships, 2004-2005. Jane's Information Group Limited. p. 796. ISBN 0-7106-2623-1.
  2. Graham, Ian, Attack Submarine, Gloucester Publishing, Oct 1989, page 12. ISBN 978-0-531-17156-1
  3. Hopkins, Nick (2012-12-13). "Jail for submariner who tried to pass secrets to Russians: MI5 agents Vladimir and Dimitri fooled petty officer: Eight-year sentence given for serious betrayal". The Guardian. London: Guardian Newspapers Limited. |access-date= requires |url= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Trafalgar Returns[dead link]
  5. House of Commons Hansard Written Answers (
  6. Daily Record
  7. Guardian report
  8. BBC News Submarine's final sailing to base

External links