The ''Trafalgar''-class is a class of nuclear-powered attack submarines in service with the Royal Navy,〔( Trafalgar Class ), Royal Navy. Retrieved 25 December 2014.〕 the successor to the ''Swiftsure'' class. Like the majority of Royal Navy nuclear submarines, all seven vessels were constructed by Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria. With four boats in commission and three retired, the class still makes up the majority of the Royal Navy's nuclear-powered ‘hunter-killer’ submarine force. The ''Trafalgar'' class is being gradually replaced by the larger ''Astute'' class submarine. The name ''Trafalgar'' refers to the Battle of Trafalgar fought between the Royal Navy and the combined fleets of France and Spain in 1805.
Submarines from the class have seen service in a wide range of locations, and have fired missiles at targets in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.
HMS ''Torbay,'' ''Trenchant'', ''Talent'', and ''Triumph'' have been fitted with the Sonar 2076 system, which the Royal Navy describes as the most advanced sonar in service with any navy in the world.〔(【引用サイトリンク】title=Home - Royal Navy )〕〔(Navy News and Events: Trenchant Sails After Busy Maintenance Period ) 〕〔(Royal Navy News and Events: Upgraded Attack Submarine Rejoins the Fleet ) 〕〔(Royal Navy News and Events: Minister Visits Multi-Million Pound Submarine Overhaul And Upgrade Programme ) 〕
The first ''Trafalgar''-class submarine, HMS ''Trafalgar'', was ordered on 7 April 1977 and completed in 1983. ''Turbulent'' was ordered on 28 July 1978; ''Tireless'' on 5 July 1979; ''Torbay'' on 26 June 1981; ''Trenchant'' on 22 March 1983; ''Talent'' on 10 September 1984; and finally ''Triumph'' on 3 July 1986. In 1982, Jane's Fighting Ships recorded: "Estimated cost of fourth submarine £175 million including equipment and weapon system when fitted." In 1986, Jane's recorded that the average cost for this class was £200 million at 1984-5 prices.〔''Jane's Fighting Ships, 1986-87''.〕
In 1993 ''Triumph'' sailed to Australia, covering a distance of whilst submerged and without any forward support. This marked the longest solo deployment by any British nuclear submarine.〔(【引用サイトリンク】title=HMS Triumph returns from Libya operations )〕
Three of the ''Trafalgar''-class boats have been involved in conflicts which on each occasion saw the launch of live cruise missiles. In 2001 took part in Operation Veritas, the attack on Al-Qaeda and Taliban forces following the 9/11 attacks in the United States, becoming the first Royal Navy submarine to launch Tomahawk cruise missiles against Afghanistan.〔(Trafalgar Returns )〕 On 16 April 2003, was the first Royal Navy vessel to return home from the invasion against Iraq, Operation Telic. She arrived in Plymouth flying the Jolly Roger after having launched thirty Tomahawk cruise missiles.〔http://www.hmforces.co.uk/education/articles/1444-hms-turbulent-trafalgar-class〕
In March 2011, participated in Operation Ellamy, firing Tomahawk cruise missiles on 19 March and again on 20 March〔() 〕 at Libyan air defence targets. The MOD also confirmed that on 24 March a further series of missiles were fired into Libya by a ''Trafalgar''-class submarine at air defence targets around the city of Sabha. The boat involved in this attack was later revealed to have also been ''Triumph''.〔() 〕 ''Triumph'' returned to Devonport on the 3 April 2011 flying a Jolly Roger adorned with six small Tomahawk axes to indicate the missiles fired by the submarine in the operation.〔() 〕
The class is based at HMNB Devonport, in the city of Plymouth, England.
The ''Trafalgar'' class was to be replaced by the Future Fleet Submarine, however this project was effectively cancelled in 2001 and replaced by the Maritime Underwater Future Capability. The will eventually replace the ''Trafalgar'' class as well as the now-retired ''Swiftsure''. it is planned that the last ''Trafalgar''-class submarines will remain in service until 2022.
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