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HMS Vigilant

HMS Vigilant

HMS Vigilant is not, by nature, a high-profile vessel. Her role as one of the four submarines which make up the UK National nuclear deterrent means she must 'disappear' on patrol for weeks on end. For the past three years or so she has been out of circulation, undergoing her first major upgrade since she was launched at Barrow on 14 October 1995.

HMS Vigilant

Her mid-life Long Overhaul Period Refuel LOP(R), costing in excess of £300 million, has seen her reactor core upgraded and she now has enough fuel to power her through the rest of her working life, as well as significant upgrades to all her major machinery and operating systems.

The LOP involved more than 3,500 separate surveys and at least 200 distinct upgrades, bringing in more than 80 different sub-contractors to conduct the 2.5 Million man hours of work carried out at Devonport under the control of Babcock Marine and the DE&S.

Vigilant left Devonport in the middle of last year as the most technologically advanced of her class, and has returned to her home port of Faslane where she is entering a period of extensive sea trials which will test both the submarine’s systems and her Ship’s Company.

She has undertaken her Demonstration and Shakedown Operations in the USA, which culminated in a successful test firing of an unarmed Trident II D5 Test Missile. She is in the process of readying herself to take up her role in the deterrent patrol cycle, a cycle which has been unbroken since 1969, totaling in excess of 300 patrols and more than 43 years, an impressive record in any organisation.


Roscoe Tanner

HMS Atute, HMS Tireless, HMS Torbay
Military experience

Joined the Royal Navy in 1990 having worked on the River Thames as a boatman for several years. After completing basic training appointments in HMS Bristol and Newcastle he volunteered for submarines.
Commander Tanner's first boat was HMS Ursula, and he became the last Officer (and probably the last person) to earn his Dolphins on a UK diesel boat. After 18 months of running in the North Atlantic, he transferred to HMS Unicorn for her Middle East deployment; where the boat carried out various operations and conducted a number of visits which included Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

On return he completed Navigator’s Course and joined HMS Victorious for her on her first and third patrols. After the Advanced Warfare Course, he then joined HMS Splendid as a Watch Leader. With 3 years on a running S boat, which included a deployment to the USA’s West Coast and a frequent visits to the Mediterranean including operations during the Kosovo crises. Subsequently transferring to HMS Torbay and brought her out of refit as the Ops Officer and again deployed to the USA, this time the East Coast. Passing SMCC in 2003, he joined HMS Tireless for a short period before joining HMS Vigilant as XO. After 3 successful patrols, he went on exchange with the US Navy as CTF 69's Deputy Submarine Ops Officer with responsibility for submarines operating in the US EUCOM and AFRICOM AOR. Returning to the UK, he joined FOST SM as Head of Training (South) / ST 19. During this period he led Safety and Navigation Sea Training including the accreditation of WECDIS on submarines. This was followed by the appointment as XO in HMS Astute, during which time the boat completed the vast majority of sensor and weapon sea trials. This included a 6 month deployment to the East Coast of the USA.
Following selection for promotion in 2012, he attended the Advanced Command and Staff Course at JSCSC Shrivenham. He graduated with a MA in 2013 having completed a dissertation on Terrorism / Organised Crime Nexus. Hobbies include DIY; coaching and refereeing Rugby and following most sports. He is also has a developing interest in Blacksmithing




Tracker remains Vigilant as she shepherds nuclear submarine safely home
23 April 2014

HMS Vigilant has successfully completed the latest patrol carrying Britain’s...

Vigilant completes first patrol in five years after massive revamp
Vigilant completes first patrol in five years after massive revamp
13 November 2013

Five years of toil and training reached their apotheosis for...

Vigilant crew honoured for work leading up to successful missile test firing
Vigilant crew honoured for work leading to successful missile test firing
05 June 2013

The crew of HMS Vigilant received a trophy for being...

HMS Vigilant shows vigilance when it comes to health and fitness
HMS Vigilant shows vigilance when it comes to health and fitness
08 February 2013

The crew of HMS Vigilant are embracing even healthier lifestyles...





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  • The First Vigilant

    The first Vigilant was the French 4th Rate Vigilante, mounting 58 guns, captured by Superb off Cape Breton in May 1745 and sold in December 1759; balancing up the account was the Canadian Lakes schooner Vigilant of 1755, captured by the French at Oswego in August 1756.

  • The Third Vigilant

    The third of the name was a 3rd Rate 64-gun ship of the line launched at Bucker’s Hard in Hampshire in October 1774. She saw plenty of action, including battles in the Caribbean and in home waters.

  • The Fourth Vigilant

    An ‘armed ship’ of 20 guns, formerly the Empress of Russia, was bought in America in 1777 but was burnt at South Carolina three years later.

  • The fifth Vigilant

    The fifth Vigilant met the same fate met as the fourth. The four-gun cutter Vigilante (formerly the Alerte), a capture from the French in August 1793, was destroyed at the evacuation of Toulon just four months later.

  • Vigilant Number Six

    Number 6 was a four-gun schooner bought in 1803 and sold in 1808, her successor was the French eight-gun schooner Imperial, captured by Cygnet off Dominica in May 1806 and renamed Subtle six months later. Within a year she was wrecked off Bermuda.

  • Launch at Deptford

    Next was a 12-gun cutter launched at Deptford in April 1821, while Vigilant number 9 came to nothing – the 1,540-ton wooden screw frigate was ordered in March 1846 to be built in Portsmouth but cancelled three years later.

  • The Eighth Vigilant

    A wood screw gunvessel of 680 tons was launched at Blackwall in London in March 1856 and sold in Bombay in February 1869; two years later Vigilant number 11, a wooden paddle dispatch vessel of 1,000 tons, was launched in Devonport and served for 15 years before being sold in Hong Kong in October 1886.

  • Torpedo Boat Destroyer

    The next Vigilant was a 380-ton C-class ‘30-Knotter’ torpedo-boat destroyer, a speculative purchase from John Brown in 1900 which served with the Navy for 20 years.

  • Survival and Attack

    Far-from-unlucky 13 was the 1,710-ton Valentine-class destroyer launched by Swan Hunter at the end of 1942, which not only survived the war but also had roles to play in the attack on the Tirpitz in April 1944, in the Force 63 bombardment of Sumatra a year later, supporting air strikes on Penang and the landings in Rangoon, both in 1945.

  • A Type 15 Fast Anti-Submarine Frigate

    In 1952-53 she was converted to a Type 15 fast anti-submarine frigate, and was eventually broken up at Faslane in 1965.

  • Vigilant Numbers 14 and 15

    Number 14 was a patrol boat, launched in March 1975 and renamed Meavy in July 1986 – leaving the current V-boat as Vigilant Number 15. Turning to the auxiliaries, all bar one date from the 20th century, the exception being a small cutter hired between 1793 and 1801. Four were tugs (one of which assisted in rescue attempts on HMS Thetis in Liverpool Bay in the summer of 1939), three trawlers or motor fishing vessels, and the remaining three were a drifter, auxiliary patrol craft and yacht.

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