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HMS Talent

HMS Talent

HMS Talent - a technically advanced, nuclear powered ‘hunter-killer’ submarine. HMS Talent is the penultimate platform of seven Trafalgar Class submarines. Launched by HRH Princess Anne in Barrow in Furness in 1988 the Submarine has conducted operations all around the world. The principal role of the ‘hunter-killer’ is to attack ships and other submarines. In this capacity they could support and protect a convoy or taskforce.

HMS Talent

Additionally Talent can be used in a surveillance role as she is fitted with cameras and thermal imaging periscopes. Talent is also fitted with Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAM) which gives the boat a land attack role.


Craig Ballantyne

Triumph, Talent, Sceptre
Military experience

Born in Kingston upon Hull, East Yorkshire in 1971, Craig attended Sydney Smith High School prior to joining the Royal Navy in 1988. On completion of initial training he volunteered for submarines, joining his first boat, HMS Repulse in 1989. Tours in submarines Ocelot, Victorious, Trenchant and HMS Turbulent followed prior to selection to attend BRNC Dartmouth in 2000.

Upon completion of BRNC and sea training in HMS Westminster, Craig returned to the submarine service, joining HMS Triumph as the casing officer. A short ride in Talent to re-qualify followed, prior to deploying to the Mediterranean in HMS Triumph.
On his return to the UK, he successfully completed Intermediate Warfare Course and was appointed Navigating Officer, HMS Turbulent in 2002. This 2 year assignment included Sea Trials, Operational Work Up and a Deployment to the Far East, which included a number of Training War Patrols. Port calls in Singapore, Freemantle and Simonstown made this an extremely rewarding deployment as Navigator.
Advanced Warfare Course in 2004 was his reward, and a subsequent appointment to HMS Talent as a Watch Leader. Operational Work Up quickly followed, with subsequent Operations in the Atlantic and East of Suez. During this time he was selected for Submarine Command Course ‘Perisher’, which he attended on his return to the UK.
Appointed to HMS Sceptre as the Executive Officer in 2008, this appointment again included Operational Work Up and a Deployment East of Suez. This was particularly rewarding as the Ship’s Company successfully achieved this deployment whilst in the ‘oldest’ operational nuclear submarine in the world, decommissioning her on their return.
A challenging and extremely rewarding appointment in Fleet Operations as the submarine Special Operations Officer followed in 2010. Responsible for planning a number of special operations this time also allowed him to liaise closely with fellow submariners from a number of other countries. Most recently he has been appointed to Defence Intelligence in the Old War Office, working in Intelligence Policy, which included all source intelligence and submarine operations. Craig was selected for promotion in 2013, prior to assuming Command of HMS Talent in February 2014.
Spare time is spent with his young family in the West Country and if extremely lucky he sometimes gets some free time to enjoy sailing, golf and rugby.




Talent football match against Trenchant
Talent T-boat football rivalry
01 April 2014

On Wednesday 26th March HMS Talent, one of the Royal...

HMS Talent charity fundraising
HMS Talent rows for charity
27 March 2014

9,000,000 meters was the total distance covered by five members...

HMS Talent homecoming
HMS Talent home from successful deployment
27 January 2014

The crew of the Royal Navy submarine HMS Talent arrived...

HMS Dragon hunts HMS Talent in Eastern Mediterranean
HMS Dragon hunts HMS Talent in Eastern Mediterranean
01 November 2013

Anti-submarine warfare may not be the usual forte for a...





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  • The First Two Talents

    There have been four Royal Navy vessels to be named Talent, all submarines – though the reality is a little more complicated than that. The first Talent was a T-boat, laid down by Vickers Armstrong at Barrow in mid-October 1942, but before she was launched on July 17 the following year she was transferred to the Dutch Navy as the Zwaardvisch (Swordfish), and saw service under the command of Lt Cdr Goosens in the North Sea, the Med and the Far East, sinking U-168 in the Java Sea on October 6 1944 as well as numerous smaller vessels. That same year another Talent was ordered, but as the fortunes of war swung in the Allies’ favour she was cancelled the following year. So, two Talents down, but neither flying a White Ensign – the first to do so actually started life as HMS Tasman.

  • The Third Talent

    She was launched on February 13 1945, but her name was changed to Talent in April the same year, before she was commissioned, as the Admiralty wanted the name Talent perpetuated in the Service. This Talent had a mixed career, but was instrumental in helping develop the Ship’s Inertial Navigation System in 1948, essential to modern nuclear boats, and was later streamlined and modernized. For this she embarked a team of scientists from the Admiralty Compass Laboratory while on passage back from the far East, and the boffins conducted an innovative gravitational survey of the English Channel.

  • Four People Killed

    She was also swept out of dry dock at Chatham in 1954 when the dock gate lifted, killing four people. She spent the latter part of her career in the Mediterranean before being paid off in 1966, sold in January 1970 and broken up later the same year at Troon.

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