Vanguard Ballistic

Vanguard Class

The four Vanguard-class submarines form the UK's strategic nuclear deterrent force.
Each of the four boats are armed with Trident 2 D5 nuclear missiles. Like all submarines the Vanguard Class are steam powered, their reactors converting water into steam to drive the engines and generate electricity.

Fitted with world beating sonar, essentially their ears, the system is so sensitive they can hear vessels over 50 miles away.

Explore Weapons & Missiles

  • Weapons and Equipment
  • Trident D5 Ballistic Missile

    Trident D5 Ballistic Missile Sea Launches Missile

    The Trident nuclear missile is Britain's ultimate deterrent and weapon.

    The Trident can be fired at targets up to 4,000  miles away, ejected by high-pressure gas before the rockets fire when the missile reaches the surface. At its fastest it will travel at over 13,000 miles an hour.

    Submarines on patrol carry up to 40 nuclear warheads and up to eight operational missiles.

  • Spearfish Torpedo

    Spearfish Torpedo Anti-submarine torpedo

    The Spearfish torpedo is the heavyweight torpedo it weighs nearly two tonnes and is capable of blasting enemy submarines or ships out of the water.

    At full speed, Spearfish can attack at target up to 14 miles away. At low speed, that increases to more than 30 miles.

    It is guided either by a copper wire or closes on to its target using its inbuilt sonar, delivering a 660lb explosive charge. That detonates either when it strikes the hull of an enemy submarine, or via an acoustic proximity fuse underneath the target.

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The Successor boats are expected to have a lifespan of at least 30 years