Home Europe Royal Navy Trafalgar-class submarine Trenchant returns from final patrol

Royal Navy Trafalgar-class submarine Trenchant returns from final patrol

HMS Trenchant
HMS Trenchant returning to Devonport on March 25, 2021. Photo: Royal Navy

Royal Navy’s Trafalgar-class attack submarine HMS Trenchant returned to her Devonport Naval Base homeport from her final patrol ahead of her decommissioning later this year.

As is the tradition of a ship sailing into her home port for the last time, the submarine proudly flew her paying off pennant and a number of her crew ‘went up top’ to line the casing.

Serco tugs Faithful and Adept sprayed a water salute over Trenchant in recognition of her 32 of service in the Royal Navy.

HMS Trenchant was launched in 1986 by Vice Admiral Sir Arthur Hezlet, the commander of the original HMS Trenchant submarine during WW2.

Together with the Astute class, Trafalgar-class make up the Royal Navy’s hunter-killer submarine force.

Photo: Royal Navy

During her years on patrol there have been many highlights of her service, two of which have been her ice-patrols.

In 2016 the boat punched through the ice and emerged on the surface of the Arctic Ocean. This marked nearly a decade since a British boat had carried out this maneuver, re-generating the Submarine Service’s under ice capability.

In 2018 in the harsh environment of the North Pole HMS Trenchant broke through the ice in an exercise with the US Navy, literally sitting on top of the world.

The only stain on her career is an incident from November 1990 when the submarine caught the lines of trawler Antares, which sank with all four crew members losing their lives.

With Trenchant set to retire soon, only two submarines in the class, HMS Talent and HMS Triumph, remain in service. The previous four submarines in the class retired between 2009 and 2017.