Vanguard Class Life Extension Programme

Vanguard Class Life Extension Programme

Working closely with the Ministry of Defence (MOD), Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S), commercial partners and Ship’s Staff, Babcock is currently undertaking a deep maintenance, refuel and life extension programme for the Trident nuclear submarine HMS Vanguard at our Devonport Royal Dockyard facility.

This highly complex and critical programme will return the submarine to its design basis to enable the submarine to operate a reliable and capable third commission.

During the programme, HMS Vanguard will be the first submarine to undergo the defuel and refuel of a Reactor Core H along with plant life extension through in depth inspections and revalidation of reactor systems.

The life extension activities are platform wide, covering revalidation of the structure and through boat systems including refurbishment and replacement of obsolete equipment and systems.

Significant capability enhancements are also being installed and integrated including newly designed chilled water plants, replacement of motor generators with main static convertors and upgrades to the communication systems and strategic and tactical weapon systems.

The following statistics give an impression of the size and complexity of the programme:

  • Over 25,000 individual engineering tasks
  • Approximately 2.3km of cabling installed
  • Over 7,000 welds surveyed and repaired as necessary
  • 26,000 items of ship’s equipment overhauled by Babcock
  • 32,000 litres of paint applied to the submarine
  • Approximately 400 systems tested by Babcock’s commissioning team
  • 2.5 million working-hours involving more than 2,000 people and over 80 sub-contracting companies