Babcock to Refit Royal Navy’s Second Vanguard Nuclear Submarine

HMS Victorious, one of the Royal Navy's four strategic missile submarines. Departs HM Naval Base Clyde, Faslane, for a major refit at Devonport.

HMS Victorious, a Vanguard-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine. Photo: UK Ministry of Defence

The UK Submarine Delivery Agency (SDA) has contracted Babcock to refit the Royal Navy’s second Vanguard-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine.

The effort will see major repairs to ensure the ship’s operability throughout its remaining service life until the 2030s and enhance the UK’s sea deterrence capabilities.

Under the agreement, HMS Victorious will receive deep maintenance at Babcock’s complex in Devonport, Plymouth, where the submarine arrived in June.

“This is the result of a truly collaborative effort with the SDA. The work we do to support the Vanguard Class fleet, a vital part of the UK’s defence, has never been more important,” Babcock Nuclear Programs CEO Dominic Kieran said.

“The commercial framework we have agreed will ensure the retention of our skilled workforce, support future recruitment and enable us to focus on supporting the SDA in its drive to increase submarine availability.”

The project will support approximately 1,000 jobs in the local community and build Babcock’s workforce for further Vanguard-class support at the site.

“The completion of HMS Victorious’ Deep Maintenance Period is vital to supporting Defence’s highest priority,” SDA CEO Chris Gardner said.

“We look forward to working with Babcock to deliver the project on time to enable ongoing submarine availability and to continue to transform Devonport Naval Base into a Centre of Excellence for submarine deep maintenance.”

Paving Way for Future Submarines

Babcock, the SDA, and the Royal Navy are discussing further plans to finalize a safe, effective, stable, and efficient delivery of deep and base maintenance for the UK’s future submarine fleet.

By the early 2030s, the country’s four Vanguard-class submarines will be replaced by the Dreadnought line of vessels.

Like their predecessors, the latest platforms will carry UGM-133A Trident II D-5 subsea-launched ballistic missiles.