Why do peacetime naval accidents keep happening?

2017 was an especially bad year for fatal naval accidents. Then last week the Norwegian frigate KNM Helge Ingstad collided with an oil tanker and is was run onto rocks in a vain attempt to prevent her sinking. There have always been serious accidents involving warships and submarines during peacetime operations but with the advent of modern navigation technologies, there is some surprise that these incidents keep happening. Here we look briefly at the circumstances of some of the accidents and what might be learned from them.

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A relief for the submarine service – HMS Victorious does not need nuclear refuelling

In March 2014 the MoD admitted there was a minor concern about the integrity of the nuclear reactors which power Vanguard class submarines. As a precaution, HMS Vanguard currently in refit at Devonport has been given a second new reactor core. This week the government quietly announced that technical assessments have now concluded this procedure will not be necessary for the other three boats.  

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Positive signs for Royal Navy Submarine manpower

This week the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee was examining the Submarine Nuclear Enterprise. The session primarily dealt with finance and planning for the Dreadnought programme but the Second Sea Lord, Vice Admiral Tony Radakin also gave evidence about submarine manning issues. Lack of suitably experienced and qualified personnel for the submarine service has been a problem for almost a decade but there are some signs of improvement.

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The Deadly Trade - book review

The Deadly Trade – Book Review

£17.00 (Hardback)  £12.99 (Kindle)

5 years after the compeleting Hunter Killers which revealed exploits of Royal Navy submarines during the Cold War, respected naval author Iain Ballantyne has published The Deadly Trade. This epic 729-page tome is an ambitious attempt to chronicle the entire history of submarine warfare until the present day.

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Why did no Royal Navy submarine launch missiles against Syria?

Contrary to expectations, there has been no announcement that a Royal Navy submarine fired Tomahawk missiles during the operation against Syrian regime targets in the early hours of 14th April. In this brief speculative piece, we look at some of the the possible explanations.

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Royal Navy Submarine fires Tomahawk missile

On the brink. Royal Navy submarines ready to attack Syrian targets

The media has widely reported that the Prime Minister has ordered Royal Navy submarines to prepare for Tomahawk missile launches against the Syrian regime. Here we look at the UK’s military options and the wider consequences of involvement in Syria.

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