Royal Navy retires two Trafalgar-class submarines

The Royal Navy Trafalgar-class nuclear submarine HMS Talent participates in a coordinated anti-submarine warfare exercise with a Royal Navy Westland Lynx HMA.8 helicopter in the Mediterranean Sea in October 2013. (Photo: US Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Amanda R. Gray)

The Royal Navy decommissioned two of its remaining Trafalgar-class submarines in a ceremony at Devonport Naval Base on Friday, May 20.

HMS Trenchant‘s operational career came to an end last year, while HMS Talent completed its final patrol earlier this spring.

Both nuclear-powered boats served for 32 years as hunter-killer submarines. Their mission was to protect the Royal Navy’s ballistic missile submarines and to detect, track and classify targets.

The boats are capable of gaining intelligence, covertly inserting troops ashore, or striking at enemy submarines and ships with Spearfish torpedoes and targets ashore with Tomahawk cruise missiles.

The retirement of the Trafalgar-class submarines will help make way for the newer Astute-class boats.

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