HMS Vigilant has successfully completed the latest patrol carrying Britain’s nuclear deterrent.
The V-boat returned to her home on the Clyde and was escorted home by HMS Tracker of the Faslane Patrol Boat Squadron and Royal Marines patrol craft.
HMS Tracker leads the most potent weapon in the nation’s arsenal back home to base after a successful deterrence patrol.
The souped-up patrol boat – she and her sister HMS Raider are 10kts faster than the rest of the P2000 flotilla – met HMS Vigilant as the ballistic missile submarine completed her latest mission.
Joining Tracker on the Clyde to help bring Vigilant safely back to base, Royal Marines of 43 Commando Fleet Protection Group in one of their heavily-armed former police launches.
Together the combination of Tracker and/or Raider and the Royal Marines – they have two such launches, Rona and Mull, plus various RIBs and raiding craft – provide protection for ‘high value shipping’ entering or leaving the Firth of Clyde and HM Naval Base at Faslane especially.
As for Vigilant, she’s one of three active V-boats (HMS Vengeance is in refit in Devonport) providing the nation’s around-the-clock deterrence (aptly titled Operation Relentless).
It is a mission which has been successfully carried out well over 300 times – without pause – by generations of Royal Navy submariners since the end of the 1960s; it is the longest-running military operation carried out by Britain’s Armed Forces.
Press Release, April 24, 2014; Image: Royal Navy