The nuclear-armed submarine suffered a malfunction
A nuclear submarine belonging to the Royal Navy experienced a worrisome malfunction during a dive, according to information provided to the BBC.
The incident occurred over a year ago as the unidentified Vanguard class submarine, responsible for carrying the UK’s trident nuclear missiles, was preparing for a patrol mission.
A defense source acknowledged that a problem arose, causing concern, but emphasized that the onboard system detected and addressed the issue.
A subsequent investigation by the Royal Navy was conducted, though specific details were not disclosed. The malfunction involved the failure of the primary depth gauge during the submarine’s descent; however, a secondary depth gauge remained operational.
Submarines have to be strong enough to withstand enormous pressures exerted by the ocean when diving.
Redundancy systems are built into nuclear-armed submarines to prevent problems from escalating.
Details of the incident were first reported in the Sun newspaper which said engineers on board alerted the crew to the failure while the submarine was diving.
The paper said the submarine was still within its limits for operating safely but was diving towards its “crush depth” before the alarm was raised.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) does not normally comment on the operations of the UK’s submarines.
The Royal Navy said its submarines continue to meet their commitments and that while it does not comment on operations, the safety of its personnel is always the highest priority.
The Vanguard submarines are based at Faslane in Scotland and, according to the Royal Navy, normally have a crew of 132 officers and men.
In January this year, inspectors reported a “defect” on HMS Vanguard, the lead boat of the four Vanguard-class submarines, while it was undergoing maintenance work.
The defect, from “work done in the past” was “promptly reported and fixed”, the MoD said at the time.
In May the vessel finally left the Devonport dockyard where it had undergone a seven-and-a-half-year refit.