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Churchill-class Nuclear Attack Submarine

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The three Improved Valiant-class submarines, sometimes known as the Churchill-class, were nuclear powered fleet submarines which served with the Royal Navy from the 1970s until the early 1990s. The Churchill-class was based on the older Valiant-class, but featured many internal improvements.

The lead ship was named after the former Prime Minister and First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill. HMS Conqueror was the most famous of the class, sinking the Argentinian light cruiser ARA General Belgrano during the 1982 Falklands War.

HMS Churchill evaluated both the American Mark 48 torpedo and the UGM-84 Harpoon missile, though only the latter was adopted by the Royal Navy. She was decommissioned in 1990 and is laid up at Rosyth awaiting disposal.

In 1981 HMS Courageous became the first British submarine to carry the Sub-Harpoon missile. She was decommissioned in 1992 and is at Devonport Dockyard serving as a museum ship.


  • Type: Nuclear powered Fast Attack Submarine
  • Service Period: 1970-1992
  • Characteristics:
    • Length: 285 feet (86.87 meters)
    • Beam: 33 feet (10.06 meters)
    • Draught: 27 feet (8.23 meters)
    • Displacement: 4,900 tons (Submerged)
  • Crew: 103
  • Propulsion: 1 x Rolls-Royce PWR.1 reactor, 2 x English Electric geared steam turbines, 1 x shaft, 20,000 shp (15,000 kW)
  • Range: Unlimited
  • Speed: 30+ knots (55.56+ km/h)
  • Sensor Suite:
    • Kelvin Hughes Type 1006 Surface Search Radar
    • Type 2001 Sonar Array - replaced by Type 2020 Sonar
    • Type 2026 Towed Array Sonar
  • Countermeasures:
  • Armament:
    • 6 x 21" torpedo tubes (fires Mk.8 torpedoes, Mk.24 Spearfish torpedoes, UGM-84 Sub-Harpoon)

Unit Run[edit]

  • HMS Churchill (S46)
  • HMS Conqueror (S48)
  • HMS Courageous (S50)
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