Royal Navy nuclear&armed submarine smashes UK’s longest voyage after 201 days at sea


A ROYAL Navy nuclear-armed submarine has smashed the record for the longest voyage after 201 days at sea.

HMS Vengeance set sail on August 29 and didn’t return until Sunday – six months and 18 days later.

GettyHMS Vengeance smashed the UK record for the longest voyage at sea[/caption]

The hero crew of submariners never set foot on land and spent most of that time submerged on a top-secret nuclear patrol.

A Navy source told The Sun: “We ask a hell of a lot of our submarine crews.

“There is always a nuclear sub on patrol keeping this country safe, but most people don’t even know.”

The crew beat the previous record of 195 days which was set by HMS Vigilant last year.

During that time the 149 crew have almost no contact with their loved ones.

They cannot transmit any messages for fear of revealing the subs’ position.

They are only allowed to receive one 40-word message a week, known as a family-gram.

And any bad news about loved ones is censored by the Navy as it is impossible to get the submariners home without jeopardising the patrol.

Most of the time the submarines move slower than walking pace to stay silent.

The back-to-back record records patrols are due to a shortage of working submarines.

The Navy has four doomsday submarines, but one HMS Victorious is in dock at Devonport awaiting major repairs.

HMS Vanguard was sent to America to test fire a Trident 2 missile that failed.

The remaining subs HMS Vengeance and Vigilant have been forced to spend ever-longer at sea to maintain the continuous at sea nuclear deterrent, the cornerstone of the Britain’s defence.

They are armed with Trident 2 doomsday missiles to blast Britain’s enemies into oblivion in the event of a nuclear strike.

When the Navy launched Operation Relentless – its continuous at sea deterrent mission – in 1969 patrols were less than three months.

A Navy source said they do not comment on submarine operations.