HMS Victorious to undergo £560m refit

Trident submarine HMS Victorious is set to be modernised for the Royal Navy with a half a billion-pound life extension programme.

HMS Victorious is undergoing modernisation
HMS Victorious is undergoing modernisation - Babcock International

Babcock and the UK’s Submarine Delivery Agency have agreed a contract worth an estimated £560m to deliver the deep maintenance and life extension programme of the Vanguard-class boat.

The nuclear submarine arrived in Plymouth in June, 2023 to prepare for the programme that will enable her to continue operational patrols into the 2030s. Work on HMS Victorious is already underway.

HMS Victorious is the second Vanguard-class submarine to undergo a life extension package at Babcock’s Devonport facility.

In a statement, Second Sea Lord Vice Admiral Martin Connell said: “The Royal Navy performs no more important mission than Operation Relentless, the continuous at sea strategic deterrent patrols which have been performed by our submariners uninterrupted since 1969.

“The mission requires an unprecedented national effort in support, maintaining our Vanguard-class submarines to the very highest engineering standards. The overhaul of HMS Victorious will allow the boat to carry out deterrent patrols until the next generation of submarines, the Dreadnought-class, enter service.”

The programme is being delivered at Babcock’s facility in Devonport which is seeing investment in the naval base’s facilities.

Babcock CEO David Lockwood said: “Delivering the programme for this vital and complex defence asset is our top priority. We are proud to have been awarded this complex defence programme which will use our deep engineering expertise to help keep the UK safe.”

Through the maintenance work on HMS Victorious, over 1,000 jobs will be sustained in the south west.  Alongside this, Babcock is continuing to build its workforce through its Plymouth-based Babcock Skills Academy, which includes a focus on submarine support and the critical nuclear skills required to perform deep submarine maintenance.

The Vanguard fleet will be replaced by the Dreadnought-class submarines from the early 2030s.