1970 - 1990: Churchill Class
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 cruiser ARA General Belgrano during the 1982 Falklands War.
The Churchills carried a crew of 103 and had a full load displacement of 4,900 tons whilst dived. They were 86.9 metres long, had a beam of 10.1 metres and a draught of 8.2 metres. Their single pressurised water-cooled reactor supplied steam to two English Electric geared turbines, producing a total of 20,000 shp for the single shaft and resulting in a maximum of 28 knots submerged. One Kelvin Type 1006 surface-search radar was fitted. The ships were built with a Type 2001 sonar array, but this was replaced in the late 1970s with a Type 2020 array and a Type 2026 towed array. Weapons included Mark 8 torpedoes, Mark 24 Tigerfish torpedoes, and Sub-Harpoon anti-ship missiles. Six 21-inch torpedo tubes fired from the bow.