Torbay (S90)

Built By: Vickers (Barrow)
Build Group: SSN Group 4b
Fate: HMS Torbay was decommissioned at a ceremony at Devonport Naval Base on 14-07-2017.

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Launched by Lady Ann Herbert, wife of Admiral Sir Peter Herbert

Most of us have experience of using Microsoft Windows on a home computer but HMS Torbay became the first Royal Navy vessel to put to sea using it. The new computer-driven command system was termed SMCS-NG.

Barrow’s Trafalgar-class product has another claim to fame in its colour. Torbay participated in an experiment in the use of colour schemes to reduce the visibility of submarines from the air. In 2006, the standard black paint of Royal Navy submarines was replaced by a carefully selected shade of blue. This was the result of research which found that black was the worst possible colour for a submarine attempting to avoid detection from the air. This has become a more important factor as a result of the changing nature of Royal Navy commitments since the end of the Cold War. Naval operations have moved from the murky waters of the North Atlantic to the clearer waters of the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean.

Torbay completed a refuel and modernisation process in February 2001.

In 2008 Torbay was back at sea as the most powerful in the fleet with a new state-of-the-art missile system. The boat was out of action for more than year for the major refit at Faslane on the Clyde. It allowed the submarine to send and receive email was submerged.

The biggest change was the latest longer-range Block IV version of the Tomahawk cruise missile. Torbay could launch missile strikes from sea on land targets from a range of up to 1,000 miles. The missile system could also retarget or safely abort in flight and relay images enroute to boost intelligence gathering.

In November 2010, it was reported that Torbay had run aground in the Eastern Mediterranean the previous year.

In 2013 there was a fire on board ship, although thankfully no one was hurt and little damage done to the vessel herself.


21-12-1982 : Laid Down
08-03-1985 : Launched
07-02-1987 : Completed
28-02-1987 : Left Barrow
26-03-2014 : HMS Torbay emerged from refit at Plymouth.

The Trafalgar Class submarine had been in a revalidated assisted maintenance period (RAMP) which has seen it upgraded and the nuclear power plant given a new lease of life.
17-03-2015 : HMS Torbay arrived at Plymouth Sound to begin her transit up the River Hamoze to her berth in HM Naval Base Devonport following a six month deployment.

During her deployment HMS Torbay has travelled 19,653 nautical miles, roughly equivalent of once round the world and spent 2,562 hours dived.
06-06-2017 : HMS Torbay entered Gibraltar Naval Base flying her paying-off pennant.
14-07-2017 : Following her final deployment, HMS Torbay was decommissioned at a ceremony at Devonport Naval Base. Torbay was scheduled to be decommissioned in 2015, due to extended maintenance she stayed in service until today


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