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Damaged sub back in action
Last updated 11:38, Thursday, 11 June 2009
A BARROW-built Royal Navy nuclear submarine damaged in a mid-Atlantic collision with a French counterpart has returned to operational service.
New Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth confirmed the repairs to HMS Vanguard were now complete.
Mr Ainsworth, who took over last week from John Hutton following the Barrow and Furness MP’s shock resignation, said ministers believed there had been no nuclear leak and that the UK’s deterrent had not been compromised at any stage.
HMS Vanguard and the French sub Le Triomphant – both believed to have been carrying nuclear weapons – crashed into each other in February.
After the incident was made public, The First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Jonathon Band, said the collision happened at low speed and no one was injured.
In a Commons written answer to shadow defence minister Julian Lewis, Mr Ainsworth said: “I can confirm that HMS Vanguard has returned to operational service following the repair work at Her Majesty’s Naval Clyde.”
It was reported that the Vanguard had visible damage when it arrived back in the Faslane naval base, home to the UK nuclear deterrent fleet, for repairs.