Ex-UK Navy Officer Hints at Risks in Prolonged Patrol of Nuclear Submarines, Reports Say
© Photo : UK Ministry of DefenceAstute class submarine HMS Ambush is pictured during sea trials near Scotland.
© Photo : UK Ministry of Defence
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Two UK submarines equipped with Trident ballistic missiles have each been at sea for a record five months in 2022, prompting a former Royal Navy submarine commander to raise operational safety concerns associated with prolonged patrols, Scotland-based media reported on Tuesday.
Data received from monitoring at His Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde, popularly known as Faslane, suggest that the two submarines each went out on patrol for 157 days, one from January to June and the other from May to November, according to the report.
The Ferret cited Rob Forsyth, who commanded Royal Navy's nuclear submarines in the 1970s, as saying that such prolonged sea patrols could cause "operating errors", "a breakdown in morale" and pose a "threat to nuclear weapon safety."
In addition, sexual harassment and drug misuse are among the possible consequences of long voyages, according to Forsyth.
In accordance with the UK government policy, one of the country's four Vanguard-class submarines, which usually carry Trident nuclear warheads, should always be at sea for security reasons, the report said.