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RESOLUTION nuclear ballistic missile submarines (4, 1967 - 1969)


Resolution 1978  


Name No Yard No Builder Laid down Launched Comp Fate
Resolution S22   Vickers-Armstrong, Barrow 26.2.1964 15.9.1966 2.10.1967 for disposal 10.1994
Repulse S23   Vickers-Armstrong, Barrow 12.3.1965 4.11.1967 28.9.1968 for disposal 8.1996
Renown S26   Cammell Laird, Birkenhead 25.6.1964 25.2.1967 15.11.1968 for disposal 2.1996
Revenge S27   Cammell Laird, Birkenhead 19.5.1965 15.3.1968 4.12.1969 for disposal 5.1995

Technical data

Displacement standard, t 
Displacement normal, t

7600 / 8500

Length, m

109.7 pp 129.5 oa

Breadth, m


Draught, m


No of shafts



2 sets English Electric geared steam turbines, Rolls-Royce PWR1 nuclear reactor

Power, h. p.


Max speed, kts

20 / 25

Fuel, t


Endurance, nm(kts)

practically unlimited


16 Polaris A-3 SLBM (16 UGM-27C), 6 - 533 TT (bow)

Electronic equipmenttype 1003 radar, type 2001, type 2007, type 2023 sonars, UAB/UAC ECM suite, DCB CCS


Diving depth operational, m230

Standard scale images

<i>Renown </i>1969
Renown 1969
<i>Resolution </i>1990
Resolution 1990
<i>Resolution </i>1979
Resolution 1979


<i>Resolution</i> 1978  
Resolution 1978  

Project history

At the 1962 Nassau Conference, the momentous decision was taken to transfer responsibility for the United Kingdom's nuclear deterrent from the RAF to the RN, following the cancellation of the airborne Skybolt system. Instead the RN was to build five nuclear ballistic missile sub-names (SSBNs) based broadly on the missile compartment of the US Navy's Lafayette class, with British equipment and machinery, but armed with missiles, tubes and fire control systems supplied from the United States.

A special Polaris Executive was set up to supervise the building of the boats and the creation of training and support facilities, and so successful was the collaboration between the administrative and technical sides that the first boat, Resolution, went on patrol as planned in 1968. With Dreadnought it was the only British post-1945 defence programme to remain within its financial budget. Only one problem was encountered: the figure of five boats was arrived at after a careful study of refit schedules, and when the new Labour Defence Minister, Denis Healey, cancelled the order for the fifth boat (named Ramillies) as a gesture of appeasement, it became difficult to guarantee that one Polaris 'bomber' would remain on patrol at all times. Up to 1992, however, there had officially been no gap in the patrol.

Apart from the use of British equipment and design features from the Valiant class, the main departure from the Lafayette class was the rejection of diving planes on the fin. Although these are standard in USN submarines, British designers maintain that their advantages of better slow-speed control do not outweigh their disadvantages.


1982, Renown; 1984, Resolution; 1986, Repulse; 1988, Revenge: - 16 Polaris A-3 SLBM, type 1003 radar, type 2023 sonar, UAB/UAC ECM suite, DCB CCS; + 16 Polaris A-3TK SLBM (Chevaline warhead), type 1006(1) radar, type 2019 PARIS, type 2047 sonars, UAL(1) ECM suite, DCB/DCG CCS

Naval service

No significant events.