14th Oct 2008Portland To Welcome Devonport Submarine HMS Talent
The nuclear-powered submarine HMS Talent will visit Portland this Wednesday (15 October) for a five-day visit in support of the strong ties the service enjoys with the Dorset community.
During her stay HMS Talent will welcome guests onboard including local VIPs and dignitaries, potential submarine service recruits and a group of young engineers working within the defence industry.
HMS Talent’s Commanding Officer, Commander David Lightfoot will be visiting Councillor Tim Munro the Mayor of Weymouth and Portland, and Councillor Sandra West the Mayor of Portland Town Council, before hosting an evening reception for 40 guests.
The schedule will allow the crew rest and relaxation before welcoming the young engineers on board on Friday, and the potential recruits on Saturday. The crew will challenge Weymouth Football Club Academy on Friday afternoon.
There is, however, a sombre purpose to the visit, to honour those who lost their lives when HMS Illustrious’ tender was swamped in heavy seas in Portland Harbour on October 17, 1948, with the loss of 29 lives. A special memorial service for the 60th anniversary of the tragedy will be held at All Saints’ Church Easton in Portland on Sunday morning, when the submarine’s crew will be joined by Rear Admiral Bob Cooling, Assistant Chief of Naval Staff.
HMS Talent’s stay in Portland follows the highly successful visit of HMS Sceptre in April, and that of HMS Tireless in October last year – when she became the first submarine to sail into the town since 1991.
The sixth of the seven-strong Trafalgar class hunter killer submarines, built in Barrow In Furness, HMS Talent was commissioned in 1990 by the Princess Royal.
HMS Talent is nuclear powered but conventionally armed submarine. Her nuclear powered propulsion means she has great endurance without having to re-fuel. She is 85.4 meters long and has a beam of 9.8m. She weighs 5,000 tonnes.
She can travel anywhere in the world undetected and her firepower, which includes Spearfish torpedoes and Tomahawk cruise missiles, means that she is a very formidable asset in the Defence of the Realm
The submarine recently completed a successful maintenance, refuel and up-grade which renewed her reactor core and fitted her with a new command system and ensures HMS Talent remains capable of conducting any task called upon her well into the 21st century.
Commodore Jamie Miller CBE, Naval Regional Commander for the South West, said:
“After many years of submarines being absent from Portland Harbour, the Dorset town has been terrifically welcoming to our crews and I am sure that this occasion will be no different. Portland has a long history of involvement with the Royal Navy and the sea in general and we hope that residents will be able to join naval representatives at the memorial service on Sunday.”
Commander David Lightfoot added:
“It’s not often that submarines get the chance to visit UK ports which are not major naval bases, and so my ship’s company and I are very much looking forward to our visit to Portland and Weymouth.”HMS Talent
Source: Royal Navy