It has been reported that one of the UK’s nuclear weapons submarines has returned from its patrol with excessive levels of damage.

Speaking to The Telegraph, a naval source explained that approximately 30 percent of HMS Vengeance’s sonar panels were missing, which is three times the usual amount of expected damage. Vital for reducing sound waves, the loss of these panels makes it harder for the nuclear submarine to stay undetected when at sea.

No explanation has been given for this mysteriously high level of damage. However, all four of the UK’s nuclear submarines have been kept in service well beyond their anticipated lifespan. Admiral Lord West, former First Sea Lord, has said of this, “Am I worried about the extending of life and how long it’s taking to get the Deadnoughts? The answer is yes.”

Given that these submarines have been patrolling since the 1990s, they are being used well beyond their designed time frame – the result of which is that nuclear weapons are being transported in ageing, unfit submarines.

Coupled with the numerous prior safety concerns already highlighted with Trident, this latest report shows that Trident clearly continues to pose an unacceptable security risk. Join CND and call for its end.