HMS Tireless arrives 'home' for her well earned retirement - The Rugby Observer
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HMS Tireless arrives 'home' for her well earned retirement

Rugby Editorial 4th Jun, 2014 Updated: 27th Oct, 2016

RUGBY’S adopted nuclear-powered submarine HMS Tireless has surfaced from her final mission.

The vessel returned ‘home’ on Sunday from her efforts to help find the missing Malaysian airplane to be decommissioned after nearly 30 years of service.

Tug boats and a crowd of about 50 people gathered in Devonport to welcome the crew of what was the longest serving nuclear-powered hunter killer submarine in the Royal Navy’s fleet.

Royal Navy spokesman Guy Boswell told us Tireless would now be stripped of items that could be recycled or reused, and her nuclear reactor run down before it was decided what was the best way to dispose of the reactor.

Since launching in 1984 and taking part in the Cold War Tireless became renowned for her stealth and while much of her work during the last 30 years has been on secret operations she did surface three times at the North Pole in 1991, 2004 and 2006, and in 2010 began a 10 month deployment which at the time was the longest continuous deployment by a British submarine, totalling 253 days.

Commanding Officer, Commander Hywel Griffiths said: “It is with immense pride I bring HMS Tireless into Plymouth for the final time.

“Although a sad day, Tireless has achieved much in her nearly 30 year career.

“Our recent involvement in the search for Malaysian Flight MH370 is testament to her valued contribution right up until the end of her distinguished service at the frontline of naval operations.

“She gives way now to the modern and world beating capability represented by the Astute Class, and will be replaced in the Naval arsenal by HMS Artful.”

The town’s links were first established with the first HMS Tireless which was adopted by the former English Electric Company based at the town’s Willans Works. She was sold for scrap in September 1968.

But the affiliation was revived almost 20 years later because the main engines for the new HMS Tireless, a Trafalgar-class nuclear submarine, were manufactured by Rugby firm GEC Turbine Generators Limited.

The crew – who were handed the Freedom of the Borough back in 2002 and also have an affiliation with Rugby Sea Cadets – suffered tragedy in 2007 when two men were killed in an explosion.

Picture shows HMS Tireless as she sails home for the last time through the Plymouth Sound heading for her home port of HMNB Devonport on the 1st June 2014. After almost 30 years of service Tireless is due to be decommissioned.

Picture shows HMS Tireless as she sails home for the last time through the Plymouth Sound heading for her home port of HMNB Devonport on the 1st June 2014. After almost 30 years of service Tireless is due to be decommissioned.

Picture shows HMS Tireless as she sails home for the last time through the Plymouth Sound heading for her home port of HMNB Devonport on the 1st June 2014. After almost 30 years of service Tireless is due to be decommissioned.

Picture shows HMS Tireless as she sails home for the last time through the Plymouth Sound heading for her home port of HMNB Devonport on the 1st June 2014. After almost 30 years of service Tireless is due to be decommissioned.

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