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It reported that an unarmed Trident II D5 missile – which can kill millions when armed with nuclear warheads – malfunctioned when launched from a British submarine, HMS Vanguard, off the coast of Florida last year. It may have veered back towards the US rather than heading in the direction of west Africa. Tests are rare as the missiles each cost about £17m. When trials have been carried out in the past they have been publicised, in some cases with accompanying video footage, but this is the first time last year’s exercise has been reported.
Head of Navy Capability Rear Admiral Jonathan Mead said while one or two of the current Collins Class submarines were expected to have substantial reworking, all six in the fleet would need to receive some form of upgrading....
Work on the Collins Class submarines began in the 1980s, as the Navy sought to replace its Oberon fleet.
The first vessel, HMAS Collins, was delivered in 1996 and it took a further seven years for the sixth boat to be delivered.