Vanguard of the Fleet

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VANGUARD OF THE FLEET: An angry wind whipped across a dark sea as the first of Britain's Trident missile submarines slid slowly into open water yesterday writes Malcolm Pithers. The ominous 16,000-ton hull of Vanguard made its way out into open water from Barrow on the morning tide. Hundreds of people watched as the pounds 650m vessel headed off to Faslane on the Clyde to begin three months of sea trials. An incongruous escort of little tugs ploughed alongside. Vanguard is the largest submarine built in Britain, and one of the deadliest, after she receives her 16 missiles and Tigerfish torpedoes. She is to enter service in 1994. The second and third Vanguard class submarines, Victorious and Vigilant, also being built at the VSEL yard at Barrow, will eventually join Vanguard in the deployment of Britain's strategic nuclear weapon.

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