HMS Spartan (S105)
HMS Spartan (S105) is a nuclear-powered fleet submarine
A submarine is a watercraft capable of independent operation below the surface of the water. It differs from a submersible, which has more limited underwater capability...
of the Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...
's Swiftsure class. HMS Spartan was launched on April 7, 1978 by Lady Lygo, wife of Admiral Sir Raymond Lygo
Admiral Sir Raymond Lygo KCB is a former Royal Navy officer who went on to be Vice Chief of the Naval Staff.-Naval career:...
. The boat was built by Vickers-Armstrongs (now a division of BAE Systems
BAE Systems plc is a British multinational defence, security and aerospace company headquartered in London, United Kingdom, that has global interests, particularly in North America through its subsidiary BAE Systems Inc. BAE is among the world's largest military contractors; in 2009 it was the...
) at Barrow-in-Furness
Barrow-in-Furness is an industrial town and seaport which forms about half the territory of the wider Borough of Barrow-in-Furness in the county of Cumbria, England. It lies north of Liverpool, northwest of Manchester and southwest from the county town of Carlisle...
Cumbria , is a non-metropolitan county in North West England. The county and Cumbria County Council, its local authority, came into existence in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972. Cumbria's largest settlement and county town is Carlisle. It consists of six districts, and in...
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...
. She was decommissioned in January 2006.
Spartan was ordered to sail south for the Falkland Islands
The Falkland Islands are an archipelago in the South Atlantic Ocean, located about from the coast of mainland South America. The archipelago consists of East Falkland, West Falkland and 776 lesser islands. The capital, Stanley, is on East Falkland...
two days before the Argentine invasion
1982 invasion of the Falkland Islands
On 2 April 1982, Argentine forces mounted amphibious landings of the Falkland Islands . The invasion involved an initial defence force organised by the Falkland Islands' Governor Sir Rex Hunt giving command to Major Mike Norman of the Royal Marines, the landing of Lieutenant-Commander Guillermo...
of the islands on March 30, 1982. Spartan was the first ship to arrive in the islands and began to enforce a 200-mile (370-km) maritime exclusion zone
Total Exclusion Zone
The Total Exclusion Zone was an area declared by the United Kingdom 30 April 1982 covering a circle of from the centre of the Falkland Islands...
imposed by the British. Shortly after, Spartan sighted Argentine merchant shipping mining the harbour at Stanley
Stanley, Falkland Islands
Stanley is the capital and only true cityin the Falkland Islands. It is located on the isle of East Falkland, on a north-facing slope in one of the wettest parts of the islands. At the 2006 census, the city had a population of 2,115...
, but was not ordered to attack. This was partly due to British concerns about escalating the war too early, but also to avoid scaring off more lucrative targets such as the Argentine aircraft carrier Veinticinco de Mayo
ARA Veinticinco de Mayo
ARA Veinticinco de Mayo may refer to the following specific vessels of the Argentine Navy* Cruiser ARA Veinticinco de Mayo, 1891-1916* Cruiser ARA Veinticinco de Mayo , 1931-1960* Aircraft carrier ARA Veinticinco de Mayo , 1969-1997...
. Unlike , Spartan did not fire in anger
Fire in anger
"Fire in anger" is a phrase used in military contexts to describe the use of a projectile weapon to deliberately cause damage or harm to an opponent, as opposed to training exercises or warning shots. For example, Napier of Magdala Battery "never fired a shot in anger"; the battery never engaged in...
during the Falklands War
The Falklands War , also called the Falklands Conflict or Falklands Crisis, was fought in 1982 between Argentina and the United Kingdom over the disputed Falkland Islands and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands...
, she did however provide valuable reconnaissance to the British Task Force on Argentine aircraft movements. Spartans presence also ensured that the Argentine Navy would not dare leave its port.
In 1999, Spartan was fitted with Tomahawk cruise missile
A cruise missile is a guided missile that carries an explosive payload and is propelled, usually by a jet engine, towards a land-based or sea-based target. Cruise missiles are designed to deliver a large warhead over long distances with high accuracy...