Is the HMS Vigil a real boat?

29 August 2021, 20:00

The HMS Vigil isn't a real submarine
The HMS Vigil isn't a real submarine. Picture: BBC

BBC's Vigil: Is HMS Vigil a real boat?

TV lovers rejoice, because the makers of Line of Duty and Bodyguard are back with a brand new series called Vigil.

The BBC drama tells the story of DCI Amy Silva (Suranne Jones) who is hired to investigate a suspicious death on-board a Royal Navy submarine, the HMS Vigil.

Set against the backdrop of Scotland’s nuclear deterrent, the mission soon becomes an attempt to uncover a dark conspiracy involving the government.

But is the HMS Vigil a real submarine? Here’s what we know…

The HMS Vigil is a fictional submarine
The HMS Vigil is a fictional submarine. Picture: BBC

Is the HMS Vigil a real submarine?

No, the Vanguard-class submarine HMS Vigil is fictional.

However, it is based on real life events involving the UK nuclear programme known as the ‘Continuous At Sea Deterrent’ or ‘Trident’.

This is the Royal Navy ballistic missile submarine which is armed with strategic nuclear missiles.

According to the Ministry of Defence, these permanent submarines act to deter threats to national security.

The series was created by Tom Edge, who has said: “The ‘Continuous At Sea Deterrent’, better known as ‘Trident’, has been a contentious part of national life for half a century now, a stock of nuclear missiles kept hundreds of feet below the sea surface.

BBC is airing Vigil this month
BBC is airing Vigil this month. Picture: BBC

“But this world has rarely been explored on screen. I can’t wait to take a BBC One audience down with us, into the pitch-black icy waters of the unseen Atlantic, where tomorrow’s geopolitical struggles are already being played out.”

What is a Vanguard-class submarine?

The Vanguard class is a type of nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine (SSBNs) which was introduced in 1994 as part of the Trident nuclear programme.

It includes four vessels: Vanguard, Victorious, Vigilant and Vengeance which were built between 1986 and 1999.

All four boats are based at HM Naval Base Clyde (HMS Neptune), 40 km (25 mi) west of Glasgow, Scotland.

Each submarine is armed with up to 16 UGM-133 Trident II missiles.