UK Dispatches HMS Tireless To Help Locate #MH370

BERNAMA reports:

UK Dispatches HMS Tireless To Help Locate MH370

From Abdul Muin Abdul Majid

HONOLULU, April 2 (Bernama) — British submarine HMS Tireless has joined the search in the southern Indian Ocean for the Malaysia Airlines plane which vanished early last month.

Malaysian Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said this was confirmed by his British counterpart Philip Hammond in a telephone conversation Tuesday morning. Hawaii is 18 hours behind Malaysia.

“This is a contribution from a friend of Malaysia that is much appreciated by not only us but also our other Flight MH370 search operation partners,” he told Bernama here.

Hishammuddin arrived here Monday evening to attend the United States-Asean Defence Forum convened by United States Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel.

The Beijing-bound Malaysian Boeing 777 with 239 passengers and crew on board mysteriously disappeared on March 8 while flying over the South China Sea, about one hour after taking off from the Kuala Lumpur International airport at 12.41 am.

Observers said it signalled the United Kingdom’s continued support to the multinational attempt to locate the missing aircraft.

Its sophisticated underwater listening equipment will be used to attempt to detect the underwater locator beacon of the aircraft’s flight recorders.

Royal Malaysian Navy deputy chief Vice Admiral Datuk Seri Panglima Ahmad Kamarulzaman Ahmad Badaruddin noted that the HMS Tireless, a Trafalgar-class nuclear submarine, was able to operate in the harshest maritime environment, including like that in the South Pole.

Additionally, the UK has redeployed HMS Echo to assist in the search.

“I sincerely hope that everyone will pray that all the assets that we have will be able to identify objects spotted by satellites in the hunt for Flight MH370,” Hishammuddin said.

A multinational search was mounted for the aircraft, first in the South China Sea and then, after it was learned that the plane had veered off course, along two corridors – the northern corridor stretching from the border of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to northern Thailand and the southern corridor, from Indonesia to the southern Indian Ocean.

Following an unprecedented type of analysis of satellite data, United Kingdom satellite telecommunications company Inmarsat and the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) concluded that Flight MH370 flew along the southern corridor and that its last position was in the middle of the Indian Ocean, west of Perth, Australia.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak then announced on March 24, 17 days after the disappearance of the plane, that Flight MH370 “ended in the southern Indian Ocean”. The search continues there.


Before making into any conclusions or assumptions, here are some info on the UK submarines:

The Royal Navy operates a total of 7 Nuclear Powered Attack Submarines (SSNs) in two classes – the Trafalgar Class and the Astute Class. Both classes are capable of continuous patrols at high underwater speed, independent of base support, and can circumnavigate the globe without surfacing. These submarines are capable of firing the Tomahawk Land Attack Cruise missile (TLAM).


The Trafalgar class attack submarine HMS Turbulent has left Devonport Naval Base with some of the most advanced communications links in the Royal Navy’s fleet of submarines thanks to an MoD update. Several key upgrades, along with routine service and maintenance, were incorporated in the fifteen month package delivered by Babcock Marine at Devonport, which will extend the submarine’s operational life by two years.

An upgrade to the communications system will significantly improve interoperability with allied forces on deployed operations. Newly installed IT systems will provide ship to shore connectivity when she is in port. The IT systems inside the submarine have also been upgraded with the installation of the Defence Information Infrastructure (Future) (DII(F)) network onto submarine computers which provides a common communications platform across the MoD.

Devonport’s dedicated maintenance facilities are managing a busy programme of maintenance, currently hosting two Trafalgar class submarines, HM Ships Tireless and Triumph, for major service and repair programmes, as well as several major surface ship support projects.

Trafalgar Class Submarine

These nuclear-powered fleet submarines are armed with homing torpedoes, (range approx 15 kms+) that can be used against other submarines or surface vessels. The Sub Harpoon long-range anti-ship missile (range 110 kms), is now in service as the principal anti-surface ship weapon in these submarines. Their nuclear power plant generates enough electricity to power a town the size of Swindon.

Their long endurance and sophisticated weapon systems make them formidable adversaries. There are three decks, and although space is restricted, living conditions are comfortable.

The submarine refit facility at Devonport has the ability to defuel the Trafalgar class and Astute class submarines.









4,700 tons surfaced and 5,200 tons dived


1 x Rolls Royce pressurised water-cooled reactor supplying steam to two sets of General Electric geared turbines delivering 15,000 shp to one shaft

Max Speed

20 knots surfaced and 32 knots dived

Diving depth

400m (operational) and 600m maximum


12 officers and 85 ratings


5 x 533mm (21″) tubes for 20 x Mk 24 Tigerfish wire-guided and Mk 8 anti-ship torpedoes


Up to 50 x Mk 5 Stonefish or Mk 6 Sea Urchins instead of torpedoes


5 x UGM-84A Sub Harpoon tube-launched anti-ship missiles

Wire Guided Anti-ship/submarine torpedoes: range to 30kms


HMS Turbulent (S87)

1982 (Decommissioned 2012)

HMS Tireless (S88)


HMS Torbay (S90)


HMS Trenchant (S91)


HMS Talent (S92)


HMS Triumph (S93)


Info on HMS Tireless:

HMS Tireless

HMS Tireless

HMS Tireless is over 25 years old but still playing a vital role in the front-line Fleet. HMS Tireless is the third of the seven Trafalgar-class submarines built at Barrow by Vickers. She was launched on 17 March 1984, so she has been plying her trade in the Royal Navy for more than a quarter of a century, but a lengthy overhaul of her propulsion, weapons systems and sensors put her in good shape for the gruelling programme of training and trials which followed.

HMS Tireless

In 2011, she spent ten months on deployment to the Middle East; the trip to support British interests in the region demonstrates how far the T-boats have evolved from their original primary role as Cold War attack submarines.


Hywel Griffiths

Hywel Griffiths
RANK: Commander
JOINED: 1992
SPECIALISATION: Warfare Submarines
PREVIOUS UNITS: HMS Vengeance, HMS Talent,
Military experience

Hywel Griffiths was born in Bradford into a nomadic military family and grew up living in the USA, England, Germany and Belgium, but never far from the family home in West Wales.

Educated initially by Monks at Belmont Abbey in Hereford and then at Sixth Form College in Winchester, he joined the Royal Navy in 1992 and completed initial training appointments in HMS Brilliant, Walney and Avenger.

Volunteering for Service in submarines in 1994, he has conducted operational appointments in HMS Resolution, Peacock & Talent, and was Operations Officer in HMS Tireless prior to the Submarine Command Course (Perisher) in 2004. After Perisher, he spent 30 months as an Executive Officer, initially in HMS Vengeance (Port) immediately followed by HMS Talent.

Hywel joined Flag Officer Sea Training as Head of Training in the Devonport Submarine Training Facility in 2007, delivering both sea and shore training.

In 2009 he joined the Directorate of Navy Resources and Plans in the Ministry of Defence and for two years, which included the Strategic Defence and Security Review, was responsible for articulating the size, shape and cost of the Royal Navy’s underwater force structure. Selected for promotion in April 2011, he undertook a study in Fleet Headquarters prior to taking Command of HMS Tireless in January 2012.

Hywel enjoys cycling, surfing, occasional sailing and time and travel permitting, skiing and scuba diving. He is an avid if sometimes disappointed follower of Welsh Rugby.

With this information, I do hope some do not jump the gun easily. Read, analyze with open mind.

Anyway, here an update (that should be inside of this article since some just ask and need some feeding on Scorpene:

  • Crew: 32
  • Overall Length: 63.5m
  • Draught: 5.4m
  • Submerged Displacement: 1,590t
  • Surface Displacement: 1,450t
  • Pressure Hull Weldable and High-Tensile Steel: 80HLES, more than 700Mpa
  • Maximum Operating Depth: 350m

I hope with this small update, my readers can compare some basic spec of the two submarines.

The aim is to find MH370 with not just by deploying any assets. Pretty much there are considerations behind before making decision to deploy an asset..

Unless, of course, if you are not the type of planning guy and who rush things :p

Question on the street: How does the transcript on the flight and ATC communication reading going on? How much difference from the released by foreign media?

Importantly, do you understand the transcript?

You are part of people on the street. My opinion might not as good as yours. Come, please share your thoughts with us!!!

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