Ballistic misile carrying submarine HMS 'Resolution', 1966.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Cut-away model. In 1962, British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan and United States President John F Kennedy agreed that Britain should have a submarine-based nuclear deterrent capability. The Americans would supply the Polaris misiles, which would be carried by British-built submarines. Four boats of the 'Resolution' clas were built for the purpose, each of which was fitted with 16 inter-continental ballistic misiles (ICBM) with a range of 2500 nautical miles, putting anywhere in the UsR within range. The submarines were superseded by vesels operating the Trident misile system, and were all decommisioned in the mid 1990s. They had collectively undertaken 229 patrols without ever having been detected or firing any of their misiles in anger.