The UK is sending the powerful nuclear submarine "HMS Talent" to the Falkland/Malvinas Islands as a “a show of strength” to Argentina amid a growing diplomatic wrangle over the future of the South Atlantic islands.
The "HMS Talent" (S92) is one of six nuclear-powered Trafalgar Class 'hunter-killer' submarines of the Royal Navy. According to the Daily Mail, the submarine “slipped into a port in South Africa last week under a cloak of secrecy” after requesting “a nuclear permission” to dock in Cape Town from May 10 to 30. From Cape Town the sub will depart to the Falklands/Malvinas, in what has been called “a show of strength” planned in London by the Ministry of Defence.
The British daily newspaper The Sun reported on the operation on Sunday under the heading "England v Argentina ... we bring on the sub". The ship is being deployed in the midst of tensions between London and Buenos Aires as we approach the 30 anniversary of the 74-day war over the sovereignty of the South Atlantic archipelago. It is expected that the "HMS Talent" will depart from Cape Town this week to arrive at the Falkland Islands prior to June 14. “Final preparations are being made in South Africa before a deployment to the South Atlantic. The HMS Talent will be dropping by the Falklands and keeping watch. That’s what she is built to do — protect Britain’s interests — and that is what she will be doing this summer.” said a defense source according to The Sun.
The announcement comes after weeks of diplomatic tensions between Britain and Argentina over the islands, including the recent release of an advertisement showing an Argentine athlete training for the 2012 London Olympics in Port Stanley.
According to The Sun, a British Navy source said "There is much talk of the Falklands, but only one nation in this conflict has nuclear submarines."
The "HMS Talent" is based at Her Majesty's Naval Base Devonport in Plymouth. It has cameras and periscopes to take thermal images. It was built in 1988 for surveillance and to sink warships and submarines. It has an unlimited range, except by food supplies and maintenance requirements and a top speed of 32 knots. Although it uses nuclear power for propulsion, the submarine does not have nuclear warheads, although it is equipped with Spearfish wire-guided heavyweight torpedoes and Tomahawk land-attack cruise missiles.