Good afternoon,

I passed my test last week, and passed for both Warfare Specialist Sensors and Tactical.

I have look at both of the job descriptions on the Royal navy website. I have my interview coming up in the following month, and need too choose one of them.

I downloaded both PDF's, but it seems to state that TSM's also listen for possible threats. It says electronic listening equipment, Is it as advanced as Sonar?

What i have also found are that SSM's are " trained to use highly-advanced active and passive sonar systems to detect other submarines and ships".

And tactical will "use a range of advanced systems, including radar and electronic listening equipment, to identify and track potential threats and targets".

What i am wanting to ask is, is Tactical a more rewarding and interesting career? As it seems that there is more use of different systems?

But does that mean TSM's have sub branches within it? as it seems you get more experience with different systems?

Thanks in advance.


P.s I have also used the search function, but couldn't find any threads on this, only people asking who else is joining the branch.


SSMs operate all of the SM's sonar suite to detect, classify and track contacts and also monitor and maximise the environmental conditions of the area the SM is operating in.

TSMs take the track data provided by the SSMs and all other information (Visual and other non-acoustic) from various sources to compile, manage and provide a picture to command. (Helps to be quick at mental maths, though you will be taught all of the tricks)

There are no sub-branches within either specialistation and you will be trained on the systems relevent to your class of SM. I would say both careers are equally interesting and rewarding, as each provides its own skill set to the SMs Warfare department.

Outside of the core war-fighting skills, SSMs tend to provide members for the casing party (Seamanship type evolutions, weapon loading etc). Both specialisations provide lookouts on the bridge when the SM is surfaced. Both specialisations also conduct the navigation of the
SM whilst surfaced. Finally, and more importantly, everyone has to qualify first and foremost as a submariner!