The UK Royal Navy has commissioned its fifth nuclear-powered hunter-killer submarine at the BAE Systems’ facility in Barrow-in-Furness.
The HMS Anson, developed under a 1.3-billion-pound ($1.5 billion) contract, is designed to intercept “threats above and below the waves and destroy enemy military infrastructure with pinpoint accuracy.”
The submarine will complete the navy’s attack boat fleet alongside HMS Astute, HMS Ambush, HMS Artful, and HMS Audacious.
The navy is expected to complete a total of seven Astute-class submarines by 2026.
HMS Anson Commanding Officer Cmdr. David Crosby explained that despite the effort and skill invested in developing the submarine over the past two and a half years, it became challenging due to restrictions imposed during the pandemic.
“Given the world we live in, there is no more important tool in the United Kingdom’s arsenal: silent, unseen, and a key instrument of our global, modern, ready Royal Navy,” First Sea Lord Adm. Sir Ben Key said.
“The Royal Navy’s nuclear submarines: protecting critical national infrastructure, securing the nuclear deterrent, and ready to deliver firepower against those who would do us harm,” Key added.
The submarine will remain in the Barrow yard for a couple more weeks to finalize its remaining tests and modification before being delivered to HM Naval Base Clyde in Faslane for sea trial preparation.
The commissioning ceremony on August 31 included naval leaders, “sponsor (patron)” Julie Weale, Australian Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles, UK Secretary of State for Defence Ben Wallace, and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
HMS Anson is named after 18th Century Admiral George Anson, who led the victory at Cape Finisterre in 1747.
The 97-meter (318 feet) submarine is armed with 38 Spearfish torpedoes and Tomahawk Block V cruise missiles. It can strike land-based targets, ships and other submarines at up to 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers).