Royal Navy’s Most Advanced Nuclear Attack Sub Nears Active Service

The Royal Navy’s fifth Astute-class submarine is near deployment duties after completing trials off the US East Coast and in the Caribbean Sea.

HMS Anson’s systems and weapons were tested at the US Navy’s Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center near the Bahamas.

The trials ensured the sub could stealthily hunt adversary vessels and gave the crew an opportunity to come ashore on Andros Island in the Bahamas. 

“The opportunity for the majority of the Ship’s Company to spend a few days on Andros was fantastic,” a submariner said.

 “This afforded us a few days of rest from the sea trials we were conducting and allowed us to spend time on the beach in the sun relaxing and playing volleyball with base personnel.”

$1.5-Billion Vessel

The 1.3-billion-pound ($1.5 billion) vessel left the shipyard at Barrow-in-Furness in February 2023, following its commissioning in September 2022.

After spending some time off the UK coast, it sailed north of Scotland for weapons trials, including Spearfish and Tomahawk test missiles.

The 7,800-ton, 97-meter (318-foot) vessel is the largest and most advanced attack submarine ever operated by the navy.

It is capable of circumnavigating the globe while submerged, producing its own oxygen and drinking water.

Astute-Class Sub

A fleet of seven Astute-class submarines is planned for the navy to replace the 40-year-old Trafalgar-class submarine fleet.

Four Astute submarines are already operational while two are being built.

Each of the vessels is equipped with 38 Spearfish torpedoes and Tomahawk Block V cruise missiles, capable of striking enemy submarines and land-based targets, respectively.

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