According to a press release issued on December 11, 2020, BAE Systems unveiled the latest HMS Anson Astute-class submarine for the British Navy in Devonshire Dock Hall, the UK’s gigantic submarine building complex.
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More complex than the space shuttle, the front part of the submarine HMS Anson is illuminated during the christening ceremony. (Image source BAE Systems)
After nine years of hard work by engineers, carpenters and technicians at BAE Systems, the latest Astute-class boat has been unveiled in Devonshire Dock Hall – the UK’s gigantic submarine building complex. The British Royal Navy today welcomed the fifth of its 21st century hunter-killer submarines: the powerful HMS Anson, officially appointed to Barrow.
The 97-meter-long, 7,400-ton submarine is expected to be launched at Barrow early next year, before leaving for sea trials in 2022.
More than 1,700 people work on the Astute program, which delivers seven attack submarines to the Royal Navy. Earlier this year, HMS Audacious, the fourth ship in the class, departed Barrow for its operational base at Her Majesty’s Clyde Naval Base in Faslane.
Work is also well advanced at Barrow on the Astute six and seven ships, as well as the first two Dreadnought-class ships, which are the next generation of nuclear deterrent submarines.
The Astute class is the last class of advanced nuclear powered fleet submarines (SSN) in service with the Royal Navy. The class sets a new standard for the Royal Navy in terms of weapons load, communications and stealth.
Advanced nuclear technology means Astute-class submarines never need to be refueled and can make their own oxygen and freshwater from the ocean, which means they are capable of go around the world without surfacing. With 98 crew members capable of monitoring advanced sensors, the Astute-class carries both Tomahawk Land Attack Cruise Missiles (TLAM) and Heavy Spearfish Torpedoes.
The Astute class is the largest and most advanced attack submarine ever built for the Royal Navy. Astute is leading the way with many technological “firsts” – the first Royal Navy submarine not to be equipped with optical periscopes (instead of high specification video technology is used to scan the horizon) and the class is the quietest ever.