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Astute-class submarine HMS Anson joins Royal Navy fleet

HMS Anson, the fifth of the new Astute-class submarines, was welcomed into the Royal Navy fleet at a ceremony held at BAE Systems’ yard in Barrow, Cumbria on 31 August.

Anson is the fifth of the new Astute-class submarines to join the Royal Navy fleet, joining HMS Astute, Ambush, Artful and Audacious. She was officially named on 11 December 2020 and launched on 20 April 2021.

Armed with a combination of up to 38 Spearfish heavyweight torpedoes and Tomahawk Block V cruise missiles, Anson can take out enemy surface ships and submarines, destroy land targets up to 1,000 miles away and launch and recover Royal Marines and special forces raiding and reconnaissance teams – among other capabilities.

The boat’s first Commanding Officer, Commander David Crosby, said that given the effort, skill and enterprise invested in constructing the submarine – made more challenging over the past two and a half years by the restrictions imposed by the pandemic – “HMS Anson would go on to be the best Astute-class submarine yet”.

He continued: “Among tough competition that is a bold claim, but I fully believe it; she will be successful on operations for years to come and be envied by nations across the globe.

“The good fortune to be commanding officer of the most advanced and capable attack submarine ever built in the UK on her commissioning day is the greatest honour of my submarine career.”

Also among those eager to see Anson in action is the new head of the Royal Navy Submarine Service, Commodore Paul Dunn.

“The commissioning is a significant milestone for both Anson and the Submarine Service and I would like to thank the crew, BAE Systems and the ‘submarine enterprise’ for the delivery of our fifth Astute class,” he said.

“I look forward to welcoming Anson to Her Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde, the home of the Submarine Service, in the near future.”

The Astute programme is one of the most complex engineering projects in the world.

Anson will remain in Barrow for several more weeks undergoing final checks, tests and tweaks to her system before she sails for her future home at HM Naval Base Clyde in Faslane, where she will prepare for sea trials.

Astute-class submarine

Type:Nuclear-powered fleet submarine
Country of origin:United Kingdom
Designer:BAE Systems Submarines
Manufacturer:BAE Systems Submarines
Produced:2001 – present
In service:2010 – present
Operators:Royal Navy
Displacement:Surfaced: 7,000 to 7,400 tonnes;
Submerged: 7,400 to 7,800 tonnes
Length:97 m
Beam:11.3 m
Draught:10 m
Crew:98 – 109
Armament:6 × 21 in (533 mm) torpedo tubes with stowage for up to 38 weapons:
Tomahawk Block IV cruise missiles;
Spearfish heavyweight torpedoes
Systems:Thales Sonar 2076; Atlas DESO 25 echosounder; 2 × Thales CM010 optronic masts; Raytheon Successor IFF
Engine:1 × Rolls-Royce PWR 2 nuclear reactor; MTU 600 kilowatt diesel generators
Speed:30 kn submerged
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