Wednesday 29 May, 2024
HomeNaval & MaritimeSea PlatformsSixth Astute-class submarine officially named

Sixth Astute-class submarine officially named

The latest Astute-class submarine of the Royal Navy has been given an official name at BAE Systems’ Submarines facility in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria.

Named Agamemnon, after the ancient Greek king, this is the sixth of seven Astute-class submarines that the company is building. The submarine is set to be launched later this year.

Steve Timms, Managing Director of BAE Systems’ Submarines said: “This is a key milestone for Agamemnon and the UK nuclear submarine programme, and contributes to the Government’s Defence Nuclear Enterprise Command Paper, which underpinned the importance of our business and Barrow in delivering this national endeavour.”

“The Astute Class submarines are a vital component of our nation’s defence capabilities and we are fully focused on completing the remainder of Agamemnon’s programme so she can join her sister submarines in service with the Royal Navy.”

The naming ceremony was attended by James Cartlidge, Minister for Defence Procurement and included an address by the boat’s Lady Sponsor, Lady SJ Sedwill, the wife of former UK National Security Adviser Lord Mark Sedwill. Agamemnon was then blessed and christened, with a bottle of beer from the local Ulverston Brewing Company smashed against her hull.

“HMS Agamemnon will play a vital role in defence of the nation, providing our Armed Forces with a competitive edge for decades to come. The Astute Class programme continues to support tens of thousands of jobs, with these submarines being a leading example of our commitment to investing in British sovereign capabilities”, said James Cartlidge, Minister for Defence Procurement.

Armed with a combination of up to 38 Spearfish heavyweight torpedoes and Tomahawk Block V cruise missiles, the 7,400-tonne Astute-class submarines 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 Astute-class submarines are the first to ditch traditional optical periscopes in favour of high-spec video technology for horizon scanning. The submarines are the quietest ever built, can travel around the world while completely submerged, and have the ability to generate their own oxygen and drinking water.

The onboard Command and Control System (CCS) receives information from various onboard and external sensors. It compiles an integrated tactical picture based on the sensor information and presents this tactical information to the command.

The CCS also manages the firing and control of weapons and operates as an integrated network of systems exchanging data over the Combat System Network (CSN), which provides resilience and integrity to support operations.

SMCS is the primary combat management tool used by the command. It exchanges data with the submarine’s Above Water Systems (AWS) and Under Water Surveillance (UWS) sensors. Then, it compiles and manages the Tactical Data Picture based on this information. It also manages the firing of Spearfish torpedoes.

To detect enemy vessels, the Astute Class submarine is equipped with Sonar 2076 – an integrated passive/active search sonar suite with hull and towed arrays.

BAE Systems’ submarines business employs around 13,500 people, mainly in the North West of England, with that figure set to grow to around 17,000 in the coming years.


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