Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Royal Navy - Astute Class Submarine ready next month

HMS Astute, due to be completed next month, is the first of three Astute Class submarines being built for the Royal Navy. HMS Astute will be the Royal Navy's most stealthy and well armed submarine, capable of delivering pin-point strikes at 2,000km with Tomahawk cruise missiles. She will also be armed with the new Spearfish torpedo weapon system.

The largest and most powerful nuclear attack submarine, Astute will be equipped with the world’s most advanced sonar system, communications and intelligence gathering equipment.

A new advanced nuclear power core means HMS Astute will never have to be refuelled throughout her 25-year operational life. She will also produce her own air and water meaning she can circumnavigate the globe without needing to surface.

Designed entirely in a three dimensional computer aided environment, Astute has been designed entirely with performance in mind, not size or cost.

Minister for defence procurement Lord Drayson, said: “The Astute Class is designed for a wide range of roles to meet today’s need for flexibility. Work has already begun on the next two boats in the class – HMS Ambush and HMS Artful – they will become a cornerstone of UK defence capability and the benefits they will bring to our Royal Navy cannot be overstated.”

Cost: £3.5bn for three subs
Weight: 7,800 tons
Length: 97m
Time to build: 6 years 4 months
Power: pressurized water reactor, fuelled for life
Crew: 98

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