Latest of attack submarines sails for the first time

The latest of the Royal Navy’s advanced nuclear-powered attack submarines, HMS Anson, has just left the shipyard at Barrow-in-Furness where she was built ahead of sea trials.

The fifth Astute-class attack submarine sailed from BAE Systems’ shipyard set for her new home, His Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde in Scotland, where the submarine will undergo trials before taking on front-line duties.

The first four Astute-class submarines – HMS Astute, HMS Ambush, HMS Artful and HMS Audacious – are already in service with the Royal Navy. HMS Anson was formally commissioned at a ceremony last August, marking her entry into the Royal Navy’s fleet.

“It’s with enormous pride that we bid farewell to HMS Anson as she departs our site to take up her vital role helping to protect the UK’s national security,” said Steve Timms, Managing Director of BAE Systems’ Submarines business. “This is a truly national endeavour, so delivering the most capable attack submarine ever built for the Royal Navy is a tremendous moment for our company, our employees, the Barrow community and the whole of the submarine enterprise, not least our vast and crucially important UK wide supply chain.”

The submarine is the eighth Royal Navy vessel to bear the Anson name, after Admiral George Anson. The Astute class, the first nuclear-powdered submarines to be designed in a 3D, computer-aided environment, represent the cutting edge of the UK’s military capabilities.

They are armed with the long-range Tomahawk land attack missiles and Spearfish heavyweight torpedoes.

“HMS Anson will play a vital role in defending the UK, providing a competitive edge for decades to come, and I am proud to see her make her journey up to her permanent home on the Clyde,” said Ben Wallace, Secretary of State for Defence.
“Supporting tens of thousands of jobs across the UK, our Astute-Class submarines are a leading example of our commitment to defence manufacturing, continuing to boost British industry for decades to come.”

HMS Anson will be capable of circumnavigating the globe without resurfacing. Weighing 7800 tonnes, she is 97m long – short of two Olympic swimming pools.

“My team and I are grateful to all across the build enterprise and Submarine Delivery Agency who have made HMS Anson such a formidable submarine,” added Commander David Crosby, Commanding Officer of HMS Anson.

The final two submarines in the class – Agammemnon and Agincourt – are in various stages of construction at Barrow. The submarine manufacturing industry supports thousands of UK jobs. BAE Systems’ submarine programmes employ nearly 10,000 while thousands more are employed across the supply chain.

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