HMS Audacious, an Astute-class nuclear submarine, has carried out NATO security patrols in the Mediterranean armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles.

This was the submarine’s maiden operational deployment.

In an unusual move for the Royal Navy given they don’t normally comment on submarine movements, they’ve issued a news release stating that Audacious left her home of Clyde Naval Base in Scotland and, after two months of intensive sea training designed to test the boat’s equipment and sailors to the limit, left the waters close to the UK bound south for the Med.

The release reads:

“After loading Tomahawk missiles – just one part of the Astute-class’s powerful armoury alongside the Spearfish heavyweight torpedo – in Gibraltar, Audacious sailed into the Mediterranean and completed exercises with NATO allies, including training with Greek, Turkish and United States allies.

The training tested Audacious’ ability to evade, track and engage her foes underwater and on the surface. It offered NATO allies the chance to pit their wits against a nuclear attack submarine – a relatively rare training opportunity for many navies, as they looked to hunt down Audacious beneath the waves.”

The Royal Navy add that before her foray into the Med, “Audacious carried out essential training off the coast of Scotland, during which submariners were put through a range of mock crises on board, from fires to floods, to ensure they are ready to work together and respond calmly in a real emergency”. 

You can read more here.

George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. He also works for the NHS. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Callum
Callum
8 days ago

I doubt we’ll ever know, but it would be interesting to know the outcome of those training exercises.

Were our allies able to locate Audacious, or did she run rampant? As much as we’d love to see our sub reign supreme, ironically it would probably be better for us if our allies could demonstrate the ability to track and kill her; if they can do it to us, then they can definitely do it to a Russian or Chinese boat.

Deep32
Deep32
8 days ago
Reply to  Callum

These exercises are a two way learning experience, benefitting both sides. Depending on the serials, the SM may start with her noise maker on to give the surface units tracking time on the TA. When it comes to the last serials, it’s usually best man wins, as the noise makers will be switched off.

Martin
Martin
8 days ago
Reply to  Callum

Given CSG 21 ability to locate three type 93 in two days I don’t think we have too much to worry about. I doubt if the Russian navy capability is much better than the PLAAN.

David Barry
David Barry
7 days ago
Reply to  Martin

It’s the other 997 subs the Chinese had out there that might cause a problem… 😉

Martin
Martin
7 days ago
Reply to  David Barry

Funny people thought that about Russian tanks until 3 months ago. Numbers don’t count for what they use to when your fighting superior technology like Javelin, F22 or Astute. The RN may be short on numbers and not so well set up for power projection as the USN but it remains the world leader in ASW.

Callum
Callum
7 days ago
Reply to  Martin

Perhaps, but there’s another way to look at this; Russia is going up against a well-prepared, well-trained and equipped opponent that enjoys massive material and intelligence support that the Russians can’t neutralise without starting WW3. In the face of that, the only thing that’s kept them in the fight this long is the sheer size of their forces, and the reality is they are slowly grinding the Ukrainians down. I’m not saying numbers are the be-all and end-all, but when you’re the attacker in a guerilla warfare campaign, there’s plenty of examples to show that superior tech isn’t all that… Read more »

Martin
Martin
6 days ago
Reply to  Callum

Look a red flag when F15 go up against F22. I can imagine type 93 vs Astute or Virginia being more like F4 vs F22. No reason why you would not expect to see 1-20+ exchange rates in such circumstances.

Donaldson
Donaldson
7 days ago
Reply to  Martin

Is this open source material? Any chance at a link please?

Martin
Martin
7 days ago
Reply to  Donaldson

The Chinese bots seem to be erasing all links to this only the link from the express left below however it’s was widely reported at the time and the Chinese global times then claimed they were using the CSG for target practice then decided to give themselves away so the RN new they were there which is obviously bollocks because an SSN never wants anyone to detect its signature.

https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1473924/china-news-britain-aircraft-carier-south-china-sea-pacific-ocean-royal-navy

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
8 days ago

The silent service did another job well by keeping the UK safe from beneath the waves! Hats off to all those who undertake patrols on our submarines. Very much off-topic but I’m sure some on here won’t mind too much, hopefully, UKDJ will post an article on the subject at some point? Eurosatory 2022: KMW presents tracked version of Boxer16 JUNE 2022😉 “Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) presented a tracked version of the Boxer armoured vehicle at the Eurosatory defence exhibition being held in Paris from 13 to 17 June. The vehicle on display has steel tracks, but it can also be… Read more »

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
8 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Given the ability to carry additional armour I wonder if the Tracked Boxer would be a reasonable replacement for Warrior? Even if the tracked Boxer wasn’t as heavily armoured as the Warrior it could possibly equip high mobility light infantry units, especially if it is air transportable?

What would be really nice is if there was a recce / sensor module for Boxer so we could scrap Ajax and equip with multiple variants of Boxer. Have both wheeled and tracked recce Boxer’s the former would potentially be useful in Europe given the extensive road network.

Cheers CR

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
8 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

That makes complete sense to me ChariotRider with some of these thrown in for good measure. I’ve mentioned this many times before!

Rheinmetall is displaying its Mission Master XT autonomous unmanned ground vehicle (A-UGV) with a fire-support module armed with UVision Hero 120 loitering munition at the Eurosatory 2022 defence exhibition being held in Paris from 13 to 17 June. The A-UGV is shown with a six-cell launch container.

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/land-forces/latest/eurosatory-2022-rheinmetall-mission-master-xt-displayed-with-hero-120-loitering-munition

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
8 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Thanks for the Nigel,

That is the kind of thing I have been saying we should develop and deploy with our armoured units, although I would equip our with Brimstone or Martlet. The vehicle looks big enough to be able to keep up with the heavy armoured vehicles MTB / MICV so the A-UGV would be able to provide rapid reaction anti tank or anti UAV light vehicle capability.

I would also equip the RA with ground launched SPEAR 3 possibly in a VLS configuration to provide stand off precision fires against high value targets.

Cheers CR

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
8 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Indeed, CR. Also maintained a while back that a tracked version of the Boxer concept ought to be possible. But can’t recall the post stream it was part of. Likely Ajax.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
8 days ago

Nice to see another Astute arrive in service. I do like the look of these boats which I am guessing has a lot to do with hydrodynamics and possibly noise reduction?

Cheers CR

BigH1979
BigH1979
8 days ago

Technical question…. What’s the thing sticking up near the bow just above the fins please?

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
8 days ago
Reply to  BigH1979

I’ve asked the same question in the past, unsurprisingly given it is a submarine thingy no answer…

I did wonder if it was some kind of environmental sensor kit, temperature, salinity that sort of thing, but it looks rather big for that type of sensor given I have seen science programmes launching that kind of sensor in packages not much bigger than a couple of shoe boxes.

Intriguing ain’t it.

Cheers CR

Martin
Martin
8 days ago
Reply to  BigH1979

It’s an intercept sonar, all British submarines have them Astute is just larger. It detects active sonar pulses.

https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-structure-on-the-top-and-between-the-bow-planes-of-RN-Astute-class-submarines-What-is-it-for-and-why-don-t-other-submarines-have-it

AlexS
AlexS
7 days ago
Reply to  BigH1979

A sort of ESM but for sonar, sound waves not radio waves,

Deep32
Deep32
7 days ago
Reply to  BigH1979

As @ Martin and AlexS have posted, it’s the Active Interrupt part of ST2076, designed to detect and display active sonar transmissions.

Deep32
Deep32
7 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Active Intercept – doh!

BigH1979
BigH1979
7 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Thanks Gents. Do we share this sort of tech with the US and French? Am i right in saying the RN is the gold standard when it comes to sonar?

Deep32
Deep32
7 days ago
Reply to  BigH1979

No we don’t share this tech with them, although we cross deck US Submariners on our boats from time to time, so they are aware of our systems to a certain degree.
The Active Intercept housing that you see is/was based on a French system from the mid 80’s originally. We have just kept the array structure and updated the receiver’s within it, to supply the data to our sonar suite.

Sceptical Richard
Sceptical Richard
7 days ago
Reply to  BigH1979

We probably are, but don’t forget that the majority of our sonar is from Thales and is mostly developed in conjunction with the French although they’ve got kit they won’t show us and vice versa.

Azincourt
Azincourt
6 days ago

Never forget that Thales UK is completely ring fenced from Thales Groupe operations except in the case of collaborative programmes for both countries under Lancaster House . The french , even at the highest executive level , are excluded from all documentation, meetings and information on UK specific programmes. It was a condition imposed to permit the defence acquisitions they made .

Martin
Martin
7 days ago
Reply to  BigH1979

2087 sonar has certainly be shared/sold to the US navy. Never been any indication on 2076 used on the SSN however as Astute was way ahead of Virginia block I-III on flank sonar arrays and chin mounted sonar. Block IV seems to have changed to be more like astute so perhaps we did share. We certainly shared pump jets with them and they share reactor designs with us. UK sonar capability is definitely top in the world in conjunction with France.

Sceptical Richard
Sceptical Richard
7 days ago
Reply to  BigH1979

It’s a passive intercept sonar. Think of it as underwater EW (RESM). So it listens to and classifies other active sonar transmissions

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
7 days ago

Short of putting a horse’s head in Putins bed, this will serve just as well to send him a message.

andy
andy
17 seconds ago

and in other news apparently one of our Nuclear submarine suppliers is being sold to the the US with an apparent threat made by the US that if the sale is blocked by HMG then they may reduce military equipment sales to the UK ,sorry to say but i would tell them where to go…..