Ministry of Defence accounts revealed the cost of repairing the damage of the Astute class HMS Ambush after she collided with a merchant vessel.

The repairs have so far cost just under £3 million in the 2016/2017 period however it’s not clear if repairs are ongoing.

HMS Ambush was involved in a collision with a merchant vessel off the coast of Gibraltar.

According to a press release on the day:

“At approximately 1330 local time today, HMS AMBUSH, an Astute-class submarine, while submerged and conducting a training exercise was involved in a glancing collision with a merchant vessel off the coast of Gibraltar. We are in contact with the merchant vessel and initial indications are that it has not sustained damage.

The submarine suffered some external damage but there is absolutely no damage to her nuclear plant and no member of the ship’s company was injured in the incident. 

An immediate investigation is being conducted.”

Cost displayed in MoD accounts booklet.

HMS Ambush is an Astute class nuclear fleet submarine, the second boat of her class. She was ordered in 1997, laid down in 2003 and commissioned in 2013.


A statement released by the Spanish government on Thursday said:

“In response to the request reiterated yesterday by the ministry of foreign affairs and cooperation, the embassy of the United Kingdom announced in the late afternoon that, following an assessment made after the accident suffered by HMS Ambush, it has been decided to repair the vessel in the United Kingdom. The embassy also confirmed once again that the reactor was not affected in the incident.”

In April 2015, Ambush participated in Exercise Joint Warrior, the largest military exercise held in Europe, alongside 55 other naval ships of NATO navies.


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So how does it cost 363,000 just to dispose of expired rat packs???


I would suggest that is the cost of writing them off, i.e. they were purchased in error but not used before they became life-ex.

Peter Crisp

I was about to post that as well.
Are the ration packs filled with expensive and fancy cakes that go stale really quickly as I thought cake would be pretty low on the list of priorities in a life or death situation but then again maybe the cake is the most important bit.
I thought ration packs were meant to last through nuclear wars and zombie infestations.


Special Forces ration packs cost extra, don’t you know….


TH, When you post a negative comment on this referring to the “taxpayers alliance” I hope you see this.— You are a fucking retard that lives in an isolated box that doesn’t notice the world going on around you. You think you know the facts that you found on some left wing newspaper article when you clearly don’t, and you support the destruction of our trade routes. You would also be perfectly happy to see hundreds of people who work in the shipbuilding etc. industry lose their jobs, not to mention the people in the armed forces themselves who fight… Read more »


Tbh I’d be surprised if anyone in the “taxpayers alliance” is also a left winger, whatever else he said. Those on the right are just as capable of not supporting our forces – look at the obscene scale of cuts by the tories over the last 7 years.


HF – … Errr … cuts caused by the debts left by whom though ….

Just saying


The national debt was 800 bn in 2010 or 65% of GDP, largely caused by bailing out banks and QE, and is now 1.75 trillion or 89% of GDP. So the debt doubled in less than 10 years – impressive stewardship of the economy.

Mike Saul

What you saying Will you wanted greater cuts to government spending to clear the debt?


Will – As you have widened the discussion we need to clarify ALL the factors and not just one that suits you. While we run a Deficit (annual borrowing) we increase Debt. Debt is the nett figure of what has been borrowed in that year less the repayments of earlier GILTS / Bonds. To select that as the single arbiter ignores where that debt came from and why. As Mike says to eradicate further borrowing we would have had to cut annual expenditure by over £145 Bn a year at a stroke in 2011 Good luck with that. The Corbynistas… Read more »


Mike, you can cut the debt by investing in the economy, austerity is a political decision not a necessity, it has been said by many economists that investing instead of cutting spending would reduce the deficit quicker.

Will, well said, so many people brainwashed into thinking it was labours fault that the housing market crashed in America and ruined our economy.

Jonny, sit down son.

Mike Saul

Kieran investing in what exactly?

The UK cannot create wealth fast enough to overcome our economic problems, throwing money at state sponsored projects that create no long term wealth will only make the problem worse.

Government cannot create sustainable wealth, only the private sector can.

So I repeat invest in what exactly?

David Steeper

Umm this is a defence site people. If you want to have a row about politics you’re not exactly spoiled for choice are you ?


The deficit was structural. Labour built a massive structural deficit prior to leaving power. Debt had to increase in the short term to avoid massive cuts. While much of the difference was inflated away. Over the last 10 years. Yes the positioned are in was caused by Labour. Tories have had to balance the books to avoid a Greece style collapse.


There are only a few ways to grow an economy Mike, resources, more productive people coming in (immigration) improve technology and capital investment. Investing in capital goods like factories, machines, computers etc. We can invest in loads of things, we do already obviously but we could do it more rigorously. There is a host of economists who understand it much better than you or me saying austerity hampered economic growth. There is a myth that it was labours spending that caused the financial crash, it was the bankers!! you have the internet, have a look for yourself, it… Read more »

Evan P

Mike, he is obviously not saying he wants greater cuts – that obviously hasn’t worked. Increased taxation would reduce the debt, and help the armed forces. Jonny, as for destruction of trade routes, Brexit should be good for that, something brought about by the far right. I believe we should invest more in our armed forces, and I’m a filthy leftist. TH doesn’t know what he’s talking about, but honestly, you’re making me think you aren’t any better.


Wrong! brexit was brought about by left and right leaning people. In fact large numbers of traditional labour supporters voted for brexit. Jeremy corbyn himself is a vocal euro sceptic until last year ?. Also none of them are even close to being far right! Sill statement.

Mike Saul

Evan P we tax at the rate that produces the most tax revenue while supporting a growing economy in the long term.

So when reduced the top income tax rate from 50 to 45% tax revenue went up.

Do you agree that tax rates should be cut to increase tax revenue?


The reason the revenue went up is because the amount of people paying in that tax bracket was widened, that’s called fiscal drag.

The amount of people in this country that fall for the tories economy myths with complicit media is worrying.


Your comment is awaiting moderation There are only a few ways to grow an economy Mike, resources, more productive people coming in (immigration) improve technology and capital investment. Investing in capital goods like factories, machines, computers etc. We can invest in loads of things, we do already obviously but we could do it more rigorously. There is a host of economists who understand it much better than you or me saying austerity hampered economic growth. There is a myth that it was labours spending that caused the financial crash, it was the bankers!! you have the internet, have… Read more »

Mike Saul

Disposal of warthog armoured fighting vehicles cost £104m on the balance sheet.

What a scandalous waste of a great asset.


don,t know why they just did not put them back in storage in case of future requirement/replacement for total loss or damage..or sell them to one of our allies the MOD is bonkers…


I can’t for the life of me understand why any Warthogs are being disposed of. They came to the aid of our troops in Afghanistan, and now that particular issue is dealt with, (for now) just get rid of all of them or in part. The Army has stated they don’t require the complete fleet, and a percentage will go! Surely,a Warthog would still give excellent protection for our troops, regardless of the theater?


…. and £3.3 Mn for ‘lost gas canisters’?

I see a market for gas canisters opening up.


581,000 for a cancelled building project in Afghanistan…. so to whom is the money owed and if it’s a so-called building project why isn’t the Foreign Aid budget paying for it?? This list is absolutely laughable!!! Where is the oversight and accountability??

John Hoare

So the lost of the gas cannister cost substantial more than the repairs to Astute, funny how no big issue was made of this, fact if it hadn’t been listed om the list of government expenditure nobody would nun the wiser

John West

£5.6 million damage to 2 remotely piloted planes on landing? Does that much damage really count as a landing? Seems more like my wife’s description of a ” little bump” in the car (write off).

Mike Saul

2 watchkeepers written off due hard landing or deliberately ditched in the sea as their is school near the end of the runway at Aberporth and it was considered to risky to try and land it.

Bloke down the pub

I think some people may misinterpret the figures for some of the items. They are not the cost of doing something, but the reduction in value of stock held that results from that action, eg disposing of ration packs.


Why can’t the Warthogs be given to the Marines – aren’t these better than the vikings they are currently using?

Mike Saul

The warthogs were purchased by a UOR funded by the treasury budget not the MOD one. If the MOD were to include them as core equipment then they would have to pay the asset value of the warthogs to the treasury.

MOD doesn’t want to pay £104m to the treasury so dump them as scrap is cheaper for the MOD.

Such is the world of UK government economics, absolutely crazy and people wonder why are in a mess.


Absolutely Mike – completely absurd!! Complete waste of taxpayer money!


Where is TH when you need him – we have proof of waste and the taxpayer alliance should be all over this.

On a more serious note – surely common sense would dictate that we swap the Viking fleet for the warthog fleet as this was what happened in Afghanistan.

Better is best – time to email paddy ashdown


If the treasury sell them to the highest bidder at auction could the mod bid for them then? They could potentially aquire them for £20mm instead of £100mm

Barry Larking

Bloke down the pub: I’ll have what you are drinking. This is accounting practice. Another issue is the ‘cost of ownership’. Keeping something in garage on the off chance it might come in handy has a price. While on the subject of cost benefit I thought the former First Sea Lord got it right when he pointed out Russia is trying to match the U.S.A. on the same G.D.P. as Italy. Racing the U.S.A. last century the Soviets busted themselves. As that well know hawk Paul Newman said during the Cold War “We’ve built them up as this monolithic power… Read more »


Two things about the Russian defence budget;

1) $1 buys a lot less in the UK/US than it does Russia. Wages (factor 5ish) , Land costs for factories (at or near zero), raw materials (of which Russia has many) and energy.

2) Russia knows it can’t match NATO overall so it practices Sun Tzu better than any other country (Putin’s judo perhaps). It has decided on overwhelming superiority in nukes, missiles and tanks (plus capable subs).

So, that’s why in comparative terms Russia’s spending power can out number some US assets on an Italian size economy.


On the warthogs – it seems we purchased them for a cost of £150m and that they are improved Vikings (not sure if they are amphibious at all).

They were purchased as vikings were found vulnerable to IED’s – so it seems to me they need to be retained and replace the vikings if suitable.

If we are writing off £104m on these after less than 10 years service that seems to be a travesty and another landrover snatch situation that will end up costing lives.

Mike Saul

The UK MOD doesn’t want to pay £104m to the UK treasury for them. If the MOD could have them for free they take them.

They are robust and superior to the Viking vehicle, they are amphibious and they are ideal for fast moving counter insurgency warfare.

They are being scrapped because of stupid treasury rules, all UORs should be donated to the MOD free of charge or scrap value at the end of the conflict they are purchased for.


Where is HMS AMBUSH is she repaired yet?