Submarine HMS Astute and Type 23 frigate HMS St Albans trained together recently in the Atlantic Ocean.

According to a Royal Navy news release, St Albans’ Merlin helicopter from 814 Naval Air Squadron flew between both vessels, winching submariners and sailors while battling wind and rain.

“The submarine class is the largest and most advanced attack submarines ever operated by the navy while St Albans is equipped with specialist sonar and torpedoes designed to counter submarines.”

Lieutenant Commander Andrew Mitchell, flight commander on board the Portsmouth-based frigate, said:

“The transfer was one of the most challenging – and professionally rewarding – experiences. We don’t get to do this often and certainly not in such adverse weather conditions.”

HMS Astute and HMS St Albans have been training in the Atlantic

Commander John Cromie, commanding officer of HMS St Albans, said:

“As we continue to hone our anti-submarine warfare alongside HMS Astute, the synergy that can be achieved by operating a Merlin, Type 23 and Astute-class submarine together represents the pinnacle of all-arms anti-submarine warfare. It clearly demonstrates the Royal Navy’s ability to project a potent capability in the wider Atlantic to protect UK interests.”

HMS St Albans is currently tasked to waters around Scotland.

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Cam Hunter

Finally one of the best Royal Navy Sub-hunting Ships hunting one of the best RN Atack submarines, I would love to know how that went. Are the Royal Navy’s 8 type 26 Sub-hunting frigates still being built without torpedo tubes? Anyone know.

dan fleming

well they are upgrading 8 of type 23’s soon with new torpedos so I think they will be transferred over to the type 26’s like many other things


I don’t think so,I believe they will buy some asrok for the vertical launchers.light weight ship launched torpedoes are short range compared to heavyweights on subs.


There was a pretty good article on Save the Royal navy about that, said it was unlikely. The reasoning though seemed pretty sound, those torpedo launchers are basically a CIWS for submarines- which these days are very unlikely to get that close to launch their attacks anyway because modern sub-launched torpedoes and ASMs have so much range. So it’s a fair amount of cost in installation and maintenance for something that has limited value. As GWM mentions, I think there is more discussion about ASROC or similar, which would have better utility.


We need 8 Astute class submarines.


At least, but we aren’t going to get them. Best hope is that room is made at Barrow for the next class of SSN while the SSBNs are still being finished. You never know we may end up with additional boats in the late 2030s or 2040s but not before.

David Steeper

Barrow’s fully committed to the Dreadnoughts. There isn’t any capacity to build more Astutes even if we wanted to.


That’s what I was trying to say, just not very succinctly.


We will continue to face the huge problem of a lack of numbers. We can form part of a NATO group but we can only make up a small part. We dont have enough submarines, frigates, destroyers, combat aircraft, patrol aircraft, etc etc.
Our government has decided long ago that yes we will have some good kit, but we will never have enough of it, and we will rely on the USA and NATO, like most of Europe.


I read the article as saying the T23, Merlin and Astute worked together at ASW. Not one hunting the others.


There is a lot of synergy on the various sonar systems used on Merlin,Type23 and Astute.The type 23’s have been trialling the software from Astute on their towed arrays recently.