Astute class submarine HMS Anson has been in the water for a number of weeks and is now in the final stages of construction and commissioning, say the Royal Navy.

The Royal Navy say that the final stages of the boat’s completion were complicated by the pandemic, which placed particular challenges and demands on the complex operation to lower the hunter-killer into the water.

After thorough testing and commissioning of some 40 critical systems, the crew are responsible for the boat’s watertight integrity during her time in Barrow as well as general safety aboard.

“HMS Anson was rolled out of her home for the past decade before being lowered into the water at BAE’s yard in Barrow during a delicate two-day operation. Now she’s conducting final testing and commissioning of systems, preparing for her first dive – submerging most of the boat in a special dry dock – ahead of leaving Cumbria next year and joining her four sisters in Faslane.”

Once afloat, the boat was ‘cold moved’ to Wet Dock Quay with the assistance of tugs for training leading to the next milestone, the trim dive. Readers should note that there’s a basin next to the Devonshire Hall not only large enough to accommodate her, but also to allow a practice dive which almost allows the boat to completely submerge. She isn’t goign to sea just yet.

HMS Anson was officially named in a ceremony at the BAE yard in Barrow-In-Furness in December last year.

More complex than the Space Shuttle - the bow section of HMS Anson is lit up at the naming ceremony

Anson’s first Commanding Officer, Commander David ‘Bing’ Crosby, said recently that it was now time for the ship’s company “to bring HMS Anson to life”.

“It will require all of us to work together to achieve this goal, but we are ready for the challenge – and we are determined to succeed.”

Her punch, say the Royal Navy, will be delivered by Tomahawk cruise missiles and the newly-upgraded Spearfish torpedoes being introduced to the Fleet from 2021.

Anson is due to remain in Barrow for completion until 2022 before leaving for sea trials and joining her older sisters at HMNB Clyde, while BAE finish the final two Astute-class boats: Agamemnon and Agincourt, completing the programme in 2025 after a quarter century of work on the entire programme, say the Royal Navy.

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BigH1979
BigH1979
30 days ago

I can’t make Head nor Tail of that photo. It appears to be the front end of a submarine on stage at a Rock Concert?!! 😂😂

Paul42
Paul42
30 days ago
Reply to  BigH1979

She’s riding very high in the water

geoff
geoff
29 days ago
Reply to  Paul42

Should be about 80% plus below water ‘on the surface’ when fully active? Somewhat like an Iceberg?

Challenger
Challenger
30 days ago

Ambitious schedule to get the final 2 completed but the fact that Audacious is now finally in service and the good progress with Anson does suggest they have overcome the recent problems and are back on track.

James
James
29 days ago
Reply to  Challenger

Dont they class Audacious as an Astute mk2 as it had a large number of changes from the previous in class? Maybes those changes took much longer to integrate than planned and now Anson and the remaining ones can be built much quicker.

Deep32
Deep32
29 days ago
Reply to  James

Thats pretty much spot on. Despite the increase in weight over the T boats, the Astutes arent that much bigger overall. As a result of adopting a different approach to building in noise reduction factors, a considerable amount of internal space was lost, literally making them more cramped then the T boats. Audacious was the first boat where they could redress some of these issues. As you say the last 3 should take less time to build.

James
James
29 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Id also hope some new tech has been put into the later boats considering Astute was launched a fair while back now!

Deep32
Deep32
29 days ago
Reply to  James

Very unlikely, all the sexy fighty equipment is software driven or replaced as new versions /mods become available, the bits that are fired have their own specific upgrades and the same applies to the engineering spaces.

John Hampson
John Hampson
30 days ago

Since the decision was taken for 7 Astutes, Putin has changed the factors in the maritime equation significantly. A whole new class of submarines are being introduced, Khabarovsk’s, armed with a weapon which is a Crime against Humanity, the Poseidon nuclear powered drone-torpedoes. ( The recently launched Belgorod will also carry 6 Poseidon’s.) The Yasen class cruise missile armed attack class is being introduced to replace Akula and Alfa classes. The Borei class ballistic missile boats are also being introduced, with the latest boats under construction thought to be a real advance over the 1st in class which was only… Read more »

Captain P Wash
Captain P Wash
30 days ago
Reply to  John Hampson

Well I thought along similar lines too but the dismissal of it being some sort of hoax might just come home to roost.

DaveyB
DaveyB
30 days ago
Reply to  John Hampson

I agree, we should look at additional Astutes, perhaps including the vertical launch cells.

If the Russians ever used the nuclear torpedo against a NATO country’s harbour/city. They can expect a nuclear retaliation in kind. That’s the sad beauty of MAD.

Rogbob
Rogbob
29 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Too late, industrial capacity is now maxxed with the remaining ones and/then Dreadnought SSBNs.

By the time they finish Astute will be an old design and a new SSN would be available.

Issue is that Astute will be needing replacement!

Possible to speed the process but at cost and and the effects will take 10 years to see a result. Unlikely any Govt would spend for that!

QuentinD63
QuentinD63
29 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Can’t they slip in two more Astutes by delaying one of the four SSBNs?
Can any of the former RN subs held for decommissioning be revived or repurposed even for 5 or so years? I hope the West is developing some sort of technology to counter, jam or even redirect these particular types of drones back to their owner!? We really need to keep our sea, air and space eyes out for these nasty subs and their sub-drone activities and maybe order a few more P-8 Poseidon name sakes, UAVs, Merlins and our anti-sub drones?

Paul T
Paul T
29 days ago
Reply to  QuentinD63

Delaying the Dreadnought’s is a definate no-goer,the Vanguards are pretty much Sh***ed out and being our only means of deterrent they must be the priority.SSBN/SSN are complicated pieces of Engineering,they contain lots of ‘Long Lead’ items such as Reactors that can’t be magicked up on a whim.As you say more P8’s etc would be the better option.

geoff
geoff
29 days ago
Reply to  John Hampson

Morning John. Please explain to this layman-6 Poseidon’s? Is this a Poseidonski- copy of the US missile?

Pete
Pete
29 days ago
Reply to  geoff

Geoff. I had posted a link but it’s been removed !!! Google Russian poseidon unmanned system

DRS
DRS
30 days ago

Looks awesome. Never seen a sub that high out of water.

Deep32
Deep32
29 days ago
Reply to  DRS

Her internal ballast tanks will be virtually empty and she won’t have her full out fit of stores onboard just yet, all of which makes her light.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
30 days ago

Is it me or is Anson in the water much sooner after Audacious than previous boats?

Great news.

Challenger
Challenger
29 days ago

I think it feels that way because Audacious was supposed to be in service by 2018 but suffered significant delays.

Anson was previously due to be in the water by 2020 so is herself slightly late, it just seems rapid now that the issues have been overcome.

I’ll be pleasantly surprised if they can get Agamemnon and Agincourt finished by 2025.

geoff
geoff
29 days ago
Reply to  Challenger

Morning Challenger. Are they replacing the Trafalgars one for one with the Astutes or will there be any overlap to increase hull numbers in the short term?

Deep32
Deep32
29 days ago
Reply to  geoff

Morning, the Astutes are replacing the T boats on a one for one basis. Due to the delay from Audacious onwards, both Talent and Triumph have been extended past their original OSD. We currently have 6 running SSNs, so are 1 short.

Andy P
Andy P
29 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Morning mate, you’ll probably remember when we went down to 10 SSN’s and that was considered too few by many. The only thing that’s changed is the units are getting run harder now. There’s nothing can be done about it I suppose but its not going to help retention. You’d hope there would be lessons learnt but colour me cynical.

Deep32
Deep32
29 days ago
Reply to  Andy P

Oh yes, I can also remember when we had around 15 SSNs (C,V,S and some T) in service (late 80’s) along with some 8-10 Oberon class SSKs. All now replaced by 7 Astutes – eventually!! Now try convincing us that’s enough for all tasking!!! Makes ones blood overheat a tad!

Andy P
Andy P
29 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Evening mate, yeah, I can ‘get’ binning the O boats and even the U’s, we were all about keeping the commie hoards at bay and apart from a few inshore type ops it was Blue Water ops. To be fair the S and T’s were capable of doing the inshore stuff so fair do’s. Roll on a few years and we’ve got boats covering the ‘shooter’ stuff too, yet another use for Fleet boats… which makes you wonder why we decided to reduce the number. I can only assume short term finances, its how The Mob operates. Would love to… Read more »

Challenger
Challenger
29 days ago
Reply to  geoff

Hi Geoff. As has already been added the last couple of Trafalgar’s are absolutely flogged with 30+ years service under their belts and they have had their OSD’s extended by a couple of years yet again to provide the RN with 6 active SSN’s due to the delays with Audacious and the knock on effect to the subsequent boats.

geoff
geoff
28 days ago
Reply to  Challenger

Thanks Challenger. Didn’t realise the Trafalgars were so tired. My suggestion was, in general terms that the only way to boost numbers with any class of vessel in the short plus term is to not do a one for one replacement , but where possible extend the life of older ships as with for e.g the last Batch 23’s might soldier on for a while in addition to the 26’s coming on line hopefully before I kick the bucket 🙂

geoff
geoff
28 days ago
Reply to  geoff

..that was a long sentence !!

Chris
Chris
29 days ago

The U.K. needs to sell Astute SSN’s to Australia. The plan to contend with the PLAN using warmed up diesel electric boats is woefully inadequate.

Tony
Tony
29 days ago
Reply to  Chris

Don’t they insist on no nuclear propulsion?

Mike Wilson
Mike Wilson
29 days ago
Reply to  Tony

They are not allowed to sell this to Australia due to the non nuclear proliferation agreement.

Stephen Challenger
Stephen Challenger
29 days ago

Better late than never

Mike Wilson
Mike Wilson
29 days ago

It is not a special dry dock but simply the Devonshire dock in front of the construction hall which has been dredged deep enough to take the vessel submerged.

Andy P
Andy P
29 days ago
Reply to  Mike Wilson

Way to take the shine off it Mike…. 😂

You’re right of course, its just a ‘deep bit’ rather than some snazzy set up. Never let the truth get in the way of a good dit and all that. 😉