Watch as the Royal Navy’s newest Astute Class attack submarine, HMS Artful, arrives home.
HMS Artful made her first successful basin dive in October 2014 and sailed on in August 2015 for sea trials. The submarine was handed over the Royal Navy on the 14th of December 2015 and commissioned on the 18th of March 2016.
The hunter-killer has provision for up to 38 weapons in six 21-inch torpedo tubes and is capable of using Tomahawk Block IV land-attack missiles with a range of 1,000 miles and Spearfish heavyweight torpedoes.
The nuclear reactor will not need to be refuelled during the boat’s 25-year service. Since the submarine can purify water and air, she will be able to circumnavigate the planet without resurfacing. The main limit is that the submarine will only be able to carry three months’ supply of food for 98 officers and ratings.
In 2012, during the joint exercise Fellowship, HMS Astute (the first in class) performed simulated battles with the latest United States Navy Virginia class submarine, the USS New Mexico. It was reported that the Americans were “taken aback” by Astute’s capabilities.
Royal Navy Commander Iain Breckenridge was quoted:
“Our sonar is fantastic and I have never before experienced holding a submarine at the range we were holding USS New Mexico. The Americans were utterly taken aback, blown away with what they were seeing”.
The names Astute, Ambush and Artful were last given to Amphion-class submarines that entered service towards the end of World War II.