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Astute class submarines

Ambush heads for open water
The Astute class will equip the UK Royal Navy with its largest and most powerful fleet of attack submarines. As exciting, complex and challenging as any engineering project in the world today, we’re harnessing the unique skills of our workforce and drawing on years of experience to deliver a step change in capability.

No other attack submarine can match its weapons capability; no other attack submarine is as technologically advanced. The Astute class is designed and engineered to be the stealthiest submarine of her type, equipped with the latest and most powerful sonar suite and secure communications facilities, while exhibiting a low noise signature and optimum detection avoidance characteristics.

The seven Astute class nuclear powered submarines (SSNs) will have the capability to circumnavigate the globe without surfacing, limited only by their food storage capacity. Able to deploy rapidly, they are powered by a nuclear reactor that can run for their 25 year lifespan without refuelling.

Built in the Devonshire Dock Hall at BAE Systems Maritime - Submarines Barrow shipyard, the Astute class marks the latest chapter in the town’s illustrious history of shipbuilding and submarine building.

The class

When construction is complete, the class will comprise seven Astute submarines – each one packed with cutting-edge, state-of-the-art technology. They are:

  1. HMS Astute
  2. HMS Ambush
  3. HMS Artful
  4. Audacious
  5. Anson
  6. Agamemnon
  7. Agincourt

Astute Video

Astute Class

Astute Class Facts


Did you know...

  • Astute class submarines are the UK’s largest and most powerful attack submarines and can strike at targets up to 1,000km from the coast with pin-point accuracy.
  • Astute submarines are the first nuclear submarines to be designed entirely in a three-dimensional, computer-aided environment.
  • Design and construction of an Astute submarine has been described as ‘more complex than that of the space shuttle.’
  • If the cables on board an Astute Submarine were laid out end-to-end, they would stretch from Barrow to Preston.
  • An Astute submarine’s 90-day dived endurance is only limited by the amount of food that can be carried and the endurance of the crew.
  • Astute submarines are the first Royal Navy Submarine not to be fitted with optical periscopes – instead the vessel employs high specification video technology.
  • Astute submarines will be the quietest ever operated by the Royal Navy.
  • The Devonshire Dock Hall is BAE Systems Maritime-Submarines main build facility, standing 51m high, 58m wide and 260m long.
  • The first submarine for the Royal Navy was built in Barrow, and every submarine currently in service was also built there, Holland 1.
  • Astute class submarines are designed not to require refuelling throughout her projected 25-year life.
  • 10-week patrol the 98-strong crew of a Astute will get through (on average): 18,000 sausages and 4,200 Weetabix for breakfast.