BAE Systems has officially handed over the fifth Astute-class submarine to the Royal Navy as HMS Anson departed the Company’s shipyard in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria.
While Anson was already commissioned in August last year, the start of her journey home is the first time the boat is heading out to open sea.
It is worth noting that at time of the boat’s commissioning, the Royal Navy said Anson would remain in Barrow for several more weeks undergoing final checks, tests and tweaks to her system before sailing to HM Naval Base Clyde in Faslane to prepare for sea trials. It appears that the several weeks turned into close to six months.
After being guided through the shipyard’s dock system and rounding the tip of Walney Island on Sunday, HMS Anson began her maiden journey to HM Naval Base Clyde, home of the UK’s submarine service. She will undertake sea trials before joining HMS Astute, HMS Ambush, HMS Artful and HMS Audacious, in operational service with the Royal Navy.
“HMS Anson will play a vital role in defending the UK, providing a competitive edge for decades to come, and I am proud to see her make her journey up to her permanent home on the Clyde,” Ben Wallace, UK Secretary of State for Defence, commented.
The Royal Navy expects to have a total of seven Astute-class submarines in service by 2026. The 7,400-ton, 97 meter-long boats feature advanced nuclear technology which eliminates the need for the to ever be refueled. Crewed by 98 submariners, they carry both Tomahawk Land Attack Cruise Missiles (TLAM) and Spearfish heavyweight torpedoes.
The vessels are capable of circumnavigating the globe while submerged, producing their own oxygen and drinking water.