It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

The Royal Navys new Astute Class Submarine

page: 1
1

log in

join
share:

posted on Aug, 22 2004 @ 04:02 PM
link   
I decided to do a write up of the new nuclear attack submarine the Royal Navy are getting; the Astute class. Some of the specialised weaponry terms are in bold and can be looked up in the glossary after this post. This is a long one but is an excellent chance to learn about a great piece of weaponry.

Description

Just a bit of background information to get started. The Royal Navy has 2 classes of SSNs in service currently. The Swiftsure class of 6 submarines was commissioned between 1974 and 1981. The flagship, HMS Swiftsure had to be decommissioned in 1992 as it suffered damage to its pressure hull during sea trials. The Trafalgar class of 7 submarines had its boats commissioned between 1983 and 1991. These two classes of submarine can fire torpedoes, deploy mines, use the sub harpoon anti shipping weapon and some can fire Tomahawk cruise missiles.

The Astute Class of submarine was planned to replace both the Royal Navys aging Swiftsure class, which are reaching the end of their operational lives, and the newer Trafalgar Class SSNs. Originally the plan was to build 7 Astute submarines that would replace the 5 Swiftsure SSNs and the 2 oldest Trafalgar submarines. This plan was scaled back to building just 3 new Astute submarines. This would mean not decommissioning the 2 oldest Trafalgar class and keeping 2 of the older Swiftsure class in service. Once the 3 Astute submarines were in service, there was the option to buy a second batch of 2 or 3 more.

The Royal Navys submarine fleet had to find new roles after the cold war. The emphasis was moved away from ASW to supporting forces on the ground. The new Astute class will have the ability to fire Tomahawk cruise missiles from the day they enter service. The submarines will be powered by a pressured water reactor that will not need refuelling.

Specifications

All descriptions are approximate

Length : 100 metres
Beam (Width at widest point) : 11 metres
Displacement (surfaced) : 6500 tons surfaced
Displacement (dived) : 7200 tons
Submerged speed : 30+ knots
Complement : 98 but capacity to carry 12 more people

Armament and Weapons

The Astute class has 6 533mm (21 inch) torpedo tubes, 1 more than the usual five for Royal Navy submarines. Through these torpedo tubes, a variety of weapons can be fired.

Spearfish torpedo The Spearfish torpedo is the heavyweight, submarine carried, torpedo of the Royal Navy. It can be used for both ASW and ASUW

It has 2 settings; high speed and low speed. In the high speed setting, it can travel at up to 81 knots with a range of 23 km (12.5 nautical miles)

In the low speed mode, its range is extended to 54 km (30 nautical miles). It is 20ft long, weighs nearly 2 tonnes and has a 300kg directed energy warhead.

The submarines can also fire Tomahawk cruise missiles and the sub harpoon weapon which is a Harpoon anti shipping weapon that is carried to the surface before firing.

A total of 38 weapons can be carried for tube-launch, for example: 20 Tomahawk, 18 torpedoes. The Astute class submarines can also lay mines.

Latest News

Astute Keel laid down 2001, planned in service date is 2009
Ambush Keel laid down in 2003, planned to be in service in 2010
Artful Keel due to be laid down later this year, planned in service date of late 2011

If the MOD have the money and decide to buy a second batch of 2 or 3 submarines, there is the possibility of them being fitted with Vertical Launch Tubes to carry the new Tactical Tomahawk but only if firing TacToms from the torpedo tubes is not a viable option.




posted on Aug, 22 2004 @ 04:03 PM
link   
Glossary

SSNs - Ship Submersible Nuclear (Nuclear Powered, not nuclear weapons)

ASW - Anti Submarine Warfare

ASUW - Anti Surface Unit Warfare (Destroying Ships)

Sources

Global Security

BAE Systems

WikiPedia

Navy Matters

Royal Navy

Useful Links

Naval-Technology



posted on Aug, 22 2004 @ 04:04 PM
link   
Images



Cut-away View




Artist's impressions of the Astute Class submarine.



posted on Aug, 23 2004 @ 05:23 AM
link   
wow... the RN can afford new Subs


i notice that the RN has had to cut back the number though because of budget cuts


looks like an interesting sub



posted on Aug, 23 2004 @ 05:29 AM
link   
Looks to be great at the moment.

  • The most powerful sub the RN has ever had

  • 50% more firepower than any previous RN subs

    The project is said to be going OK so we can hope to see it in service on time, on budget still with all it's capabilities.

    Maybe they will buy a second batch if these are impressive enough.



  • posted on Aug, 23 2004 @ 05:41 AM
    link   
    I was a weapons officer on a Swiftsure boat. I would luvv to see inside an Astute



    posted on Aug, 23 2004 @ 06:19 AM
    link   
    well lets just hope the MoD doesnt get the numbers all worng again.. not like the helicopters that cant fly in the rain n all this kind of sh*t...



    posted on Aug, 23 2004 @ 07:14 AM
    link   
    Looks like it is using a pump jet propulser. The Virgina class SSN is supposed to have the same thing.. Recently I saw a TV show on the Peresher courses the UK sub commander has to take. Looked pretty brutal IMHO, no doubt only the best surrvive. I also like the fact that thier commanders take a different command track than the enginners. In the US, the captains are almost always reactor types.



    posted on Aug, 23 2004 @ 07:36 AM
    link   
    You're right re engineers & warfare officers. The streaming starts when you apply to join the Navy. Only Warfare Officers are able to command. Engineers keep the systems working & on submarines, the weapon engineers are the experts on useage of the weapons. seems to work well. the XO of the boat I was on was a very bright guy- had a double first from Cambridge in Natural Sciences, I think....



    posted on Aug, 23 2004 @ 06:09 PM
    link   

    Originally posted by Qoelet
    well lets just hope the MoD doesnt get the numbers all worng again.. not like the helicopters that cant fly in the rain n all this kind of sh*t...


    Those helicopters were Chinooks couldn't fly when it was cloudy.

    I hope they do buy a second batch as they originally planned the Astute class to be 7 boats. With just 3 ordered it looks like some of those Swiftsure submarines are going to remain in service for quite a few more years yet.



    posted on Aug, 24 2004 @ 12:11 PM
    link   
    Whoa, really nice. I'm glad the British Army is doing some great stuff.



    posted on Aug, 24 2004 @ 01:19 PM
    link   

    Originally posted by Qoelet
    well lets just hope the MoD doesnt get the numbers all worng again.. not like the helicopters that cant fly in the rain n all this kind of sh*t...

    well you gota have a bad thing i mean they have the fastest and most manouverable helicopter in the world in service as their standard helicopter.



    posted on Aug, 24 2004 @ 04:46 PM
    link   

    Originally posted by devilwasp
    well you gota have a bad thing i mean they have the fastest and most manouverable helicopter in the world in service as their standard helicopter.


    Lynx? That thing is a badass



    new topics

    top topics



     
    1

    log in

    join