The largest, most advanced and most powerful submarines ever operated by the Royal Navy, the Astute Class is submarine supremacy redefined!
Astute Class submarine
A growing fleet
The Royal Navy’s Astute Class will consist of seven nuclear-powered submarines. HMS Astute, Ambush, Artful, Audacious and Anson are all currently in active service and a further two boats – HMS Agincourt and HMS Agamemnon - are under construction and are due to join the fleet in 2024.
The Royal Navy’s Astute Class submarines are the first not to be fitted with traditional optical periscopes – instead, they utilise high specification video technology to scan the horizon. They are also the quietest submarines ever constructed, can circumnavigate the globe completely submerged, and are capable of producing their own oxygen and drinking water.
About the crew
Unrivalled range and precision
The Tomahawk IV missile has immense range and in-flight versatility
Among the Astute Class’ formidable arsenal of weapons is the Tomahawk Land Attack Cruise Missile (TLAM), which allows the submarines to strike at ground targets hundreds of miles inland with pinpoint accuracy.
The Tomahawk IV is the latest version of the missile that has a longer range than its predecessors (well in excess of 1,000 miles) and can be re-directed at a new target mid-flight. It can also beam back images of the battlefield to its mother sub.
The heavyweight Spearfish torpedo destroys on impact or proximity
Also onboard the Astute Class of submarines is the lethal Spearfish torpedo. Weighing nearly two tonnes, this heavyweight torpedo can attack targets up to 14 miles away (which can increase to 30 miles at low speed) and is capable of blowing an enemy submarine clean out of the water.
Guided by either copper wire or inbuilt sonar, the Spearfish delivers 660lbs of explosive charge either when it impacts with the intended target or via an acoustic proximity fuse underneath.
Always one step ahead
Astute Class submarines utilise the latest technology to dominate the waters
The Astute Combat Management System (ACMS) is an evolved version of the Submarine Command System (SMCS) used on other Royal Navy subs. This system receives data from sonars and other sensors and, using advanced data handling and algorithms, displays this data as real-time images on the command consoles.
For detecting enemy vessels, the Astute Class is equipped with Sonar 2076 - an integrated passive/active search and attack sonar suite with bow, intercept and towed arrays.