HMS Ambush returns to Clyde after international deployment

Just two days after her sister-ship, HMS Astute, arrived home from her inaugural operational deployment, the second of the Royal Navy’s new Astute Class submarines, HMS Ambush also returned to HMNB Clyde after a successful maiden mission.

High-tech hunter-killer HMS Ambush left Faslane on July 4 to sail across the Equator to visit Rio de Janeiro in Brazil before heading for the North Atlantic and the United States.

HMS Ambush visited Rio in August and joined delegates from 34 other nations, including France, the United States and Peru, where she helped mark the Brazilian navy’s submarine forces’ centenary celebrations.

Speaking of the deployment, Commander Justin Codd, the Commanding Officer of HMS Ambush, said: “HMS Ambush is one of the most capable submarines in the world and the successful deployment has proven that she is now ready for deployment anywhere.

“There was much interest in the vessel from international navies and we were delighted to be able to host senior military personnel on board and to demonstrate the capabilities of this formidable submarine.” 

HMS Ambush is one of the most capable submarines in the world and the successful deployment has proven that she is now ready for deployment anywhere.

Commander Justin Codd

The Royal Navy’s newest and most advanced submarine, Ambush is at the cutting edge of the UK’s military capability. 

Ambush’s stop-over at Brazil was an important occasion, not only as an opportunity for the crew to forge relationships with international partners, but also to showcase the UK’s achievements in developing the Astute class.

HMS Ambush held a reception on board for the Head of the Brazilian navy, Admiral Mauro Neto, as well as naval representatives from other countries.  Welcoming the attendees on board was the Royal Navy’s Rear Admiral Submarines and Commander Operations, Rear Admiral Matt Parr.

The boat also hosted two defence industry visits with Royal Navy specialists and BAE Systems and Babcock representatives in attendance. 

Commenting on the occasion, Commander Justin Codd said that the visit was: “an important milestone for the submarine service – both in terms of engagement with our partner nations from across the world and to demonstrate the high-end capability of the Astute class.”

After her Brazilian deployment, the boat next headed for the cool waters of the North Atlantic and a period of training and exercises before visiting the US Naval Base at King’s Bay in Georgia. 

Slipping unobtrusively home alongside Faslane on October 9 – as befits a member of the Silent Service – Ambush was welcomed by the vessel’s Lady Sponsor, Lady Anne Soar, who embarked as the boat made her way up the Clyde.

Accompanying HMS Ambush throughout the mission were 18 trainee submariners undergoing the second phase – known as the “wet phase” – of their educational instruction in order to earn their dolphins, the unique badge which signifies a fully qualified submariner. 

One such trainee was Able Seaman Andrew Stephens whose time with HMS Ambush has been his first draft with the Royal Navy.

“I was fortunate enough that it was HMS Ambush,” said Andrew.  “I was completing my wet phase which is more practical learning about the submarine.  

"After being tested I was awarded my submarine dolphins during a traditional ceremony.  

"This indicates that I had fully passed my submarine qualifying course and had become a submariner in the Royal Navy.”

Andrew continued:  “Since joining HMS Ambush I have taken part in a wide variety of events.  

"The crew completed a full month-long training package where we went to sea and successfully conducted tactical scenarios while tackling simulated fires, electrical failures, and floods.  

"This means that the crew is ready for anything and can deal with multiple events simultaneously.  It was a very rewarding period.

“I am looking forward to spending Christmas with my family before discovering what next year has to bring.”