Tag Archives: HMS Anson (S123)

Anson

HMS Anson (S123), the fifth of seven Astute class attack submarines being built for the Royal Navy, has been launched at our site in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria.

HMS Anson (S123)
Fifth state-of-the-art Astute submarine is launched

The 7,400-tonne nuclear-powered submarine, officially named at a ceremony in December, emerged from the Devonshire Dock Hall and entered the water for the first time earlier on April 20, 2021. The launch was a special moment for the Barrow shipyard, which is celebrating its 150th year and a long and proud relationship with the Royal Navy.

HMS Anson (S123) will now begin the next phase of its test and commissioning programme, before leaving Barrow for sea trials with the Royal Navy next year.

Steve Timms, Managing Director BAE Systems Submarines: «The launch marks an important milestone in the Astute programme and seeing Anson enter the water at such an advanced state is a tangible demonstration of everyone’s hard work over the years. Designing and building nuclear-powered submarines is a national endeavour and days like this bring a huge sense of pride for our workforce, our partners in the submarine enterprise and our UK supply chain, not to mention our communities. We now look forward to a successful test and commissioning phase and working alongside Anson’s crew to prepare the submarine for operations with the Royal Navy».

The Astute class boats are the largest and most advanced attack submarines ever built for the Royal Navy. Measuring 97 metres/318 feet in length, the boats can circumnavigate the globe submerged, producing their own oxygen and drinking water.

The first four submarines in the class, HMS Astute (S119), HMS Ambush (S120), HMS Artful (S121) and HMS Audacious (S122), have been handed over to the Royal Navy, with a further two boats currently under construction at our Barrow site.

Working alongside the Submarine Delivery Agency and Rolls-Royce, the Company is also a member of the Dreadnought Alliance, helping to deliver the UK’s next class of nuclear deterrent submarines. Two of the four submarines are under construction, with the first due to enter service in the early 2030s.

Approximately 10,000 people work on the Dreadnought and Astute programmes at our Barrow site. To deliver these complex programmes, we continue to invest in and develop our employees and recruit new talent. Over the next five years, we expect to recruit more than 200 graduates and 1,500 apprentices.

Christening of Anson

The fifth Astute class submarine has officially been named Anson in a ceremony at BAE Systems’ Submarines site in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria.

HMS Anson (S123)
Fifth Astute class submarine named Anson at Barrow-in-Furness

In line with tradition, Anson was blessed by The Venerable Martyn Gough QHC, Chaplain of the Fleet and Archdeacon for the Royal Navy and then christened with a bottle of cider being smashed against her hull.

The 97 metre long, 7,400 tonne submarine is due to be launched into the water in Barrow early next year, ahead of leaving for sea trials in 2022.

Cliff Robson, Managing Director, BAE Systems’ Submarines: «The naming of Anson is a significant step towards her joining the other four Astute class submarines already in service with the Royal Navy. Throughout this year, we’ve adapted the business to keep our people safe whilst allowing them to continue the important role of delivering critical capability to our customer. Reaching this important milestone is testament to the dedicated work of our workforce, our Royal Navy partners and the Submarine Delivery Agency».

More than 1,700 people work on the Astute programme, which is delivering seven attack submarines to the Royal Navy. Earlier this year, HMS Audacious, the fourth boat in the class, left Barrow for her operational base, at Her Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde in Faslane.

Work is also well under way in Barrow on Astute boats six and seven, as well as the first two boats in the Dreadnought class, which is the next generation of nuclear deterrent submarines.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, work on both Astute and Dreadnought has continued throughout this year, with major changes being implemented across its Barrow and satellite sites to enable employees to work safely and adhere to social distancing. It is for that reason that only a handful of people were able to witness the naming ceremony.

Each submarine has a sponsor whose role includes carrying out the official naming. Anson’s sponsor is Julie Weale, the wife of Rear Admiral John Weale, who retired from the Royal Navy as Head of Submarine Service and Flag Officer Scotland and North Ireland earlier this year.

Ian Booth, Chief Executive, Submarine Delivery Agency (SDA): «This is the first submarine to bear the name, HMS Anson, but the eighth naval vessel to carry the title which has a rich history spanning several hundred years. I am certain she will carry on that heritage well into the future as she joins a world-beating, cutting-edge submarine fleet that is of strategic importance to the UK’s security and prosperity».

Advanced nuclear technology means the Astute class submarines never need to be refuelled and they can manufacture their own oxygen and fresh water from the ocean, meaning they are able to circumnavigate the world without surfacing. With 98 crew able to monitor world-leading sensors, the Astute-class carry both Tomahawk Land Attack Cruise Missiles (TLAM) and Spearfish heavyweight torpedoes.

BAE Systems’ Submarine business employs approximately 10,000 people mainly in the North West of England with many more in the supply chain. The business spends more than £1 billion per year with over 1,000 suppliers who support the Astute and Dreadnought programmes, more than 85 per cent of whom are based in the UK.

Fifth Astute submarine

The UK Ministry of Defence has awarded us a contract for the delivery of the fifth Astute Class submarine, taking the total value for work on the vessel to £1.3 billion. The full contract covers the design and remaining build, test and commissioning activities on Anson (S123), the fifth of seven technologically advanced submarines in the class. Manufacturing commenced in 2010. Anson (S123) is now at an advanced stage of construction at our Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria site and on schedule to leave for sea trials in 2020.

£1.3 Bn Contract Awarded for Fifth Attack Submarine
£1.3 Bn Contract Awarded for Fifth Attack Submarine

Tony Johns, Managing Director of BAE Systems Submarines, said: «Signing this contract is an important milestone in the Astute programme. This is a hugely complex national endeavour and we are proud of the role we play in helping to protect our nation’s interests. HMS Astute (S119) and HMS Ambush (S120) are already demonstrating their world-class capabilities with the Royal Navy, whilst the third submarine in the class, HMS Artful (S121), is continuing with her sea trials. The build phase for the fourth, Audacious, is also well advanced, so we continue to make positive progress across the programme».

The contract was announced by Philip Dunne MP, Minister of State for Defence Procurement, during a visit to our Company today. He said: «This £1.3 billion contract marks an important step in the progress of the Astute programme. This is a key part of our £166 billion plan to ensure that our armed forces have the equipment they need to defend the UK’s interests across the seas, in the skies and on land, both at home and abroad. This new contract for Anson not only provides significant financial savings of £50 million to the taxpayer but also secures thousands of jobs in Barrow and across the UK supply chain, demonstrating the Government’s commitment to increase defence spending each year for the rest of the decade».

We employ more than 7,600 people in our Submarines business, including those working on the Astute programme. Boat six Agamemnon and the yet-to-be named seventh are also under construction in Barrow. Astute class submarines mark a step change in defence capability. Powered by a nuclear reactor, each of the submarines will provide land strike, strategic intelligence-gathering, anti-submarine and surface ship warfare capabilities.

BAE Systems is also leading the design phase on the programme to replace the current fleet of Vanguard submarines, which carry the UK’s strategic national deterrent. In readiness for the start of construction on this programme, our site is undergoing significant redevelopment with new facilities to be built alongside the refurbishment of others.

HMS Artful (S121) – a 7,400 tonne, 97-meter long attack submarine
HMS Artful (S121) – a 7,400 tonne, 97-meter long attack submarine

 

  1. HMS Astute (S119)
  2. HMS Ambush (S120)
  3. HMS Artful (S121)
  4. Audacious (S122)
  5. Anson (S123)
  6. Agamemnon (S124)
  7. Ajax (S125)