Royal Navy commissions fifth Astute-class submarine HMS Anson

The Royal Navy’s fifth Astute-class submarine HMS Anson has been commissioned at BAE Systems’ shipyard in Barrow.

The ceremony took place today (31 August) in the presence of UK’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

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HMS Anson is the fifth in its class and was named after Admiral of the Fleet George Anson who is noted for his circumnavigation of the globe and his role overseeing the Royal Navy during the Seven Years’ War.

The vessel entered the water for the first time in April last year.

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The Astute-class submarines, which will replace the navy’s Swiftsure and Trafalgar-class subs, displace 7,400 tonnes and measure 97 meters in length.

The first four submarines in the class, HMS Astute, HMS Ambush, HMS Artful and HMS Audacious, have been handed over to the Royal Navy, with two further boats currently under construction at the firm’s Barrow site. 

In May this year, the navy officials announced plans to enhance these hunter-killer submarines with the latest cruise missile system.

Specifically, all Astute-class boats are to receive boosted Tomahawks as part of a £265 million upgrade to the submarines’ premier long-range weapon.

The Tomahawk land attack missile (TLAM) has been upgraded from the existing model, Block IV, to V, to ensure it remains effective against future threats and defences.

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