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Abbreviations


Royal Navy - n3a2 - Royal Naval Vessels - Swiftsure Class Submarine - Trafalgar Class, Astute Class -

ROYAL NAVAL VESSELS

FLEET SUBMARINES - TRAFALGAR CLASS - ASTUTE CLASS


The Royal Navy operates a total of 7 Nuclear Powered Attack Submarines (SSNs) in two classes - the Trafalgar Class and the Astute Class. Both classes are capable of continuous patrols at high underwater speed, independent of base support, and can circumnavigate the globe without surfacing. These submarines are capable of firing the Tomahawk Land Attack Cruise missile (TLAM).

All Royal Navy submarines will be based in Portsmouth by 2017.

TRAFALGAR CLASS

The Trafalgar class attack submarine HMS Turbulent has left Devonport Naval Base with some of the most advanced communications links in the Royal Navy's fleet of submarines thanks to an MoD update. Several key upgrades, along with routine service and maintenance, were incorporated in the fifteen month package delivered by Babcock Marine at Devonport, which will extend the submarine's operational life by two years.

An upgrade to the communications system will significantly improve interoperability with allied forces on deployed operations. Newly installed IT systems will provide ship to shore connectivity when she is in port. The IT systems inside the submarine have also been upgraded with the installation of the Defence Information Infrastructure (Future) (DII(F)) network onto submarine computers which provides a common communications platform across the MoD.

Devonport's dedicated maintenance facilities are managing a busy programme of maintenance, currently hosting two Trafalgar class submarines, HM Ships Tireless and Triumph, for major service and repair programmes, as well as several major surface ship support projects.

Trafalgar Class Submarine

These nuclear-powered fleet submarines are armed with homing torpedoes, (range approx 15 kms+) that can be used against other submarines or surface vessels. The Sub Harpoon long-range anti-ship missile (range 110 kms), is now in service as the principal anti-surface ship weapon in these submarines. Their nuclear power plant generates enough electricity to power a town the size of Swindon.

Their long endurance and sophisticated weapon systems make them formidable adversaries. There are three decks, and although space is restricted, living conditions are comfortable.

The submarine refit facility at Devonport has the ability to defuel the Trafalgar class and Astute class submarines.

TRAFALGAR CLASS SUBMARINE Specifications

Length

85.4m

Beam

9.8m

Draught

8.2m

Displacement

4,700 tons surfaced and 5,200 tons dived

Propulsion

1 x Rolls Royce pressurised water-cooled reactor supplying steam to two sets of General Electric geared turbines delivering 15,000 shp to one shaft

Max Speed

20 knots surfaced and 32 knots dived

Diving depth

400m (operational) and 600m maximum

Complement

12 officers and 85 ratings

Torpedoes

5 x 533mm (21") tubes for 20 x Mk 24 Tigerfish wire-guided and Mk 8 anti-ship torpedoes

Mines

Up to 50 x Mk 5 Stonefish or Mk 6 Sea Urchins instead of torpedoes

Missiles

5 x UGM-84A Sub Harpoon tube-launched anti-ship missiles

Wire Guided Anti-ship/submarine torpedoes: range to 30kms

TRAFALGAR CLASS DATE COMMISSIONED

HMS Turbulent (S87)

1982 (Decommissioned 2012)

HMS Tireless (S88)

1984

HMS Torbay (S90)

1985

HMS Trenchant (S91)

1986

HMS Talent (S92)

1988

HMS Triumph (S93)

1991


ASTUTE CLASS

Artists impression of the new Astute Class Submarine

With its improved communications, a greater capacity for joint operations and the ability to carry more weaponry, the Astute-class submarines will become a cornerstone of UK defence capability until at least 2035. Astute will carry the Block IV Tomahawk long-range land attack missile with a range of over 1,000 miles and Spearfish long-range torpedoes.

The first three boats of the Astute submarine programme is expected to have a total cost to the MoD of about 3.5 billion with about 5,500 people being employed on the project.

Astute Class submarines will have massively increased firepower compared with earlier attack submarines and can dive to depths in excess of 300 metres with a complement of 98 men. They are to be powered by a Pressurised Water Reactor 2, equipped with Core H, which will fuel the reactor for the submarine's full service life, ending the need for costly reactor refuelling.

This will be the first class of Royal Navy submarines to use electro-optics for 360 degree surface images replacing the traditional periscope. The boat manufactures its own drinking water and oxygen and from sea water and could in theory remain submerged for up to 25 years.

In December 2012 a 1.2 billion contract was awarded for the construction of Audacious, the forth boat of the class with an in-service date of 2018.

Astute class submarines will be based at Faslane on the Clyde and will undergo refits at Devonport.

ASTUTE CLASS SUBMARINE Initial Specifications Include

Dimensions

97m x 10.7m x 10m

Displacement

6,500 tons surfaced and 7,800 tons dived

Speed

29 knots dived

Complement

12 officers and 86 ratings

Armament Likely to be as for Swiftsure and Trafalgar classes with 6 x torpedo tubes

ASTUTE CLASS

DATE COMMISSIONED
HMS Astute 2010
HMS Ambush 2013
UNDER CONSTRUCTION
HMS Artful 2015
HMS Audacious 2018
HMS Anson 2020
HMS Agamemnon 2022
HMS Ajax 2024

Photos Copyright BAe Systems