HMS Anson, the fifth Astute Class submarine, has sailed from Barrow-in-Furness to begin her journey to His Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde.
Press Release, Whitehall, 19 February 2023: Marking entry into the Royal Navy, HMS Anson was formally commissioned in ceremony last year, and is the eighth Navy vessel to bear the name, originally named after Admiral George Anson.
Building on commitments made in the Integrated Review, the completion of HMS Anson demonstrates the strength of British industry and its world-leading nuclear technology. Upon arrival at the Clyde, HMS Anson will begin sea trials.
Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace, said: “HMS Anson will play a vital role in defending the UK, providing a competitive edge for decades to come, and I am proud to see her make her journey up to her permanent home on the Clyde.
“Supporting tens of thousands of jobs across the UK, our Astute-Class submarines are a leading example of our commitment to defence manufacturing, continuing to boost British industry for decades to come.”
One of the most sophisticated underwater vessels ever built, HMS Anson represents £1.3 billion of UK investment. More than 11 years in the making and built in BAE Systems’ Barrow-in-Furness site, the departure of HMS Anson is a significant moment for the UK’s submarine manufacturing industry.
Delivering on the Prime Minister’s priority to grow the economy, creating better-paid jobs and opportunity right across the country, the construction of HMS Anson has included more than 10,000 coders, engineers, scientists, submariners and technicians across the UK.
Steve Timms, Managing Director of BAE Systems’ Submarines business, said: “It’s with enormous pride that we bid farewell to HMS Anson as she departs our site to take up her vital role helping to protect the UK’s national security.
“This is a truly national endeavour, so delivering the most capable attack submarine ever built for the Royal Navy is a tremendous moment for our company, our employees, the Barrow community and the whole of the submarine enterprise, not least our vast and crucially important UK wide supply chain.”
Capable of defending the UK’s interests at home and overseas, HMS Anson will be armed with up to 38 Spearfish Heavyweight Torpedoes, and Block V Tomahawk land attack missiles, able to tackle targets at a range of up to 1,000 miles. Powered by a Rolls-Royce nuclear reactor, the boat will also be operational for 25 years without refuelling.
The Astute Class is the first nuclear-powered submarine class to be designed entirely in a three-dimensional, computer-aided environment – represent the cutting edge and state of the art nature of the UK’s military capabilities. They are the most advanced boats ever operated by the Royal Navy, providing the capability needed to defend the UK and its allies’ interests at home and overseas.
Dr Tim Sheldon, Director Submarines Acquisition for the Submarine Delivery Agency, said: “We commend the tremendous effort by all those involved across the UK in the delivery of HMS Anson to the Royal Navy.
“Her departure from Barrow is a major milestone, not only in her journey to full operational service, but for the Astute programme as a whole.”
Weighing 7,800 tonnes, she is 97 metres long – just short of two Olympic swimming pools – with 240 kilometres of cabling – enough to stretch from Barrow-In-Furness to its new home in Faslane, Scotland.
Commanding Officer of HMS Anson, Cdr David ‘Bing’ Crosby, said: “My team and I are grateful to all across the build enterprise and SDA who have made HMS Anson such a formidable submarine. We are eagerly looking forward to putting the boat through her paces on sea trials, realising her full potential and joining our colleagues on the Clyde – the home of the Royal Navy Submarine Service.”
The first four Astute-Class submarines – HMS Astute, HMS Ambush, HMS Artful and HMS Audacious – are already in service with the Royal Navy. The final two submarines in the class – Agamemnon and Agincourt – are in various stages of construction at Barrow-in-Furness.