UK’s Newest Hunter-Killer Nuclear Submarine Closer to Deployment, Takes Its First Dive

HMS Anson successfully completed its first test dive 6 photos
Photo: BAE Systems
HMS Anston First Test DiveHMS Anston First Test DiveHMS Anston First Test DiveHMS Anston First Test DiveHMS Anston First Test Dive
Building a future Royal Navy submarine is a complex, extensive process, and the moment of the first dive is a huge milestone. UK’s Navy is closer to completing its fleet of lethal submerging beasts, with the fifth one, HMS Anson, now almost ready for its first deployment.
For two decades now, Britain has been working on its modern fleet of nuclear hunter-killer submarines. Four of them (HMS Astute, HMS Ambush, HMS Artful, and HMS Audacious) are currently in operation. HMS Anson, the fifth and the newest one, was completed last year and kicked off testing at the beginning of this year.

For the first time, HMS Anson submerged in the waters of Devonshire Dock at BAE Systems’ Barrow-in-Furness yard. This crucial test is a very slow process, which required months of careful preparation and calculations. According to the Royal Navy, 60 crew engineers and shipwrights were involved in this delicate process, and the main goal was to confirm the vessel’s stability at sea.

The test dive was carried out in a specific area at the builder’s yard, called “the dive hole,” which is long enough to fit these nuclear submarines but not deep enough to completely cover them. At 82 feet (25 meters), the tailfin and conning tower are still visible.

Next, HMS Anson will have to complete the testing phase before officially entering into service. The sixth and the last of the Astute-class submarines, HMS Agamemnon and Agincourt, are currently under construction. Each of them is worth around $1.7 billion (£1.3 billion). These 318-foot (97 meters) hunter-killers weigh 7,400 tons and are powered by a nuclear reactor for the benefit of an extensive range of power while also generating oxygen and water.

The advantages of nuclear power will also be used for the Navy’s next-generation deterrent submarines – HMS Dreadnought, the first one, is also under construction.
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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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