Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
27 August 2010
GBP£1.4 billion (USD$1.7 billion)
GBP£10.0 billion (USD$12 billion)
Origin: United Kingdom
Babcock, BAE Systems*, Rolls-Royce and Thales (*) lead contractor
Parent System: Astute
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 27 August 2010
Total Production: 7
Total Cost: GBP£10.0 billion (USD$12 billion)
There are no reviews so far
Description: The nuclear-powered British Astute-class attack submarines are the Trafalgar-class vessels follow-on. These submarines will replace currently in service Swiftsure-class submarines, also nuclear-powered, as well as eventually one or more Trafalgar-class submarines. Astute submarines will provide support for Vanguard-class submarines and perform surveillance and intelligence missions, as well as surface ships, submarines and land target engagements. Torpedoes will provide attack capability against surface ships, also employing anti-ship missiles, and submarines. The combat-proven Tomahawk missile will provide land attack capability as it does with other British nuclear-powered submarines.
The Astute-class submarines will be outfitted with six 533mm torpedo tubes. Each 533mm torpedo tube will be capable of launching Spearfish torpedoes, sub-Harpoon anti-ship missiles and Tactical Tomahawk land attack cruise missiles. The reliable and proven PWR2 pressurized water nuclear reactor, equipped with Core H, will be provided to Astute-class submarines. Core H will fuel the reactor for the submarine's full service life, ending the need for costly reactor refueling. The long-life nuclear core has been designed by Rolls-Royce to provide power to the ship for over 25 years. Vanguard-class submarines are currently powered by the PWR2 reactor.
The Royal Navy has ordered a first batch comprising three Astute-class submarines valued at £3.6 billion and a second batch for another three vessels was anticipated. As of March 2005, the HMS Astute submarine was expected to achieve operational capability in 2009.
The three Astute-class boats, currently on order, will be equipped with a revolutionary External Communications System (ECS) supplied by EADS. ECS will enable Astute to communicate over all the frequency ranges used for tactical communications transmitting voice, data and imagery. ECS is installed on the submarine's command deck module and is controlled by a special software enabling system operation by a single person from a central workstation.
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