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Naval Warfare

​BAE Systems launches Anson

21st April 2021 - 15:45 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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The latest Astute-class submarine was launched on 20 April 2021. (Photo: BAE Systems)

BAE Systems launch new Astute-class submarine HMS Anson, built for the UK Royal Navy.

BAE Systems on 20 April launched HMS Anson as the fifth of seven Astute-class nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs) for the UK RN. 

The 7,400t submarine will now begin the next stage of its test and commissioning programme, BAE Systems announced, before it undergoes sea trials with the RN in 2022.

The Astute-class boats are the most advanced submarines ever built for the UK RN. Each boat is 97m long and can circumnavigate the globe submerged.

The submarines are powered by a PWR2 nuclear reactor, delivering a 25-year lifespan without the need for refuelling. 

Armament options include Spearfish heavyweight torpedoes, Harpoon anti-ship missiles and the US-made Tomahawk Block IV land-attack cruise missile.

Work on Anson was paused in 2020 while technical issues on the fourth-in-class boat Audacious were rectified. BAE stated that the two remaining submarines (Agamemnon and Ajax) would be delivered by the end of 2026 following the delay in construction.

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