Skip to comments.Britain's new stealth submarine will rule the oceans
Posted on 05/09/2007 10:10:52 PM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
Navy's stealth submarine will rule the oceans
By Thomas Harding, Defence Correspondent Last Updated: 2:06am BST 10/05/2007
A new £1.2 billion Royal Navy submarine which from the Channel is able to detect the QE2 cruise liner leaving New York harbour was unveiled yesterday.
The Astute, the first attack submarine to be built in almost two decades, is the "most stealthy in the world" and will put the Navy at the "top of the premiership", commanders said.
At a time when morale is suffering, the launch next month of the Navy's biggest ever hunter-killer submarine will also give hope that Service can provide considerable punch anywhere in the world.
With threats in the next decade more likely to come from Islamic terrorism the submarine will be able to sit off coasts undetected listening in to mobile phone conversations.
It also has the ability to insert Special Forces by mini submersibles into enemy territory where they can direct the boat's deadly Tomahawk missiles with a range of 1,400 miles.
"It will feel like we have won the premiership when the Astute is handed over to the Navy. We will become the Manchester United of submarine nations," Capt Mike Davis-Marks, a submariner for 25 years, told the first journalists allowed on board the boat yesterday.
Three of the Astute-class boats will be built by BAE Systems for £3.6 billion but the project is £750 million over budget and three years late.
The boat has more than double the armoury of the Trafalgar class it is replacing, and is able to carry 38 Tomahawk cruise missiles with a range of 1,400 miles and Spearfish torpedo capable of destroying a warship.
If it could find a way of being self-sufficient in food, the submarine, theoretically, could remain submerged for 35 years as its nuclear reactor does not need refuelling and it can produce drinkable water by an onboard desalination plant.
But life for the 98 crew has only improved to the point that the submariners have a tiny bunk space each, rather than sharing, and can now watch films on a plasma television.
The Astute will carry the latest Block 4 Tomahawk smart missile that can loiter over a target and can be reprogrammed in mid-flight by commanders.
"It can also find out what is going on and report back to op commanders without anyone knowing we have been there," said Capt Davis-Marks "Because of its covert nature the politicians like them as you can up the ante when you want or withdraw without anyone knowing you have been there."
At 7,200 tonnes the Astute is the biggest British nuclear attack submarine ever built, although it is half the size of the Trident nuclear submarines at 16,000 tonnes. It is also extremely quiet for its size, making less noise than a small whale, and is likely to be detected only by another British submarine.
It is also the first submarine not to have a conventional periscope. Instead a fibre optic tube - equipped with infra red and thermal imaging - pops above the surface for three seconds, does one rotation and then feeds an image in colour that can be studied at leisure.
The nuclear power plant has the acoustic signature of a torch battery and is the size of a family car.
The submarine has been built at the BAE systems facility in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, where Navy submarines have been made since 1901.
It is due to enter into active service late next year.
Sounds good. Maybe we can get some stealth submarines ourselves. As they say - beg, borrow, or steal...
Uncle Sam already has a few-the Seawolf & Virginia class-about 6 boats are in service,with plenty more to follow.
You are assuming we don't already have them.
Here's a picture of 5 of our newest Stealth Subs
I thought their new sub was going to be named Allah Ahkbar. What happened?
All weapons systems will be disabled by default...
Sorry my HTML sucks.
The Brits say they have the stealthiest in the world. But I wouldn’t know if it’s true.
BS. Way too much background noise, interference, loss, etc to do that. Even if it could,sound would be hours in transit, multiple paths, convergence zones, etc. etc. .
God help them if that thing runs like a Land Rover. It will be in drydock more than out patrolling the oceans.
They will be okay as long as they do not have Lights by "Lucas" also known as THE PRINCE OF DARKNESS.
Aren’t the Ohio Class more than adequate for what we need? Each one has enough firepower to turn the entire middle easst into glass.
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