Skip to comments.US 'taken aback' by HMS Astute (British sub)
Posted on 03/06/2012 8:15:14 AM PST by sukhoi-30mki
US 'taken aback' by HMS Astute
06 March 2012
The United States Navy was 'blown away' by the performance of HMS Astute during sea trials in the Atlantic recently, the ship's commanding officer has said.
Commander Ian Breckenridge, 45, led HMS Astute through four-and-a-half months of sea trials off the US east coast and said the submarine had demonstrated "tremendous capability".
"We met and surpassed every expectation. She is just better than any other submarine I have ever been on," he said.
During the trials, Astute took part in simulated battles with American Virginia Class submarine USS New Mexico, deep dived, and fired her Tomahawk missiles and Spearfish torpedoes. HMS Astute sailed 16,400 miles during the deployment.
The success comes after a series of operational setbacks during the submarine's sea trials to date, with Astute becoming grounded on a shingle bank in late 2010 and later damaged by a tug sent to recover her. The attack submarine also suffered a failure of support systems in February 2011.
"Astute is still on trial and she is first of class, which always brings its own problems, but we are beginning to look beyond those problems and see the promise," said Commander Breckenridge, who previously served on HMS Superb and HMS Tireless.
"We fired off four Tomahawks, aimed at a corner of Eglin Air Force Base to test for accuracy, and we fired six Spearfish torpedoes, including the first salvo firing by a British submarine for 15 years.
"Our sonar is fantastic and I have never before experienced holding a submarine at the range we were holding USS New Mexico. The Americans were utterly taken aback, blown away with what they were seeing."
Second in class HMS Ambush was launched in 2011 and is set to begin sea trials later this year. The UK is to receive seven Astute class submarines overall.
Cool looking boat. I’ve always admired those who can serve on Subs.
bloody boat probably stinks of bangers! anyone who worked in the UK and ate breakfast at a cafeteria knows the smell.
Submariners are a different breed. I don’t envy them but sure am thankful for them.
Back then if you wanted to find a Virginia Class attack submarine, you had to listen for the quiet spot in the ocean where the sub was blocking the background biologic sounds.....they were that quiet!
Hum, I guess they don’t have a coed compliment. Better get Fluke working on this one as it will be targeted at the Brits, I am sure His Excellency would be happy.
I wonder if the Presidenta of Argentina reads Defence Management...
Seems I am decorated for envy beyond the call of duty.
I could have sworn the first Virginia SSN went to sea 2003/04.
I wonder what its real depth capability is, must be well over 1,000 feet dontcha think?
18,000 on a ten week voyage with a crew of 90 that's about three a day per person (ignoring the vegetarians). Hope they have a Gym on board otherwise they may not be able to get out the hatch when they return home.
Pretty good for a country that doesn’t know how to spell “defense”.
I have to laugh at the food stores caption: Weetabix.
At least they don't say "in excess of 300 feet", anymore. Maybe because people couldn't spit that one out with a straight face?
Bangers and beans make the UK work.
My old boat the “Patrick Henry” SSBN 599 only had 1-1/2” steel and the test depth was only 700 feet. Things have changed a lot. We had two shower stalls, but they sometimes were filled with potatoes.
We had speeds in excess of 20 knots but just a few knots faster. You didn’t want to try to sleep when we were going that fast. The reactor fuel only lasted about 5 years before you could no longer make 100%.
Submarine sailors are no different than anybody else, you just have to learn to work a lot harder than other people. There is a good incentive to working though, you always want the boat to go back up.
What’s a shingle bank?
That’s interesting chief, thanks for sharing that.
Am I correct in looking at that diagram and thinking that 1 bunck for every crewmemeber is pretty luxerious? I always had it in my head that in subs the crew hotracked. (I’m an Army guy, so help me out on this....)
I was reading “Scorpion Down”, and the author said that one could visualize the amount of ocean accessible to modern submarines by standing in a room with an 8 foot ceiling, and putting the head of a match against the ceiling.
Anything above the bottom of the match was accessible by submarines.
Wow...I did some quick math, and that came out to around 500 feet. Perhaps that was 1968 submarines, or maybe someone just got lazy and used the “excess of 500 ft” statement.
After taxes, about $12.50 an hour.
Boat I was on in the 1970’s was:
Displacement: 4,309 tons, Length: 292 ft, Beam: 32 ft
Looks like the moved the torpedo room back up to the nose.
Thanks for the comeback.
SKCM(SS) Russ Snyder, USN Retired
Chief of the Boat USS Philadelphia, SSN690, 1987, 1988.
When I was in we did hot rack. At least 1/3 of the crew was on watch (operating the ship) at any given time so the junior folks would have two bunks assigned to three people. When you got off watch you just hopped into whichever one of the two were empty (and it may still be warm...thus the term "Hot Rack").
The nuke boats were a lot better with accomodations than the diesels. They retired the last diesel boat the day after I retired (I guess there just wasn't anyone left to run it).
He said that they were officially rated to "in excess of 30 knots and in excess of 300 feet". His commentary on that? "Yeah.....right."
Those were fast boats. I think that I'd rather be invisible than fast, though.
First round was on ‘pig boats’ out of key west.(1971)
As low man and unqualed, I slept where I could. Including on a rack toredo.
Went to Norfolk and joined the nuclear navy.
Buck rogers stuff
By the way it was with full respect. You’ve done things most of us probably couldn’t imagine, and know things that are still classified. It is an honor. God bless.
Exactly. We have (or had) pretty good boats...I’d still take ours if I had to fight in a sub, as long as the crew came with it...:)
BTW, the only thing "hokey" I see is the waterline. Water wets things -- and water with waves never shows a straight line interface...
Me too. I did a doubletake when I saw that.