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ASTUTE nuclear attack submarines (2010-)


Astute 2007  


Name No Yard No Builder Laid down Launched Comp Fate
Astute S119   BAE, Barrow-in-Furness 31.1.2001 16.6.2007 27.8.2010 in service (2019)
Ambush S120   BAE, Barrow-in-Furness 22.10.2003 6.1.2011 1.3.2013 in service (2019)
Artful S121   BAE, Barrow-in-Furness 11.3.2005 17.5.2014 18.3.2016 in service (2019)
Audacious S122   BAE, Barrow-in-Furness 24.3.2009 28.4.2017 2019 building (2019)
Anson S123   BAE, Barrow-in-Furness 13.10.2011 2019 2020 building (2019)
Agamemnon S124   BAE, Barrow-in-Furness 18.7.2013 2020 2022 building (2019)
Ajax S125   BAE, Barrow-in-Furness 5/2018 2022 2024 building (2019)

Technical data

Displacement standard, t 
Displacement normal, t

7000 / 7400

Length, m


Breadth, m


Draught, m


No of shafts

1 pump-jet


S119-124: 2 sets GEC-Alstom geared steam turbines, Rolls-Royce PWR2 nuclear reactor

S125: 2 sets GEC-Alstom geared steam turbines, Rolls-Royce PWR3 nuclear reactor

Power, h. p.


Max speed, kts

 / 29

Fuel, t


Endurance, nm(kts)

practically unlimited


6 - 533 TT (bow, 38, inc. UGM-109 Tomahawk Block IV CruM, mines)

Military load1 DDS (dry deck shelter), 11 commandos
Electronic equipment

S119-121: type 1007 radar, type 2076 Block IV sonar suite, type 2077, type 2081, type 2082, type 2015 sonars, UAP-4, RESM, CESM/7415 ECM suites, SCAD 101/102 decoy launchers, SCAD 200 sonar jammers, ACMS CCS

S122-125: type 1007 radar, type 2076 Block V sonar suite, type 2077, type 2081, type 2082, type 2015 sonars, UAP-4, RESM, CESM/7415 ECM suites, SCAD 101/102 decoy launchers, SCAD 200 sonar jammers, ACMS CCS



Diving depth operational, m


Standard scale images

<i>Astute </i>2010
Astute 2010


<i>Astute</i> 2007  
Astute 2007  

Project history

Originally known as the Trafalgar Batch 2 (B2TC) class. Requests for bids to build the class were issued to VSEL and to Marconi Electronic Systems Naval Systems on 14.7.1994 for an initial three with an option for one or two more. Marconi (which formed a special subsidiary for the project and is now part of BAE Systems, as is VSEL) was the winner, and the final contract was let in 1997. Pressure-hull components for Astute began fabrication during October 1999. In 2000 it was announced that a sixth would be sought as a replacement for Trafalgar (S107); a seventh unit is planned.

The reactor, with Type H core, is designed to operate for the full life of each submarine, 25-30 years, without requiring refueling. The hull form forward resembles that of the Vanguard class, with nonretracting bowplanes; the stern is fuller than in previous RN submarines, in part because the pressure hull is of constant diameter throughout, and all control services are externally actuated, reducing the number of pressure hull penetrations. Have improved accommodations over the Trafalgar class, although some bunks still have to be shared. Low-speed operating capabilities have also been improved, and the submarines are capable of operating under ice and in tropical waters. A six-man lockout chamber is fitted for 12 special operations troops.

Have many of the same systems as the Trafalgar class, although the towed array is deployed from an onboard reel rather than clip-on, and provision for Tomahawk missiles has been built in. The BAE Systems Submarine Command System (SMCS) combat system and Thales (ex-Ferranti Thomson) tactical weapons system data highway are installed. Have provision to carry US-style dry deck shelters for Special Forces equipment.



Naval service

Astute was damaged by running aground off Scotland 21.10.2010.