After the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the West had ended in 1989-1991, the British Royal Navy entered into a period of modernization which forced the retirement of a collection of aging types and ushered in a slew of new offerings: stealth-centric surface combatants, an all-new generation of aircraft carrier, and powerful undersea-dwelling nuclear-driven submarines. The Astute-class was drawn up as a fleet submarine solution encompassing five total boats, joining the two older 1990s-era additions in the Trafalgar-class. HMS Audacious (S122) represents the fourth of the seven Astute-class boats planned for the service. Ordered in May of 2007 from Bae Systems Submarine Solutions, Audacious saw her keel laid down on March 24th, 2009 and - after a considerable period of time - she was launched for trials on April 28th, 2017. The boat was formally commissioned on September 23rd, 2021.
As HMS Audacious is built to the Astute-class standard, it displaces between 7,700 and 8,200 tons (short) when surfaced and between 8,200 and 8,600 tons (short) when submerged. Dimensions include a running length of 318.2 feet, a beam of 37 feet, and a draught of 32.9 feet. Power is supplied from a single Rolls-Royce PWR2 series nuclear reactor, giving the vessel essentially unlimited range in the sea. The reactor is rated with a shelf-life of up to 25 years. MTU 600 kW diesel generators also make up part of the propulsion package which drives a single propeller unit at the stern. All told, the streamlined boats can make headway at up to 30 knots underwater with total endurance (limited by onboard supplies and crew fatigue) out to 90 days.
Aboard is a complement of 98 with total capacity reaching up to 109 as needed. Installed systems include the Thales Sonar 2076 fit, Atlas DESO 25 echosounder, and twin Thales CM010 optronic masts.
Armament is made up of 6 x 21" (533mm) torpedo tubes in the bow with up to 38 reloads possible. Beyond launching the "Spearfish" torpedo, the tubes are also designed to support the launching of the American "Tomahawk" (Block IV) land-attack cruise missile.
HMS Astute (S119); HMS Ambush (S120); HMS Artful (S121); HMS Audacious (S122); HMS Anson (S123); HMS Agamemnon (S124); HMS Agincourt (S125)
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Traveling under the surface to search, track, and / or engage or reconnoiter areas.
Active patroling of vital waterways and maritime areas; can also serve as local deterrence against airborne and seaborne threats.
Serving in support (either firepower or material) of the main surface fleet in Blue Water environments.
The vessel supports the launching of missiles against airborne, waterborne, or land-based targets at range; typical of modern designs.
Ability to launch torpedoes against ocean-going targets.
318.2 ft 96.99 m
37.0 ft 11.28 m
32.9 ft 10.03 m
1 x Rolls-Royce PWR2 nuclear-reactor with MTU 600kW diesel generators driving power to 1 x Shaft astern.
20.0 kts (23.0 mph)
30.0 kts (34.5 mph)
kts = knots | mph = miles-per-hour | nm = nautical miles | mi = miles | km = kilometers
1 kts = 1.15 mph | 1 nm = 1.15 mi | 1 nm = 1.85 km
6 x 21" (533mm) torpedo tubes (bow-facing); supports launching of Spearfish torpedoes as well as Tomohawk Block IV land-attack cruise missiles.
(Not all weapon types may be represented in the showcase above)
Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective naval campaigns / operations / periods.
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