Navy

HMS Anson: Fifth Astute-Class Submarine Officially Named

The 7,400-tonne vessel will "provide a competitive edge for decades to come", according to the Defence Secretary.

The Royal Navy's fifth Astute-class submarine has been officially named HMS Anson during a ceremony in Barrow-in-Furness.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the event at BAE Systems' shipyard in Cumbria was scaled back, with the blessing of the 97-metre-long boat done via video message by the Venerable Martyn Gough QHC, Chaplain of the Fleet and Archdeacon for the Royal Navy.

The Astute boats are the first Navy submarines to be without optical periscopes.

Instead, they are fitted with technology allowing images to be delivered into the control room through fibre optic cables.

The service says the class uses nuclear technology meaning the vessels do not need to be refuelled, as well as generating their own oxygen and fresh water supplies.

Anson will also carry Tomahawk cruise missiles.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: "HMS Anson will play a vital role in defending the UK from deep-sea threats posed by adversaries around the world and provide a competitive edge for decades to come.

HMS Anson at virtual naming ceremony in Barrow 111220 CREDIT MOD
The boat can accommodate 100 personnel (Picture: MOD).

"The name Anson already exemplifies the long and rich history of our Royal Navy and now, thanks to Anson's latest maritime technology, showcases excellence in UK shipbuilding."

There are due to be a total of seven submarines in the Astute-class, with HMS Astute, HMS Ambush and HMS Artful already in service and supporting the UK's Continuous at Sea Deterrent.

HMS Audacious, the fourth of class, left Barrow earlier this year and is currently undergoing sea trials, while the sixth and seventh boats, Agamemnon and Agincourt are in construction at the Barrow site.

The last vessel to carry the name HMS Anson was a King George V-class battleship used during the Second World War.

All eight Anson vessels have been named after an Admiral of the Fleet, George Anson (1697-1762), who commanded at the first battle of Cape Finisterre and was First Lord of the Admiralty during the Seven Years War between 1756-1763.

The newest Anson weighs 7,400 tonnes and can accommodate up to 100 personnel.

Cover image: MOD.