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Nuke-attack sub HMS Astute joins British Navy

The Astute submarine. A BAE photo

LONDON (BNS): British Royal Navy has officially inducted HMS Astute nuclear attack submarine in its fleet.

The submarine, that began extensive sea trials in December 2009, was commissioned into the Royal Navy on August 27, 2010.

With a water displacement capacity of 7,400 tonnes, HMS Astute incorporates advanced stealth technology along with world class sonar system, greater firepower and latest communication systems.

The vessel can cruise at a faster pace under the water than while on the surface.

Astute is designed to carry out a range of key strategic and tactical roles, including anti-ship and anti-submarine operations, surveillance and intelligence gathering and support for land forces.

The submarine can carry a mix of up to 38 Spearfish heavyweight torpedoes and Tomahawk land-attack cruise missiles, and can target enemy submarines, surface ships and land targets with pinpoint accuracy, while her world-beating sonar system has a range of 3,000 nautical miles (5,500km), according to the UK MoD.

The new vessel has the ability to operate covertly and remain undetected in almost all circumstances despite being 50 percent bigger than any attack submarine in the Royal Navy's present fleet of submarines.

Following its commissioning, HMS Astute will undergo further sea trials before declared operational. The submarine will be docked at the UK Navy's Faslane naval base which will also home other Astute-class submarines, including Ambush, Artful and Audacious which are presently under construction.

The Astute-class submarines are being built to replace the Swiftsure and Trafalgar class submarines of the Royal Navy.


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