HMS Ambush

Astute Number 2

Astute class submarine HMS Ambush is pictured during sea trials near Scotland.

Ambush, second of the nuclear powered attack submarines, was named in Barrow on 16 December 2010 and launched on 5 January 2011. Having now completed her initial dive, she is in the final stages of fitting out whilst preparing for an extensive programme of sea trials. She will sail for her home port of Faslane in 2012.

The seven Astute Class boats planned for introduction to the Royal Navy are the most advanced and powerful attack submarines Britain has ever sent to sea. Featuring the latest nuclear-powered technology, the vessels will never need to be refuelled and are capable of circumnavigating the world submerged, manufacturing the crew’s oxygen from seawater as she goes.

The Astute Class are also quieter than any of her predecessors and have the ability to operate covertly and remain undetected, despite being fifty percent larger in size than the Royal Navy’s current Trafalgar Class submarines.

HMS Ambsuh 02 HMS Ambsuh 03 HMs Ambush 01

About The Author

Think Defence hopes to start sensible conversations about UK defence issues, no agenda or no campaign but there might be one or two posts on containers, bridges and mexeflotes!

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December 28, 2012 9:17 pm

Is it unpatriotic to say – the Astutes are ugly boats!

December 28, 2012 9:32 pm

beauty is in the eye of the beholder I suppose but I think they look great.

December 28, 2012 9:38 pm

What’s that between the foreplanes?

December 28, 2012 10:17 pm

Think they look nice too.

Top, my guess is probably something like a wavecutter to reduce the pressure of water striking the sail and making noise. I remember the Aussie Collins class had to redesign a retrofit to the sail as water hitting it caused lots of cavitation and noise. Probably makes it more hydrodynamic too.

December 29, 2012 8:17 am

@Topman, according to the world naval review 2011 it’s a Passive Intercept Array used to detect other active sonar signals.

December 29, 2012 12:48 pm

Good stuff!

When will we see an Astute go off on a real deployment?

December 29, 2012 1:27 pm

I have to disagree with Mr Ape too, I think they look great

December 29, 2012 3:16 pm

@ Repulse


December 29, 2012 4:24 pm

When it does, you will be unlikely to see it :-)

“When will we see an Astute go off on a real deployment?”

December 29, 2012 4:54 pm

SO – off the straights of Gibraltar you go…….

December 29, 2012 4:57 pm

How can you say they look ugly? It looks like a prime race horse, ready to leap into action.

December 29, 2012 5:14 pm

It looks like it’s had a nasty prang…oh hang on :lol:

steve taylor
December 29, 2012 10:38 pm

Brings a lump to me throat so it does.

“We want eight and we won’t wait!”

Well we need 16 which is a multiple of 8, but 16 doesn’t rhyme with 8.

Martin says “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”

I read beholder as Upholder….

December 30, 2012 2:54 am

@Peter Elliot

Ha-ha, well I know they are often quite secretive about submarine operations but I reckon all the bad press, accidents and delays with Astute will lead them to make an exception and publicise her initial deployment.


Anything more than 7 would go down a treat!

December 30, 2012 10:28 am

Ow.. :) Challenger, couldn’t you find a better phrase than “go down a treat” for something like ships, boats and planes? ;)

December 30, 2012 6:08 pm


It wasn’t a deliberate turn of phrase but now that I have looked back I quite like it!

Phil Chadwick
Phil Chadwick
December 31, 2012 7:20 pm

They almost look Russian to me! They are bloody good boats though, certainly up there with anything America is currently building.

December 31, 2012 7:47 pm

They look even worse with that Dry Dock Shelter contraption on the back. Why can’t the Special folks carry on using these:

Happy New Year all.

Phil Chadwick
Phil Chadwick
December 31, 2012 8:16 pm

Let’s hope that 2013 is a year with much better news for the Royal Navy. It’s twenty years now since I left, and quite a lot of things have changed, some not for the better in my book.

Happy new year to everyone.

Here is a clip from 30 years ago. For those who haven’t seen it, stirring stuff. I am quite sure, for those who were actually there on the flight decks of Invincible and Illustrious, this moment is one that none of them will ever forget.