The Royal Navy’s newest hunter-killer submarine

Her nuclear reactor could power a city the size of Southampton, she will never need refuelling and she can use her guided ­missiles to pulverise an enemy more than 1,000 miles away. Meet HMS Ambush, the Royal Navy’s newest hunter-killer submarine. The ‘super-sub’ is able to make oxygen and fresh water from ­seawater, to keep the 98 crew — it has not yet been decided if this will include women — alive in time of crisis.

And, despite being 50 per cent ­bigger than the ­Swiftsure and ­Trafalgar subs she will replace, Ambush is quieter. Her propellers are said to make less noise than a baby dolphin — making her virtually undetectable to enemy vessels.
Of course, that is if enemy ­vessels can get near her. The ­submarine’s sonar and radar are so sensitive that she can detect ships a staggering 3,000 nautical miles away. It means that if she was sitting in the English Channel she would know if a ship left New York's harbour. A true titan of the deep, the £1.2billion warship will be launched at Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria on Thursday.
But naval chiefs will nervously hope the newly-named craft will not suffer the same catalogue of ­disasters that has recently befallen her sister vessel, HMS Astute. Astute’s captain, Commander Andy Coles, was relieved of his duties after the submarine ran aground on a sandbank off the Isle of Skye in October.
During the rescue, a tug collided with the sub, causing £7million of damage. Last week, she limped back to her home port of Faslane after a mechanical failure at sea. Ambush will be unveiled and ­officially named by Lady Anne Soar, the wife of the Royal Navy’s ­Commander in Chief Fleet, Admiral Sir Trevor Soar.
After the ceremony, the ­awesome 7,400-tonne sub wi­ll be wheeled from her shed and ­lowered into the wet dock for ­further outfitting and ­testing. And having come in ­massively over-budget and five years late, the Navy is expecting nothing less than a top-of-the-range vessel.
More complex than the U.S. Space Shuttles and able to ­circumnavigate the globe ­without surfacing, Ambush is 291ft long — the same length as a football pitch — as wide as four double-decker buses and 12 storeys high. A typical patrol lasts ten weeks, but she could ­theoretically stay underwater for her entire 25-year lifespan.
HMS Ambush will carry 38 ­missiles — a mixture of Tomahawk cruise ­missiles, which have a range of 1,240 miles, and Spearfish heavyweight torpedoes to target other ships and submarines.
Her nuclear-powered engine will propel her through the water at more than 20 knots, allowing her to travel 500 miles a day. In this image released by the Navy, a section of the hull behind the ­conning tower has been intriguingly obscured for security reasons.
BAE Systems is building seven Astute-class subs. The £6.7 billion project is already £1.4 billion over budget, after being beset by ­problems and delays.
Source: MailOnline
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