HMS Artful commissioned into the Royal Navy

Astute class nuclear submarine HMS Artful.
Chrono date: 
2016 Mar 18

The "world's most advanced" nuclear submarine has officially joined the Royal Navy nuclear submarine fleet.

HMS Artful was commissioned into the Royal Navy in a ceremony at Faslane naval base on the Clyde attended by the submarine's 150 crew, their families and senior Navy officials.

Built at BAE Systems' shipyard in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, it moved to HM Naval Base Clyde in 2015 to undergo sea trials off the west coast of Scotland.

Commodore Mike Walliker, commander of the Faslane flotilla, said:

"For 50 years we've been operating nuclear submarines in this country and today we commissioned the most advanced nuclear submarine we have ever put to sea, and as of today bar-none in the world.”

"She is fitted with the most advanced weapons system, a very good propulsion system and is capable of operating undetected all over the world for months at a time."

Commander Stuart Armstrong, captain of HMS Artful, said:

"From the bow to stern, she contains the most advanced technology that the Royal Navy has ever put to sea in a submarine.”

"She is alive and has a beating heart in the crew that serve on board. It's us who decide where she goes and decide when she can unleash her awesome potential.”

HMS Artful’s weaponry includes Tomahawk cruise missiles, with the ability to strike targets up to 1,200 miles from the coast while stealth technology allows it to remain undetected despite being 50% larger than the Trafalgar-class subs.

It is the third Astute-class attack submarine to join the fleet following HMS Astute and HMS Ambush, said to be the most powerful ever operated in the Royal Navy.

HMS Astute and Ambush have already completed deployments in the Mediterranean and Middle East. The Royal Navy said the submarines have been involved in anti-smuggling operations and provided Tomahawk Land Attack Missile capability in support of anti-terrorism operations in the region.

All seven of the Royal Navy's Astute-class submarines will be based on the Clyde.

Further reading:

HMS Artful (2005)

Royal Navy Astute class nuclear attack submarines

£1.3bn for HMS Anson Contract

HMS Artful (1944)

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