HMS Ambush (S120)

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For other ships of the same name, see HMS Ambush.
HMS Ambush long.jpg
Ambush on sea trials, December 2012.
Career (UK) Royal Navy Ensign
Name: HMS Ambush
Namesake: Ambush
Ordered: March 1997
Builder: BAE Systems Submarine Solutions
Laid down: 22 October 2003
Launched: 6 January 2011[1]
Christened: 16 December 2010[2]
Commissioned: 1 March 2013
Homeport: HM Naval Base Clyde
Identification: Pennant number: S120
Motto: Hide And Seek[3]
Status: Commissioned, on sea trials
Badge: HMS Ambush crest.jpg
General characteristics
Class and type: Astute-class submarine
Displacement: 7,400 tonnes, submerged[4]
Length: 97 m (318 ft)
Beam: 11.3 m (37 ft)
Draught: 10 m (33 ft)
Propulsion: Rolls-Royce PWR 2 reactor, MTU 600 kilowatt diesel generators
Speed: Up to 30 knots (56 km/h), submerged[4]
Range: Only limited by food and maintenance requirements.
Complement: 98 (capacity for 109)
Sensors and
processing systems:
Armament: 6 × 21-inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes with stowage for up to 38 weapons:[5]

HMS Ambush is an Astute-class nuclear fleet submarine of the Royal Navy, the second boat of her class. Ambush is the third vessel, and the second submarine, to bear the name in Royal Naval service. She was ordered in 1997, laid down in 2003 and commissioned in 2013.


Nuclear power[edit]

Ambush's nuclear reactor will not need to be refuelled during the boat's 25-year service. Since the submarine can purify water and air, she will be able to circumnavigate the planet without resurfacing. The main limit is that the submarine will only be able to carry three months' supply of food for 98 officers and ratings.


Ambush has provision for up-to 38 weapons in six 21-inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes:[6]

  • Tomahawk Block IV land-attack missiles - range of 1,240 miles (2,000 kilometres)
  • Spearfish heavyweight torpedoes

Construction and commissioning[edit]

Ambush was ordered from GEC's Marconi Marine (now BAE Systems Submarine Solutions) on 17 March 1997. She was laid down at Barrow-in-Furness on 22 October 2003,[7] officially named on 16 December 2010,[8] launched on 6 January 2011,[1] completed her initial dive test on 30 September 2011,[9] and departed Barrow for sea trials on 15 September 2012.[10] Ambush was commissioned in a ceremony at HM Naval Base Clyde on 1 March 2013.[11]

Operational history[edit]

Ambush was scheduled to conduct her maiden operations sometime in 2014.[12] She has already conducted trials, linking up with RFA Diligence.[13] She has also conducted torpedo and Tomahawk cruise missile tests, with early signs showing that they were successful.[14] Ambush sailed down to Brazil in 2014 and also made a port call in Port Canaveral.[15][16] In April 2015, Ambush participated in Exercise Joint Warrior, the largest military exercise held in Europe, alongside 55 other naval ships of NATO navies.[17]


Ambush is affiliated to:


  1. ^ a b "BAE Systems Barrow submarine Ambush’s maiden voyage". NW Evening Mail. 7 January 2011. Retrieved 8 January 2011. 
  2. ^ "Ambush rollout delay". NW Evening Mail. 16 December 2010. Retrieved 16 December 2010. 
  3. ^ "Ambush takes shape". Ministry of Defence. 11 February 2008. Archived from the original on 5 December 2009. 
  4. ^ a b "Astute Class". Royal Navy. Retrieved 9 June 2014. 
  5. ^ "UK's most powerful submarine joins the Navy". MoD. 27 Aug 2010. Retrieved 11 April 2011. 
  6. ^ Alien submarine breaks technical barriers BBC News. (7 May 2007).
  7. ^ BAE Systems Investor Brief October 2003
  8. ^ "Navy names new attack submarine". Retrieved 2010-12-19. 
  9. ^ "Underwater Tests Mark Ambush Milestone". Northwest Evening Mail. 5 October 2011. Retrieved 6 October 2011. 
  10. ^ [1] Second Astute Class submarine ready to leave Barrow
  11. ^ "Submarine HMS Ambush commissioned into the Royal Navy". Ministry of Defence. 4 March 2013. Retrieved 8 March 2013. 
  12. ^ New Commanding Officer for UKs newest attack submarine,
  13. ^ HMS Ambush links up with support ship,
  14. ^ HMS Ambush action for the first time,
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Dozens of warships join British war games off Scotland". The Telegraph. 10 April 2015. Retrieved 16 April 2015. 
  18. ^ a b c d e f "HMS Ambush - Affiliations". Royal Navy website. Retrieved 2013-09-05. 
  19. ^ Commander visits Bemrose School

External links[edit]