HMS Audacious (S122)

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Career Royal Navy Ensign
Ordered: May 2007
Builder: BAE Systems Submarine Solutions
Laid down: 24 March 2009
Identification: Pennant number: S122
Status: Under construction
Badge: HMS Audacious badge.jpg
General characteristics
Class & type: Astute-class submarine
Displacement: 7,400 tonnes submerged
Length: 97 m (318 ft)
Beam: 11.3 m (37 ft)
Draught: 10 m (33 ft)
Propulsion: Rolls-Royce PWR2 reactor (with full submarine life core), MTU 600 kilowatt diesel generators
Speed: 29+; knots (54 km/h) submerged
Range: Only limited by food and maintenance requirements
Complement: 98 officers and men normally, capacity of 109
Sensors and
processing systems:

6 × 21-inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes with stowage for up to 38 weapons;

HMS Audacious is the fourth Astute-class nuclear-powered fleet submarine of the Royal Navy. Several previous vessels of the Royal Navy have borne the name. Long lead items for her construction were ordered on 28 August 2006 [2] although the actual order was not placed until 21 May 2007.[3] She was nearly halfway through her build programme as of December 2012.[4]

Some aspects of the later Astute class submarines will be different from boats 1-3, mostly related to the combat system—primarily the command, navigation and sonar systems. This is the first Royal Navy submarine which uses a shared computer environment for the different systems, common consoles and cabinets, and commercial "off-the-shelf" hardware and software, to reduce costs and improve maintainability. These changes have been back-fitted to boat 3, Artful; the eventual aim is to back-fit the "Common Combat System" to HMS Astute and Ambush, and progressively to the rest of the Royal Navy submarine fleet.[4]


Audacious under construction in Barrow-in-Furness in July 2013

Nuclear power[edit]

Audacious's nuclear reactor will not need to be refuelled during the boat's 25-year service. Since the submarine can replenish her air supply and purify water under way and while submerged, she will be able to circumnavigate the planet without resurfacing. The main limitation on the submarine's dived endurance will be due to consumable supplies, including the three months' supply of food carried for the 98 officers and ratings.


Audacious will carry a mix of 38 weapons in six 21-inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes;


  1. ^ "UK's most powerful submarine joins the Navy". MoD. 27 Aug 2010. Retrieved 11 April 2011. 
  2. ^ "New nuclear sub is lifeline for Barrow". BBC News Online. 2006-08-28. Retrieved 2007-03-09. 
  3. ^ "Royal Navy to Get New Attack Submarine". Royal Navy. 2007-05-21. Retrieved 2007-05-21. 
  4. ^ a b BAE Systems News, 10 December 2012
  5. ^ Alien submarine breaks technical barriers BBC News. (7 May 2007).

External links[edit]