All of Royal Navy's Barrow-built attack submarines 'out of action' - claims

10 February 2017 10:40AM

NATIONAL reports have claimed that all of the Royal Navy's Barrow-built attack submarines are out of action.

An article in The Sun claims that "sources say the Navy’s three new Astute class subs, costing £1.2billion each, are beset by problems" and "the four remaining Trafalgars are said to be 'on their last legs'".

The report claims that HMS Artful, HMS Ambush, HMS Trenchant, HMS Torbay, HMS Triumph and HMS Talent are all undergoing repairs.

HMS Ambush is currently being repaired at Faslane after crashing into a shipping vessel near Gibraltar last year.

Only HMS Astute is at sea, The Sun claims, but the boat is undergoing trials.

Vanguard nuclear deterrent subs remain operational but it is believed to be the first time in decades the UK has had no attack subs ready.

The Evening Mail is attempting to verify the claims in The Sun.

Industry commentators and publications have suggested the claims should be treated with caution.

Pictures sent to us on January 13 show HMS Artful being fitted with a dry deck shelter at Faslane.

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Christopher   Nelson , Ulverston Friday, 10 February, 2017 at 2:36PM
I think it is right to treat the Sun's claims with caution because 'in for repair' can cover a whole host of different situations. However, it should also be remembered that HMS Trenchant, HMS Torbay, HMS Triumph and HMS Talent, are all quite old vessels and the programme to replace them has suffered delays, often due to Governments dragging their feet over commitment to the programme. I know from my time running communications for the programme that attack submarines are hugely complicated machines but also immensely capable military vessels. It is encouraging that the Government is now committed to the submarine fleet, and seven attack submarines. The sooner the rest of the Astute-class vessels are in service the better - giving the UK the world-beating submarine fleet it needs..
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