U.K. Royal Navy Gets the Go-Ahead for 7th Astute Submarine

British Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson announced a £1.5 billion ($2 billion) contract with BAE Systems on May 14 for the delivery of the seventh and final Astute nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN) of the class.


To be called HMS Agincourt, the latest contracted submarine represents a commitment by the Conservative government to maintaining a robust undersea presence despite revelations last week of a fiscal shortfall of up to £20 billion in the 11-year £178 billion defense equipment budget plan out to 2026. Although BAE had actually begun work on the new boat in 2014, the forecasted shortfall had led to concerns that final construction of the seventh submarine might be abandoned. 

The new submarine will have provision for 38 weapons in six 21-inch torpedo tubes, including the Spearfish heavyweight torpedo. It will also be capable of firing Tomahawk Block IV land attack missiles.

About Daniel Darling

Dan Darling is Forecast International’s director of military and defense markets. In this role, Dan oversees a team of analysts tasked with covering everything from budgeting to weapons systems to defense electronics and military aerospace. Additionally, for over 17 years Dan has, at various times, authored the International Military Markets reports for Europe, Eurasia, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region. Dan's work has been cited in Defense News, Real Clear Defense, Asian Military Review, Al Jazeera, and Financial Express, among others, and he has also contributed commentary to The Diplomat, The National Interest and World Politics Review. He has been quoted in Arabian Business, the Financial Times, Flight International, The New York Times, Bloomberg and National Defense Magazine. In addition, Dan has made guest appearances on the online radio show Midrats and on The Media Line, as well as The Red Line Podcast, plus media appearances on France 24 and World Is One News (WION).

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