Fifth Astute-class Submarine Officially Named HMS Anson

A fifth attack submarine at Barrow has been officially named with a bottle of cider and without the usual crowd.

The new Astute-class vessel Anson, was blessed by the Venerable Martyn Gough, Archdeacon for the Royal Navy at a small ceremony at BAE Systems.

Astute Class submarines are the most powerful attack submarines ever operated by the Royal Navy.

Anson, a 97m-long (318ft), 7,400-tonne, nuclear-powered vessel, is due to launch on water next year.

The last HMS Anson, which operated from 1942-51 was a King George V-class battleship, which saw active service in World War Two, BAE Systems said.

The eight vessels to be known as ‘Anson’ are named after the Admiral of the Fleet, George Anson (1697-1762), who is noted for his circumnavigation of the globe and overseeing the Royal Navy during the Seven Years’ War.

Seven ships bore the name Anson before the 2020 submarine, with the first, a fourth rate 60-gun ship, appearing in the admiral’s lifetime, given the moniker back in 1747, serving until 1773 when she was sold.

In service around the same time was the second Anson, a six-gun cutter which had been bought in February 1763 but was sold in July the following year.

A further two boats to be named Agamemnon and Agincourt are currently being built.

Cliff Robson, managing director at BAE Systems, said only a handful of people were able to attend the ceremony because of the coronavirus pandemic.

He said: “We know these submarines are essential for the defence of the nation.

“Throughout this year, we’ve adapted the business to keep our people safe while allowing them to continue the important role of delivering critical capability to our customer.”

More than 1,700 people work on the Astute programme, which is delivering seven attack submarines to the Royal Navy.

Earlier this year, HMS Audacious, the fourth boat in the class, left Barrow for its operational base, at Her Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde in Faslane.

Work is also well under way in Barrow on Astute boats six and seven, the next generation of nuclear deterrent submarines, BAE Systems said

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