How It Works
Pictured is HMS Ambush returning to HMNB Clyde in Scotland.

Ambush, second of the nuclear powered Astute Class attack submarines, was named in Barrow on 16 December 2010 and launched on 5 January 2011. 

The seven Astute Class boats planned for introduction to the Royal Navy are the most advanced and powerful attack submarines Britain has ever sent to sea. Featuring the latest nuclear-powered technology, the vessels will never need to be refuelled and are capable of circumnavigating the world submerged, manufacturing the crew’s oxygen from seawater as she goes. 

The Astute Class are also quieter than any of her predecessors and have the ability to operate covertly and remain undetected, despite being fifty percent larger in size than the Royal Navy’s current Trafalgar Class submarines.

The evolution of submarines

Pictured is HMS Ambush returning to HMNB Clyde in Scotland.

Ambush, second of the nuclear powered Astute Class attack submarines, was named in Barrow on 16 December 2010 and launched on 5 January 2011. 

The seven Astute Class boats planned for introduction to the Royal Navy are the most advanced and powerful attack submarines Britain has ever sent to sea. Featuring the latest nuclear-powered technology, the vessels will never need to be refuelled and are capable of circumnavigating the world submerged, manufacturing the crew’s oxygen from seawater as she goes. 

The Astute Class are also quieter than any of her predecessors and have the ability to operate covertly and remain undetected, despite being fifty percent larger in size than the Royal Navy’s current Trafalgar Class submarines.

Lurking in the depths, hundreds of submarines are currently patrolling the world’s oceans, performing a range of very important, and often covert, missions.

These stealthy vessels were first widely used during World War I, with Germany’s U-boats responsible for destroying several British supply ships during the conflict, and have since changed the face of naval warfare forever.

But the story of underwater vessels didn’t start there. In fact, it started all the way back in the 1600’s with the Drebbel I. This product came from the mind of Dutch engineer Cornelius Drebbel, who designed what was essentially an enclosed underwater rowing boat.

This may have been largely ineffective for combat situations, but it began us down a path toward truly great feats in engineering, where new designs that could help us go farther and deeper than ever before would eventually be drawn.

You can explore the original innovative invention in greater detail as well as other major milestones in submarine development with our infographic below; and learn how submarines developed into the advanced titans we have today:

Click on the image for a closer look

DID YOU KNOW? In 1960, the USS Triton completed the first submerged circumnavigation of the globe in 60 days.

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