Tag Archives: HMS Ambush

TV review – Time Team Special: The Lost Submarine of WWI

It’s hard to look at Sir Tony Robinson without conjuring an image of perennial idiot and Blackadder whipping boy Baldrick, writes  Tim Spiers.

cunning

Sir Tony Robinson with the nuclear powered boat HMS Ambush (Blog editor takes no credit for this obvious inaccuracy!!)

His cunning plans and overwhelming stupidity earned Baldrick and Robinson cult status in the BBC sitcom and launched the actor’s career.

And rather oddly that career has taken a peculiar turn in recent years, with Robinson earning a niche for himself tucked away on Channel 4 on Sunday nights.

Time Team is, in the nicest possible sense, Geek TV, at least in its subject matter.

But as The Lost Submarine of WWI proves, that subject matter can be fascinating, educational and entertaining.

In it we see Robinson explore the story behind the very first submarines of warfare, focusing on the run-up to WWI and an arms race to build the most technologically advanced subs to try to win the war.

Submarines are compared favourably to tanks and machine guns in the way that they changed the face of warfare forever – they’re labelled as the weapon that changed the world, and with good reason.

First off Robinson travels to a secret location off the island of Skye to see firsthand the very latest in submarine technology.

Nuclear-powered sub HMS Ambush weighs 7,400 tonnes, can purify its own air and water, travel around the globe without ever popping above the surface and will never be refuelled in its 25 years of service.

It’s a far cry from the primitive early boats of the early 1900s, but comparisons between then and now are plentiful.

To prove this we’re taken back more than 100 years to discover a submarine which changed warfare forever.

And the Holland 5 was built here in Britain.

All design elements that modern designers take for granted came to life in this sub, which actually began life as an anti-British terrorist weapon.

Irish Republican John Holland designed the early Holland prototypes and was linked with what was effectively the US arm of the IRA.

The plan was to build a submarine capable of sinking a battleship, but Holland’s designs never came to fruition and his business partner came to the UK and duly licensed the Holland 5 for the Royal Navy.

The first incarnation of the series – Holland 1 – was extremely basic but by the time Holland 5 came around, complete with a periscope, a storage tank for water to help keep its balance and a new system for diving gently into the water, the British had designed a submarine fit to take on the Germans.

Perhaps surprisingly submarines were criticised by some – they were labelled as underhand and ‘un-English’, with a strong sense of questioning the morality at being so sneaky, even if it meant the enemy would be defeated.

History buffs will eat this stuff up with a spoon but there’s interest for casual observers too.

And Time Team excels in keeping it simple for the viewer, so that even the most unlikely subject matters become accessible.

As for the Holland 5, it sank in the English Channel and rapid technological advances meant that it soon became outdated and new fleets of submarines – on both sides of the war – were hastily constructed from 1914 onwards. But the groundwork had been done and the British submarines played a substantial role in winning the war, making the Holland 5 a hugely successful invention.

Or as Robinson might put it, a rather good cunning plan.

Source – Shropshire Star

Advertisements

UK – Nuclear submarines banned on two lochs following safety failures

DEFENCE watchdogs took action after Navy exercises at Loch Goil and Loch Ewe showed up inadequate plans in the event of accidents.

HMS Ambush
HMS Ambush
t

NUCLEAR submarines have been banned from two lochs over safety fears.

Three Royal Navy exercises to test responses to simulated submarine accidents in March and April failed assessments by Government safety regulators.

And the MoD’s internal watchdog, the Defence Nuclear Safety Regulator (DNSR), have responded by imposing the ban.

It prohibits nuclear subs from berthing in Loch Goil, near the Faslane naval base on the Clyde, and in Loch Ewe in Wester Ross.

Nuclear subs have been banned from Loch Goil

Loch Goil

 Loch Goil is used for testing the noise range of the Navy’s 11 nuclear subs to ensure they can navigate oceans undetected.

But the DNSR are demanding a satisfactory rerun of Exercise Strathport, which was staged last month, before the subs are allowed in the loch again.

The Office for Nuclear Regulation, who work with the DNSR, said: “Exercise Strathport was deemed an inadequate demonstration as their plan was considered inadequate.

“This needs to be revised and reissued, after which the DNSR and ONR will reinspect as a basis for providing consent to use Loch Goil on a case-by-case basis.”

Nuclear subs have been banned from Loch Ewe

Loch Ewe

Emergency exercises at Loch Ewe have been plagued with problems for years, prompting the DNSR to secretly ban submarines from the loch in 2008.

An exercise late last year failed “due to an inadequate plan, communications and facilities”, said the ONR spokesman.

The DNSR have also ordered an emergency exercise at the nuclear weapons depot at Coulport, near Faslane, to be rerun.

The specifics of the exercises are classified so it is not known what failures were recorded. But in past exercises, there have been communication breakdowns, radiation exposure risks and
failures to properly account for the number of casualties.

John Ainslie, of Scottish CND, said: “We cannot sleep easily in our beds so long as these floating Chernobyls remain in our lochs. The MoD has been given a red card by its own internal regulator. It is clearly not ready to respond to a nuclear accident at Coulport, Loch Goil or Loch Ewe.”

SNP defence spokesman Angus Robertson promised to raise questions in Parliament.

He said: “Any suggestion that there are inadequate safety plans in place will be deeply disturbing to the local communities and to Scotland as a whole.”

The MoD last night declined to say what impact the loch bans might have on their submarine operations.

A spokesman said: “The MoD takes its nuclear safety responsibilities seriously and conducts regular training to maintain high standards.

“We are taking steps to address issues raised by regulators following recent exercises but there is no risk of harm to the public or to the environment. The Royal Navy continues to operate submarines safely out of HM Naval Base Clyde.”

Source – Daily Record

Barrow built submarine due to be commissioned into Royal Navy today

HMS Ambush off Rhu spit near Faslane

BARROW-built Ambush is due to officially join the Royal Navy today.

A commissioning ceremony will take place at Faslane naval base on the Clyde where the 7,400-tonne sub will officially become “Her Majesty’s Ship”, or HMS Ambush. The second Astute-class attack submarine was launched in January 2011 at BAE Systems shipyard in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria. The nuclear-powered submarine arrived at her home port of HM Naval Base Clyde in September last year where she has undergone extensive sea trials. Ambush is 97 metres-long and holds around 100 personnel. She travels at a speed of up to 30 knots.

Source – North West Evening mail

Inside the Royal Navy’s new £1billion supersub – HMS Ambush

Deadly Hunter Killer submarine is  capable of hearing a ship leaving port in New York… whilst sat underwater in  the English channel

  • One of the world’s most sophisticated and  powerful nuclear submarines
  • Carries dozens of cruise missiles capable of  hitting targets 1,200 miles away
  • Her sonar can detect vessels moving on the  other side of the ocean
  • Powerful nuclear reactor allows her to  cruise non-stop for 25 years
  • HMS Ambush is so hi-tech the giant submarine  doesn’t even need a periscope
She cost around £1billion to build, has sonar  so sensitive it can hear other vessels 3,000 miles away and carries a giant  payload of 38 deadly Tomahawk cruise missiles.

HMS Ambush, the Royal Navy’s newest nuclear  attack submarine, is one of the most sophisticated and powerful vessels of her  type ever built.

The giant Astute-class sub, which was  launched today, is so hi-tech she doesn’t even need a periscope.

Awesome: HMS Ambush, which was built by BAE Systems, is believed to be the world's most powerful nuclear attack submarine. Her huge weapons payload includes super-accurate Tomahawk cruise missiles and Spearfish torpedoes for fighting other vessels

Awesome: HMS Ambush, which was built by BAE Systems, is  believed to be the world’s most powerful nuclear attack submarine. Her huge  weapons payload includes super-accurate Tomahawk cruise missiles and Spearfish  torpedoes for fighting other vessels

Success: The super hi-tech vessel has undergone rigorous testing ahead of today's launch. Despite her size the sub's 103 crew will be tightly packed, with some sleeping up to eight to a room in bunk bedsSuccess: The super hi-tech vessel has undergone rigorous  testing ahead of today’s launch. Despite her size the sub’s 103 crew will be  tightly packed, with some sleeping up to eight to a room in bunk beds

Enlarge Super sophisticated: A cross-section of the sub shows the complexity of her design and the need to fit as much technology in as possible

Super sophisticated: A cross-section of the sub shows  the complexity of her design and the need to fit as much technology in as  possible

HMS Ambush graphic

Her crew instead using a digital camera  system to see above the surface when she is submerged.

Built by BAE Systems, she has enough nuclear  fuel to carry on cruising for up to 25 years non-stop – giving her huge tactical  flexibility.

Her nuclear reactor is so powerful her range  is only really limited by the need for maintenance and resupply.

 Astute-class submarines are the largest,  most advanced and most powerful in the history of the  Navy, boasting  world-class design, weaponry and versatility.

HMS Ambush can travel over 500 miles in a  day, allowing them to be deployed anywhere in the world within two  weeks.

The vessel is also one of the quietest  sea-going vessels built, capable of sneaking along an enemy coastline to drop  off special forces or tracking a boat for weeks.

Detailed: HMS Ambush was fitted out with her sophisticated technology at Devonshire dock hall in Barrow-in-Furness Cumbria. She contains some of the most hi-tech weapons and sonar systems ever created Detailed: HMS Ambush was fitted out with her  sophisticated technology at Devonshire dock hall in Barrow-in-Furness Cumbria.  She contains some of the most hi-tech weapons and sonar systems ever created
HMS Ambush: Her powerful nuclear reactor allows her to travel around the world without stopping. She can cruise for up to 500 miles in a dayHMS Ambush: Her powerful nuclear reactor allows her to  travel around the world without stopping. She can cruise for up to 500 miles in  a day

Foreign forces will find it almost  impossible to sneak up undetected by her incredibly powerful sonar  equipment  that can hear halfway around the world.

Her Tomahawk missiles are capable of  hitting  targets up to 1,200 miles away – making her a vital weapon for  Britain’s armed  forces.

The sub’s commander Peter Green, 47, said the  vessel’s capabilities are ‘unparalleled.’

‘This sub is a huge step forward in  underwater operations,’

‘Her listening ability is quite awesome.  She has a sonar system with  the processing power of 2,000 laptop  computers.

Inside: The weapons room of the £1billion sub. Many details of her weapons system remain top secretInside: The weapons room of the £1billion sub. Many  details of her weapons system remain top secret
Feeding the crew: The submarine's kitchen will be staffed by five chefs providing food 24-hours a day for her officers and crewFeeding the crew: The submarine’s kitchen will be  staffed by five chefs providing food 24-hours a day for her officers and  crew
Technology: Leading engineering technician Andrew Gee tests out the sub's steering system in the control roomTechnology: Leading engineering technician Andrew Gee  tests out the sub’s steering system in the control room

‘It is possible this class of submarine is  the most advanced in the world.’

Another Astute Class sub is currently  undergoing sea trials – and could be operational within a year.

Many details of HMS Ambush’s weapons systems  cannot be revealed for security reasons.

Most of her 103-strong crew live in bunk-beds  measuring two metres by one metre, with up to 18 submariners sharing one  room.

After today’s launch HMS Ambush will begin  sea trials before eventually beginning operations.

VIDEO: Watch the ambush dummy weapons test for the 7,400 tonne  submarine!…