Britain’s £1.3billion sub built to defend against Russia sat empty
A submarine built to defend Britain from Russia is out of action for a year because there is no working dry dock where it can be repaired.
Astute class, nuclear powered sub, HMS Audacious, is at HMNB Devonport, Plymouth, next to a graveyard of rusting subs.
The £1.3billion “hunter killer” submarine, which launched in 2017, is designed to gather intelligence and strike with Tomahawk missiles.
HMS Audacious berthed in March after 403 days at sea, having worked alongside NATO ships to monitor tankers and cargo ships In the Mediterranean.
Chief of Defence Staff Admiral Sir Tony Radakin warned MPs that, since the Cold War, Russian submarine and underwater activity is at its highest level.
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Sir Tony, who admitted it would take a long time to get HMS Audacious back at sea, told the Sun: “We do not have dock available in Plymouth.”
It is unclear why HMS Audacious, which has a top speed in excess of 30 knots, needs to be in the dock which is undergoing a re-fit, according to The Sun.
Contractors Babcock insists the work is on schedule and some of the required repairs to HMS Audacious are already underway.
They added: “The planned work on HMS Audacious is already underway.”
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Defence Secretary Grant Shapps told The Sun: “We don’t comment on submarine operations, but we have always been able to fulfil our international commitments.”
Type 23 frigate HMS Richmond monitored the Admiral Grigorovich from the North Sea and through the Dover Strait as it headed towards the Mediterranean.
The operation involved following the Russian frigate through heavy seas after Storm Ciaran.
HMS Richmond’s commanding officer, Commander Chris L’Amie, said: “The English Channel is one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.
“Close monitoring and shadowing of Russian warships in UK waters and adjacent sea areas encourages their compliance with maritime law and deters malign activity.
“By maintaining a visible and persistent presence, the Royal Navy is demonstrating our steadfast commitment to the Nato alliance and maintaining maritime security, which is crucial to our national interests.”
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