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HMS Artful (S121)
Career Royal Navy Ensign
Ordered: March 1997
Builder: BAE Systems Submarine Solutions
Laid down: 11 March 2005
Sponsored by: Lady Zambellas
Christened: 20 September 2013
Identification: Pennant number: S121
Status: Under construction
Badge: File:HMS Artful badge.jpg
General characteristics
Class & type: Astute-class submarine
Displacement: 7400 tonnes submerged
Length: 97 m (318 ft)
Beam: 11.3 m (37 ft)
Draught: 10 m (33 ft)
Propulsion: Rolls-Royce PWR2 reactor (with full submarine life core), MTU 600 kilowatt diesel generators
Speed: 29+ knots (54 km/h) submerged
Range: Only limited by food and maintenance requirements
Complement: 98 officers and men normally, capacity of 109
Sensors and
processing systems:

6 × 21-inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes with stowage for up to 38 weapons:[1]

HMS Artful is the third Astute-class nuclear-powered fleet submarine of the British Royal Navy. She is the second submarine of the Royal Navy to bear this name. Artful was ordered from GEC's Marconi Marine (now BAE Systems Submarine Solutions) on 17 March 1997, and was constructed at Barrow in Furness.[2] She was named on 20 September 2013, was rolled out of the shipyard construction hall on 16 May 2014, and was due to start sea trials in early 2015.[3] Artful made her first successful basin dive in October 2014,[4] and sailed on 13 August 2015 for sea trials.[5] Artful was handed over the Royal Navy on 14 December 2015,[6] and commissioned on 18 March 2016.[7][8][9]



Artful's nuclear reactor will not need to be refuelled during the boat's 25-year service. Since the submarine can purify water and air, she will be able to circumnavigate the planet without resurfacing. The main limit is that the submarine will only be able to carry three months' supply of food for 98 officers and ratings.


Artful has provision for up-to 38 weapons in six 21-inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes.[10] The submarine is capable of using Tomahawk Block IV land-attack missiles with a range of 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometres)[11] and Spearfish heavyweight torpedoes.

Common Combat System

Artful is the first Astute-class submarine to utilise the Common Combat System, which will be fitted on every Astute, Vanguard and Dreadnought-class submarine. The Common Combat System was originally meant to be first tested on the fourth Astute boat, Audacious, but the system was completed ahead of time.[12][13]


  1. "UK's most powerful submarine joins the Navy". MoD. 27 Aug 2010. Retrieved 11 April 2011. 
  2. "Second Astute Class submarine officially named". Ministry of Defence. 22 December 2010. 
  3. "Third Astute submarine named Artful". Ministry of Defence. 20 September 2013. 
  4. "First successful dive for new nuclear submarine HMS Artful during trials in Cumbria". Navy News. Royal Navy. 7 October 2014. 
  5. "Third Astute submarine Artful sets sail for sea trials". BBC News. 13 August 2015. 
  6. "Third Astute submarine formally handed over to the Royal Navy". Ministry of Defence. 14 December 2015. 
  7. "HMS Artful becomes a commissioned warship". Royal Navy. 18 March 2016. 
  8. "HMS Artful commissioned in Royal Navy ceremony". 
  9. "Third Astute submarine Artful to join Royal Navy fleet". 
  10. "Alien submarine breaks technical barriers". BBC News. 7 May 2007. 
  11. "United States Navy Fact File: Tomahawk Land Attack Missile". US Navy. 
  12. "HMS Artful test fires first torpedo using new UK-made advanced Combat System". Royal Navy. 29 February 2016. 
  13. "Royal Navy's newest sub test fires torpedo using £50 million UK-made advanced Combat System". Ministry of Defence. 29 February 2016. 

External links

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